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Some key vets join the rookies

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Jul 26, 2010.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    [​IMG]

    By Kevin Acee , UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
    Monday, July 26, 2010 at 2:25 p.m.


    The first three days of this week -- call it pre-training camp -- are mostly about the rookies getting re-acquainted with practice structure, terminology, coaches and what's expected of them.

    The three practices are essentially a repeat of the final week of coaching sessions in June and a preview of the first practices to come once training practice officially begins Friday.

    But as much as Monday's first practice gave the coaches a chance to see third-round pick Donald Butler in a leading role at inside linebacker and fourth-round Darrell Stuckey work against Philip Rivers and a sort of first-team offense, it was also about helping some key veterans who need big seasons get ahead of the curve.

    Among the veterans joining the rookies are Kevin Burnett, Jeromey Clary and Luis Castillo. All three were injured or had offseason surgery and could thus be compelled to be here, though Castillo's shoulder scope done in mid-January seemed a meager reason for him to be asked to show up early.

    Still, he complied with the request and yesterday (while resembling a seasoned politician doing it) said he was happy to be here.

    "Make up the work; it's only fair," Castillo said with a smile, referring to the fact he missed some coaching sessions in the spring. "Honestly, it's a good opportunity to start on the right foot. I felt I had a really good training camp last year. I was able to go the whole time, felt really good and I think it helped me during the year."

    Castillo, who signed a five-year contract extension in July 2008 that has already paid him $19.5 million and will bring him $4 million this season, is in need of a strong season to both stop the criticism that he has not lived up to his potential and help a Chargers pass rush that has lost its bite.

    The Chargers are also looking for continued improvement from Clary, who will spend another season at right tackle. Clary, perhaps fans' biggest target for abuse, missed the season's final six games following ankle surgery. Never a small man, he has bulked up but leaned down this offseason and will spend training camp continuing to work on technique and quickness.

    Burnett, the team's lone free agent signing in 2009, was bothered by a neck injury last season. But there is also a belief in the organization that he could have played better regardless. While Brandon Siler responded well when called on last year, the Chargers would prefer Burnett, who had a good preseason last summer, to step up. He can be excellent in coverage in the middle of the field.

    Among other veterans working early are center Scott Mruczkowski (ankle), receiver Legedu Naanee (foot), linebackers Antwan Applewhite (hamstring) and Jyles Tucker (ankle) and guard Louis Vasquez (knee)




    http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2010/jul/26/some-key-vets-join-the-rookies/
     
  2. bigmike.x.09

    bigmike.x.09 Well-Known Member

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    Goddammit, can we start hitting people already?
     
  3. MasterOfPuppets

    MasterOfPuppets Charger fan since 1979

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    Buster should have been there also
     
  4. bigmike.x.09

    bigmike.x.09 Well-Known Member

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    True.
     
  5. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

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    Buster has been training hard the entire off season. He knows the offense, so his attendance would be nice, but not crucial. Merriman is the guy who should be there. I'd also like to see Volek there.
     
  6. Rainman

    Rainman BoltTalker

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    Us? Or the players? :icon_shrug:
     
  7. bigmike.x.09

    bigmike.x.09 Well-Known Member

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    Why not both? :icon_shrug:
     
  8. Aggieman

    Aggieman I bleed blue and gold

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    Ryan Mathews sidelined for the season with a broken leg...:icon_tease:
     
  9. bigmike.x.09

    bigmike.x.09 Well-Known Member

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    :icon_finger: :lol:
     
  10. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    Back to football

    By Christopher Smith, Chargers.com
    Posted 8 hours ago

    7-27-2010


    Start the countdown. Nineteen days before their first preseason game, the Chargers entered training camp full of optimism.

    SAN DIEGO – If the uncharacteristic energy surrounding Chargers Park on Monday wasn’t enough, the blue-and-gold signs adorning the structures surrounding the field reminded everyone: “Back to Football.”
    While San Diego’s first preseason game against Chicago still is more than two weeks away, all the tired offseason stories gave way to the pomp and circumstance of training camp.
    Returning to the field has a way of bolstering everyone’s confidence and injecting adrenaline into what will become routine in a few weeks.
    “It’s a good feeling. It’s a fresh start type of feel,” Legedu Naanee said. “We had a nasty taste in our mouth and we have some new blood in here as far as guys that are going to contribute and other guys that feel like they need to prove themselves, so I think it’ll be a good season for us.”
    Head Coach Norv Turner already has said this Chargers team could be the best, most complete team he’s coached in San Diego.
    Turner said he looks forward to the simplicity of camp: Practice, film, practice, film, meetings. But with a schedule planned as tight as possible to prepare players for their first preseason game, he reminded everyone how important it is for rookies to get readjusted and veterans recovering from injuries to gain confidence in their bodies.
    “Some of the stuff they were doing real well when they left, they’ve forgotten a little bit,” Turner said of the rookies. “We’ll get them going. Hopefully this gets them started so when everyone’s here they’ll be able to compete at a fast level.”
    The Chargers will get a chance to defend their four consecutive AFC West championships, but first, this year’s team must discover its own identity, one that likely will be different from the years that preceded it.
    “It’s a new personality,” Philip Rivers said. “You watch it take shape, who we’re going to be, over the next month or so.”


    FRESH CUT: Rivers removed his helmet before practice began to reveal a freshly shaved head.
    The quarterback, who declined to give reporters a better view of his aerodynamic cut after practice, did the deed without a guard on his razor at home, which he said delighted his five children.
    “It’s just a hair shorter than normal. I always cut it short this time of year,” he said with a chuckle. “It grows back. At least for now.”


    BOLTS: Traye Simmons raced in front of Shawnbrey McNeal to spear an interception, then kept sprinting down the left sideline for what would’ve been a touchdown … Seyi Ajirotutu caught passes from Billy Volek on consecutive plays. Later, he snagged a ball from Jonathan Crompton despite Brandon Hughes draped on his arm … Luis Castillo, Ryon Bingham, Kevin Burnett, Jyles Tucker and Louis Vasquez were among the returning players that practiced Monday.
     
  11. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    Seeing red

    By Christopher Smith, Chargers.com
    Posted 16 minutes ago
    7-27-2010


    All three of San Diego’s quarterbacks are practicing with the team this week. The veterans are thrilled to work toward the season, Billy Volek said.

    SAN DIEGO – Good thing Danny Bateman is nowhere to be found in San Diego this week.
    The fictional linebacker from “The Replacements” would have a chance to do monumental damage.
    Three red jerseys dot the field each day, including what could be the best starter-backup quarterback combination in the NFL.
    Philip Rivers and Billy Volek are as established a duo as exists on the West Coast.
    So why is fifth-round pick Jonathan Crompton working a handheld headset radio during some repetitions instead of flinging the ball by himself until the veterans roll into town?
    “We really care. We were counting down the days until we could get here,” Billy Volek said. “It’s a great opportunity to get a head start in front of the other vets. Whenever you get (a chance to work) early, you always want to take advantage of the opportunity.”

    COMPLIMENTS: Head Coach Norv Turner continues to laud Legedu Naanee, saying he looks as focused as he’s ever been.
    The coaching staff will prepare Naanee to be an elite receiver no matter what the rest of the roster looks like, just as the team does with all its talents, he said.
    “I just want to get Legedu ready to play. We know the more good players we have the more opportunities you have to go score points,” Turner said.
    Darrell Stuckey, now wearing No. 25, has been hoarding all the plays at strong safety with Steve Gregory not expected to report until Friday. Turner gave the rookie a thumb’s up through two days of training camp.
    “Stuckey’s playing well,” Turner said. “He’s playing fast. You can tell he’s put some time in since he’s been gone.”

    BUFFETED: Cam Thomas relishes the food available to him at Chargers Park, where the players eat several meals each day.
    Not one passes where the 6-foot-4, 335-pound defensive tackle doesn’t spot something appetizing.
    “Yeah, but I’ve got to be disciplined. It’s kind of nice, but it’s hard,” Thomas said. “I’ll be sweating, just scratching my neck, like, ‘Ahh, that looks good. … Oh, I can’t eat it. No!’”


    BOLTS: Richard Goodman, an undrafted receiver, wore an unmarked blue jersey and took reps at cornerback, where he made an acrobatic pass breakup covering fellow rookie free agent Jeremy Williams … Legedu Naanee gripped a pass just below the ground to secure a catch … Seyi Ajirotutu made a handful of receptions, most of which clustered near the left sideline … Bryan Walters made the biggest gainer of the day, catching a 20-yard pass from Billy Volek on a slow-developing play.
     

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