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Catching On; A Ball Watchers Guide to Kassim Osgood

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Concudan, Aug 23, 2009.

  1. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    [​IMG]

    Kassim is best known to most fans of the San Diego Chargers as a special team’s demon who will consistently make great plays and pin the opposing team deep in their end of the field. But there is more to this young man than just a willingness to get down field and deliver a hit on the opposition. There is a secret not many know about him… Shhhh, come close… Kassim is a… darn good wide receiver as well!

    That was then
    Though he was born in Boston, Massachusetts, home of the team many Charger fans hate with the passion usually reserved only for the Raiders, the New England Patriots. He moved to southern California, to Salinas, as a young man. In High School, he played in Jaycees All-Star game at Salinas High School in 1998, where he graduated. He scored 2 touchdowns in the game and the East beat the west by the largest margin in the history of the series 37-0, a record which still stands today. In high school his athletic abilities stood out as he lettered in three sports; Football, Basketball and Track.

    His road in College was not the typical route for a Pro Bowl, NFL player. He started his colligate carrier at Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, where he was a Division I-AA All-America. He led the nation in receiving yards as sophomore while ranking second in receiving yards per game and sixth in catches per game. Kassim set an NCAA I-AA record with 376 yards receiving in a game against Northern Iowa.

    Then he became an Aztec. Now get this, Kassim while playing for the Aztecs of SDSU sported a jersey with the number 1. A bit flashy perhaps, but that is Kassim. If you got it flaunt it, and as a colligate receiver, he definitely had it! He was named first-team All-Mountain West Conference in 2002, that year Kassim ranked second in the nation with 108 catches and fourth in nation with average of 119.4 yards per game for total of 1,552 yards. He and teammate J. R. Tolver set NCAA records for receiving yards in a season by teammates with 3,337 yards and catches with 236.

    Charging to the NFL
    [​IMG]

    It must have been hard to go through College as a standout receiver then not get any calls come draft day. That however did not stop Kassim, he became one of the many standouts on the San Diego Chargers who was an undrafted free agent, joining other players such as Tight End Antonio Gates, Offensive Guard Kris Deilman, and Linebacker Stephen Cooper.

    As an undrafted Free Agent, Kassim had to find whatever means he had to stick on the team, and that is what he did, proving himself on Special Teams. In Kassim’s first two seasons he got on the field at wide Receiver, catching two touchdowns in each season, two from Doug Flutie, and two from Drew Brees. That is two of the most popular Quarterbacks to pass the pigskin for the Chargers. Kassim has been voted player of the year, Special Teams for the last three years by his team mates.

    In 2004 Kassim made two of biggest plays of season in 34-31 win at KC Nov. 28, on the opening kickoff of the third quarter he ran down Dante Hall from behind. Hall appeared to be headed toward end zone and 92 yard touchdown return Kassim’s relentless pursuit caused Hall attempt to change hands to avoid Kassim, during the process he fumbled to fumble while changing hands to avoid Osgood and Chargers recovered to keep score 17-14. Then in the fourth quarter while facing 2nd and 22 yards to go from their own 19 while trailing 31-24, Kassim caught career-long 65-yard pass from Drew Brees.. Four plays later, Chargers scored TD to tie game, 31-31.

    Drive to Excel
    For all his acumen, and recognition as a special teams player Kassim has felt some frustration over his lack of time playing wide receiver. He has often been outspoken in his displeasure about being only a special-teams specialist, even though that is the position where he has earned two trips to the Pro Bowl.

    There was offseason talk of trade demands, of moving on to a place where he had a better opportunity to play receiver on a regular basis. That said, I have never seen anything saying or showing that Kassim has ever taken a hard line with the Chargers on this.

    Considering the fact that Kassim wants to continue to improve himself and be a productive receiver for the Chargers, can this be considered a bad thing? I would be worried if he did not want to improve himself and play receiver. Special teams is one thing, and he has done well, but I want him to always strive to be more, do more and take the Chargers further than before.

    Kassim has been quoted saying "I've been playing receiver all my life," Kassim said. "It's always been my position, and it's something I'm passionate about doing. Being able to contribute in different ways should earn some respect and keep the fans who say, 'He has stone hands' off your back. Overall, I want to do whatever it takes to help this team win."

    [​IMG]

    I had the pleasure of speaking to this young man after a recent Charger practice I had the opportunity to ask him about playing receiver more; “I am trying to get on the field any way possible, you know and if they (the Chargers) want to use me at Special teams this year then so be it.” He continued to explain what his true driving factor was “Our main focus is trying to get that SuperBowl ring, you know, if we can get the ring, anyway I can help out and get there, then it is fine by me.

    Those are not the words of a hardliner, those are the words of a professional athlete that wants to do whatever it takes to be the best at his profession, and help his team. Speaking to Kassim I was not faced with someone who was down, or seemed to be disgruntled. He came across to me as a very happy member of the Chargers.

    Southern California Beach Blond
    By all accounts Kassim has grown to love life in San Diego and Southern California. Who can blame him, sun, surf, Chargers… Recently he has changed his hair color to blond, a very noticeable and pale blond. This is in response to the blue mohawk sported by Shawne Merriman. I asked Kassim about it. “Brandon Siler has a little bolt on the side of his head, Tim Dobbins has a hand print on his head. I am trying to get some people to get a reverse mohawk[/i]” He said with a smile adding “Let’s see if anyone is willing to take that bullet.

    The hair due aside, Kassim has had an excellent camp this summer, running with the receivers and made some great catches. When head Coach Norv Turner spoke about Kassim and his role as a receiver, Norv made it clear that he thinks Kassim is a viable option at wide receiver but he does not want to eliminate his participation in special teams.

    Looking Forward
    Speaking of Kassim’s camp thus far Turner had this to say "I think Kassim's had an outstanding training camp, he's doing a good job with route running and catching the ball. Our problem is that we only have so many plays to spread it around.

    He continued saying "I trust Kassim, and I know he can go in and play, but I'm not going to compromise what he does on special teams. He's a big contributor in what we do from a field position standpoint. We've got some guys that have been around for two or three years who we feel like we haven't used enough, and that complicates things also."

    So apparently he has the support of his coaching staff who apparently understands the contributions he makes and those he is capable of making.

    I asked Kassim what he thought we the fans can look forward to this season, his response was a good one. “This season? A lot of flair, a lot of pizzazz, high energy games, the guys on our team are anxious to get out on the field and beat up on some other people. That Monday Night Football game is going to show a brand new team, the San Diego Chargers coming out with a lot of ferocity.

    Now I am a ball watching, stat reading fanboy, I get it, but whenever someone tells me that the Chargers want to beat up on someone else, and that they are going to have a lot of ferocity, I get happy. The 2009 season could be a great one for Kassim, I know many of the fans have expressed hope that he gets some playing time at wide receiver, and he has the fans respect for his willingness to be a Special team’s demon.

    Barring injury it may be hard for Kassim to find the field regularly at receiver, however given the talent he has shown at both the collegiate and professional levels, Kassim will make the most of any given opportunity.

    Ball Watcher noun (as defined by Shamrock)
    1. Those fans that stare down the QB at the snap of the ball (whether watching on TV or at the stadium). They don’t see the coverage, the DL/LB alignment, the offensive formation, or other nuances of the game.
    2. After the snap, those same fans simply follow the ball. Pulls, traps, OL slides, secondary coverage’s, etc, all are foreign concepts to them.
    3. Advanced ball watchers become stat reading ball watchers. The “dirty” work, done by players in the trenches, or run support CB’s, escape those fans knowledge of the game.
    4. Only skill position players (i.e. those that generate stats) are important to ball watchers.
    5. Concudan
     
  2. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Cut him. Yesterday. :icon_evil:
     
  3. BeerGuy

    BeerGuy BoltTalker

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    Come back to Massachusetts.....we'll take you. You might get that ring, too.......
     
  4. in_a_days

    in_a_days dgaf

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    I like Kassim. He's done everything the bolts have ever asked of him. The plays he's made just in the kicking game over the last several years makes it hard for me to wish the guy anything but the best. :yes:
     
  5. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    I've got nothing against him, but we can have a valuable ST guy who can also fill a role on offense/defense. Osgood can't. He's not a WR, at least not on this team. We have too many guys who are. Some of them can play ST, too.
     
  6. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Why would you want to cut a productive member of the team? That makes no sense... Minime, have you been eating chocolate again? You know that makes you grumpy!
     
  7. HEXEDBOLT

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

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    I'd like to see KO get some offensive play's, He's the kind of guy that may steal us a game or two. I don't care how we win games just as long as we do.
     
  8. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    I disagree. He IS a wide receiver and a darn good one. Do we have others ahead of him YES. But if we have a ST standout, who can run with the wide outs, why get rid of him?

    He is one or two injuries away from being a necessity at wide out:yes:...
     
  9. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

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    1st of all, he is VERY valuable to us. He has been and will continue to be a force on special teams, helping our punt and KO teams force opposing offenses into bad starting field position.

    How about we dont keep 6 safetys who all suck in coverage? I'd rather see half the secondary cut before cutting a dude like Kassim who has CONTINUALLY proven his worth to this team. So what if he's not a WR? We've got enough dudes to catch a pass from Philip. What we need MORE of is guys like Kassim who know their role and play balls out every time they sniff the field.
     
  10. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    I'm all for cutting some of the safeties as well. There are guys who will work their *** off on ST & bring credible skills to other position. Spillman is one who could be a keeper. I'd keep Weddle, Ellison, Gregory, & Spillman. - Hart & Gordon are 2 on the Turk's list.

    Osgood a WR my *** .... he got absolutely no separation from the defender Sat. night. He catches balls every year in TC, then goes away. OK - getting reps at WR isn't within his control. Fine. It makes little sense to take up this roster spot with his limited skill set, so do the smart thing FO. Let him go. :yes:
     
  11. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

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    It's not about what he can do for us on offense, but what he delivers on ST, field position and fire. He is absolutely worth keeping.
     

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