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Three Bolts receive praise as potential top wideout

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Aug 9, 2005.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

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    <strong>August 9, 2005</strong>
    Source: <a href="http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2005/08/09/sports/professional/8805193625.txt">North County Times</a>

    <img src="http://www.bolttalk.com/images/mccardell01.jpg" class="left" alt="Keenan McCardell" title="Keenan McCardell" />SAN DIEGO ---- The catch with the Chargers' wide receivers is deciphering the No. 1 target. Is it Keenan McCardell at 35 years old? Eric Parker, a fourth-year pro coming off his best season? Reche Caldwell, who is rebounding from a serious knee injury?

    "I don't look at it like it is 1-2-3,'' Chargers coach Marty Schottenheimer said. "All of them have skills.''

    None can match McCardell's credentials. He has been a Pro Bowler twice, has five 1,000-yard seasons and 26 100-yard games.

    All those years he outran defensive backs. Can he do the same to Father Time?

    "Keenan is not old,'' Parker stressed. "Maybe in football terms, but he's not out there with a walker.''

    McCardell seldom walks anywhere. Among the reasons he's entering his 14th season is his jaw-dropping training regimen.

    "What are there, some 400 receivers in the league?'' McCardell asked. "And every day I want to outwork all of them.''

    Schottenheimer doesn't toil long in tossing praise McCardell's direction.

    "He is a classic example of a savvy veteran,'' Schottenheimer said. "He has seen it all.''

    McCardell eyes the Chargers' wideouts and supplies a positive nod. In his mind, his colleagues have what it takes to give the offense the required balance.

    "We all have different skills and everyone has their little niche in the game,'' said McCardell, who had 31 catches for 393 yards and a touchdown after joining the Chargers in October.

    And regarding his birth certificate reading?

    From McCardell, it brings a shrug and a smile.

    "Age is just a number,'' McCardell said. "The field doesn't know how old you are. I just don't think about it.''

    Quarterback Drew Brees doesn't think twice when asked about his tandem of targets, McCardell and Parker.

    "I wouldn't trade those two for any other two receivers in the league,'' Brees said.

    Brees noted that when matching McCardell and Parker with two Pro Bowlers in running back LaDainian Tomlinson and unsigned tight end Antonio Gates, it presents a defensive dilemma.

    "Who are you going to cover?'' Brees said. "My job is figure out who they aren't covering and eat them up.''

    Parker never goes down easy. Although standing at 6-foot, 180 pounds, he's among the most hard-nosed Chargers.

    "Pound-for-pound,'' Brees said, "he might be the toughest.''

    Parker set career highs last year in receptions (47) receiving yards (690) and touchdowns (four). He'll be asked to reach those statistics again, while also likely manning the punt-return duties.

    "I do whatever they want me to do, until they tell me different,'' Parker said.

    The receiving corps possesses two common threads, according to Parker.

    "Lots of hustle,'' he said. "And the attitude from everyone is that they want to be the best.''

    Caldwell had his best start to a season last year. Then he tore up his knee in mid-October and demolished his season in the process.

    Schottenheimer said Caldwell looks good in camp, but until he's at game speed and absorbing hits and tackles, the knee remains a question.

    There's little question that 6-5, 241-pound rookie Vincent Jackson has considerable upside. The Division I-AA product out of Northern Colorado isn't in the class of the three listed ahead of him, but he's coming on fast.

    And everyone is quick to mention his size.

    "When he first walked into the locker room, I thought he was Shawne Merriman,'' center Nick Hardwick said.

    The unit is rounded out by San Diego State product Kassim Osgood, and possibly Malcom Floyd. Rookie Greg Camarillo is a practice-squad candidate.
     

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