<strong>July 30, 2005</strong>
Source: <a href="http://www.chargers.com/news/headline_detail.cfm?news_key=2209">Chargers.com</a>
After a long offseason, Chargers linebacker Donnie Edwards needs an alarm to wake him up, a sign that training camp has arrived. He's looking for more of a "thud" than a "buzz," and he'll get just that Saturday morning when he takes part in Head Coach Marty Schottenheimer's renowned Oklahoma drill for the sixth time.
"The Oklahoma drill is what really gets me going," Edwards said. "When we're out there hitting each other in that drill, you know it's time to get down to business."
Edwards played for Schottenheimer for three seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs and is beginning his third year under Schottenheimer with the Chargers. He's a fan of the drill, which matches players in a one-on-one, high contact battle with a teammate.
"It's something different," Edwards said. "We do a lot of light-contact drills during camp, so it's a fun way to break up the routine and get people excited. Everyone loves watching hard hits."
In the drill, wide receivers are matched against defensive backs, offensive linemen take on defensive lineman and linebackers, and running backs are forced to hit a hole and make contact with a defender. It's a drill that is rarely used at the professional level.
"I could see a case made for the fact that I may be old school, but I'll tell you, we have continued to utilize the drill because I think it creates a positive atmosphere for your football team," Schottenheimer said. "Guys will be up cheering for their buddies and really getting into it. There are a lot of redeeming qualities as far as toughness and tackling technique."
Linebacker Steve Foley will participate in Schottenheimer's Oklahoma drill for the second time Saturday. It's something he now looks forward to.
"You're just trying to blow the other guy up," Foley said. "It's something to get guys going. You wouldn't mind seeing a couple of guys on their backs. It's a tempo setter."
In addition, Foley likes the opportunity to showcase his individual skills, something that is rarely provided in such a team-oriented sport.
"Everyone here is competitors," Foley said. "The Oklahoma drill gives you a rare chance to do something on an individual basis and show the other guys that you're capable of holding up."
Rookie offensive tackle Wesley Britt has never gone through the drill with Schottenheimer, but he has participated in it at various levels.
"I did it in high school, I did it in college at Alabama, and I'm glad to be doing it again," Britt said. "It's what being an offensive lineman is all about: you just line up and hit the guy across from you as hard as you can."
The Chargers morning practice opens at 8 a.m. and will include the Oklahoma drill. Fans are encouraged to attend.