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Chargers, Merriman shine under lights

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Aug 3, 2005.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

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    <strong>August 3, 2005</strong>
    Source: <a href="http://www.chargers.com/news/headline_detail.cfm?news_key=2218">Chargers.com
    </a>

    Chargers fans got their first look at Shawne Merriman Tuesday night, and "Lights Out" wasted little time making an impression on the approximately 3,500 spectators that attended the Bolts' first evening practice of training camp.

    In one of the first drills of the evening, Merriman ran through fullback Lorenzo Neal and drew a loud applause from the Chargers faithful. The crowd seemed to react to Merriman's every move. The 12th overall pick in April's draft even drew an ovation when he routinely ran through tackling dummies during a simple drill.

    "I just went full speed all night and tried to make some things happen," Merriman said. "It was important for me to apply what I learned in the classroom today. I wanted to minimize my mistakes and make it translate to the field. It just felt really good to be playing ball again."

    While Merriman's teammates have accepted him with open arms, they've made sure to give him the rookie welcome. During an individual drill, Merriman dropped a potential interception, which prompted fellow linebacker Steve Foley to ask him to hit the deck.

    "At this level, you've got to make those plays," Foley said. "When he dropped the ball, I asked him to do some push ups for me."

    At the conclusion of practice, Merriman had to lug Foley's pads into the locker room before the former Maryland Terrapin could meet with the media.

    Throughout the first week and a half of training camp, the Chargers have typically practiced in the morning and in the afternoon. Head Coach Marty Schottenheimer decided to throw his men a changeup Tuesday, and he felt like they responded well.

    "I thought it went pretty well," Schottenheimer said. "You get to a point in training camp where guys get tired of doing the same old thing at the same old time. It was nice to change the pace tonight, and of course it was great to see all of those people out here. I thought we had a productive evening."

    While many eyes were on Merriman, quarterback Drew Brees made sure to deflect some attention. The NFL's 2004 Comeback Player of the Year drew a reaction from the crowd when he hit wide receiver Kassim Osgood approximately 45 yards down field during one-on-one drills. Rookie wide receiver Vincent Jackson also got into the show, catching two touchdown passes from Philip Rivers during the red zone period.

    Tuesday evening's practice got a bit physical at times. Cornerback Drayton Florence laid a couple of big hits on Chargers wide receivers. Wide receiver Eric Parker took a Florence shoulder to the chest following a tough catch over the middle by the former Tennessee Volunteer. Despite the physicality, all players kept their cool.

    Linebacker Donnie Edwards, who had missed a couple of days with a minor knee injury, was back on the field Tuesday night. Offensive tackle Courtney Van Buren (knee), wide receiver Reche Caldwell (hamstring), defensive end Adell Duckett (knee), wide receiver Malcom Floyd (calf), linebacker Randall Godfrey (knee), tight end Ryan Krause (foot), defensive end Igor Olshansky (hamstring), and tight end Justin Peelle (hamstring) did not participate in the practice.

    As reported earlier, linebacker Ben Leber had a small bone spur removed from his ankle on Tuesday and will miss the next 10-14 days.

    The Chargers will practice just once on Wednesday. Their lone workout is scheduled for 3:30 p.m., and fans are invited to attend the drills at Chargers Park.

    Roster Moves

    The Chargers signed former Western Kentucky punter Brian Claybourn Tuesday. In order to make room for Claybourn and Merriman, the Bolts released center Chase Johnson and placed defensive end Adell Duckett on Reserve-Injured.

    Special Guests

    The Chargers hosted a handful of special guests Tuesday night including supermodel Pamela Anderson and former Bolts Jim Harbaugh, Don Macek, and Dennis McKnight.
     

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