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Big roles possible for new Chargers

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, May 11, 2010.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006

    First 4 draft picks what was expected

    Monday, May 10, 2010

    The newest Chargers came and went and will come back in a few weeks.
    Soon, it will get interesting.
    On Friday and Saturday, in meetings and truncated practices, the rookies got to know the coaches and vice versa.
    In the extremely limited exposure, in shorts, Ryan Mathews was what they expected. So, too, were Donald Butler, Darrell Stuckey and Cam Thomas. The first four of the Chargers’ six picks in last month’s draft all figure to be significant contributors in 2010, and Mathews might not be the only one to start.
    While it remains to be seen how well they can play football in the NFL, Butler and Stuckey clearly improved the Chargers’ quickness between the tackles on defense. And Thomas will be extended to see how much they can rely on him in the middle of the defensive line.
    “There are certain guys you know we’re going to push it and see how far you can get,” head coach Norv Turner said. “Those four guys, you know they’re going to get a chance. They’re going to fight and compete to be a part of what we do.”
    And even on a roster that returns 48 players who appeared in games for the Chargers in ’09, there should be at least a couple more rookies that at least make the roster.
    Dedrick Epps, the seventh-round draft pick, appeared to be the definite front-runner for the third tight end spot. Undrafted Shawnbrey McNeal can move and catch, and will certainly challenge to be the third running back. Offensive tackle Nic Richmond, who is 6-foot-8 and 309 pounds, is likely a project the Chargers will at least want to experiment with on the practice squad. Three undrafted receivers — Jeremy Williams, Seyi Ajirotutu and Ernest Smith — appear to be worthy competition for Gary Banks for the final receiver spot. And while the Chargers have a plethora of outside linebackers, undrafted Brandon Lang could be a sleeper to push for a spot, on the practice if not the 53-man roster.
    It has become something of a tradition that at least one undrafted player officially becomes a Charger each September, no matter how loaded the roster is thought to be.
    “Our coaches prepare them to know what to do and how to do it,” Turner said. “And it’s amazing how we have guys every year come out of nowhere and are able to help.”
    This past weekend was just the beginning. There were just 28 players on the field, and many of them were just trying to figure out which way was up.
    Most of the rookies will get their first taste of real NFL practices on May 18, when the Chargers’ offseason coaching sessions begin.
    Due to the number of players rehabbing injuries and the hope that the Chargers’ dissatisfied restricted free agents might resolve their issues, Turner pushed back the starting dates for everything this offseason.
    After that first week of the OCS, the Chargers will hold minicamp May 26-28, about three weeks later than usual.
    “If we had minicamp in the beginning of May,” Turner said. “we’d have had a lot of guys standing around watching.”
    It will also be something of an abbreviated offseason practice schedule. Veterans will work just two four-day weeks and be done on June 11. However, the coaching staff plans to get the same amount done in the 13 practices (including five during minicamp) and the meetings that surround them.
    “It will be very, very focused,” Turner said. “I think the players will really see there is an exactness to it. It will be a little more like training camp.”
    Rookies will work four days the final week of OCS, finishing June 18. Rookies report for training camp on July 25, and veterans report July 29.
  2. LightEmUp

    LightEmUp Banned Banned

    Apr 9, 2010
    How intense.

    They are roookies and want to take it all in. They'll never be rookies again, but theres no time to be wide eyed. This year might make your career.

    It's good to see smiles on their faces. I'm sure life is pretty intense for these kids.

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