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DL a strength too? I'm positively giddy!! ;-)

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Buck Melanoma, Aug 3, 2012.

  1. Buck Melanoma
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    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    CHARGERS: Defensive line coming together
    [​IMG]


    Lenny Ignelzi

    Chargers defensive end Kendall Reyes (91) battles rookie offensive tackle Michael Harris at training camp last week. (Lenny Ignelzi | Associated Press)


    SAN DIEGO — The defensive line has always been an entertaining group. They're a fun follow on Twitter, with banter quick and witty. Most all of them are good with a joke, and would rather keep things light during downtime.
    The bond among them is strong despite the youth movement undertaken in recent seasons, which has elevated Vaughn Martin and Corey Liuget to starting ends and Cam Thomas to an increased role as reserve nose tackle behind ringleader Antonio Garay.
    Rookie Kendall Reyes and veteran Aubrayo Franklin have been added, while elder statesman Jacques Cesaire is the sage that brings them all along. It's generally a fun and loud section of the locker room media rarely enter without a bit of good-natured heckling. But they all also have a switch, and know when it's time to get down to serious business.
    There is a consensus that, despite few names you often focus on, the group could be as productive as ever. Martin and Liuget have experience beyond their years, and they have a wide array of talents at their disposal.
    "People assume that talent breaks down to simple things like strength and speed, but it's more complex than that," Garay said. "The cool thing is that every guy brings something different to the table. And we do so much rotation and moving around that it makes us hard to scheme against."
    The goal among the group is more about moving pockets and stopping interior runs than crushing quarterbacks, vital if not flashy elements to a quality defense.
    "That's where fantasy football has taken us," Chargers coach Norv Turner said. "I know the job isn't thankless for the guys that play with them and know all the contributions they make and the hard work they do."
    There were times, most notably in early 2009 and again in 2011, when the defensive line depth was exposed due to key injuries. Those trials gave youth valuable experience that is starting to pay off.
    "There's natural talent among guys like Vaughn and Cam and Corey, but now we're seeing really good technique to go along with it," Cesaire said. "We have a group of reliable guys, which is necessary because of how often we rotate guys in and out. It's still early, but it's setting up to be a really good group."
    Rarely is there a position group so reliant on the whole for success. Especially with the heavy rotation the Chargers use, it's far less about the starting three than the package of six or seven.
    That adds real value to position-group chemistry, which starts as much on the field. That's especially true as they adjust to variations in new coordinator John Pagano's scheme.
    "There's no better bonding agent than learning," Garay said. "While we have a lot of continuity, we're also on our third defensive coordinator in three seasons and we're all adjusting to new aspects of the scheme. Learning as a group helps with cohesiveness. We're all going through the same thing."
    So do the group outings that have become a staple among the defensive line, even as it interchanges select parts.
    "The veterans keep up the traditions we as linemen have," Garay said. "Just because you're teammates, people on the outside assume that you're friends. In this case, that's the absolute truth. We have fun. We know when it's time to get down to business."
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  2. AnteaterCharger
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    AnteaterCharger Calibrating Bolttalk, Podcast by Podcast Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    Seems like they've gelled as a group, let's see if that actually produces anything. Still there's some good talent in the group
  3. Blue Bolt
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    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    I think I'll wait until I see said players in action before I get too excited.
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  4. HEXEDBOLT
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    HEXEDBOLT Well-Known Member

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    Whoa, let's not put the cart before the horse. I'd sure love to see a dominate defense but don't they have to actually play the games?
  5. Concudan
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    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Whats wrong with a little premature excitilation?:unsure:
  6. boltfanatik
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    boltfanatik Toxic Minority Member

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    This camp stuff always cracks me up, I start getting seriously interested once the 53 get set and see the first real season game. Got to admit it is fun up to that point!
  7. Blue Bolt
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    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    Like this?.......

    @schuckles17 @UTKevinAcee I would also like to know how Mouton is doing.....outside of getting in a fight, haven't heard much.
    @darmstrong17 @schuckles17 Honestly, he's not impressing. Yet. I'm honestly perplexed at what they do given their need at his spot.
  8. Savage Lizard
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    Savage Lizard Charger fan at 7000'

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    To all the "I'll wait and see" guys: why are you in a forum in the preseason if you don't want to speculate on anything? Seems like you should just show up once the games are going on and start commenting on stuff.
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  9. Buck Melanoma
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    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Should I have used a different smilie in the title? :rolleyes:
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  10. HEXEDBOLT
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    HEXEDBOLT Well-Known Member

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    What looks great on paper or in practice doesn't necessarily equate to great on game day. My excitement is due from the fact that the season is soon to be upon us and my hope is there are no camp casualties that affect the starting lineup. If I recall correctly, this team has started in the hole and haven't left the gate whole the last few years.
  11. Blue Bolt
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    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    Now that you mention it, we could use a wider selection of smilies. ;)
  12. Moses
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    Moses Yeah Buddy!

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    It lacks a star to be honest, but it also lacks an obvious weak link. I'm lloking forward to seeing how the young front 3 of Liuget, Martin and Thomas have progressed, as they could all potentially be very good players. Reyes also could be nice, and it was good to retain Garay.

    For this season, I think the addition of Aubrayo Franklin has actually gone under the radar a bit. I think he'll be a decent contributor.
  13. Blue Bolt
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    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    Acee already talks about Reyes pushing Martin and Liuget. Is that a positive for Reyes, or a negative for the other two?
  14. Buck Melanoma
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    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Personally, I'm a big fan of Reyes & extremely happy that we drafted him. That would make my vote positive.
  15. Moses
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    Moses Yeah Buddy!

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    I think it's a positive thing. Shows in my view that we have 3 good players at the position, and that we probably made a good decision to select Reyes if he is already pushing for a starting spot.
  16. BoltWalt
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    BoltWalt Well-Known Member

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    Try working this one into your smiles: ;^)
  17. boltfanatik
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    boltfanatik Toxic Minority Member

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    I find your sig offensive , I should not have to pay more taxes! my investments went so bad this year I couldn't reup my season tix.:roflmao:
  18. ThunderHorse17
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    ThunderHorse17 Lone Wolf

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  19. ThunderHorse17
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    ThunderHorse17 Lone Wolf

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    Ill be damned there is a smilie in the title.

    Well played Sir. Pulled the wool over my eyes!
  20. Buck Melanoma
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    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    CHARGERS: Liuget wants to be more legit
    [​IMG]

    The Chargers' Corey Liuget believes he's on the verge of a breakout year. HAYNE PALMOUR IV | hpalmour@nctimes.com


    SAN DIEGO ---- There are pros and cons to being a first-round draft pick.
    The paycheck is nice. The unrealistic expectations and constant scrutiny? Not so much.
    Just ask Ryan Mathews or Larry English, both of whom can seemingly do no right. Chargers fans have been easier on Corey Liuget for some reason.
    Maybe it's the fact he didn't have an offseason as a rookie because of last year's lockout. Maybe it's his position, defensive end, an unglamorous spot than doesn't produce gaudy stats in a 3-4 defense. Maybe it's because he's only 22 and has plenty of time to realize the potential he has yet to reach.
    The 2011 first-round pick might have flown under the radar compared to his predecessors, but he has taken plenty of flak from his biggest critic. Liuget wasn't satisfied with his rookie year. He doesn't think fans should be, either.
    "You know about the expectations and you hear it when people talk, but I never let it affect me," he said. "You have to perform to the best of your ability, which is obviously high if a team took you in the first round. But, in my case, I don't let pressure get to me. I work hard because I have high expectations for myself. No amount of outside pressure can compare to what I demand."
    Liuget has no interest in excuses for his lack of performance, starting with an offseason stripped by the NFL lockout. He had 19 tackles, a forced fumble and a sack in 13 starts, a far cry from Luis Castillo's standard for the position. The 2005 first-round pick, who was released this summer, had 28 tackles, seven sacks and an interception in 2006, unusually high numbers for an end in a 3-4 defense.
    Liuget thinks of himself as more than just a gap plugger. Defensive coordinator John Pagano does, too, and has created ways for Liuget to get to the quarterback.
    "Coach Pagano has added a lot of stunts and blitzes to help the defensive linemen make plays," Liuget said. "He's given us the chance to showcase our talents. I want to make big plays, and not just be a big body plugging gaps. He understands that and is allowing us to do our thing up front."
    Liuget wants to be a playmaker so badly that he swore off his mother's Southern cooking:eek: and went on an offseason diet. He weighs 300 pounds, down from 325, thanks to proper nutrition and a workout plan that would make boxers blush. Liuget says he's faster at the snap and has a spring from his stance.
    But it's not his quickness that makes coach Norv Turner believe Liuget is on the verge of a breakout season.
    "I don't know if the weight he's at makes him better," Turner said. "I know that he's playing with a lot more confidence and a great sense of urgency. You can tell that he's been in the NFL for a year. Experience in the defensive line is critical, and I think those guys up front have a big adjustment from college to the pros. His progression has been normal, and I think our coaches have done a great job of maximizing his abilities."
    The coaches have been important, but Liuget also credits his teammates for the light bulb now glowing above his head. Recent acquisition Jarret Johnson, lauded by many as a team leader, made some suggestions this offseason that made Liuget believe he could be an impact player.
    "Experience was huge, but Jarret Johnson really set me straight," Liuget said. "He told me to look at the game how the linebackers do. Takeo Spikes said the same thing, and it's allowed me to view the game in a whole new way. I started thinking like them, understanding how a certain look can give me a clue about what an opponent's trying to do. It gave me a leg up and allowed me to take my game to another level."
    Liuget's performance in 2011 wasn't bad. He was named a starter weeks after he was allowed in the Chargers' facility after the lockout and performed admirably considering the circumstances. He was serviceable, a term he hates. He wants people to expect the world of him. He welcomes the pressure associated with being a first-round pick, because he expects nothing less of himself.
    "I never looked at my starting job as a right because I was drafted in the first round," Liuget said. "It was a privilege. I knew I had to work. The days of being lazy were over. This is my job, and I treated it like one.
    "Nobody wants anything for free. Nothing is given. I'm proud that I've earned my spot in the starting lineup, but I know I won't have it if I slack off. I need to get better and produce better numbers."

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