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Chargers Team Report - 08/03/09

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Aug 3, 2009.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    Source: <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/chargers/home.htm" target="_blank">USA Today</a>

    <div class="alignright"><a href="http://i.cdn.turner.com/si/multimedia/photo_gallery/0905/nfl.rookies.first.look/images/larry-english.jpg"><img title="Larry English" src="http://i.cdn.turner.com/si/multimedia/photo_gallery/0905/nfl.rookies.first.look/images/larry-english.jpg" alt="Larry English" width="154" height="233" /></a></div>

    Larry English is signed and now he needs to seal the deal of earning playing time.</div>
    The Chargers' first-round pick missed the first three rookie practices and three full-squad workouts as he haggled with the club over a contract. He secured his five-year pact which could guarantee him $10 million and hit the field for Saturday's second session.

    The Chargers, though, are expecting him to hit the ground running. Despite having two dynamite pass-rushers in Shawne Merriman and Shaun Phillips, the team hasn't been shy about announcing English could be in the mix.

    "I'm happy that I wasn't out a long period and that I'm here relatively early and read to get to work," he said.

    The learning curve for English could be steep. He is coming from Northern Illinois and being plopped on a unit which is expected to be playing in the Super Bowl.

    "I did come from a smaller-market school, but I'm happy to be here and I'm excited to be with the Chargers and represent the Chargers the right way."

    Chargers defensive coordinator Ron Rivera has hinted that English, Merriman and Phillips could all be on the field in certain packages.

    But first English has to get up to speed and he's trying to accelerate that process by leaning on Merriman and Phillips.

    "I'd really like to focus on what I can do and the ways I can improve, more than comparing myself to other guys," he said. "The nice thing about being around such a great group of linebackers is that I get to watch these guys every day, pick up some of the things they do well and make those part of my game."

    Among the training camp chores which come with being an NFL rookie is carrying a teammate's helmet on and off the field. For English, that means being Phillips' caddy.

    "It's just a little thing you have to go through as a rookie," Phillips said. We don't haze anyone and we won't do anything too crazy, but we'll give him a little bit of hell."

    Feeling the fire could be rival quarterbacks if these three can generate a consistent rush.

    <strong>CAMP CALENDAR:</strong> Aug. 5: Open practice at Qualcomm Stadium

    Aug. 8: Open practice at Qualcomm Stadium

    Aug. 12: Open practice at Qualcomm Stadium

    Aug. 27: Camp closes

    <strong>NOTES, QUOTES</strong>

    -QB Philip Rivers was sad to see the Padres trade ace Jake Peavy. The two Alabama natives are friends. "I became a Padres fan after being here, but I'm more of a Jake Peavy fan these days," Rivers said. "I've talked to him a few times with texts back and forth. It's a tough deal, but I guess we all knew it would happen eventually. I know he'd love to play here his whole career, but he's a competitor and he'll represent the White Sox well." Peavy wore a Chargers T-shirt and cap to his last press conference in San Diego.

    -After winning the MVP in 2006, LaDainian Tomlinson has a tough time satisfying his critics. "Everybody wants to compare him to 2006," said LG Kris Dielman, of the year Tomlinson rushed for 1,815 yards and collected an NFL-record 31 touchdowns. "But that was like Barry Bonds hitting 73 home runs in a season. It wasn't going to happen again."

    -LB Shawne Merriman showed up at camp sporting a blue Mohawk. "I got a little Chargers spirit going on right now," Merriman said. "I'm happy to get back on the field, happy to get back in the pads, happy to put a helmet back on. That's the way I feel right now - just excited."

    -WR Malcom Floyd continues to make sensational catches in camp practices.

    -TE Charles Davis, a 6-foot-6, 260-pounder from Purdue, was signed.

    -WR Kassim Osgood is sporting a bright, blond dye job with his hair. "You have to mix it up during camp," Osgood said. "You have to keep things fresh."

    -Training camp has a different feel with fans not being allowed to attend. The team said a water main break in February hasn't been repaired and it presents a safety hazard for the fans. "We enjoy seeing the fans and the support they give," Rivers said. "They can bring a certain energy to the practice, or it can work the other way. This allows us to really focus and zero in without distractions when it's just us out here. I know the fans miss being out here and we miss them to an extent, but the way everything worked out allows us to zero in, stay focused and have a good camp."

    <strong>QUOTE TO NOTE:</strong> "Anything less than a Super Bowl championship. It doesn't exist for us." - TE Antonio Gates on the Chargers' goal this season.

    <strong>STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL</strong>

    - DT Jamal Williams, who had work done on his knees once again in the offseason, said he's the healthiest he has been in years. Williams is the glue of the 3-4 alignment and is entering his 12th season.

    - CB Antonio Cromartie, who is among the most athletic players on the roster, has been getting a look as a punt returner.

    - Special teams ace Kassim Osgood continues to make a case to get more reps at wide receiver. But there is a little room for him at that spot.

    - WR Buster Davis, a former first-round pick, is staying in the field avoiding the injuries which have derailed his NFL career.

    - WR Demetrius Byrd, a seventh-round pick, remains unsigned. After suffering injuries in an April car accident, he wasn't expected to participate in camp.

    EXPECTED <strong>BATTLE OF THE WEEK:</strong> DEs Jacques Cesaire vs. Ryon Bingham are competing for starting right end - The Chargers look to fill the void left vacant when Igor Olshansky left for Dallas as a free agent. Both Cesaire and Bingham have played well in spurts - and Cesaire does have starting experience. For now, Cesaire gets the edge and it appears to be his job to lose.

    <strong>OTHER BATTLE FRONTS:</strong> Kynan Forney vs. Louis Vasquez for starting RG - Forney has the inside track, but the Chargers are anxious to see how fast the massive Vasquez can make the transition from blocking in a spread offense at Texas Tech to the more balanced approach in the NFL.

    -Tim Dobbins vs. Kevin Burnett for starting ILB - Dobbins is the favorite here to retain his spot. But Burnett was the lone top-line free agent the Chargers signed and he will get a long look. Right now Dobbins would have the edge with his hard-nosed approach on run support.

    <strong>ROOKIE REPORT:</strong> S Kevin Ellison, a sixth-round pick out of Southern California, is expected to push Clinton Hart and Steve Gregory not only for playing time, but possibly a starting role. ... RB Gartrell Johnson has impressed coaches with his downhill running style. ... CB Brandon Hughes has looked lost at times trying to absorb his responsibilities. ... Tyronne Green has been getting some work at guard and center. ... WR Charly Martin, an undrafted free agent, has stood out with his catches.

    <strong>INJURY REPORT:</strong> So far the Chargers have avoided the injury bug - but it is very early in camp.

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