Brandon Macias is soft spoken. There are times you have to lean forward to hear the 230-pound senior.
On the field it’s a different story. In the middle of a unit that’s struggling to find its identity, you know the Senators’ starting center is around. After a slow start, his play is speaking volumes.
“The first three weeks I’ve felt comfortable (compared to last year),” said Macias, who started every game at center last season. “That first game in Idaho this year was a tough one for me. The guys (from Lewiston) were a lot bigger than I’m used to seeing in Northern Nevada.
“The Reno game was tough. Number 44 (Siaosi Finau) really got after me last year. I felt I did better this time; picked it up from last season. The Reed game was probably my best. I think I had a better game than anybody else on the front line.”
Carson head coach Blair Roman agreed.
“He had a pretty good game last week,” Roman said. “He was one of the few bright spots on film. It was nice to see him take some long strides (in terms of improvement).”
“He is understanding the position (even more),” Carson offensive line coach Vic Castro said. “He has been our most consistent offensive lineman the last two weeks. I’m confident in him.”
Macias has set some goals for himself for the rest of the season. He wants to be more vocal, and he has improved in that aspect, and it’s tough to ask a quiet guy to all of a sudden be more vocal.
The second goal, and probably the most important one, is to be more physical.
“I need to stay on my blocks longer; occupy my guy,” Macias said. “And I need to get to the middle linebacker. I need to get to the second level of the defense. It’s very mental. I have to pick it up. I have to keep playing to the whistle. I have to get nastier.”
Castro explained further.
“We call it flipping the switch,” Castro said. “We want him to think pancake and flat backing people.”
That means staying with the block after initial contact.
The line play hasn’t come together liked everybody hoped, and injuries have been a big reason.
Friday, the Senators will be starting their fourth different offensive line. Clayton Greene and Carl Cavner have missed a game apiece, Reno and Reed, respectively, and now Blaise Bonomo is more than likely going to sit out with a sore shoulder.
“In an offensive scheme that relies on cohesion up front, it’s been tough because of injuries,” Castro said.
Garrett Clampitt and Cole Ashton are vying to replace Bonomo, and it’s likely both will see action Friday.
The line needs to play better and open holes for Abel Carter, who was held to a career low 49 yards last week.
“We need to work things out; work on the little things,” Macias said. “We didn’t play together as a group last week. There was too much arguing going on between people. We have to fix things.”
That’s where Macias’ senior leadership can come in handy.