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Merriman says return is near

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Johnny Lightning, Dec 21, 2007.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006

    Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman didn’t know what to do with himself last Sunday as he stood on the sideline and watched his teammates pick up a 51-14 win.

    “Last week killed me,” Merriman said. “I was real fidgety. I felt like a stranger out there.”

    If Merriman has things his way, he won’t have to endure a sideline view for much longer. He was back on the practice field Thursday although his reps were limited. He hopes he’ll be cleared to play Monday night when the Broncos come to town.

    “If it were up to me I would have put on a brace and played last week,” Merriman said. “They just said it wasn’t going to happen.”

    Merriman is pleased with the way his sprained knee has responded to treatment. Over the last week and a half, he’s focused all of his energy on getting back on the field. He hopes that will happen soon.

    “I’m pretty close,” Merriman said. “I’ve been getting hours and hours of rehab, especially last week when I first hurt it. I didn’t leave the training room. The whole day while they were in meetings, I’ve been in there doing exercises and ice and getting everything back right.”

    Like every week, Chargers Head Coach Norv Turner will carefully evaluate the status of each of his players.

    “Each guy is a different situation,” Turner said. “It’s nice to see Luis (Castillo) get back out and be able to do some. Shawne moved around pretty good. He didn’t take a lot of reps but he moved around. When they get back … we’ll see. It’s nice to see them making progress.”

    Like Merriman, Castillo (ankle) was limited in Thursday’s practice. Quarterback Philip Rivers (knee) split reps with Billy Volek and running back Michael Turner (shoulder) was limited in practice as well.

    Turner had his team back on the practice field Thursday afternoon for their first extended practice of the week. He liked what he saw from his group.

    “It’s amazing this time of year, you just give them an extra day, you find an extra way to get them out of having to practice like we did yesterday…we look like we have a lot more life, a lot more energy,” Turner said. “We look real fresh. It was pleasing to me. I thought we had a good practice.”

    As part of his commitment to getting his players fresh, Turner cancelled afternoon meetings and allowed his players to get away from the facility for some additional rest.

    “It’s been a nice routine this week,” safety Clinton Hart said. “We’re focused on what we need to do, but we’re getting a chance to rest our bodies. I think Coach Turner has handled it great.”

    Quite a kick

    Turner had plenty to be pleased after the Chargers put up 416 yards of total offense, held Detroit to 26 rushing yards and forced six turnovers, but the thing that brought the biggest smile to his face was the job his special teams units did against the Lions.

    “The group that exemplifies where we are as a team and the group I was so excited about is our kickoff coverage,” Turner said.

    The Lions were among the league leaders in kickoff return yardage going into last week but averaged just 15.6 yards on 10 kickoff returns. On top of that, they were unable to return either of Mike Scifres punts.

    Players credited linebacker Brandon Siler, the team’s leader in special teams tackles this season, with setting the tone early with a big hit on the game’s opening kickoff. Others including Eric Weddle, Cletis Gordon, Michael Turner and Jyles Tucker all turned in big plays in kick coverage, as did Tim Dobbins, who forced a fumble on a second-half kick return.

    “We started the year and for the first five or six weeks we were covering kicks as well as anyone in the league,” Turner said. “Then we had some injuries. We had some guys we had to protect, and we had some changes. We had some young guys going in there. They had to learn how to play on the teams. Every week we've gotten better.”

    Decembers to remember

    When the temperature gets cold, things seem to heat up for the Chargers. The Bolts are 3-0 this year in December and have won eight straight games in the 12<SUP>th</SUP> month of the year. Dating back to December since 2004, the Bolts are 13-4 in the calendar’s final month.

    Bright lights

    The Chargers have won seven of their last nine night games on National TV, and four straight and five of the last six at home. The Chargers and Broncos, rivals since their inception in 1960, have only met once before on Monday Night Football, a game won by the Bolts in San Diego more than 28 years ago, 17-7 on Dec. 17, 1979. That night, the Chargers clinched their first-ever AFC West title and won their first division title since the 1965 AFL Western Division crown.

    Monday night will mark the fifth time this season that the Broncos have played in prime time. Denver is 2-2 under the lights this season, having defeated Pittsburgh and Tennessee and lost to Green Bay and Houston.

    Only two

    By clinching the AFC West Sunday, Turner joined Bobby Ross (1992) as the only coaches in team history to win the division in their first season.

    A Monday night would give the Bolts their eleventh 10-win season in team history and would mark the first time since 1980-81 that the team has reached double digit victories in consecutive seasons. It would be Turner’s second 10-win season as a head coach.

    Playoff tickets on sale

    A limited number of tickets to the Chargers’ playoff game scheduled for Jan. 5-6 at Qualcomm Stadium will go on sale to the general public at 10 am PT Friday morning, Dec. 21. The date, time and opponent for the game are to be determined.

    Interested Charger fans can purchase tickets by going to www.Chargers.com and click on “Playoff Tickets” or call Ticketmaster at 619-220-TIXS (8497). Sales are limited to four tickets per household.

    Festive Player

    It’s fitting the Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler will be one of the starting signal callers in the first prime-time Christmas Eve game Monday night. The Vanderbilt alum grew up in a subdivision called Christmas Village in Santa Claus, Indiana.
    • Like Like x 1
  2. BFISA

    BFISA Well-Known Member

    Nov 16, 2005
    Good **** Johnny, thanx!! :tup: :icon_toast:
  3. PowderLove

    PowderLove Former Mod, Current Slacker

    Jul 12, 2007
  4. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

    Aug 3, 2006
    Good post. I am soooo looking forward to whacking these guys again.

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