1. Welcome to Los Angeles Chargers NFL Football Podcast and Forum!

    Bolt Talk is one of the largest online communities for the Los Angeles Chargers. We host a regular Chargers podcast during the season. You are currently viewing our community forums as a guest user.

    Sign Up or

    Having an account grants you additional privileges, such as creating and participating in discussions. Furthermore, we hide most of the ads once you register as a member!
    Dismiss Notice

Shelton another key signing

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Johnny Lightning, Aug 13, 2008.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006
    Wednesday, Aug 13, 2008

    Imagine the predicament the Chargers could find themselves in right now had they not signed veteran offensive tackle L.J. Shelton this offseason.

    With Marcus McNeill sidelined with a “stinger,” Shelton got the start at left tackle in Saturday’s preseason opener. If the Bolts didn’t have the crafty veteran, they could have found themselves asking an inexperienced player to protect the blindside of their franchise quarterback who was seeing his first game action since offseason knee surgery.

    Instead, they had a player with 125 career starts working with the first-team offense and not missing a beat.

    “That’s what they brought me here for,” Shelton said. “I’m going to step in there and do my job when they call on me. They’re working me hard but I’m enjoying it.”

    The Chargers added the 10-year veteran in June to solidify the depth along their offensive line and serve as an insurance policy in case one of the starters went down.

    “Obviously getting him and Jeremy Newberry give us over 200 starts and guys that know how to play and know how to play a variety of positions,” Head Coach Norv Turner said. “We felt we got a lot better with those two additions.”

    Shelton continues to work with the first group while McNeill fights his way back. During his career, he’s started at both tackle positions as well as right guard.

    “I’m most comfortable outside because that’s where I’ve played the most,” Shelton said. “But I’m ready to do whatever they need me to. I’m glad to be here playing for a winner. This is a great locker room and I’m so happy to be a part of it.”

    Working back

    McNeill and defensive end Luis Castillo (back) again watched from the sideline during Wednesday morning’s practice, but Turner said their lengthy absences has been precautionary as much as anything.

    “It’s the time of year where we’re just being smart with them,” Turner said. “I think neither one will be out much longer. We’re going to make sure when they get back that we don’t have reoccurring incidents.”

    Cornerback Antonio Cromartie also sat out of Wednesday’s drills with a minor ankle injury that is not thought to be serious.

    “It’s just tender,” Turner said. “It’s the same deal. There’s a mentality, if a guy’s got a bruise and a guy’s got something he can fight through, we have them fight through it. A lot of guys have been banged up and fought through it. A guy that’s got something that could turn into chronic, we’d rather give them a day off or morning off or rest it right now and not let it linger.”

    Wide receiver Vincent Jackson worked throughout the practice and picked up where he left off before a sore hamstring limited him as Jackson made a handful of impressive catches during the morning drills. Turner is still unsure if “VJ” will play in Saturday’s preseason contest at St. Louis.

    “We’ll see where he’s at,” Turner said. “I don’t think he’s really cut it loose. He’s practiced. We’ll see where he’s at. If he’s ready to go he might play in the game.”

    Duty calls

    With Castillo out, defensive end Jacques Cesaire finds himself in a familiar position: running with the first group. Despite being listed behind Castillo and Igor Olshansky on the depth chart, Cesaire has started 16 games the last two seasons in fill in roles.

    “Jacques is an outstanding player,” head coach Norv Turner said. “That’s why I tell people we have 16 or 17 starters on either side of the ball. We can put a player like Jacques in early in the first quarter to give other guys a break and we really don’t see a drop off.”

    Hold on

    Safety Eric Weddle showed his worth in yet another area as he served as the holder for Billy Vinnedge during special teams drills Wednesday morning.

    “He’s good,” Turner said. “He’s got good hands. You talk to the kickers, it’s a real art. There’s a comfort level with the guy and having him. That’s the great thing about Eric. He’s done it all through college and he’s very good at it.”

    Punter Mike Scifres serves as Nate Kaeding’s primary holder, but if Kaeding or Scifres were unable to perform their duties, Weddle would be called upon. In Kaeding’s case, Scifres would take the kicks while Weddle held for him.

    On Deck

    The Chargers will hold a special teams practice Thursday morning before a full-squad practice in the afternoon. Thursday’s late practice (4-6 pm) will be the fans’ last chance to attend a Chargers practice during training camp.

    The club will hold a walkthrough Friday morning before heading to the airport to travel to St. Louis.


Share This Page