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Chargers boast a brawler in backfield

Discussion in 'San Diego Chargers Hall of Champions' started by robdog, Aug 4, 2005.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    <strong>August 4, 2005</strong>
    Source: <a href="http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2005/08/04/sports/professional/chargers/22_22_398_3_05.txt">The North County Times</a>

    By: SCOTT BAIR - Staff Writer

    <img src="http://www.bolttalk.com/images/neal01.jpg" class=right alt="Lorenzo Neal" title="Lorenzo Neal"/>SAN DIEGO ---- Lorenzo Neal knows a thing or two about leverage.

    Wrestling in the junior heavyweight division at Fresno State, Neal, then 235 pounds, had to use leverage in order to survive against opponents who were often 40 to 50 pounds heavier.

    Raw strength wasn't going to cut it against the brutes he faced, so Neal had to be smarter, faster and more technically sound than his foes to succeed in the ring. And succeed he did, as he was an All-American who ranked in the top three in his weight class as a senior.

    That attention to detail, that insatiable work ethic, also make Neal an excellent football player and one of the most respected fullbacks in the NFL. LaDainian Tomlinson and the Chargers have reaped the benefits of Neal's outstanding service the past two seasons.

    "He's very well respected," Chargers coach Marty Schottenheimer said. "All you have to do is look at his past and number of 1,000-yard rushers he has escorted to understand why. He is a terrific player, a terrific person and a terrific leader for this football team."

    Neal has been selected for the Pro Bowl, paved the way for eight consecutive 1,000-yard rushers and, in a testament to his conditioning and work ethic, played in 176 consecutive games dating back to the 1994 season.

    There is a direct correlation between those achievements and Neal's offseason training regimen. It begins at 4:30 a.m. on summer mornings with two-hour weightlifting sessions and continues with long runs during the hottest part of the day.

    "I'm in great shape," Neal said. "There's nothing that a kid out of college can do that I can't. I can run hills, lift weights or sprint with the best of them. Some people might be faster than me, but conditioningwise, I can keep up with anyone."

    He recently began boxing with former IBF junior middleweight champion Paul Vaden, which Neal thinks has taken his conditioning to another level. Neal maintains that the extra training will help him most when times get tough.

    "Even when you're tired and fatigued, you have to stay mentally strong when you're boxing," he said. "You have to fight through the fatigue and see the punches coming at you. When I'm out on the football field and I'm tired, I think my boxing workouts will help me stay in control when things get hectic."

    Tomlinson appreciates Neal's ability to stay cool under fire, even if many casual fans do not.

    "Lorenzo's a guy who puts in all the hard work and never gets any of the glory," Tomlinson said. "He's the Marine of this outfit. He's the first one in and he clears the way for me. He's as tough as anyone in the league, and I'm proud to have him on the field with me."

    CHARGERS NOTES ---- DE DeQuincy Scott is seeing action at linebacker, a position he hasn't played since high school. It would appear that he's filling in for the glut of injured linebackers, but the move might be more permanent. "He'll continue to work at that position," coach Marty Schottenheimer said. "He's extremely bright and made only one mental error during the entire practice despite having only been to one meeting with the linebackers. He did remarkably well." ... WR Reche Caldwell returned to practice after missing time with a hamstring injury. ... LBs Randall Godfrey (knee), Ben Leber (ankle), Marques Harris (back), TE Ryan Krause (foot), DE Igor Olshansky (hamstring), OL Courtney VanBuren (knee) and WR Malcom Floyd (calf) did not participate. DE Adell Duckett was placed on injured reserve, and C Chase Johnson was released. ... The team has two practices today, from 8:30-10:30 a.m. and 3:55-5:30 p.m.

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