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Discussion in 'American Football' started by Johnny Lightning, Nov 6, 2009.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006


    Chargers' Shawne Merriman talks about his surgery, his 'celebrity,' and his motivation for working '12 to 13' hours a day to regain his form

    By Kevin Acee
    November 5, 2009

    Shawne Merriman got his first two sacks of 2009 – his first sacks since the 2007 season finale – on Sunday.
    After missing the final 15 games of the 2008 season after having major knee surgery, Merriman is happy to be back. But he already thought he was back before Sunday's game against Oakland.
    He's not all that pleased he had to bring down a quarterback for his progress to be noticed by the masses.
    He sat down this week with Union-Tribune Chargers beat writer Kevin Acee to discuss his trying year, including frustrations over ways he perceives he's been disrespected, and what he's learned.

    You seem a little perturbed by the suggestion that the Oakland game was your first game back.
    Absolutely, because some of the things I've done the last few weeks were some of the same things I've done in '05, '06, '07. The fact I didn't have any sacks is why people are saying I'm back. If I had five tackles against Kansas City and one sack they'd have been saying I was back that week.

    The Kansas City game was just as good as the Oakland game for you?
    Anybody who goes back and watches that film would say that. Film doesn't lie. Anybody who has been watching film would say I've been back for a few weeks.

    You talked about '05 to '07. Are you close to being that player again? Or are you right now?
    I'm that player right now. But to me it's about getting the timing back down, getting the coordination back down. You've got to remember, my body is still adjusting to a whole new anatomy I didn't have before. My playing ability is back, but it might take me a little longer to get my timing back down. All that is still coming.

    Then I have to ask you the cliche question. What percentage are you at?
    I don't think it's about percentage. It's about what teams run, what they do against me. They might come out and say, 'We're not going to let Shawne beat us.'

    So if that happens, is it incumbent on Luis Castillo and Shaun Phillips to step up?
    Absolutely, and they're very capable of being those guys. They are those guys.

    Has it frustrated you, the perception you weren't playing very well?
    Not really. We've talked about that. My third year, people were saying I wasn't playing as well, and we both agree that was my best year. I'm a big fan of being positive. You don't listen to that stuff. The people that know what's taking place know. You listen to those things, and it will take your focus away from being a better player than I was in '05, '06, '07. And that's my objective because I'm a much smarter player than I was, much more experienced than I was back then.

    You're going to see a hip doctor, or is it a physical therapist? It's just to make sure I'm always stretching. I stretch every single day now. I try to make sure everything is aligned. You've got to take care of your body.

    Is that because of the injury or because you're the old age of 25 now?
    I take my job very seriously. My day doesn't stop when practice stops.

    How many hours a day do you work?
    I work 12 or 13. I've always put in that work. I'm just taking care of my body a little more, knowing when to back off certain things, getting smarter with taking care of my body.

    How much are you paying attention to the collective bargaining agreement and what might happen there? (Merriman is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent after this season, but if there's no new CBA in 2010, he would only be a restricted free agent.)
    Not much. I don't get into things that aren't in my control. One day I might be in somebody's office and have a decision to make. As of now, and probably for a long time, I probably won't be in that position.

    The talk at the beginning of the year and in the offseason – how difficult was that for you as everyone else was looking ahead to your future?
    It was difficult to concentrate on what I need to concentrate on and probably more for the people around me. That part doesn't bother me. Of course, it (ticks) me off that I heard my name on the trading block and a few things that happened since I've been here. I think I've laid it on the line as much as anybody can lay it on the line, and I'm going to continue to do it. And a contract situation won't stop me, because that's just me. But it's frustrating to even be brought up in a conversation like that when you think you're doing everything you can as a player and accomplish more and are still trying to accomplish more than I accomplished before.

    Are you getting stronger as a person?
    I've always said through my life things that happen will build character. I'm a very, very, very, very, very strong individual, and I have the thickest skin around. A lot of things don't bother me as much as they would somebody else. My answer to everything that has happened is to work harder. I don't beat myself up, I don't get down. I go work harder. I think that's the scariest thing to deal with somebody because I feel as long as I'm still blessed to be able to play and be in a position to work, the other stuff won't affect me.

    Did you learn anything earlier this year, the situation that happened in August with Tila Tequila?
    Absolutely. No matter the good things I was trying to do in that situation, sometimes you don't realize how big you are. Sometimes, it's very difficult when you want to see yourself as a regular person, that you're not, that I'm not just a football player, that I'm a celebrity. You have to watch your surroundings a lot more. That's something I've learned.

    Does that include choosing who you're going to hang out with?
    Yeah, but I wouldn't say that, because I wouldn't be where I'm at and come from where I've come from if I didn't choose the right people to be around. The biggest thing is knowing your status in life and how to protect your status.

    The rest of this year, your goals for yourself?
    To really turn it up each and every week. I have this unbelievable amount of energy when I wake up out of bed. I can't get to the gym fast enough or can't get to the building (Chargers Park) fast enough. It's almost where I can't wait for the night to be over, so I can get up to go work again. Every single day it's been like that for the past three months. My days are so long. I almost want them so long so my free time is so short so I can get to the next day to start working again. The amount of things I want to bring to this game and bring to what we want to do is incredible.

    The team, it was another rough start for you guys, where are you now, and how much better can you get?
    For the past few years even though we've started a lot slower we've gotten to the point where we said we've got to put our foot down now. I think we've reached that point already. Not that this game is more critical than another one. Every single game at this point counts. The past few weeks we've taken that very seriously.
  2. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

    I hope he hits She-li so hard that the little putz has to emerge from the turf. :icon_twisted:
  3. Rainman

    Rainman BoltTalker

    Sep 4, 2006
    I want to see Eli fumble when sacked, and Eric Weddle scooping up the ball and returning it 70 yards for a TD.

    Just throwin' it out there, man. :yes:

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

    Jul 11, 2006
    I'd love to see Merriman dominate today, we'd be well on our way if he can.

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