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McNeill looks to 'rebound' from Pro Bowl season

Discussion in 'American Football' started by sdbound, Aug 5, 2008.

  1. sdbound

    sdbound Well-Known Member

    Jul 21, 2006
    SAN DIEGO ---- How can someone reflecting on a Pro Bowl season say, "It was definitely a rough year for me"?

    That's the Chargers' Marcus McNeill's critique of his 2007 showing.

    Here's another NFL riddle: How can a left tackle standing 6-foot-7, 336 pounds be anonymous to rivals?

    "My first year, no one knew me,'' McNeill said after Monday's training camp practice. "My second year, everyone was gunning for me and that was a big change.''

    Change is often good, but not in this case. While ecstatic over his rookie season, McNeill said he took a step backward last season ---- its early part, anyway.

    "It got better later on in the year as I matured more and more,'' McNeill said. "But that is one thing early in this season that I don't want to get caught off-guard with this year. I'm definitely not sneaking up on anybody. Everybody had a lot of film on me from my first year. They aimed at a lot of my weaknesses, and that is what I'm trying to do, minimize the weaknesses I had in my game.''

    The massive McNeill displayed an appetite for more than Mexican food ---- something the big man embraced since arriving from Auburn on a second-round pick in 2006.

    McNeill was hungry to keep his elite status, so he went to work after getting worked over occasionally in 2007.

    "It never really just flipped from one day to another, but I definitely could feel myself focusing more later on in the season, working with coaches before and after practice,'' McNeill said. "It was late in the season when a lot of people are tired and really just want to go home and get rest.

    "But I realized that I still needed a lot more work, so I continued to push it further on in the season. I kept on maturing the last part of the season and on into the playoffs.''

    The Chargers' payoff was a more stout offensive line, with McNeill protecting quarterback Philip Rivers' blindside with a renewed vigor.

    "We all make some mistakes and give up some plays, but he is in a position at left tackle that's got binoculars on it,'' Rivers said. "Any mistake he makes is magnified. I thought he really, really turned it around late in the year. He just bore down and was just absolutely a wall over there on that left side.''

    When McNeill is right, the Chargers hum along. But when he stumbles, it leaks to all areas of the unit.

    That's why McNeill's turnaround was so important to a team that ultimately reached the AFC title game.

    LaDainian Tomlinson said McNeill stood tall late after whiffing on a few pass-rushers who blasted past him. Tomlinson said the second-year blues visit numerous players after a colorful rookie season.

    "Obviously he had a great first year, and I think he was expecting to carry that over,'' said Tomlinson, who has claimed consecutive NFL rushing crowns behind McNeill. "But we faced a couple of tough teams and people challenged him in a different way. Sometimes we may think it is easier the second year than the first year. But it is going to be harder, because people know who you are at that point.''

    McNeill got the message regarding his shortcomings and did something about it.

    "He understood that, he got that and he didn't regress at all which was good and he continued to get better,'' Tomlinson said. "So this year I'm expecting him to really dominate people.''

    Those same people are looking to establish their name by making it around ---- or through ---- Mt. McNeill.

    "Those defensive ends are getting faster, stronger, quicker,'' McNeill said. "I got to stay on top of my game.''
  2. AnteaterRaider

    AnteaterRaider Carpe Diem et omni Mundio Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

    Jan 19, 2006
    that's just the attitude you want out of a young left tackle, success went to his head but he recovered and became even hungrier
  3. Charger Dave

    Charger Dave Dead account

    Apr 13, 2007
    It was a heck of a rough start of the regular season for him last year but the big man flat out got it together. Marcus had his wake up call and got after it.
  4. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

    The second half of the year he looked way different than the first. It was definitely a sophomore slump, but at least it didn't last the whole year. Now he needs to refine his game, keep learning the tricks, & focus on being among the best OLT's in the league. PR has to be upright for us to win.

    Let's go, big Mac!!!! :bolt:

    We need a Charger bulldozer smiley!!! :lol:

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

    Jul 11, 2006
    Sounds like big Mac figured it out and thats great news. Putting in the extra time to get better isn't easy while being beat on at the same time. Glad Philip gave him some cred for doing what was necessary to get better.

    We can enjoy watching a great cohesive team, and I am going to enjoy every step to a SB victory.:tup::icon_toast::icon_party:
  6. exodus

    exodus Well-Known Member

    Nov 4, 2005
    That's my boy. He's a friggin anchor. Go get em right from the start.
  7. SDRaiderH8er

    SDRaiderH8er Well-Known Member

    Apr 27, 2006
    All he can do is get better, and when he does, we are going places with him!

    He wiped out that Sophmore jinx and now understands what it takes to survive in this league!
  8. WonderSlug

    WonderSlug Well-Known Member

    Sep 1, 2005
    Julius Peppers vs. Marcus McNeill.

    6' 7" 285 lbs vs 6' 7" 335 lbs


    That will be an epic matchup. :yes:

    If Marcus can prevent Julius from touching Rivers, he's on his way to elite status. :tup:
  9. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

    Aug 3, 2006
    For McNeill to step up like this and for Clary to be adding more strength and maturity on the right side is good news for Newberry and Withrow, since the up front defensive schemes will be much different. Withrow had to deal with a struggling McNeil and at first Olivea and then a young Clary. The newer guys being a year older and wiser will be a major difference, along with the vets who played well last year.
  10. Showmeyourbolt

    Showmeyourbolt Well-Known Member

    Sep 17, 2007

    Doesn't Julius play LDE?
  11. WonderSlug

    WonderSlug Well-Known Member

    Sep 1, 2005
    He got moved to RDE for this season, meaning he goes up against the OLT now.




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