1. Welcome to San Diego Chargers NFL Football Podcast and Forum!

    Bolt Talk is one of the largest online communities for the San Diego Chargers. We host a regular Chargers podcast during the season. You are currently viewing our community forums as a guest user.

    Create an Account or

    Having an account grants you additional privileges, such as creating and participating in discussions. Furthermore, we hide most of the ads once you register as a member!
    Dismiss Notice

Anthony Waters shows his potential in return from injury

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Aug 11, 2008.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2006
    Messages:
    23,310
    Ratings:
    +1,703
    SAN DIEGO ---- To most people, it was just a meaningless play in an exhibition game, quickly forgotten and not the least memorable.

    Yet in the eyes of Chargers linebacker Anthony Waters, it was a sign that he's on the path back to being a destructive football player.

    "On one of their plays, I can remember just running the ball down from the back side," Waters said after the Chargers' 31-17 victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday night. "That is what I was used to doing before the injury. So I can feel everything coming back to me now."

    Oh, yeah, the injury. Waters tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee 23 months ago during Clemson's season-opening contest against Florida Atlantic.

    Despite the severe injury, the Chargers selected Waters in the third round of the 2007 NFL draft. He wasn't physically ready to contribute last season and didn't play a single snap.

    Then last month, Waters had a minor setback and underwent arthroscopic surgery to clean out scar tissue and loose cartilage. After Saturday's game, the bulky ice wrap around his knee was nearly the size of a football helmet.

    "I just have to keep it iced up," Waters said. "I have to take care of it and try to make sure I stay as healthy as possible. It's going to be a long year. I've got to do what I'm supposed to do and take care of my body."

    Waters showed flashes of his potential against the Cowboys by recording six tackles. It was his first game action since last preseason, and he said he could feel the effects.

    Primarily, Waters needed some time to adjust to the speed of the contest.

    "It felt good, but I could tell I was a little rusty," Waters said. "All I can do is just keep working hard, and it will come back to me. I feel everything coming back to me second nature.

    "I haven't played in a full-speed game in a while ---- since last preseason. That's what I mean by being rusty."

    Once the rust is chipped away, Waters hopes to display why the Chargers coveted him so much. He had an outstanding junior season at Clemson prior to the injury and craves the opportunity to contribute.

    Waters spent last season doing everything he could to mentally learn what the Chargers expect from an inside linebacker. When he received scout-team practice repetitions, he focused on fine-tuning his skills and improving at avoiding blocks.

    But he knows that very few people in San Diego have ever seen him play. So not being able to play last season became a highly exasperating experience.

    "That was very frustrating," Waters said. "I want to show (people). I believe in myself and I want everybody else to believe in me, so it was really frustrating. But I just had to stay focused and just look in the distance ��- just working hard and doing everything I was supposed to do, and maybe it will all work out and pay off in the back end for me."

    Waters is currently listed third on the Chargers' depth chart, behind starter Stephen Cooper and veteran offseason acquisition Derek Smith. He will likely be No. 2 on the chart when the regular season commences on Sept. 7, because Cooper will miss the first four games of the regular season for violating the NFL's steroids and related substances policy.

    Playing-time hopes aside, Waters is greatly anticipating the start of the season. He's eager to play and was extremely pleased to not feel any knee pain in Saturday's contest against the Cowboys.

    And he's hopeful there will be no setbacks that might derail his progress.

    "That's why I've got this ice on it now and trying to take care of it as much as possible, because I don't need any more setbacks," Waters said. "Whatever it takes, I'm just willing to do."

    Chargers notes

    The Chargers' punt return team was highly effective against Dallas. Mark Jones averaged 19.0 yards on three returns, and Darren Sproles had a 25-yard return in his lone attempt. Sproles also had a 25-yard kickoff return. ... CB Antoine Cason, the club's first-round pick, had a team-high seven tackles. "Of course, there are things that I still need to clean up," Cason said. "I felt real good out there doing the assignments that were asked of me. I didn't feel bad at all. I'm ready." ... The players were given Sunday off. The Chargers practice Monday from 4-6 p.m.

    North County Times
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. in_a_days

    in_a_days dgaf

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2006
    Messages:
    8,038
    Ratings:
    +1,018
    Exactly the play I was talking about here... :yes: :tup:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. TheLash

    TheLash Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2006
    Messages:
    4,157
    Ratings:
    +715
    I bet Waters would appreciate that Bro!:tup:
     
    • Like Like x 2
  4. Gridreaper

    Gridreaper BoltTalker

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    Messages:
    864
    Ratings:
    +96
    ...I remembered that play as well, as soon as you brought it up in_a_days. Might not have seemed like much to casual observers but the high football IQs that roam this board caught it for sure :lol: I see Merriman do that type of thing all the time. It was great to see Waters do it :tup:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. in_a_days

    in_a_days dgaf

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2006
    Messages:
    8,038
    Ratings:
    +1,018
    For sure. Merriman makes a sideline to sideline play like that at least once a game. If Waters can do the same it will be a major boon to our rush D. :bolt:
     
  6. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

    Ratings:
    +408
    Waters looked rusty, like he said, but showed some flashes, as did Siler. To tell the truth, both looked as good Sat. night as Cooper & Wilhelm. Things may get pretty interesting at ILB this year.
     
  7. WonderSlug

    WonderSlug Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2005
    Messages:
    9,747
    Ratings:
    +851
    Considering that it was Waters' FIRST NFL action and any action at all in almost two years, I'd say he took a good first step.

    Now, 3 more games to show us what he's got before the hitting is real. :tup::yes:
     
  8. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Messages:
    7,894
    Ratings:
    +347
    This is a prime example of why AJ can now play the draft like a chess board and swap pieces to sacrifice a pawn or even a knight from time to time to make the moves he needs to keep winning.
     
  9. PowderLove

    PowderLove Former Mod, Current Slacker

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2007
    Messages:
    3,910
    Ratings:
    +494
    Barring aggrovation to his injury I think Waters will be starting ilb before the year ends.
     
  10. TheBeast

    TheBeast BoltTalker

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Messages:
    1,637
    Ratings:
    +127
    Waters is a monster. him and brandon siler got to be the most scariest looking LB's in the game, i hope he eats tom brady on oct. 12 :icon_twisted:
     

Share This Page