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Liuget making strides in year two

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Blue Bolt, Aug 17, 2012.

  1. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

    Oct 28, 2009
    Liuget pushing through in Year 2

    It all starts with Corey Liuget’s hands.

    The improvement he expects to make, the pass rush he wants to generate, the player he’s working to become, all begin with the Chargers defensive end’s ability to shed blocks with his 9 1/2-inch grasp.

    In training camp, Liuget has shown that and more.

    The 2011 first-round pick says he was disappointed with his rookie season and knows there’s room to grow. Among the most encouraging sights for the team this offseason is how Liuget has.

    He’s more comfortable.

    He’s thinking less, playing faster.

    And then there are his hands.

    “That’s the main thing,” Liuget said. “Using my hands violently and getting to the quarterback … being able to shed and get off a block. That’s what hands pretty much involve. It’s pass rushing. We have to get to the passer this year. That’s our main focus. I feel like I got a lot better.”

    Last year wasn’t the rookie year Liuget envisioned.

    He missed OTAs and minicamp due to the lockout. He arrived at Chargers Park for training camp a week late because of his rookie contract. He worked to get ready for the season, but with the abbreviated schedule, didn’t learn the full nuances of the position.

    Liuget started 13 of 15 games, totaling 19 tackles with a sack and forced fumble.

    He showed encouraging signs down the stretch, including against the Jaguars and Ravens, but as a whole, the year fell short of Liuget’s personal expectations.

    “I didn’t feel too happy about it,” Liuget said. “Things didn’t quite go my way as far as on the field, making plays. It was a big adjustment, coming from college to here, where I’m used to doing three hours of football a day to now it’s 12 hours a day.”

    It’s been a big offseason for Liuget.

    It started, well, with getting bigger.

    The 6-foot-2 lineman ended the season weighing 315 pounds, he says, and shot up to 327 shortly after it ended.

    The weight surge stemmed from his favorite Miami visitor, who stayed in San Diego for two weeks.

    “My mom was cooking a bunch of turkey wings and crab rice and everything,” Liuget said with a laugh. “It’s just good Down South cookin’. That’s what messed me up. I had to send her back to Miami. She had to go. And then I just started working out.”

    Liuget cleared his mind and focused on football, working at alma mater Hialeah High in Florida with coaches Gary Sanchez, Steve Smith and Alex Terry.

    He is currently is down to 300 pounds, showing the strides the Chargers anticipated in his first full offseason.

    Liuget is still very young.

    He turned 22 in March. Of the Chargers’ seven draft picks in 2012, he is younger than five of them, including all three defensive players taken.

    “He’s having an outstanding camp,” coach Norv Turner said. “I thought he was very active in (last week’s) game. One of the things when you have more depth and more guys, obviously, is guys aren’t going to be asked to play as many snaps. He was asked to play a lot of snaps for a rookie (461), and I just think he’s made a big step.

    He’s playing more physical. He’s playing faster. We’re going to move our guys around a lot, so I think we’ll be able to take advantage of all their athleticism.”

    Liuget has plenty of that.
    It’s what defensive line coach Don Johnson says he likes most about him.
    Liuget is an athlete who grew into a defensive lineman — not a large body who, all of a sudden, tried to become an athlete.
    After the Chargers drafted Liuget out of Illinois, Johnson found Liuget’s high-school highlight reel. On it, he is lined up a bit of everywhere — defensive end, tight end and, yes, even quarterback, tossing a deep touchdown pass from the shotgun.
    “If you get a chance, go on YouTube and pull up his high school,” Johnson said. “I mean, to this day, I still have questions it’s him, but I have verified it time and time again. It’s that unique.”
    The Chargers upgraded at outside linebacker this offseason.
    Along with getting healthier, they seem to have improved dramatically on the strong side, adding veteran Jarret Johnson and rookie first-round pick Melvin Ingram.
    But as important as outside linebacker is to a 3-4 defense’s pass rush, it adds an extra dimension when the three-man front can create pressure on its own.
    “That’s pretty much what we’re working on now is ... just getting there,” Liuget said, “having a demeanor that says, ‘Forget you. We’re going to get to you, no matter what. Whether it’s 2.8 seconds or 2.5 seconds, we’re going to get to you.’ ”
    With a heavy hand.

  2. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

    Between Liuget & Ingram, who needs a 3rd QB on the roster? :p
  3. JohnnyX

    JohnnyX ☆☆☆☆☆

    Oct 7, 2010
    He's isn't as bad English I guess that's something to be proud about.
  4. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

    Aug 14, 2006
    You kiddin me? I'd argue Liuget was the worst starter on our defense last year, barely above Jammer and Gregory.

    I hope he works out, but I think its a bad fit.
  5. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

    Oct 28, 2009
    If he was "above" Jammer and Gregory, how could he be the worst? :confused:

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