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Chargers' Merriman working his way back

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Jun 2, 2009.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    [​IMG]

    The Orange County Register


    SAN DIEGO -- The freshest scar on Shawne Merriman's body stretched four inches and snaked down the left side of his surgically repaired knee.

    The cut might as well have been made across the heart of the Chargers' defense. Because that's what Merriman is as the wildly pumping, emotionally elevating linebacker with hatchet hands and meathook arms.

    Without Merriman last season, the Chargers, at times, flatlined. With him, they have new life, new hope.

    "It's all good now," said the Chargers' three-time Pro Bowl linebacker on Monday morning, confidently slapping the new scar that has become as much a part of his warrior persona as his No. 56 jersey and tattooed torso. "No pain. Nothing tentative. But I'm taking it slowly. Everybody wants me to be careful."

    So much now weighs on Merriman and his gentle joint, the most famous rehabbed knee in the NFL outside of that belonging to New England quarterback Tom Brady. Most every sentence about the Chargers' defense and Super Bowl expectations in the upcoming season has been hinging on the possibility of "If Merriman is healthy …"

    Merriman, 25, says he's healthy but would not be able to play at 100 percent if the season began today. He has been dedicated, relentless and cautious since beginning workouts this past February on the knee once weakened by tears of both the posterior and lateral cruciate ligaments.

    On Monday, while the rest of the Chargers went through their voluntary offseason coaching session drills on the main fields, Merriman was held out. He joined tackle Marcus McNeill' receiver Buster Davis and rookie receiver Rodgeriqus Smith to run sprints between sidelines on an auxiliary field under the supervision of athletic trainer David Mitchell.

    Merriman performed linebacker footwork drills. He crouched several times, dropping into a baseball catcher's squat, and then swiftly rose into a stand without showing any discomfort. Today was better than yesterday. Tomorrow will be …

    Wait. He's being careful in actions – and – somewhat uncharacteristically, words.

    "I guess I could tell you about numbers or success we could expect to have when I'm back," said Merriman. "But the best and the only thing I can say right now is that we all will have to wait and see."

    No other NFL linebacker had amassed as many sacks – 39 ½ – as Merriman in the three-season span from 2005 to 2007. When the knee injury ended his 2008 season after the opener, Merriman left a void in the Chargers' defense that was larger that his 6-foot-4, 272-pound stature.


    The Chargers' pass rush was missing its most vocal leader and its most terrorizing threat. With the lights off on the player nicknamed "Lights Out," it did little to bring opposing quarterbacks to their knees, allowing the second-most passing yards per game (247.4) in the league this past season.

    They had half (24) of the league-leading 48 takeaways they filched in 2007. Their sack total was down to 28 from the previous season's 42, which was fifth-best in the NFL. Interceptions plummeted from a league-high 30 in 2007 to just 15. Also, defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell was fired by midseason after the Chargers had gone nine quarters without a sack or a takeaway.


    "He (Merriman) was a big part of what was really missing last season," said Chargers outside linebacker Shaun Phillips. "He's probably our best player on defense and most valuable because of the way he pushes everyone, getting them to work out, be competitive and stay intense. Whether it was getting sacks or putting on a big hit, he was getting us pumped up with those 'Lights Out' dances."

    Since the team returned this offseason for the May 1-3 minicamp and the offseason coaching sessions, which began May 18 and continue this week, Merriman has made a relatively quiet return, working out on neighboring fields and watching his teammates from the sidelines.

    He knows that the Chargers have made plans for life without him, especially since the fourth-year pro has only one more year left on his contract. The Chargers signed outside linebacker Jyles Tucker to a long-term deal. They also used their first-round selection in the 2009 draft on Northern Illinois defensive end Larry English, who has picked up extra reps to help with his the conversion to outside linebacker.

    "Larry's out there busting his butt, and I try to get out there to correct him on some things and coach him," said Merriman about his frequent sideline meetings with the rookie. "We're all trying to get better."

    Merriman's focus remains on getting back to the game he hasn't been without this long since he began playing at 11. He's not worried about statistics, making up for lost time or returning to the form that gave him 12 ½ sacks in 2007.

    His comeback, he knows, will take longer than the months it took his last scar to heal
     
  2. TheBeast

    TheBeast BoltTalker

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    I think this Merrimans 20th article this off season. All this talking he's doing....he better play very well this coming season..
     
  3. boltssbbound

    boltssbbound Well-Known Member

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    I don't get this attitude about, "all this talking." Merriman sounded pretty reserved in this interview. It's not like Merriman is seeking out these stories. The media is seeking him out. For the most part it seems like Merriman has been saying, "I feel good but we'll have to wait and see." That sounds like a very reasonable approach.
     
  4. Cheapseats

    Cheapseats Loud, proud Charger fan

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    Until the season starts and Merriman shows us what he can or can't do he is story material for any "writer" within a country mile....if he so much as breaks wind, it's news. I am pretty much ignoring anything beyond the status of his rehab.

    Bottom line: Dude has a chip on his shoulder, it is a contract year and he is a fierce competitor on the field. If he can go, it is going to be a one-man wrecking crew.

    I wonder if Jamarcus Russell is already having nightmares about the season opener?... (yes, I know he is living in a nightmare already...just go with it)
     
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  5. Sydalish

    Sydalish Addicted to Sports

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    I'm getting really tired of all the "Merriman is gone" crap too ><

    I certainly hope he stays but no one really knows right now how it's going to shake out for sure - so stfu and let us focus on 2009 before you ship him off people! geez...
     
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  6. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    :tup: :yes: :icon_toast: :abq2:
     
  7. StratoBoltz

    StratoBoltz BoltTalker

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    Can,t wait to see him back in action and firing on all cylinders.:bolt:
     
  8. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    I don't understand where this is coming from. :icon_shrug:

    :tup:
     
  9. boltssbbound

    boltssbbound Well-Known Member

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    I'm stumped, too. Look at the title of the article: "Merriman Working his Way Back." It's not like the headline is: "Brash Merriman Expecting to Dominate in His Return from Injury."

    The article pretty much says that Merriman is working hard and doing everything he can to get healthy. I don't see that as "talking." The few quotes from Shawne in the article don't say anything other than that he's working hard and he'll have to wait and see what happens between now and opening day. That's hardly "talking."
     
  10. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Merriman is arguably one of the best linebackers in the game today. The media and analysts recognize him as one of the most disruptive defensive forces in the game.

    The fact that he is set to return to the game after missing nearly a full season IS NEWS WORTHY!

    So I fully agree with you, the media is seeking him out. I doubt he is cold calling reporters to try and get his name in print.

    I think that some Charger fans should get over their little attitude. The fact is we are getting somethng to read this offseason. That is a good thing. We had people complaining just a few weeks ago that we did not have any news.

    So what do you want? Merriman to shut up, or somethng to read and talk about?

    Anyone who thinks Merriman isnt going to 'play hard' is kidding themselves... IMO.
     
  11. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    I am as well.

    Here is what is puckering my sphincter, so to speak…

    If the CBA isn’t ratified and soon, the 2010 season is a capless season. A season that will see a few Chargers who are in need of contracts.

    Chief amongst those are Philip Rivers, and Shawne Merriman. One tag, two big contracts due, capless season. PUCKER FACTOR!!!!!
     
  12. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    Good post Conc :tup: I'd rep you if I could... :abq2:
     
  13. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    They should tell him to his face. :lol:

    Good post, Conc.
     
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  14. TheBeast

    TheBeast BoltTalker

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    No dude, it's not a shot at him. I'm just saying. I'd rather are players stay out of the spot light even if he is not seeking out these stories. Just stay chill and do your rehab. 1 or 2 interviews is fine because it is understandable that you are a top 5 LB.

    It's nothing critical, it's just that if he goes out breaks his leg in the 1st game, the media is going to busting his ***.
     
  15. nickelbolt

    nickelbolt Fuggedaboutit

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    Buster Davis is still running windsprints instead of practicing?

    Holy **** man.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. HEXEDBOLT

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

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    We went through the sam ething with Philip and his rehab. It is the news to fans who are concerned for their players.
     
  17. nickelbolt

    nickelbolt Fuggedaboutit

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    I have a very good feeling about the defense this year.

    I think it all comes together on that side of the ball.

    I see Lombardi, confetti, and dancing in the streets. :icon_party::abq1:
     
  18. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Dont worry, I would rep myself if I could....
     
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  19. HEXEDBOLT

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

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    You rep HO!!!!!!!!! :flag::icon_rofl::icon_toast:
     
  20. Sydalish

    Sydalish Addicted to Sports

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    can you imagine what this town would be like? i already warned my bosses - whenever it is that we win the super bowl i'm taking a week off to party :lol:

    1st order of business - start strong
    2nd order of business - stay strong
    3rd order of business - playoffs
    4th order of business - win it all
    Final order of business - :icon_party:
     
  21. RM24

    RM24 BoltTalker

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    I've been seeing this in my mind for decades!! :yes:
     
  22. Chargers4lyfe

    Chargers4lyfe BoltTalker

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    Merriman will dominate this upcoming season and anybody who thinks diffrently is a moron.I got a new merriman jersey coming in the mail!!
    Go Chargers :bolt:
     
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  23. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    I'll be heading out to party with everyone if we win the Lombardi!! :icon_party:
     
  24. VikingBolt

    VikingBolt BoltTalker

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    I've never liked going to parties...just not my way.
    HOWEVER, if the Chargers win the Super Bowl, I'd like to join in the celebration!
     

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