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Inside Slant

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Aug 7, 2006.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    Source: <a target="_blank" href="http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/chargers/home.htm">USA Today</a>

    <img width="311" height="207" alt="Marlon McCree" title="Marlon McCree" src="http://www.bolttalk.com/gallery/albums/fanfest%202006/normal_IMG_3982.JPG" />
    <div class="intro-copy">Marlon McCree is making his mark as much with his voice as his legs and arms.</div>
    <p class="intro-copy">McCree, a vocal free agent brought in this offseason, yaps virtually nonstop when directing the Chargers' secondary.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">His words haven't fallen on deaf ears.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy"> "It his leadership," said teammate Terrence Kiel, a strong safety. "He is a good guy off the field and that makes him a better guy on the field."</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">McCree's lips aren't the only thing moving.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">"I have a motor inside of me that won't stop," McCree said. "Every game, every year I try to prove all my critics wrong, and myself wrong. Sometimes you say to yourself, 'maybe they were right."</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">McCree, a six-year pro, was an afterthought coming out of Kentucky, falling to the seventh round before being selected by the Jaguars. A year later he was cut, which fuels a fire that burns today.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">What's a real gas is watching McCree play either free or strong safety. Among the questions the Chargers need to answer in this training camp is where to line up their newest acquisition.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">McCree was the Panthers' second-leading tackle with 95 last year at free safety. But then again McCree had a team-high six interceptions for the Jaguars in 2002 at strong safety.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">"I was a linebacker in college so I like being down in the box as a strong safety," said McCree, a three-year starter at Kentucky. "But I also have a knack for the football and that is what a free safety does.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">"I can play either one and I just like being on the field; just wherever they think I can best help this team is where I'm going to play."</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">The Chargers' defense ranked No. 28 last year, but McCree said that stat could be askew because of the team being rated No. 1 against the run.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">"We need to get off the field on third downs, keep them out of end zone and don't get beat on the deep ball," McCree said. "Those 5-, 10-, 15-yard gains won't beat you. It's the big play and touchdowns that will beat you."</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">So McCree beats the drum, the one promising the secondary won't be scorched. He all but guarantees - considering the stout pass rushers - the defensive backs get their hands on more balls this.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">"I see it turning," McCree said. "We got to be the benefactors of such a great pass rush. We ought to get a lot of interceptions, just because the quarterback is throwing it on his back leg."</p>
    <p class="intro-copy"><strong>CAMP CALENDAR:</strong></p>
    <p class="intro-copy">Aug. 9: Night practice at Chargers Park</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">Aug. 11: Light workout on the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">Aug. 22: Night practice at Chargers Park</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">Aug. 25 Camp ends</p>
    <p class="intro-copy"><strong>NOTES, QUOTES</strong></p>
    <p class="intro-copy">-After one week of training camp, RB LaDainian Tomlinson is encouraged by QB Philip Rivers' play. "He's coming along just fine and he's ahead of all the predictions to where he might be. But Philip is a very smart guy so it is really not surprising where he is right now."</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">-K Nate Kaeding nailed a 60-yard field goal in Saturday's practice; his career-long is 53.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">-Rivers can't help but notice the bright light flickering inside John Ramsdell, the team's new quarterbacks coach. "He's as smart," Rivers said, "as anyone I've been around."</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">-An inquirer tossed this question at coach Marty Schottenheimer: What if impressive second-string running back Michael Turner got 25 or so carries in a game? If Turner gets the ball that often, that means Pro Bowler LaDainian Tomlinson is hurt. "I don't want to get into that situation," Schottenheimer stressed. "But we are sure glad Michael is a San Diego Charger."</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">-The defensive pairing of end Luis Castillo and linebacker Shawne Merriman has proven to be the beginning of a beautiful relationship. The two combined for 13.5 sacks, the most by any rookie tandem last year. While Castillo was cool that the headlines found Merriman, the NFL's defensive rookie of the year, Castillo is ready for his close-up. "That guy is in an unbelievable athlete and really could be the best linebacker in this league," Castillo said of Merriman. "And I have that personal drive to get some of that attention too this year - within the scheme. There are things designed for Shawne, but I have enough opportunities that I can make a big impact and get recognition, too."</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">-The team is practicing Friday on the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan, the day before opening the preseason against the visiting Packers. It's believed to be the first time an NFL squad has worked out on an aircraft carrier.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy"><strong>QUOTE TO NOTE:</strong> "Initially when I hit him I felt it was a pretty good hit and I thought he was going to be out, but I didn't know it would wrap up his career, which it is looking like right now. I hope the best for him; I hope he's not done. He was a great running back and we love having him around and I grew up watching Priest and not seeing him around is obviously going to hurt the game. But I can't sit here and promise it's not going to be the last running back I knock out." - OLB Shawne Merriman, on his tackle last year which likely ended Chiefs RB Priest Holmes' career.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy"><strong>STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL</strong></p>
    <p class="intro-copy">Chargers general manager A. J. Smith has nothing to show for his first draft pick, spent back in 2003.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">Wide receiver Rashaun Woods, who came over from San Francisco for CB Sammy Davis, didn't last the first week of camp for the Chargers.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">Davis was Smith's first pick and was dreadful. Instead of possibly snagging Pro Bowl safety Troy Polamalu in that first round, Smith traded down with the Eagles. His reward was Davis and safety Terrence Kiel in the second round.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">Kiel is still around; Davis is gone and now so is Woods, another first-round bust.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy"><strong>PLAYER OF THE WEEK:</strong> WR Malcom Floyd continues to light up the camp with his acrobatic catches which are making him the odds on choice to become the fourth receiver behind Keenan McCardell, Eric Parker and Vincent Jackson. At least once a day it seems Floyd uses his 6-5, 225-pound frame to haul in a scoring catch.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">"Not many people know about Malcom," Rivers said. "But we do."</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">Floyd has shown flashes before, but has always been derailed by injuries. He's spent most of the past two years on the practice squad, although he was active long enough last season to haul in Rivers' one and only NFL touchdown pass.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy"><strong>BATTLE OF THE WEEK:</strong> Free safety vs. strong safety for Marlon McCree. The safety positions become more muddled as the team decides where to play the versatile McCree. For the first week, McCree was the No. 1 free safety. Now with Bhawoh Jue returning from a knee injury, he has been running with the first team and McCree has been running with the second team behind Terrence Kiel at strong safety. The Chargers are believed to be leaning toward getting McCree settled at free safety, so he can produce more turnovers for a secondary which had but seven interceptions last year. Another player in the mix at strong safety is Clinton Hart.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy"><strong>OTHER BATTLE FRONTS:</strong> Darren Sproles vs. Eric Parker at punt returner: Sproles seems more sure-handed, so far, fielding punts. There's little question about Sproles, as he's faster than a Mel Gibson apology. But he was shaky on punts last year, which forced the team to use Parker and McCardell. The team would prefer Parker and McCardell concentrate on receiving passes and is encouraged by Sproles' progress.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">-Drayton Florence vs. Antonio Cromartie at cornerback: Being pushed by Cromartie has turned into a plus for Florence. He has having a sensational camp while Cromartie is showing the rust of not playing last year and having but one start at Florida State before coming to San Diego. Florence is well ahead of Cromartie.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy"><strong>ROOKIE REPORT:</strong> Cromartie continues to show his skills and just how raw he is. He needs some more work.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">-LT Marcus McNeill has been getting some valuable time with the first string with Roman Oben and Leander Jordan ailing. McNeill has drawn praise from Schottenheimer.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">-QB Charlie Whitehurst continues to push A.J. Feeley for the backup job.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">-ILB Tim Dobbins has displayed his nasty streak and is being groomed to become a possible starter next year.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy"><strong>INJURY REPORT:</strong> LT Roman Oben (foot) won't be practicing for some time.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">-ILB Donnie Edwards (back); not considered serious.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">-TE Ryan Krause (leg) still a week or so away.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">-LT Leander Jordan (hip) not believed to be serious.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">-OLB Shawne Merriman (hamstring); should return this week.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">-WR Eric Parker (ankle); could return this week.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">-OL Scott Mruczkowski (knee); out 1-2 weeks.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">-DT Chase Page (knee); out 2-3 weeks.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">-WR Sean Coffey (shoulder); out 2-3 weeks.</p>

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