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"Sky's the limit" for Ladarius Green

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Blue Bolt, Aug 14, 2012.

  1. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    Green hitting stride in Chargers camp
    Gates: 'I have high expectations for him'

    Ladarius Green was the second-fastest tight end at the NFL Combine. He had the longest arms, the second-largest hands, and the ideal height at 6-foot-6.

    So much raw ability.

    It's all beginning to surface at Chargers training camp.

    The rookie from Louisiana-Lafayette is coming along, looking more comfortable in the Chargers offense. On Tuesday, quarterback Philip Rivers called him the player he's seen make the most progress over the past two weeks.

    "He's got a chance to be a great player," Rivers said "I don't know if there could be a better tight end room to learn from, not only (Antonio) Gates but Randy (McMichael) and all those guys. He's coming into a really great situation, and he's embracing it."

    And they're embracing him.

    When the Chargers drafted Green in the fourth round, his first thought was he'd get to learn behind Gates in San Diego. Green says the culture here is as good as he hoped, as many veterans, including Gates, have taken him under their wing.

    The root of Green's progress in camp is easy to spot.

    "The one thing that Ladarius is improving is his comfort," McMichael said. "He's not thinking. He's just reacting. I think that's the biggest improvement I've seen from him. He was a little tentative at first because he really wasn't sure, but now he's comfortable. ... He'll tell you he has a lot of work to do, but you can just tell he's a natural."

    The past two days at practice, that natural ability has taken over.

    Second-team quarterback Charlie Whitehurst has found the rookie often, taking advantage of Green's combination of size and speed that are a mismatch for defenders. There's a smoothness to Green's catching ability, locating and capturing the ball over shorter defenders when ease.

    With time, Green will become a tougher physical mismatch as he adds bulk to a 240-pound frame.

    "Charlie's a smart guy," coach Norv Turner said. "Ladarius is a big, fast target, and he's finding a way to get him the ball."

    If Gates has imparted one lesson on Green, it's that athleticism won't be enough. In the NFL, every tight end is an athlete. Every tight end can make plays.

    The eight-time Pro Bowler stresses the position's particulars, which are what he says separates players in this league.

    "He's starting to coach me up a lot more," Green said. "He's very technical in routes, and he's starting to get me there. I'm trying to learn from him and pick up stuff from him. It's real good. … There's a lot more detail than I'm used to.”

    When Gates broke into the NFL, veterans helped usher him along.

    He hasn't forgotten it.

    "I was in that position at one point where I needed help, so I just try to do as much as I can to help him," Gates said. "He's feeling more comfortable in our offense, more comfortable with our terminology. He's a spectacular athlete, a guy who can create mismatches in this league. I'm excited to see him play in a game and just see what kind of professional athlete he becomes because I have high expectations for him."

    Asked if the sky is the limit for Green, Gates said "absolutely."

    "There's no doubt in my mind," Gates added. "He's going to be one of the better guys in this league if he continues to work and continue to prepare like he has these last couple weeks."

    Nuts 'n' Bolts
    • Turner changed the team's Tuesday practice schedule, holding the usual afternoon padded practice in the morning. It was done in light of the different start times to games this year, including four 10 a.m. PT starts on the road. Said Turner:"We try to change our schedule constantly through this camp to get our guys accustomed to having to do things differently."

    • Defensive end Jacques Cesaire missed practice after being limited the past two days. Running back Ronnie Brown joined the over-30 club, getting some rest, in part, to give other backs extra reps.
     
  2. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    CHARGERS NOTES:
    Rookie tight end Green coming on strong

    SAN DIEGO ---- Ladarius Green was an invisible man in the early portions of training camp, no easy task for someone who stands 6-foot-6 and possesses tremendous potential.

    The Chargers' rookie tight end, drafted in the fourth round from Louisiana-Lafayette, had a tough time getting looks with the third team, due to equal parts inexperience and quality ahead of him on the depth chart.

    A pass-catching tight end who needed to bulk up at the pro level, Green was viewed as a project with risk but a possibly high reward. Little of that potential was flashed early. Of late, Green has come on strong.

    Green has asserted himself as a receiver in recent sessions, impressing teammates and evaluators alike. If he continues such play in games, it might force the Chargers to keep him on the 53-man roster rather than exposing him to other teams before assigning him to the practice squad.

    "Over the past two weeks, he's probably progressed more than any guy," quarterback Philip Rivers said after Tuesday's practice. "He looks more and more comfortable, and has become a target because he's rangy and can go get the ball. The improvement has been made because he's a sharp guy who clearly wants to get better. He has a chance to be great player, and I don't think there's a better group of veterans to learn from."

    Green is working under veterans Antonio Gates, Randy McMichael and Dante Rosario, excellent receivers who know how to block. Those three won't let him slip, and have been quick to critique constructively.

    "They've been a tremendous help in all aspects of the position," Green said. "I can't begin to tell you how valuable that has been to my development. The blocking responsibilities are new and the offense is complex, so it took a while to get into the flow, but I believe I'm there now. That's because I don't just have one coach. I have a whole meeting room full of coaches."

    Et cetera
    LT Jared Gaither (back) was expected to return to training camp on Tuesday afternoon ---- although he was never spotted ---- after seeing an independent physician the day before to find relief for persistent back problems. ... S Darrell Stuckey (stinger) is progressing and could return to practice in a few days. ... FB Le'Ron McClain left the morning practice early after overheating, but received an IV and was fine. ... NT Antonio Garay (ankle), WR Eddie Royal (groin), WRRichard Goodman, DE Jacques Cesaire, RB Ronnie Brown (rest) and RB Ryan Mathews (clavicle) missed the padded practice. ... LG Tyronne Green (foot) missed the padded practice after getting stepped on the day before. He was in a protective walking boot after practice, but participated in the afternoon walk-through without one. ... The Chargers went to a team dinner following Tuesday's walk-through, although the annual rookie show was not on the agenda.
     
  3. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Oh ye of little foresight. ;)
     
  4. BoltWalt

    BoltWalt Well-Known Member

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    I have alwaysthought that in weeks when the Bolts must play a 10 am game that their practices should begin three hours earlier so as to be awake from first quarter on. This belief grew out of a sence that in many of these games the Chargers would seem to not wake up until the 2nd half.
     

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