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Chargers' Merriman out to change perception

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Concudan, May 1, 2009.

  1. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

    SAN DIEGO -- Shawne Merriman has heard the talk.

    He has heard that he isn't committed to football and is "too Hollywood."

    He hopes to change that perception in 2009 after a frustrating year in which he played just one game because of a knee injury.

    "I hear people say things about me and it is a bad rap," Merriman said Friday while continuing his rehabilitation as his San Diego Chargers teammates began a three-day minicamp.

    "It's a horrible perception of me and I want to make people change it. Yes, I do go to Hollywood some and do other things. Those are things I like to do. Football is what I love to do. I am fully committed to football first and to the San Diego Chargers. I'm out to change that perception, for sure. They will see my focus on the field."

    To look at Merriman, it's difficult to see him as anything other than a man fully focused on becoming a Pro Bowl player again.

    Once again sporting his trademark mohawk, Merriman looks to be in superior physical shape. He looks leaner and more muscular than he did in training camp last year. He is not completely recovered from his knee surgery but is expected to be ready to practice fully by the start of training camp.

    "I'm the fastest and in best shape I've ever been in," Merriman said. "I'm ready to unleash myself again. I'm just so focused to get back on the field and help this team win. That's all I ever wanted. It is going to be an incredible season."

    Still, the commitment questions have burned. Merriman admits he put himself under the microscope with his on-field persona and his off-field interests.

    His nickname is "Lights Out," which he has embraced. He has a "Lights Out" sack dance and a tattoo of the nickname adorns his arm. Merriman has appeared at pro wrestling events. He has shot numerous television commercials and has business interests in San Diego. He was at a "Dancing with the Stars" taping and he was a studio host for a NFL show last season.
    Merriman, however, says the television work was merely something to do while he was injured and he won't do it this year.

    "People see me and talk" Merriman said. "But that show was something that took me an hour, 45 minutes a week to do. My outside interests don't get in my way as a football player. But there's a perception about me. I guess that's what happens when you have a nickname like 'Lights Out.'"

    Merriman can be a free agent after this season. Last week, the Chargers gave the NFL reason to speculate on Merriman's future by drafting Northern Illinois pass rushing linebacker Larry English with the No. 16 overall pick. The team's stance is you can never have too many pass rushers.

    Merriman, who'll turn 25 later this month, has left no doubts about where he wants his future to be.

    "I love being a San Diego Charger," Merriman said. "I love the city. This is where I want to be."

    San Diego is clearly a better team with Merriman. In his first three NFL seasons, Merriman had 39.5 sacks. It was the most in the league during that period. With Merriman out, the defense often got pushed around in 2008, especially in the first half of the season. A switch of coordinators helped in the second half, but the Chargers were playing without their best defensive player and it showed.

    In the locker room, there is no sign of worry that Merriman's focus is not on football.

    "He's a professional," quarterback Phillip Rivers said of Merriman. "I don't see any problems with him at all. His energy level is off the charts. His energy and work ethic is really unmatched. He brings it every day."

    Merriman is proud of how hard he has worked this offseason. His said his daily focus has been to be the force he was before his injury.

    "It hurt me to miss all that time," Merriman said. "Watching us lose in the playoffs in Pittsburgh was terrible. I couldn't help us. Now, I will be able to help us again. I've been here damn near every day since February. My focus is completely on being great in 2009 for the San Diego Chargers. That's all I want."

    If you're the Chargers, that's all you can ask for.

    San Diego Chargers, Shawne Merriman, Philip Rivers

    http://myespn.go.com/blogs/afcwest/0-3-2129/Chargers--Merriman-out-to-change-perception.html
     
  2. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

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    If he wants to change perception he can be reasonable with his contract negotiations after this year. He needs to realize no LB will ever get 100mil because the longevity of the position is not the same as a QB. Even Haynesworth's deal is backloaded, the chance he sees all 100mil are EXTREMELY minimal.

    A "good" contract for a guy like Merriman is 6yrs 60mil, about 27.5 guaranteed, and even that is on the high end for a system linebacker.
     
  3. Thread_Killer

    Thread_Killer Well-Known Member

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    Merriman doesn't strike me as the type of guy who would take less than market value. He is going to demand Demarcus Ware type money, and I don't think AJ will pay it. :no:
     
  4. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    How you doin TK? Family well I hope.
     
  5. Boltjolt

    Boltjolt Well-Known Member

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    We dont know what Ware type money is yet do we?
     
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  6. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

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    Nope, but Jerry is the type to overspend, and if he doesnt you know Dan Snyder will.

    Its funny how we can root for a guy who seems like such a me first player.
     
  7. Thread_Killer

    Thread_Killer Well-Known Member

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    No, just speculating that Ware will get more than AJ is willing to spend to retain Merriman.


    I hope not. If completely healthy, Shawne is our second most valuable player behind Rivers.
     
  8. Thread_Killer

    Thread_Killer Well-Known Member

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    Everybody's fine, thanks for asking. Hope you and yours are the same.

    Been way busy at work, and the home computers are tied up with my wife and 4 kids; dad is last in line as with everything else. :lol:
     
  9. HEXEDBOLT

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

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    If they get Rivers deal done this off-season and he elects to take the "Sun Diego" discount, Merriman may follow suit.
     
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  10. boltssbbound

    boltssbbound Well-Known Member

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    What are you talking about? This is the exact kind of misperception that Merriman is talking about. I fail to see how Merriman has conducted himself as a me-first player. He works as hard or harder than anyone on the team. His teammates love him and consider him a leader. How does this make him a me-first player?
     
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  11. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

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    It really is just the persona he put on in his first couple years here. The dancing, the partying, the flashy haircuts, turning down the surgery, and the steroid test don't exactly help his case that he's a team first guy. I hope i'm wrong. I'd like Merriman as our franchise defensive player, he's the heart and soul of this defense. Talk is cheap, he's gonna have to put up or shut up.
     
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  12. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

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    You know what, if he comes out and tells the truth about why he tested positive 1 time in some 40-50 tests throughout his carrer, my perception would change dramatically for the better.


    I dont know if he did it for injury, if he did it because he was tempted, if he did it because he was stupid, or the possibility that it was a real false positive......but I'd like to know.
     
  13. SecretAsianMan

    SecretAsianMan Well-Known Member

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    I have to agree with that. Personally I'm a lot more forgiving of players that tested positive and say that they did it in order to return from an injury. That's why I'm willing to forgive Rodney Harrison and Luis Castillo a bit more for their positive tests. The way Merrimen basically came out and accused a pharmatheutical company for his positive test just sounded like a really lame excuse.

    Still, he is one of the faces of this team, and it's obvious that he's one of the best at what he does, so if we can I would really hope that we make some effort to keep him around.
     
  14. LaDeezie21

    LaDeezie21 BoltTalker

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    All of these guys should "me first" players. It's not every day that these guys get a chance to earn a big paycheck. Their career is so short that they have to take advantage of each opportunity to chash in. I don't blame them one bit.

    If the shoe was on the other foot and we took a big name player from another team no one would be questioning his character.

    Bottom line is I hope San Diego signs him. If they can't, I'm glad that they didn't wait 'till the last second to find his replacement. Either way we're good to go.
     
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  15. boltssbbound

    boltssbbound Well-Known Member

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    What a bunch of BS. By dancing I guess you mean his sack dance. When he got rid of it, his teammates encouraged him to bring it back. Almost every defender on the team had a sack dance. Are they all me-first guys? The steroid test reveals him to be a cheater, if you don't believe his story. But that doesn't mean he's not a team player. As for a haircut, WTF? A person's haircut is suddenly a testament to their character? You can't be a team player with a mohawk? As for "partying," I'm sure Merriman isn't the only 24 year old superstar athlete that likes to go to the club, but he's never been in trouble. He's never had a DUI. And by all accounts he works as hard as anyone on the team, so who gives a **** if he spends his free time at the club or at bible school? As for his decision not to have surgery, it was obviously a mistake. But was the decision made out of selfishness? I don't think so. He thought he could rehab without surgery.

    You're right about Merriman being the heart and soul of this defense, and selfish players are rarely described that way. Terrell Owens might have been the best player on Dallas' offense last year, but no one would have described him as being the heart and soul of anything. As for Merriman, he was the one leading the team, getting them fired up, before the big games at the end of last season. Me-first players don't usually do that.

    You don't have to hope you're wong. You are wrong. Merriman has already proven you wrong.
     
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  16. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Seems to me Seau had a sack dance. A lot of players have dances.

    IMO if it is not getting us the yellow hankie, it pumps the crowd and team up, GO FOR IT!
     
  17. AnteaterCharger

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

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    Agree with everything, the surgery I think was part of a larger screw up on the part of the Charger medical corps but I do semi agree with trumpie that it speaks about his unwillingness to ignore the tv limelight which he had in spades that off-season. I just take it as part of the same player who is a big star, who relishes the limelight and will thrill his fans and piss off his opponents to no end
     
  18. boltssbbound

    boltssbbound Well-Known Member

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    I don't know what the limelight has do with surgery. He could have had the surgery and still been in the limelight. I think his decision not to have surgery had to do with him thinking he was invincible. which is a trap alot of these guys fall into, and him not wanting to miss a significant part of the season rehabbing from a surgery to fix an injury that he had played with for some time. By the accounts I've read, the Chargers docs suggested surgery and then said, "But hey, you played with these injuries for quite awhile now, so it's up to you." Merriman's mistake was believing too much in his ability to heal and not getting the surgery, but the Chargers' docs equivocated which it was enabled him to make the decision he did.
     
  19. StocktonBoltFan

    StocktonBoltFan BoltTalker

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    I also have heard that merriman has already told the team through his agent he wants to test the open market and see what he is worth. So before everyone starts to bash the front office for not doing something or talking with him already you have to take both sides of the story in.
     
  20. Sydalish

    Sydalish Addicted to Sports

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    I have no problem with a player testing the open market - ok well, it will give me heartburn and anxiety but it makes sense as a bargaining tool esp when your agent is Tom Condon :p It is a bizniz afterall right?

    If the front office makes him a decent offer, a fair/competitive offer, I see him remaining a Bolt based on his comments about wanting to stay a Charger. If they try to play games and what Acee implies is true, then he will be gone. Thank goodness Dean is a better owner than Kline - I'd hate to see another Fred Dean type player leave over $$.
     
  21. boltssbbound

    boltssbbound Well-Known Member

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    I think it's all speculation at this point. The Chargers are not going to offer Merriman a huge contract until he shows he is recovered from major surgery, and Merriman is not going to sing a contract extension unless it's for huge money. If nothing else, the Bolts will put the franchise tag on Merriman, which will give them the right to match any offer and 2 first round picks if he signs elsewhere. I for one am hoping the Redskins have a really ****** year, because if anyone signs Merriman to a ridiculous contract that the Bolts won't match, it will be Dan Snyder.
     
  22. vegasboy

    vegasboy BoltTalker

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    Exactly. AJ is a hard nosed GM but not stupid. He will use this year and perhaps next year(franchise tag) to evaluate Merriman"s recovery from knee surgery. If Shawne is fully recovered, look for Spanos to offer Shawne a contract on the level of what Demarcus Ware will get.

    So let's not get all worked up about it. Play wait and see. If he is his old self, odds are he will stay in SD.:bolt:

    GO CHARGERS!
     
  23. LV Bolt Fan

    LV Bolt Fan Well-Known Member

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    Exactly!
     
  24. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

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    I'll try to put this simply for you and others who seem to be under the impression that I don't like Shawne Merriman. Merriman is talking about changing the way people "percieve" him. Perception = Image

    I don't care if YOU LIKE IT OR NOT, or if ITS THE TRUTH OR NOT, his antics on and off the field give him the image of someone who cares only about his next paycheck. And if he wasn't aware of the negative image he gives off he never would have brought it up in the first place.

    Are we on the same page now? I don't dislike Merriman at all, but I can see why other people might........and apparently so can he.
     
  25. boltssbbound

    boltssbbound Well-Known Member

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    I'll put it plainly for you. Merriman is out to change the MISPERCEPTIONS people have about him. MISPERCEPTION means it's wrong. Merriman has not said he's going to stop doing TV shows, or stop doing the lights out dance or cut his hair differenlty. He's going to change people's opinions by busting his *** and dominating on the field. You provided a bunch of reasons why Merriman "doesn't seem like a team-first guy" that were pure BS. A guy with a mohawk can't be a team first guy? If a person's haircut makes you think they aren't a team first guy, then you have a very limited definition of team first. Every quote I've ever read from a teammate reflects the fact that Merriman is a leader, that he mentors younger players, that he leads on the field, in the locker room, in the weight room. All that says team first to me.
     
  26. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

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    Blah blah blah blah.......was I not being fuking clear?:icon_shrug: I have no problem with Merriman, you don't have to bust my balls. All this crap about his dancing, and his haircut, and his hollywood persona is just fabricated BS by people determined to hate on him.


    I'll repeat myself for a second time because apparently you can't read..........I HAVE NO PROBLEM WITH MERRIMAN! All I was saying earlier is I can see why people might have a problem with him. Now go ***** at someone who actually disagrees with you.
     
  27. HEXEDBOLT

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

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    I don't care what Merriman does as long as he shows up on Sundays and plays his backsides off I'm happy. I really would like to see him use English as a one-two sort of punch, now that would
    prove to me he is eager to work with others and a true leader.
     
  28. boltssbbound

    boltssbbound Well-Known Member

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    I just pointed out how ridiculous statements your statement are. Why are you so angry about it?
     
  29. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

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    You clearly implied that I was the idiot for even suggesting the reasons someone may not like him, and for understanding their argument. I have a strait enough head to where I'm not completely in blind love with the guy, but at the same time he has proven himself among the most valuable players in the league, so I see no reason we shouldn't pay him to stay here..... within reason.


    My approach on Merriman is the antithesis of the Broncos sycophantic love affair with Cutler, worship with caution.
     
  30. boltssbbound

    boltssbbound Well-Known Member

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    It's not a matter of worship. It's a matter of seeing the guy for who he is. He's obviously an incredibly dedicated football player and a team leader, along with being one of the five best defensive players in football. As much as others may bag on Merriman, I doubt there are many fans that wouldn't love to have him on their team.
     

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