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Bruce Smith visits Chargers

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Johnny Lightning, Aug 28, 2008.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006
    Sack master pays instructive visit

    By Kevin Acee and Chris Jenkins

    August 28, 2008

    While the rest of the football-watching world obsessed about the fate of one of the game's best current pass rushers, the Chargers were being tutored by the NFL's all-time sack leader. Wow!” defensive end Luis Castillo said over and over of his time spent with Bruce Smith.
    Smith was at Chargers Park the past two days at the invitation of his former Buffalo Bills coordinator, Ted Cottrell. Smith watched video with players and was at yesterday's practice, giving players tips and offering constructive criticism.
    “We have one of the best defensive line coaches (Wayne Nunnely) in the league,” said Castillo, who got about 45 minutes alone with Smith on Tuesday. “But when you've got a guy like that, who's been in the fire, played at that level, he knows the tricks and the nuances of the game. Pass rushing to him is an art.”
    Smith, who retired in 2003 with 200 career sacks, was described by Chargers players as soft-spoken, forthright and extremely knowledgeable. They were even sort of awed.
    “I grew up watching him,” linebacker Shaun Phillips said. “He gave insight into the things he did. He said, 'I like this about your game; I don't like this.' That's what we needed. We've got great coaches, but they didn't play at his level as a pass rusher. He knows exactly how it's done.”
    McNeill encouraged

    Though he hasn't been able to participate in team drills for almost three weeks and won't play at all this preseason, left tackle Marcus McNeill hasn't ruled out the possibility of playing in the regular-season opener.
    An MRI taken before Monday's game was encouraging, said McNeill, trying to overcome a stinger in his neck.
    “We have a couple more final decisions that need to get played out for me to be able to start,” McNeill said yesterday.
    Asked if he could be plugged into the lineup after missing so much practice time, McNeill said, “I definitely know the offense well enough. It would've been much more difficult to do this last season. But I've been in the system for a while, so I feel real comfortable with what I have to do assignment-wise.”
    Panthers loom

    San Francisco is the next opponent, not Carolina, but the latter is getting a lot more attention than the former as the Chargers prepare for both their preseason finale tomorrow and regular-season opener a week from Sunday.
    “We still want to finish our preseason on a good note, but the focus has shifted to Carolina, and has been there for a while,” quarterback Philip Rivers said. “Even when it was a ways away, we were peeking at 'em, doing stuff in preparation. Preseason's good because you work out some kinks, but the regular season can't get here soon enough.”
    Tucker works

    The ankle injury sustained Monday by linebacker Jyles Tucker, who's been playing in Shawne Merriman's place at outside linebacker, didn't keep him from taking part in yesterday's practice, though he limped noticeably at times.

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