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Tucker, Applewhite healthy and anxious after stints on Reserve-Injured last season.

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Johnny Lightning, Jun 10, 2010.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006

    OLBs active during OTAs

    By Christopher Smith, Chargers.com
    Posted 39 minutes ago

    Tucker, Applewhite healthy and anxious after stints on Reserve-Injured last season.

    SAN DIEGO – Jyles Tucker[​IMG] batted a pass to the ground in the end zone Thursday.
    The offense, backed up near its own goal line, didn’t have much room to operate as Tucker swarmed the point of attack and disarmed yet another pass.
    It’s become a familiar scene during OTAs (Organized Team Activities) and Mini Camp.
    “Tipping balls is just timing,” Tucker said. “Just trying to use your hand-eye coordination. I guess I just have a knack for it. I put it on timing.”
    The deflected passes may or may not translate to the field once the Chargers don full pads, but Tucker is anxious to find out. San Diego placed him on Reserve-Injured last season after he injured his ankle in November.
    The 26-year-old made strides in his second season in 2008, starting 12 games and making 5.5 sacks. But his career trajectory muddled a bit in ‘09 with a season plagued by injuries.
    Tucker feels “wonderful” now. He thinks he’s matured as a player, becoming a more devoted connoisseur of game film and the playbook. And he thinks 2010 may define his NFL career.
    “I can make or break it right now, so I’m trying to go forward and succeed at everything I do out there on the field,” Tucker said. “I can’t wait to go out here when we face Kansas City and show everybody what we’ve got, you know?
    “I haven’t played in half a year. Of course it’s going to be that much more exciting to me. I know everybody’s going to be excited, but I’m ready to play. When that time comes, you best believe we’re all going to put on a show.”
    Antwan Applewhite[​IMG], too, finished the season on Reserve-Injured and has been healthy during OTAs. That gives the team plenty of options at outside linebacker.
    “They roll around pretty good,” Head Coach Norv Turner said of the group. “The great thing is, we’re not wearing anyone out, but they’re getting enough work for this time of year.
    “Antwan’s a great example of a guy who each year has learned what this league’s about. He knows how to prepare himself. He’s got great work habits and he’s going to get the most out of everything he has.”

    FB LIKES HYBRID STYLE: Mike Tolbert[​IMG] trotted off the field Thursday with his helmet in one hand and a paper Gatorade cup in the other.
    That’s about right.
    The 5-foot-9, 243-pound fullback gets asked to carry a lot.
    It’s all part of playing a position that’s evolved in a league that’s incorporated more passing this decade.
    “I want to run the ball. I want to catch the ball. I want to block,” Tolbert said. “I want to do it all. Whatever they call on me to do, I’ll do it.”
    He led the team by averaging 5.9 yards per rush last season, ran for 148 yards and caught 17 passes for 192 yards.
    Turner suggested Tolbert will play a part in the running game again this year, which will depend on how the other backs perform and what the offense needs.
    But there’s no doubt he can trick the unfamiliar with his quickness.
    “I feel like I’m definitely a surprise to a lot of people. They don’t think I’m as fast as I am or my feet are as quick as they are. The speed surprises a lot of people and catches them off guard, and by that time I’m already in the end zone or making first downs,” he said.
    Defenses likely will focus on Ryan Mathews[​IMG] and Darren Sproles[​IMG] as San Diego’s primary backfield options, which Tolbert hopes will allow him to rush for some good gains.

    FIRST DAY: Tra Thomas[​IMG] ventured onto the field less than 24 hours after the Chargers announced his signing.
    The big man seemed pleased with his first interaction on the offensive line.
    “I made it through,” he said. (It was) a lot of chaos. Some stuff I knew, a lot of stuff I didn’t. But my guards and centers, they got me on the right page. Everybody was patient because they know it’s my first day, so it was pretty good.”

    ROTATE, PLEASE: The first defense continued to rotate personnel liberally, particularly the defensive line and secondary.
    Antonio Garay[​IMG], Jacques Cesaire[​IMG] and Luis Castillo[​IMG] manned the line as the offense worked against its own end zone, while Ian Scott swapped with Garay during the blitz period.

  2. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006
    Tucker, Applewhite healthy and anxious after stints on Reserve-Injured last seaso

    Darrell Stuckey[​IMG] and Kevin Ellison[​IMG] also split reps, and Paul Oliver[​IMG] and Steve Gregory[​IMG] entered when the defense went to a nickel package.

    BOLTS: Malcom Floyd[​IMG] looked fluid in his third day of OTAs. He caught several passes during red zone work, including one in between three defenders in the back of the end zone. He had to dodge the field goal posts after the catch as well … Thomas got a few reps with the first offense as the left tackle, with Brandyn Dombrwoski shifting to the right side. Thomas and Derrick Jones[​IMG] both wore No. 72 … Stuckey reacted fast and flew to the ball several times during team drills, but couldn’t scrape a ball that Brandon Hughes[​IMG] tipped off the ground for what would’ve been a difficult catch … Stephen Cooper[​IMG] intercepted a pass that careened off of Louis Vasquez[​IMG]’ helmet.

    PRACTICE WEATHER: 63 degrees, cloudy

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