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McNeill embraces big challenge

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Nov 10, 2007.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006

    Chargers offensive tackle Marcus McNeill has lined up against some of the best pass rushers the NFL has to offer over the course of his first two NFL seasons, but he believes the one he’ll face Sunday night be the best he’s faced yet.

    When the Indianapolis Colts come to town Sunday night, McNeill will line up across from Dwight Freeney, who has recorded 60 sacks in six NFL seasons.

    “I’ve definitely got a tough challenge this week,” McNeill said. “This is the biggest one that I’ve had. He’s top of the line. It’s a big test that I have to be ready for it.”

    McNeill lauded Freeney’s physical tools, ones that have sent him to three Pro Bowls and made him an alternate for a fourth last season.

    “He’s got everything,” McNeill said. “He gets off the ball as fast as anybody. He’s 6-1, so he’s got leverage. It’s always hard for guys especially my height to get down there and block him. I’ll have to be on top of my technique and do everything right.”

    In this week’s issue of The Sporting News, McNeill was named to the magazine’s first-half All-NFL team. The second-year player believes he’s still improving and maturing, but he’s had several impressive showings this season. Kansas City’s Jared Allen leads the AFC with 8.5 sacks, but McNeill kept him out of the stat column in Week 4. Two weeks ago against Houston, McNeill quieted Mario Williams, the top overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft.

    “I like what Marcus is doing,” Head Coach Norv Turner said. “I think every week he’s getting better. I don’t think he started out as well as he did a year ago, but I think he’s getting back into that form.”

    As a rookie in 2006, McNeill earned Pro Bowl honors thanks in large part to his balance and ability to keep defenders away from quarterback Philip Rivers. He believes that balance and his quickness will be imperative when facing a player like Freeney.

    “The biggest thing for me is to just get a good set,” McNeill said. “I have to get a great jump off the ball just like he gets a great jump off the ball. Then I have to get my feet set in a hurry. If you’re out of whack trying to block him, you’re not going to have a good day.”

    Freeney has the speed to beat tackles to the outside on a regular basis. Once he gets them setting hard to the left, he brings out his patented spin move, which McNeill refers to a “dangerous.”

    “I’ve been watching him a lot,” McNeill said. “If you’re out of sync you can’t stop that spin move. You have to be in balance. You have to protect that corner, too because he’s definitely coming off the edge. He presents a lot of challenges.”

    Like a true competitor, McNeill embraces the opportunity at hand, specifically playing such a talented player in front of a Qualcomm Stadium and a national television audience on NBC’s Sunday Night Football.

    “I know he’s coming to play ball,” McNeill said. “Dwight can change games in a hurry and I’ve got a job to do. It’s a good chance for me to show what I can do against a great player.”
  2. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

    This matchup is one of the keys to tomorrow's game. PR has to have some time to throw & the Colts know that. Freeney will be coming at him WFO. Look for Sanders on safety blitzes, too.

    On the other side of the ball, Peyton can get rattled, too. Teddy needs to be sending AT LEAST one extra guy every play, & mixing up the looks. Safety blitzes, stunts, Merriman/Phillipps with a hand down at times.
  3. powayslugger

    powayslugger No longer a fan- FU Spanos

    Dec 14, 2006
    I think Marcus McNeil is great but.... mannnnnn... he looks like the human turnstile last Sunday against the Vikes. Hope the dude has a better game tomorrow.
  4. 400HZ

    400HZ BoltTalker

    Aug 7, 2007
    Last year I would have said "ehhhhh McNeill can handle anybody." This year I'm sure we'll see Rivers get crushed from behind at least once or twice.
  5. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

    Aug 3, 2006
    Marcus will have to have the best game of his young career tomorrow. These are probably pissed about loosing last week and the Chargers look vulnerable. I suspect that Teddy is too damned timid to do what we need to do to put Peyton in his place.

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