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Merriman eager to return to field for Chargers

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Jul 27, 2009.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    Source: <a href="http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=ap-chargerscamp&amp;prov=ap&amp;type=lgns" target="_blank">Associated Press</a>

    <div class="alignright"><a href="http://d.yimg.com/a/p/ap/20090727/capt.9398a46cffbd4444ade08a6b6aac6a3e.chargers_camp_football_cali111.jpg"><img title="AP Photo - San Diego Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman(notes), returning after missing all of last season with an injury, works with resistance bands during the opening day of the Chargers football training camp Monday, July 27, 2009, in San Diego." src="http://d.yimg.com/a/p/ap/20090727/capt.9398a46cffbd4444ade08a6b6aac6a3e.chargers_camp_football_cali111.jpg" alt="AP Photo - Shawne Merriman" width="193" height="200" /></a></div>

    SAN DIEGO (AP)-Shawne Merriman was back at work at Chargers Park on Monday with an eye on the future.

    The imposing linebacker, who missed all but one game last season because of an injury to his left knee, wants to be able to make a contribution this year.

    "I just want to help the team get back what we lacked last year-nastiness and intensity and being physical," Merriman said. "I think that's where you notice it, being away from the game. Some of the things that I was really good at doing, that is motivating everybody else, getting everybody else to take their game to another level."

    Merriman reported to training camp Monday along with the quarterbacks, rookies and other players coming off injuries. The balance of the squad checks in Thursday, with a full-team workout on Friday.

    The medical staff kept Merriman from team drills.

    "I think that will come later on, don't know the timeline for that," Merriman said. "But hopefully I'm not out much longer."

    The Chargers are hoping Merriman's knack for pestering quarterbacks-he had 39 1/2 sacks in his first three seasons-will spill over to the secondary. If Merriman can wreck his usual havoc in opposing backfields, that could mean more interception opportunities for cornerbacks Quentin Jammer and Antonio Cromartie.

    They combined for just four last year.

    "I'm looking to see those guys' numbers to go back up and us being one of the best defenses in the NFL," Merriman said. "And it's going to take a lot of work and for me, my work starts today."

    Quarterback Philip Rivers(notes) was upbeat after seeing Merriman race around the field.

    "He looks ready," Rivers said. "Everyone can see how he looks physically. He looks as good as he's looked since he's been here. I know he's champing at the bit to get out there. I'm sure (they'll) ease back in, but he was out there today doing some different things. He's excited and I know we're excited to have him back out there with us."

    Coach Norv Turner said Merriman has been moving great. "His workouts have been outstanding," Turner said. "His strength is good. He's ready to get going."

    But Turner said the team will be prudent in handling Merriman.

    "We're going to monitor where Shawne is and if he needs some rest, we'll give it to him," he said. "We have time, and we'll be smart about how we get him ready."

    He hinted Merriman will likely see action in the preseason.

    "I'd expect him to play early," Turner said. "We don't have to make those decisions for a couple weeks, but when he's ready to go and we're comfortable with his health, then he'll play."

    Merriman is eager to show he's still got it.

    "I better get one play, man," Merriman said. "I will be furious if I don't get one play. I might not make (the tackle) but I just want to hit somebody and go to the sidelines. I expect to play a little bit. Hopefully I will be allowed to get on the field."

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