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Inside Slant - 05/13/07

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, May 14, 2007.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    Source: <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/chargers/home.htm" target="_blank">USA Today</a>
    <p class="inside-copy"><img src="http://i2.chargers.com/assets/177/32886_699w393h.jpg" title="Shawne Merriman @ Chargers Mini Camp" alt="Shawne Merriman @ Chargers Mini Camp" height="187" width="250" /></p>
    <p class="inside-copy">&nbsp;</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> Shawne Merriman is still mending his surgically repaired shoulder, which didn't allow him to participate in team drills during the recent minicamp.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> He's also still nursing along his bruised reputation.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> Merriman, who led the NFL with 17 sacks last season despite being suspended for four games for steroids, wants people to know he is not a cheat.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">Merriman tested positive for a banned substance and has said from the first day that the news broke that he unknowingly used a tainted nutritional supplement.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> "I just wanted to get it out so people will know that I'm not trying to hide anything," Merriman said. "It was an honest mistake that I made, and I took my suspension and moved on."</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> The NFL, with Merriman's blessing, said that the Chargers' two-time Pro Bowler has passed 19-of-20 drug tests. At the same time, it takes but a single dirty sample to soil one's standing in the eyes of others.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> Merriman knows he can't put the toothpaste back in the tube, so to speak. But he continues to speak out about his suspension, not hiding the fact he did the crime - unknowingly, he said - and did his time.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> He still considers himself a role model, even if some disagree.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> "When I was a kid, I would look at NFL guys and NBA guys and I looked at what they did when they made a mistake," Merriman said. "You have to follow in their footsteps and if you make a mistake, you have to fess up to it and say you made a mistake and move on."</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> But the controversy will continue to dog Merriman.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> The NFL and NFL Players Association agreed that players who are suspended for testing positive for banned substances will no longer be eligible for the Pro Bowl in the same season. The new rule begins this season, with an official announcement expected before the opening game.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> In NFL locker rooms, it's known as the Merriman Rule. Merriman received considerable flak from Miami's Jason Taylor and Denver's Champ Bailey about being honored in the same season he was suspended.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> Merriman, who has 27 sacks in 27 career games, finished third behind Taylor and Bailey in the NFL Defensive Player of the Year balloting.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> "People make mistakes," Merriman said. "I'm normal just like everybody else. You have to learn even though nothing's done intentionally. You have to learn to overcome that and move on."</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"><strong>NOTES, QUOTES</strong></p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-First-round draft pick Craig Davis' nickname is "Buster". But "Sleepy" might be more appropriate after a restless night on the eve of minicamp. "Last night I lost a little sleep thinking about coming out here and competing with some of the big-name guys," Davis said. "As practice progressed, I got real comfortable."</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-With starting FS Marlon McCree nursing a sore knee, second-round pick Eric Weddle was running with the first team at minicamp. Weddle knows a learning curve lies ahead, but he's ready to tackle it head-on. "It feels great to get back on the field and run around," Weddle said. "I still have a lot of learning to do, but to get out there and run around with the older guys and learn from them is great."</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-Stephen Cooper and Matt Wilhelm were the first-string insider linebackers at minicamp. The plan is for them to take over for Donnie Edwards and Randall Godfrey. Second-year pro Tim Dobbins also will get a long look.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-Anyone for TE Antonio Gates as a wide receiver? He ran some routes at minicamp. "It's something we want to incorporate," coach Norv Turner said. "Every time you can add a little wrinkle or do something a little different, it gives a defense some problems."</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-LB Brandon Siler can't find a reason why he plummeted to the seventh round after being among national champion Florida's top defensive players. "Nobody has answered that question yet," Siler said. "There's a big question mark out there, and I just can't think about it. I just have to keep moving on."</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-QB Philip Rivers said his injured foot is fine - it didn't seem to bother him at minicamp. "The foot feels good," Rivers said. "I don't know if I'd call it 100 percent, but it's good. There's no pain."</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"><strong>QUOTE TO NOTE:</strong> "I'm not a draft expert. But if he doesn't get hurt, he is probably a late first-round, early second-round pick." - QB Charlie Whitehurst, on former Clemson teammate and current Chargers LB Anthony Waters falling to the third round after missing his senior season with a serious knee injury.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"><strong>STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL</strong></p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> FRANCHISE PLAYER: None.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">TRANSITION PLAYER: None.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-LB Randall Godfrey could return, if he doesn't retire.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-S Terrence Kiel became a free agent when team declined to buy back voidable '07 and '08 contract years.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: None.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS: None.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">PLAYERS RE-SIGNED</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-DT Ryon Bingham: ERFA; teams unknown.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-WR Greg Camarillo: ERFA; 1 yr, terms unknown.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-OG Kris Dielman: UFA; $39M/6 yrs, $18M guaranteed.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-WR Malcom Floyd: ERFA; terms unknown.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-LB Marques Harris: ERFA; 1 yr, terms unknown.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-OT Cory Lekkerkerker: ERFA; 1 yr, terms unknown.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-LB Shaun Phillips: Potential RFA; 6 yrs, terms unknown.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-LB Carlos Polk: UFA; 2 yrs, terms unknown.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-DE Derreck Robinson: ERFA; terms unknown.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-RB Michael Turner: RFA; $2.35M/1 yr.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-C Cory Withrow: UFA: 3 yrs, terms unknown.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">PLAYERS ACQUIRED: None.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">PLAYERS LOST</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-LB Donnie Edwards: UFA Chiefs; $13.5M/3 yrs, $7.5M SB.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-LB Steve Foley (released).</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-WR Az-Zahir Hakim: UFA Dolphins; terms unknown.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-WR Darrell Jackson (traded 49ers).</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-OT Leander Jordan: UFA Falcons; terms unknown.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-TE Ryan Krause: Not tendered as RFA/Browns; terms unknown.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-WR Keenan McCardell (released).</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-TE Aaron Shea (released).</p>

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