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If Merriman’s serious about game, he belongs out at training camp

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Aug 2, 2010.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006

    Get back to work!

    Monday, August 2, 2010 at 9:44 p.m.

    “I just want to play football.”

    — Shawne Merriman’s broken record

    OK, so he has a funny way of showing it — unless the Chargers’ esteemed and self-esteemed linebacker agrees with many people and doesn’t consider training camp football.

    But he has to play. He has no choice, not if he fully expects to remain Shawne Merriman, cover boy, Turf Club elbow-rubber, dancer with the stars, clothier to the world. The paparazzi quickly forget has-beens.

    So, as I turned out Monday morning at Chargers Park for yet another Merriman-less practice, I wondered what Shawne is doing with himself, other than not participating in his so-called No. 1 love. This is, after all, a many-sided individual.

    Is he driving Lindsay Lohan from the slammer to rehab?

    Is he across the pond hawking his “Lights Out” gear to unsuspecting euros who fear power outages?

    Is he recuperating from Chelsea’s wedding?

    Now that Jon and Kate are so yesterday, is he hanging in Jersey with Snooki Polizzi?

    I like Shawne Merriman. He’s always been kind and open to me, and that’s how I judge people. But I don’t get him; I probably never will, in that he won’t be around here long enough for anyone to really get to know him. And that’s if he cares to allow us into his room — there’s probably a $500 cover charge — be he in Hollywood, San Diego or Gstaad.

    He says his reason for not being in camp has nothing to do with money, that he’s not seeking a raise (he knows he isn’t getting one) from the $3.269 million the team has offered in a one-year tender. To him, it all seems about love. Shawne’s emotional sugar level seems a bit low.

    I’m not saying Merriman’s delusional, but I shook my head over the things he recently told Kevin Acee, our crack Chargers beat man. This guy is not stupid. And yet the things he said made no sense, and he had to know his words would bead up and roll off the duck’s back under General Manager A.J. Smith’s Tommy Bahama.

    “I’m only coming back to be the guy on defense. I’m not coming back to be a guy. I want to be on a team where someone is building a defense around me.”

    “To me, it really comes down to, ‘Am I on the trading block this week?’ The third week of the season, am I on the block? Where is that comfortability for me? … The question is do I have stability enough to play football and not worry about the other things?

    “I just hope to get rid of the unnecessary talk. One thing needs to happen — we need to get over the hump. And me not getting there is not going to help us get over the hump.”

    Lights off.

    First of all, his sack production has dropped along with the explosion that made him the NFL’s most feared defender. It probably was due to injuries, although some say it’s because he no longer is on the juice, a notion I dismiss. But, even if he were to return full strength, as he might, the team wouldn’t design its defense around him.

    “You want all your guys in here, and Shawne brings a mentality to our defense,” head coach Norv Turner was saying after Monday’s early exercise. “I know he’s frustrated, but he knows our scheme is not built around any one person.”

    As for the trade talk, we can guess there aren’t many Chargers completely immune to the block. A trade isn’t happening without his contract being redone, and how many teams are going to risk that until they’re certain the old Shawne has returned?

    Merriman wants a big, long-term deal, and I’m not saying he doesn’t deserve one. Even last year, if you watched closely after he came back from knee surgery and still wasn’t really himself, the defense was better when he participated. Opponents have to plan for Merriman. They can’t ignore him. He’s right about that.

    “Shawne still gets a lot of attention — he still gets double-teamed,” Turner said. “People see a drop-off in sacks, but he’s a physical presence. He had a lot of nagging things last year; he couldn’t use all of his skills.”

    So, if Merriman really wants to make big money, if he really wants football to be his profession of choice and not a diversion from “TMZ,” he must come out and play. Other teams — and his own — can’t judge him by what he has to say on Fox. It doesn’t work that way.

    His teammates want him to play.

    “Shawne’s a heck of a football player, and he’s good for our team,” center Nick Hardwick said. “He’s different, but I like that; that’s what makes a team. Corporate America does not offer this kind of atmosphere.

    “He’s a force, a 100-percent force, and he’s got freakish ability. And he hustles. That’s what’s underappreciated — his hustle.”

    Turner said it best: “Shawne has to get on with his career, and the only way to fix it is to go out and play.”

    Dump the Twitter account, shed the tinsel and play ball, Shawne Merriman.
  2. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

    Aug 14, 2006
    Merriman is validating exactly why AJ Smith doesn't like him in the first place. He has no leverage, and yet he thinks taking time off is the way to make his point. The only thing SM can do to improve his stock is PROVE HE CAN PLAY FOOTBALL!

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

    Jul 11, 2006
    I'll admit, Merriman had me snowed thinking he just wanted to stay with the club. His hidden agenda of trying to force AJ's hand might just backfire and bite him on his backsides.

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