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CHARGERS: Hester eats up new role

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Concudan, Jun 15, 2009.

  1. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    By SCOTT BAIR

    SAN DIEGO ---- Jacob Hester was listed at 5-foot-11, 225 pounds in last season's Chargers media guide. A year later, that description no longer applies.

    The second-year fullback has bulked up this offseason to better deal with the blocking responsibilities of his position after spending his final college season as primary rusher.

    Hester looks powerful these days, but he hasn't gotten too big for his own good. He's moving well, and the added size doesn't prevent him from being a productive pass catcher and occasional runner out of the backfield.

    He proved that during minicamp and the offseason coaching sessions, which concluded for veterans on Thursday.

    Hester is more of hybrid back than the prototypical fullback Chargers fans grew accustomed to when Lorenzo Neal lined up in front of LaDainian Tomlinson earlier this decade. And finding that delicate balance between rhino and antelope has been no easy task for Hester.

    "There was a time this offseason when I was trying to gain a bunch of muscle for playing fullback," Hester said last week. "But I got to a point where they stopped me and said, 'Don't forget that you still need to run the ball a little bit,' which meant they didn't want me to gain too much weight.

    "There's a point where you can get too big and too stiff, and that's when you have to back off a little bit. It's a tough balance, trying to find that ideal weight where you can be versatile and effective, but I feel like we got it done."

    Hester's magic number is 240 pounds. Hester rather enjoyed reaching his ideal playing weight, which involved a strenuous workout regimen and a little gluttony.

    "It's pretty easy," Hester said. "You go home, let the wife cook and eat 'til you can't eat anymore. Then you work out like crazy and try to turn it into muscle. But in order to maintain the weight you want, you really have to watch your diet."

    Hester wants to remain the same over the next few weeks, when there aren't any organized team activities for veterans leading up to training camp in July.

    "You definitely don't want to take four weeks off," Hester said. "You have to keep up with the workouts and the learning the play script. Every day, I go through 30 or so plays and figure out exactly what you have to do. There is an offseason and there is some downtime, but you never stop thinking about football."

    Hester isn't unique in that regard. Players are constantly preparing for the next season and are always working on something. Chargers strength and conditioning coach Jeff Hurd makes sure of that, tailoring workout plans to maximize skill sets.

    It's easier to instruct when students are on campus for minicamps and organized workouts, but Hurd has to trust that his players won't slack off during downtimes such as this.

    "The guys have done such a great job to this point that you don't want anyone to slip while they're away," Hurd said. "The goal is to build the foundation throughout the offseason, and while you won't wipe it all out with a few bad weeks, it can cause a player to take a significant step back. That rarely happens because these players are competitors who won't let themselves slack off."

    Hurd doesn't feel the need to be a drill sergeant around these professional athletes, letting competitive drive motivate.

    "At this level, they understand how important their workouts are to onfield success," Hurd said. "There's so much competition that everyone is trying to push themselves in order to win starting jobs or increase playing time. I don't have to do too much to police them."

    Desire has sparked Hester to become bigger, faster and stronger. His goal is to maintain the work he has done and prove himself worthy of a starting spot and such a diverse offensive role when training camp arrives.

    "You have to stick with your routine and keep working, even if there isn't outside pressure to do so," Hester said. "Training camp is no learning period. You hit the field running, and it's an all-day, everyday experience during camp. If you're behind, it's tough to catch up."

    Chargers notes

    Though the Chargers' veterans have completed the offseason coaching sessions, the rookies will come back next week. ... Several prominent Chargers have preformed well during these sessions, most notably CB Antonio Cromartie and WR Vincent Jackson. RB LaDainian Tomlinson is clearly back to full strength, and seems as agile as ever. That was proven during Tuesday's practice, when he used an unexpected lateral jump cut to freeze several defenders and skate into the end zone during an 11-on-11 drill. ... LG Louis Vasquez and SS Kevin Ellison have drawn high praise from the coaching staff. Both rookies are expected to push for significant playing time in the fall.

    Contact staff writer Scott Bair at 760-739-6642.
     
  2. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    We may be seeing our new starting FB!
     
  3. SDRaiderH8er

    SDRaiderH8er Well-Known Member

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    :icon_toast:
     
  4. bigmike.x.09

    bigmike.x.09 Well-Known Member

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    240?! dudes gunna be hella swoll! haha
     
  5. in_a_days

    in_a_days dgaf

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    Don't get me wrong... I want nothing but the best for the guy. But he was way too slow last year at 225. We got rid of Lo Neal because blocking is not the primary function of a FB in Norv's offense. So after an unproductive rookie year we're telling him to emphasize his physical build for the sake of blocking?

    If we wanted a good blocking FB there was a guy named Neal that was pretty effective..............
     
  6. bigmike.x.09

    bigmike.x.09 Well-Known Member

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    that is very true, but he still wasnt big enough to block for LT, i think he did alright blocking for sproles (cant remember) but the guy DOES need to get faster
     
  7. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    But wanted a big contract didnt he? Besides, he is a Raider, what more needs to be said?! :icon_tease:
     
  8. Rainman

    Rainman BoltTalker

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    Love the news about Vasquez and Ellison. :tup:

    This team needs as much "kick *** and take names" attitude as it can get! :yes:
     
  9. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Back when we had Ruben Davis and the other big meanies on the D line they were known for their bad attitude and hurting people.

    We need that back, now, and bring the pain babee!
     
  10. AnteaterCharger

    AnteaterCharger Calibrating Bolttalk, Podcast by Podcast Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    Sounds like hester is far more comfortable in his role, is finally getting it. I think we kinda expected him to just jump in and be Lorenzo Neal with some more running/catching ability. Now he's becoming more at ease and familiar with it, and that's good to hear.


    Good also to hear about Ellisson and Vasquez, might have some rookies Pwning people in training camp
     
  11. Alpenbolt

    Alpenbolt BoltTalker

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    Break out year for Hester? I am thinking yes.

    Him and Hillis will be two fullbacks in the AFC West people will have a tough time handling. Hopefully Hillis hits a sophomore jinx and Hester finds his stride.
     
  12. BOLTS4LIFE

    BOLTS4LIFE Banned Banned

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    GET HIM ON THE FIELD!!!
     
  13. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Are you reading my mind, IAD? I was going to post nearly the exact same thing.

    Some of you may have - I thought that he was going to be the short yardage, between the tackles RB. This role, IMO, is not what he is suited for. In fact, now that we have Gartrell I'm not sure just where Hester should fit. With some work, Tolbert could fill the FB role at a much lower cost in draft picks. Now that we spent as much as we did on Hester, I guess we're going to force the round peg into a square hole.

    Maybe I owe AJ an apology. I thought that he was the LSU homer, but maybe it was Nix after all. :unsure:
     
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  14. BOLTS4LIFE

    BOLTS4LIFE Banned Banned

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    I liked Hester from the start and had no problem giving up this year's second round for him. Just want to see him play!
     
  15. Kwak

    Kwak ....

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    From what I saw last year, Tolbert's blocking skills were not good at all. I am wondering if he even makes the final cut this year.

    For me, the jury is still out on Hester. I want to see how he produces this year.
     
  16. HEXEDBOLT

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

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    Bigger, stronger and "faster", dude could be a d killer and I hope he is. I'd love nothing more than to shove the ball down our opponents throat.
     
  17. RM24

    RM24 BoltTalker

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    :tup: :tup: :tup: :tup:
     
  18. foober

    foober BoltTalker

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    the reason they got rid of lo neal is cause all he could do was block. But he had no footspeed to do anything else. Hester if he can keep the footspeed he has should be a good fullback. He was actually really good at blocking last year. He took over from the other fullback they had starting earlier in the year that couldn't block. Hester is a good blocker. I'd take hester over loneal now for sure.
     
  19. vegasboy

    vegasboy BoltTalker

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    After reading your assessment of Hester I am curious. I watched every Charger game last year and how did you ascertain that Hester was way too damn slow?

    He carried the ball only 19 times for a 5.0 average and caught 12 passes for a 7.6 average. On which play did you see that he was too slow? Were you at training camp with a stop watch?

    Given his small number of touches it seems to me that it would be hard to figure out if he was way too slow.

    When he was drafted, he ran a 4.60 at the combine which is neither fast nor slow. For a fullback it is pretty good if that is where he will spend most of his time.

    Let's wait and see if Norv gives him a reasonable amount of playing time this year to see if he is serviceable before proclaiming him too slow or a bust.:bolt:

    GO CHARGERS!
     
  20. in_a_days

    in_a_days dgaf

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    I watch every game several times... I can make popcorn in the time it takes Hester to hit the LOS.
     
  21. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

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    If Hester can still run like a 4.6 at 240, he'll be an effective Full Back and maybe an effective goal line runner. He'll a lot more effective than LoNeal ever was on flair passes. He appears to be a good man for Sproles or LT to follow into the line.
     

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