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Bennett sheds bench role - and misc drival

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by wrbanwal, Jan 6, 2009.

  1. wrbanwal

    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

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    Monday, January 5, 2009

    Kevin Acee , Bill Center

    In his first seven weeks with the Chargers, Michael Bennett spent more time with Billy Volek than Philip Rivers.

    “I was the scout-team running back,” Bennett said. “I was being patient, but it was tough. After the third or fourth week, I was a cheerleader.”

    And wondering what he was doing in San Diego.

    When he was released by Tampa Bay on Nov. 12, Bennett believed he was headed to Denver, where the Broncos so desperately needed running backs they reclaimed Tatum Bell from a cell phone kiosk at a shopping mall.

    Then Bennett's agent called with a detour – destination San Diego.

    “Why?” Bennett wondered. “The Chargers didn't need a running back, they had LT and (Darren) Sproles.”

    Were the Chargers trying to block the Broncos, the only other team to put in a claim for Bennett? Or was there a bigger plan? Was Bennett an insurance policy?

    Chargers General Manager A.J. Smith maintained all along he got Bennett for this situation – an injury late in the year or in the playoffs.

    “We try to protect and prepare ourselves as deep as we can,” Smith said this week. “I don't like surprises unless it's Christmas morning.”

    Whatever the original motive, Bennett turned out to be valuable insurance.

    With LaDainian Tomlinson suffering a groin injury, coach Norv Turner approached Bennett early last week and told him to be ready. He got a full share of reps in practice and was activated for the first time as a Charger.

    Bennett stands to see even more duty this week.

    “Last week was the first time here that I actually prepared to play in a game,” said Bennett, who had four carries against the Colts on Saturday for 24 yards and caught one pass for another seven yards.

    Despite the long layoff, Bennett said he was ready for two reasons – one, he knew the system; two, he was fresh.

    "We ran the same offense in Minnesota and Kansas City," Bennett said of two of his previous NFL stops. "I know the offense and terminology. And my body is fresh, I didn't carry the ball much the past two years."

    The 5-foot-9, 207-pound Bennett is unusual as a running back in that he has a powerful build and speed to burn. The former sprint champion and Olympic candidate ran a 9.91 100 as recently as last summer.

    “I can power it in there and speed to the outside,” said Bennett, who once took on Randy Moss in a race. The outcome: “I won't put it out there,” Bennett said with a smile.

    Lions interested in Rivera


    Defensive coordinator Ron Rivera has been through the process before, interviewing for head coaching jobs while trying to coach a team in the playoffs.

    He decided he didn't want to subject himself or his team to that again.

    Rivera made a pre-emptive announcement through the Chargers yesterday that he has denied overtures from several NFL teams to interview for their head coaching vacancies. A source said the Detroit Lions are one of the teams that expressed interest.

    "My sole focus and concentration right now is helping the Chargers win a championship. Nothing else matters right now," Rivera said. "I don't want to let anything distract from our objective."

    NFL rules allow teams to contact assistants currently involved in the playoffs through this weekend and then not again until their team's season ends or, if they are in the Super Bowl, the week after the conference championships.

    Rivera went through several playoff runs with the Bears while also being interviewed for other vacancies. He interviewed for nine head coaching jobs in the past, including with the Chargers in 2007.

    Last year, after his first season as Chargers inside linebackers coach, he was not contacted by any teams about any position. Rivera's contract expires at season's end, and the Chargers are planning on trying to keep him.

    Kaeding still kicking

    As it turns out, Nate Kaeding didn't injure his groin when he slipped on his first kickoff Saturday night. He suffered the injury earlier in the week while kicking during practice.

    “It's just frustrating for me,” Kaeding said. “I'm a kicker. There's no reason I should be hurt.”

    Kaeding said the injury didn't affect his length Saturday and will not Sunday in Pittsburgh.


    no surprise there Nate!!! Your kickoffs suck!!! :lol::lol::lol:
     
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  2. Gridreaper

    Gridreaper BoltTalker

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    ...Bennett is a burner with power. He never reached anywhere near is potential in any stop but I'm glad he's here right now. I'd love to see AJ look smart one more time and have an unsung hero like Bennett step up and play big, while backing up Sproles.
     
  3. Thumper

    Thumper WHS

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    Bennett has to be glad that he landed with the Chargers instead of the donkeys. Right now he's making a run at getting a Super Bowl ring instead of playing golf. :lol:
     
  4. in_a_days

    in_a_days dgaf

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    Any chance Bennett may well be AJs solution to losing Sproles this off season? :icon_shrug:
     
  5. Harley

    Harley BoltTalker

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    you mean to losing/trading LT...
     
  6. in_a_days

    in_a_days dgaf

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    Either way it's a loss... question is could that be the plan?
     
  7. SD Native WY

    SD Native WY Well-Known Member

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    I am looking forward to seeing Bennett play. Short term I think he could be a Turner type player and even block like a fullback.
     
  8. Showmeyourbolt

    Showmeyourbolt Well-Known Member

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    He better not fumble this week against Pitt. All of our runningbacks need to have sure hands this week, since I'm not sure that I really trust all of them to hold onto the ball.
     
  9. sickswonnyne

    sickswonnyne Well-Known Member

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    Wat da hell? at 207 lbs? He's more Jerious Norwood than Michael Turner. He's nowhere near a blocking back.

    I like having him as a 2nd RB. He definitely makes drafting a RB pointless, and he can be a full-time runner, a 3rd-down back, or strictly a 3rd stringer. Great insurance, especially if Sproles leaves
     
  10. SD Native WY

    SD Native WY Well-Known Member

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    Your right ...........sorry!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  11. Sydalish

    Sydalish Addicted to Sports

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    I like him - aftering hearing him on the radio this week I like him even more - you would have thought he'd been a charger his whole career, he is so excited ot be part of the team. It will be nice ot see what he can do over the next few weeks and hopefulyl next year.
     
  12. boltmanbz

    boltmanbz Well-Known Member

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    bennett can pound it and sproles can burn them baby!:abq1:
     
  13. auctoritas

    auctoritas BoltTalker

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    What where the circumstances of his release from Tampa?
     
  14. wrbanwal

    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

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    from Wiki

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    On October 16th, 2007 the Buccaneers acquired Bennett from the Chiefs after injuries to running backs Carnell Williams and Michael Pittman. His first touchdown as a Buccaneer came in Week 8 of the 2007 season against the Jacksonville Jaguars off a 19-yard swing pass run.

    On February 15, 2008, Bennett re-signed with the Buccaneers in lieu of becoming an unrestricted free agent. Bennett was released on November 11 when Carnell Williams was activated from the PUP list.
     

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