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Rooks are ready to rock

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Buck Melanoma, Sep 9, 2012.

  1. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

    CHARGERS: Rookies Reyes, Ingram making a quick impression
    The Chargers Melvin Ingram, left, and Kendall Reyes, pictured during a preseason game against the Green Bay Packers, expect to have prominent roles on the team's defense this season. JAMIE SCOTT LYTLE | jlytle@nctimes.com
    September 06, 2012 9:10 pm • By SCOTT BAIR sbair@nctimes.com
    SAN DIEGO ---- The Chargers held their rookie dinner on Monday. Melvin Ingram and Kendall Reyes were handed the bill. Given that the annual event is held at a tony downtown steakhouse, everyone with four or more years experience can attend and football players can straight-up eat, the final total typically reaches five figures.
    The Chargers' top two draft picks signed on the dotted line, and it won't be the last time they're asked to make a big contribution this season.
    Indications are that Ingram and Reyes are as ready as two rookies can be to help the Chargers on the field. They'll get that chance when the Chargers visit the Oakland Raiders for the regular-season opener Monday.
    "They'll be dressed and playing and expected to produce when they're asked to," Chargers coach Norv Turner said. "I'm excited to watch them play."
    The Chargers want Ingram, the No. 18 overall pick from South Carolina, to support a strong group of outside linebackers and provide quarterback pressure on passing downs. Reyes, taken No. 49 overall from UConn, will play heavily in nickel packages on the defensive line and be part of a young rotation of defensive ends.
    "I feel confident the rookies can come in in a spot, help us out and give us a spark," inside linebacker Takeo Spikes said. "They've earned that confidence and earned their roles with hard work and solid performance in the preseason. They're definitely ready to go."
    Oakland coach Dennis Allen has paid close attention to the Chargers' young additions. He praised both Ingram and Reyes, saying the Raiders have to account for Ingram whenever he's on the field.
    "He's a guy who can really get after the quarterback," Allen said. "We need to know where he's at when we get ready to play."
    Praise has been heaped on both players for their willingness to accept coaching and adapt to the Chargers' scheme as well as the professional level.
    Questions still remain, and they won't get answered until the regular season begins.
    "What we still haven't seen is how they perform in the early season," Turner said. "Teams game plan against you. They throw new looks at you, and you have to adjust as a game goes on. We're working hard to get them used to that, but both guys have outstanding speed and can cover for any mistakes they make with speed and athleticism."
    That's why confidence about and from Ingram and Reyes remains high.
    "I feel ready," Reyes said. "We've been working hard for a long time. I feel I've improved in some facet every day and I'm going to continue to get better, but the confidence level is high right now. I know my assignments and trust in my ability. I can't wait to get after it."
    Ingram shares that sentiment, saying he doesn't feel the pressure of his lofty draft status. The expectations come from within, but his calm comes from knowing he doesn't have to start right away or play every down. He plans to utilize the advice of veteran linebackers Jarret Johnson and Shaun Phillips.
    "It's been so great to work in such a strong group," Ingram said. "I want to produce and make big plays, but I never go around thinking I have to do it all. I don't have the weight of the world on my shoulders. We have so much talent, and I just need to fill one role on the team. I want to do well, but that takes a lot of pressure off."

    Team captains announced
    The Chargers announced their six team captains ---- selected in a vote of their peers ---- following Thursday's practice.
    Quarterback Philip Rivers, center Nick Hardwick and tight tend Antonio Gates will captain the offense, linebacker Takeo Spikes and safety Eric Weddle lead the defense and safety Darrell Stuckey was put in charge of the special teams.
    It's a first-time honor for Stuckey, who is clearly the leader of coverage and return units.
    "It's something I take very seriously," he said. "It means I need to take a vocal role on those units and lead with my performance in practice and my play in games. You don't have to sell the importance of special teams to this group. We take it seriously and give it the effort it deserves."
    Being neighborly
    Turner and Oakland Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer live close to each other in Del Mar. Their wives are friends, but Palmer said the two don't spend much time hanging out or talking football.
    "The only time I see him is around 5:30 a.m., when I'm taking the dog out and he's driving to work," Palmer said. "That guy is at the office a lot."

    Et cetera
    LT Jared Gaither (back) was the only player on the active roster to miss Thursday's practice. RB Ryan Mathews (clavicle) and NT Antonio Garay (ankle) practiced on a limited basis. Garay would have to participate in team drills on Friday to play at Oakland on Monday. The Chargers typically don't let players play before they practice in full with the team. ... The Chargers used artificial crowd noise for the first time, to help the offensive line deal with the noise typical of a road game. ... The team waived S Sean Cattouse after reaching an injury settlement with the undrafted rookie, who was on injured reserve.

    Two sacks for Ingram on Monday night as he begins his 2012 DROY tour. :tup:

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

    Jul 11, 2006
    Holy Moses, that looks like a leg hanging off of Ting's shoulder!!!!!!!:eek:
  3. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

    The better to kick some ***. :abq1:

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