1. Welcome to Los Angeles Chargers NFL Football Podcast and Forum!

    Bolt Talk is one of the largest online communities for the Los Angeles Chargers. We host a regular Chargers podcast during the season. You are currently viewing our community forums as a guest user.

    Sign Up or

    Having an account grants you additional privileges, such as creating and participating in discussions. Furthermore, we hide most of the ads once you register as a member!
    Dismiss Notice

Manu Speaks

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Trumpet_Man, Aug 17, 2007.

  1. Trumpet_Man

    Trumpet_Man Well-Known Member

    Feb 14, 2006

    Plenty in reserve tank

    Manumaleuna adds depth at lineman, TE and fullback
    By Kevin Acee

    August 17, 2007

    Brandon Manumaleuna is not Antonio Gates. There aren't many of those.

    What Manumaleuna is, there is little to quantify such a thing.

    But there is no shortage of folks in Chargers land willing to try to verify the value of their backup tight end.

    There might be no one on the team who holds Manumaleuna in higher regard than the game's pre-eminent pass-catching tight end.


    The acquisition of Brandon Manumaleuna (with ball) from St. Louis in 2006 was a big coup for Chargers GM A.J. Smith.
    “He's the best backup tight end in the NFL,” Gates said. “Obviously people look at me as having a bias about Brandon, but to me he's a No. 1 tight end. He just has a different role on this team.”

    Gates has talked often of Manumaleuna's example and counsel helping him become a better blocker.

    It's not that Manumaleuna cannot catch. His three touchdowns in 2006 were a career high. And many of his 14 receptions provided entertaining moments watching him maneuver his 300-plus pounds – 315 last year, 305 at present – down the field afterward. (Such a sight is at least as amusing as the team continuing to list him at 288 pounds.)

    But where Gates' primary role is to catch passes, Manumaleuna is a blocker. The Chargers use two tight ends almost a quarter of the time, and Manumaleuna provided many a save to quarterback Philip Rivers last year, taking on pass rushers, often seemingly with ease. He played last year heavier than three of the team's five offensive linemen but with the agility and quickness of a smaller man.


    SEAN M. HAFFEY / Union-Tribune
    Billy Volek, born in Hemet, was traded to the Chargers from the Tennessee Titans in 2006.

    “He's as good as there is in the NFL at what he does,” said offensive line coach Hal Hunter. “He's a big help. There were a lot of things that made us better as we finished up the season. There wasn't anyone in our blocking unit that was more important than him. He really helped make things go.”

    Manumaleuna also lines up in the backfield on occasion, and he has perhaps added a year or two to the career of fullback Lorenzo Neal.

    “He makes my job easier,” Neal said. “He's able to play fullback. He plays different positions. He moves around. He makes me want to work harder, because I don't want him to take my snaps. I love having him here.”

    Coach Norv Turner is no doubt trying to come up with new ways to utilize his extra lineman-tight end-fullback.

    “When we can give you the 1-2 punch of Lorenzo and Brandon, that's a great change-up, and it is a great weapon,” Turner said. “(Neal) has been helped by having Brandon here in terms of the number of collisions he has.”

    However he is used, the soft-spoken Manumaleuna is comfortable as a Charger.

    “Really, whatever they want me to do,” he said. “Don't get me wrong, I love to run. I like to get the ball in my hands and pretend I'm a little guy, try to make everybody miss. ... But the big thing is we finished so good last year. To be able to contribute to that was good.”

    Manumaleuna will board a plane today bound for St. Louis, where the Chargers play the Rams tomorrow in their second exhibition game. It will be Manumaleuna's first time back in that town since the day after the 2005 season. He will shed no tears. His life has gotten better since being traded from the team with which he spent his first five NFL seasons, the last three as a full-time starter.
    Nothing excited General Manager A.J. Smith more on draft weekend in 2006 than his acquisition of Manumaleuna in a trade for that year's fourth-round pick.

    Manumaleuna, at first, was not so ebullient.

    “When you get traded, never having been in that position, it's an unsure feeling,” he said. “ ... Then to come here and be on a good team, a winning team, makes things a lot easier. You feel involved.”

    So appreciative of Manumaleuna's involvement were the Chargers that they reworked his contract in June, giving him an extra year (through 2009). His base salaries over the next two seasons were reduced, but he got a $1.55 million reporting bonus up front and the final year is worth $1.45 million.

    “Being traded was a low for my career,” Manumaleuna said. “Being rewarded, it feels good again.”
  2. WonderSlug

    WonderSlug Well-Known Member

    Sep 1, 2005
    I've checked several Rams forums and they are now wondering why they traded Manu and if Linehan could have used him the way we did last year. :tup:
  3. AnteaterRaider

    AnteaterRaider Carpe Diem et omni Mundio Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

    Jan 19, 2006
    Because Mike Martz took a useful piece and didn't use him properly
  4. Ray Dahayder

    Ray Dahayder BoltTalker

    Jun 22, 2007
    I'm really liking what I read about Norv's comments regarding what he plans for our offense. I know this isn't a quote, but it seems like Norv is doing this...
    Coach Norv Turner is no doubt trying to come up with new ways to utilize his extra lineman-tight end-fullback.

    Norv seems to be adding a lot of different things to utilize everyone's talents to their max. Cam did the opposite. Nanee lining up as WR or fullback, Gates lining up as a WR.... Sproles will add a new wrinkle. I think Sproles could be a huge weapon when LT is taking a rest..... get that water bug out in the open and give him the ball. He's got quicker moves than LT, it seems.

    I can't wait for this year to see if the bolts break the NFL scoring record.
  5. oldschool1

    oldschool1 BoltTalker

    Jul 22, 2007
    That's what AJ planned all along. :tup:

    The only missing puzzle piece is a SB win.

    Oldie Out
  6. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

    Aug 3, 2006
    Da' Bears are in for a nasty surprise. We're getting no respect on their forum. I said it earlier and I'll say it again. 31-10.
  7. cranberry

    cranberry BoltTalker

    Oct 3, 2006
    You're right brother, we'll just have to show

Share This Page