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Ex-Aztec earning a spot, somewhere

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Aug 14, 2008.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    August 14, 2008

    Former San Diego State defensive end Antwan Applewhite is noticeably quicker and more certain of himself this summer, after a year of learning the NFL and a new position.
    “I've got a different little spark this year,” Applewhite acknowledged. He better understands this particular Chargers defense, his role in it as an outside linebacker and the game overall after a season around the NFL. He is also leaner and stronger. But, more than anything, he believes he belongs now.

    “There was a little doubt if I was supposed to be here,” he said. “This is such an exclusive club.”
    In the back of his mind, too, was the nagging uncertainty about having left school a year early, against the advice of many.
    But the results of a year of working with and watching Shawne Merriman and Shaun Phillips, and being tutored by position coach John Pagano, are evident. Applewhite has been among the most improved players on the roster, and he was a force in Saturday's exhibition opener.
    Because of the position he plays, there is virtually no chance he will make this team. The best he can hope for in San Diego is to be on the practice squad for a second season. But Applewhite knows the league is bigger than the Chargers.
    “I take it as an audition for every team out there,” he said. “If I don't make this team, there are 31 other teams that might need me. I proved to myself I deserve to be on an NFL team.”
    LT to warm up

    In an attempt to make exhibition games at regular-season prices more legitimate, the NFL has encouraged teams to not hold out players unless they are injured.

    Thus, technically, the reason LaDainian Tomlinson did not play against Dallas last week was because of tightness in his groin.
    It is unknown what might befall Tomlinson on Saturday in St. Louis, since he wants to go through pregame warm-ups. That is something he has done in past preseasons but did not do last weekend.
    Said Tomlinson: “I really want to get into a routine of getting prepared for a game even if I don't play – going through the warm-ups, getting a sweat, really feeling like I'm about to go out and play and just from that point, obviously not play.”
    Nuts 'n' Bolts

    [​IMG] Tackle Marcus McNeill (neck) and defensive end Luis Castillo (back) have missed at least a week of practice. But going with the theme of camp, the Chargers maintain they are simply being extra cautious.

    Said coach Norv Turner: “Neither one will be out much longer. We just want to make sure when they're back that we don't have recurring incidents.”
    [​IMG] Receiver Vincent Jackson appeared just as sharp in practice yesterday as he did before sitting out nine practices with a hamstring strain. Turner said Jackson could play Saturday. [​IMG] Today's 4 p.m. practice is the last open workout of camp.

    By Kevin Acee
     
  2. Zeus

    Zeus BoltTalker

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    I have been following Applewhite and he looks a lot better. If people think that he will stay on our PS they have another thing coming. For pure speed and strength he is one of the top guys. He has a decent eye for the ball. However, he can get washed out with good O-Linemen. This can be combated with more experience which it seems he is willing to learn. I hope we can make room for him or hide him on the PS. Unfortuantly it seems more likely he will go to another team.

    I am hoping that Carlos Polk is cut to make room for Applewhite. I don't believe Polk is that much better than Applewhite is now, plus the rookie has a lot more potential and Carlos is getting rather old I am unsure if we need his veteran experience which is about the only thing Polk really offers.
     
  3. Osmekaman

    Osmekaman BoltTalker

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    Agreed. I love young dudes with hunger.
    As you've been keeping an eye on him, has he done anything on ST's to earn a roster spot?
     
  4. Zeus

    Zeus BoltTalker

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    You know I didn't really see him on special teams that much, of course I missed more than a few practices this year and I am going on what I hear. I know he is a fast guy and his a heavy hitter. He has a great eye for the ball and runs a 4.7 so he can get down there. I am sure he could contribute and provide depth. To be honest I see him contributing more than Polk in special teams and provide just as good backup. He did play some special teams with the Aztecs, but he was their major pass rusher so they didn't put him there that much. He has some STs time

    He was a DE in college and came out a little early. Because of this he has spent a lot of time learning his position. That should show how much potential he has since this is only his 2nd year at OLB position and he has shown a lot of potential already.

    If someone has scout insider they could see the rest of this article:
    http://sdg.scout.com/a.z?s=102&p=2&c=661678&ssf=1&RequestedURL=http://sdg.scout.com/2/661678.html

    "The stars are aligned for Antwan Applewhite. He is fighting to be one of nine linebackers on a team with just seven veterans at the position. The man in front of him, Carlos Polk, is arguably the most injury prone player in the NFL. Plus, he has a stellar role model helping him make the leap to the pro level. On a team brimming with talent, he has a legitimate chance to steal a roster spot."

    Again would you rather have an injury prone Polk who is getting up there in age, or a guy who has never really been injured and shows a lot of potential plus special teams ability?
     
  5. Osmekaman

    Osmekaman BoltTalker

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    You've got my vote :tup:
     
  6. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

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    We get rid of Applewhite, the gnashing of teeth will excede the grinding over Welker. The man has grit and the muscle to make it stick. Polk gets nicked too often. Applewhite is bigger and stronger with a ton of upside. He also appears to be superior to Harris and more useful.
     
  7. BoltzRule

    BoltzRule Well-Known Member

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    If he keeps up his play I'd consider keeping him over Harris, not sure if Harris is hurt or something but didn't see anything from him during the 1st pre-season game.
     
  8. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    My roster has Applewhite in, Polk out. Go with the youth & hunger.

    I expect to see both Applewhite & Jyles Tucker punishing QBs this year. :tup:
     

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