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For Weddle, it's about family

Discussion in 'San Diego Chargers Hall of Champions' started by robdog, Jun 30, 2008.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    Source: <a href="http://www.sbsun.com/sports/ci_9740047">San Bernardino County Sun</a>

    <strong>Chargers' safety preparing for sophomore season with new focus</strong>
    by J.P. Hoornstra

    SAN DIMAS - Eric Weddle woke up the morning of April28, 2007 knowing his life would never be the same by day's end. His collegiate career at the University of Utah was just too good for the first day of the NFL draft to pass without a phone call.

    <a href="http://bolttalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/weddle.jpg"><img class="alignleft size-medium wp-image-4115" title="weddle" src="http://bolttalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/weddle-238x300.jpg" alt="Eric Weddle" width="206" height="260" /></a>So Weddle waited at his parents' home in Rancho Cucamonga and, sure enough, the San Diego Chargers grabbed him with the 37th overall pick.

    What he didn't tell anyone that day, not even his own family, was that his wife learned she was pregnant the same morning.

    "Watching my little baby girl get born January 7, that's probably the most amazing and the best moment of my life, ever," Weddle said, "until we have another one."

    Ask the 23-year-old how his life has changed the most since he became a Charger and he will not point to the football field, but to 5-month-old Brooklyn Marie Weddle.

    While the off-season headlines showed the Raiders' Javon Walker getting robbed in Vegas, and the Titans' "Pacman" Jones becoming a Cowboy named Adam, Weddle was at home with his wife and daughter.

    "You see every day guys getting suspended, things like that, but if you're focused, stuff shouldn't happen," Weddle said. "I know what I'm here for. I'm here to play football. It's my job. Support my wife and my little baby girl - that's all that matters to me."

    Weddle was in town Friday for an Alta Loma High School alumni function at San Dimas Canyon Golf Course, and planned to stick around to teach a Rancho Cucamonga Pop Warner group Sunday.

    He took time to reflect on his rookie season with the Chargers, which started slowly but ended with a huge compliment.

    As an NFL rookie, Weddle abandoned his "utility" tag to become a strong safety and only a strong safety. He rose the depth chart to split time with Marlon McCree by season's end, even picking off Peyton Manning in the Chargers' 28-24 upset of the Colts in the AFC playoffs.

    McCree was released at the end of the season, making Weddle the projected starter heading into training camp, which begins July 25.

    "They let our starter go because they have confidence in me that I can go in and do a better job," he said. "It's encouraging to know I have the coaches behind me."

    What stunned Weddle most was not the physical toll of the pro game, but its business-like atmosphere.

    "It's a job, an all-day thing," Weddle said. "You're there from 6:30 in the morning until 9, sometimes 10 o'clock during camp. You meet for three hours, practice. Meet for two hours, practice some more.

    "It's a business."

    Weddle finished with 54 tackles (43 solo), one sack, and one interception in 15 regular-season games. During exit interviews with the Chargers' coaches, he said he was told to focus on gaining strength in the off-season and has committed himself to five days a week in the gym.

    That is, when he's not hanging out with his family at their new home in Escondido.

    "I couldn't be more blessed, couldn't be in a better situation," Weddle said.

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