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Chargers practice for Marines and their families

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Blue Bolt, Aug 17, 2012.

  1. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

    Oct 28, 2009
    Chargers practice before Marines, families
    Written by Michael Gehlken

    Don’t drop it. Don’t drop it. Don’t drop it.

    On Friday morning, U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Steven Rhodes ran an out-and-up route at MCAS Miramar, spun his head around, and tracked a deep pass from Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers into his hands.


    “Can’t drop a ball from him,” Rhodes, 23, said with a laugh. “Not with all these cameras out here, especially if I want to make it to where I want to get to.”

    The Chargers traveled to MCAS Miramar for their final walk-through before Saturday’s 6 p.m. preseason game against the Cowboys, working before hundreds of Marines and their families outside the Bob Hope Theater.

    Afterward, players and coaches signed autographs and posed for photographs.
    The roles could have just as easily been reversed.

    “We’re even bigger fans of them,” Rivers said. “This is a small way of giving back and showing our appreciation for what they do.”

    Rivers flung a spiral to Rhodes, a wide receiver on MCAS Miramar’s football team, the Falcons. Rhodes, who joined the Marine Corps four years ago, says he is eying an NFL career.

    He spoke to Ed McGuire, the Chargers’ assistant general manager, during the walk-through, learning the steps he must take to be evaluated. Wide receiver Robert Meachem also spent several minutes with the NFL hopeful, who says he can run the 40-yard dash in 4.4 seconds.

    “He was telling me different techniques to get in and out of my breaks, how to make my routes better and more crisp,” Rhodes said. “It was a good talk. Can’t pass up mentorship like that from a guy that’s already doing it. I really appreciate it.”

    The Chargers have held a walk-through at a local military site for at least eight straight years, a team spokesman said. The venues have ranged, including Camp Pendleton, Naval Base San Diego and, in 2006, the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan.

    The locker room has its share of military ties.

    Among the many, wide receiver Eddie Royal’s sister, Capt. Christina Royal, is a special agent in the Air Force Office of Special Investigations. Tight end Randy McMichael’s mother Angel is an army sergeant.

    “I’m 33 years old,” McMichael said. “I still make my bed up every morning because I’m scared of her coming into the room.”

    Fullback Jacob Hester’s father, Joey, served as a Marine.

    Hester said he was raised to military standards and disclipline.

    “He learned the values of what it means to be a good person, and that’s what he taught me growing up,” Hester said. “I try to live that every day. … For me to come out and be able to see these people , it means a lot to me. They give so much to our country.

    It’s the least we can do to come out here and have a little walk-through.”

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