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Free agents boost team's experience

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Johnny Lightning, Jun 11, 2010.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006
    Free agents boost team's experience

    By Christopher Smith, Chargers.com
    Posted 1 hour ago

    Josh Reed, the third free agent veteran signed by San Diego in eight days, is happy to join the team and willing to play any role.

    SAN DIEGO – General Manager A.J. Smith and the Chargers’ front office closed out a busy eight days by adding a third free agent in former Buffalo Bills wide receiver Josh Reed.
    Reed caught at least 30 passes for more than 400 yards in six of his eight seasons in Buffalo.
    Turner cited injuries and other issues within the receiving unit and said Reed will compete with Buster Davis for a role in the offense.
    “We’ve been hurt in some games where we didn’t have that quick-twitch, change of direction guy, and Josh and Buster are going to compete now for a lot of those type of plays,” he said.

    Regarding the group that includes Reed, Thomas and Randy McMichael[​IMG], Turner said it doesn’t reflect on the young players but that he trusts proven quantities.
    “You put the tape on and watch (Reed) do the things he does,” Turner said. “I really like our young guys, but if we’re in the fourth quarter and it’s third-and-3 and we’ve got to go make a play, a guy that’s played at the level he’s played, there’s some real confidence there.”
    A jovial Reed said he feels fortunate to join a team like the Chargers, which he views as a legitimate contender.
    He also didn’t mind joining an offense that helped Philip Rivers throw for 4,254 yards and 28 touchdowns last season.
    “(They throw) often and well, man. That’s a wide receiver’s dream,” he said.
    But he won’t flinch if San Diego needs him to do more than streak downfield for long touchdowns.
    “If they need me to go in there and block a linebacker, if they need me to get two or three yards to keep a drive going, if they want to send me deep, if it’s special teams, it doesn’t matter,” Reed said.

    The 5-foot-10, 210-pound receiver already has helped the Chargers, albeit a few seasons ago. He caught a career-high nine passes for 79 yards as the Bills upset Denver on the road Dec. 21, 2008. The game preserved San Diego’s playoff chances and the Chargers beat the Broncos, 52-21, the next week to win a third consecutive AFC West championship.

    EXTRA WORK: Tra Thomas won’t be among the players that step aside during the last four OTAs next week.
    Less than a week into his time in San Diego, Thomas understandably hasn’t looked familiar with the Chargers’ plays and terminology. Still, Head Coach Norv Turner said, Thomas made his own decision to practice four more days.
    “That’s a good sign. I didn’t think he needed to be here. We can get him ready when we go to camp,” Turner said. “But he’s a very conscientious guy. The thing about really good veteran players, guys who have been there, they don’t like not knowing a call. They don’t like not knowing what to do. And he knows he can make up a lot of ground in the next four days.”
    Thomas, who will wear No. 72, worked with the first offense at left tackle on Friday opposite Brandyn Dombrowski[​IMG].
    Defensive end Derrick Jones[​IMG], who previously wore No. 72, now will claim No. 77.

    BOLTS: Antoine Cason[​IMG] broke up a pass intended for Malcom Floyd[​IMG] on the first play of a two-minute drill … Eric Weddle[​IMG] swiveled to nab an interception above his left shoulder in the end zone on the same drive. He later prevented a McMichael catch in the end zone with a flying swat … Ernest Smith[​IMG] became a frequent target for Billy Volek[​IMG]. Smith accounted for the biggest gain of their two-minute drill. He came within inches of catching the next pass as his feet dragged just outside the left sideline, then finished the drive with a leaping catch above close coverage in the end zone … Alfonso Boone[​IMG] bulled through the backfield to stare Mike Tolbert[​IMG] in the face before the fullback reached the line of scrimmage. Tolbert found a lot of running room on a left sweep a few plays later.

    PRACTICE WEATHER: 62 degrees, mostly cloudy

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