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USC middle linebackers call the shots

Updated: April 30, 2010, 1:03 PM ET
By Pedro Moura | Special to the ESPNLosAngeles.com

LOS ANGELES -- Every scheme has its linchpin.

Football's 3-4 defense can't function without a burly nose tackle to clog gaps, allowing speedy outside linebackers to rush the passer. The West Coast offense relies on the quick reads and timing of a quarterback. And the Tampa 2 needs a speedy, all-knowing middle linebacker -- or Mike -- to roam the heart of the field.

The Trojans are implementing a variation of the famed Tampa 2 defense. Overseeing the transformation is none other than ...

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