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Naanee, Davis in Chargers camp early; older and wiser...

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by SanDiegoRon, Jul 24, 2008.

  1. SanDiegoRon

    SanDiegoRon BoltTalker

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    2007 rookie receivers get head start on '08

    Naanee, Davis in Chargers camp early; older and wiser
    By Chris Jenkins
    UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER

    July 24, 2008

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    For a rookie, the key is to think more, but not too much. To pay more attention to your surroundings, to everything happening here and there and everywhere, but not too much. To keep your head on a swivel, but not too much. Otherwise, it's just too much.

    “A year ago, my entire focus was on competing for the spot and making this team, and I don't think I really realized what there was around me until I actually did,” said Chargers receiver Legedu Naanee. “It was only after the season started that it hit me: Man, we're stacked.”

    Even with so many of the game's most celebrated weapons, the Chargers offense eventually became even more stacked with the additions of Naanee and Buster Davis, two rookies who surely could've picked an easier place to break into the National Football League.

    At the same time, their neophyte status also could be cited as a reason things got turned around in the middle of last season. Partially because the two rookies weren't ready, the Chargers made the mid-October trade for veteran wide receiver Chris Chambers, a much-needed turning point in San Diego's fortunes after a dreadful start.

    “That was a good decision upstairs,” Davis said yesterday. “It gave me the opportunity to look back and time to learn.”

    So here they are, rookies no more. To be sure, they're wise enough to be the only returnees from the Chargers receiving corps taking part in these first few days of training camp, getting a head start on making a second first impression.
    “The first thing is that they now realize how competitive this league is and how hard it is to make a play,” said head coach Norv Turner. “They've been through it. They have a much better understanding of what we're asking them to do. And they both have established a good rapport with Philip.”

    Philip Rivers, of course, is the guy who distributes the football to what he calls “arguably the deepest, best receiving group in the league.” Because the Chargers are so solid and such a target-rich environment as camp opens – the full squad reports tonight – there's a very real possibility that Davis and Naanee again will be the newest guys in the bunch in terms of NFL service time.

    “I see a huge difference in both of them this year,” said Rivers. “Both those guys are easy to build a relationship with, both as a friend and on the field, and it's been a smooth transition from their first year to the second. Any player who's been through the development process at any position, though, will tell you it takes time.

    “You can already tell that everybody's comfort level has been raised. They have a better understanding of the system, for one thing, and what's asked of them, for another. When a player first comes in, they get moved around and you wonder what are we going to do with him. Now we know what they bring, so the roles they play get more specific.”

    Another difference is that in Chambers and Vincent Jackson the Chargers come into this season with their two starting positions secured at wide receiver. One day into training camp last year, starter Eric Parker sustained a toe injury that essentially made a huge question mark of the entire receiving situation.

    The Chargers had to hurry along the development of Davis, their first-round draft choice, even starting him in Week 2 at New England.

    “Coming from LSU and the SEC, I wasn't affected by the crowds or the intensity, so I didn't get stage fright,” said Davis. “But the game in the NFL is so much faster. That was the big adjustment.”

    Results were less than spectacular, receptions sporadic, especially after Davis sustained an ankle injury. He did have the thrill of his first NFL touchdown reception – at Lambeau Field, no less – in a Sept. 23 loss to the Green Bay Packers.

    Naanee, meanwhile, was juggling a number of different roles. The draftee from Boise State ran routes at wide receiver and tight end, practiced some at fullback, was a special-teams regular and even used his old quarterback skills to take snaps with the scout team.

    He did leave the Chargers, opponents and fans a play to remember him as a rookie. Turning a screen pass from backup quarterback Billy Volek into a 27-yard gain, Naanee fueled the winning drive in an improbable playoff upset of the Colts in Indianapolis, putting San Diego in the AFC Championship Game.

    He spent the winter and spring recovering from an ankle injury sustained in that AFC title loss at New England, the last couple of days joining tight end Antonio Gates in agility drills to prepare him for a camp of cuts and leaps.

    “I'm coming in with a better mind-set,” said Naanee. “I also know how to do the things that keep me healthy for week 13 through 16. Last year, my body wanted to shut down (late in the season). This year, I feel I know the pace.”

    He grinned.

    “The first year,” he said, “they set the pace for you.”


    *** is it Saturday yet... Oh, and my boi AJ IS GAWD... :yes:
     
  2. WonderSlug

    WonderSlug Well-Known Member

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    Davis and Naanee will prove this year that AJ Smith scored at least twice again in last year's draft. Throw in Weddle, and it's the trifecta! :yes:
     
  3. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Everyone has a part to play in our march towards Tampa. :tup:

    Looking for them all to step it up a notch, stay focused, & hoist that trophy at the end.

    Lombardi or Bust!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :abq2: :abq1:
     
  4. BoltsFanUK

    BoltsFanUK Well-Known Member

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    I'll get swimming then- its gotta take me all season to do it
     

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