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Linebacker has chance to make name for himself

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Johnny Lightning, Sep 10, 2008.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006
    At first, anyway, it'll take a committee to replace Shawne Merriman. The committee chairman is Jyles Tucker.
    The one-word quote came from Denver Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler, who meant no offense, but admitted he knew “nothing” about Tucker when asked yesterday about the linebacker who likely will get most of the snaps since Merriman's placement yesterday on injured reserve. Likewise, Tucker was not bothered when hearing about Cutler's lack of name recognition.
    “That's cool,” said Tucker. “As long as we win the game, it doesn't matter.”
    In the aftermath of the Merriman bombshell, Cutler surely will learn lots more about Tucker during preparations for Sunday's game at Denver, most notably, that he's already played well enough to have earned AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors for a three-sack, one-touchdown game at Oakland last year.
    For the time being, the Chargers won't simply plug Tucker into Merriman's spot on the outside, if only because the defense works on near-constant shuffling of linebackers.
    Also expected to get more time is Marques Harris, a special-teams stalwart.
    “Everybody's going to be in the rotation,” said Tucker. “Everybody's going to be in there playing. I just want to be able to get out there and make stuff happen and win some games. All I know is, everybody's been practicing and everybody's going to play.”
    Cutler wasn't completely in the dark about Tucker, incidentally. When informed that Tucker was Merriman's primary backup, Cutler immediately noted that the Chargers thought enough of Tucker to give him a five-year contract extension in late August.
    “Didn't he just sign the new deal?” said Cutler. “He's got an incentive to play. He's gonna come out and he's gonna want to fill the role that Merriman had. I don't know if he'll be able to play at that level right away, but he's definitely going to make some plays for them.” Cutler and Rivers What's to forgive? What's to forget?
    Evidently, all that negative energy between Cutler and Chargers counterpart Philip Rivers was consumed by the Christmas spirit last year, because both continue to act as if little took place Dec. 24 except a Chargers victory.
    Almost from the closing gun of Sunday's loss to Carolina, Rivers has been fending off questions about his verbal jousting with the Broncos and alleged exchanges with Cutler, saying it's old news and overblown and perhaps all a misunderstanding. That was also Cutler's theme yesterday when he presented himself by telephone to San Diego reporters.
    “It happened,” said Cutler. “I'm not really sure what happened. I think it might've been blown out of proportion. I'm not worried about it. I doubt he's worried about it. We've got bigger issues right now.”
    For the record, more Broncos than just Cutler were peeved at Rivers for his sideline antics after a Denver incompletion late in the game.
    “I can't even tell you what he said,” said Cutler. “I don't know ... I couldn't even tell you that (he was yelling anything at me) for sure. I just saw the TV thing. I didn't understand what was going on during the game. I didn't even know that he was yelling over at our sideline.” Local LBs moving up The ripples of Merriman's decision to have surgery reached San Diego State and USD. Elevated to the 53-man roster was former Aztecs linebacker Antwan Applewhite, whose spot on the practice squad was filled by ex-Toreros linebacker Eric Bakhtiari.
    The latter was among the team's final cuts after the last exhibition game. Applewhite basically was in Bakhtiari's situation last year, going onto the practice squad at midseason.
    “This is big for me, something I've been working on for two years, just to get on the field,” said Applewhite, a 6-foot-3, 246-pounder who led the Mountain West Conference in sacks in 2006. “I was hoping my time would come. Now I'm going to do whatever they need me to do. Whatever it takes. I don't know what they'll have me doing, but whatever it takes.”

    By Chris Jenkins
  2. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

    Aug 3, 2006
    I'm think Mr. Tucker will fill the gaps in Cutler's mind.

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