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Tucker doesn't ration his passion

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Aug 12, 2008.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    August 12, 2008

    Linebacker's fervor impresses Chargers

    Jyles Tucker just looks as if he is enjoying himself – in practice.

    And, truth be told, there is dental work easier to endure than an average football practice, which is long and alternately grueling and tedious.
    But Tucker is all smiles and all out all the time.
    “He's got a real passion for it,” outside linebacker coach John Pagano said yesterday. “You can see it.”
    That fervor was one of the traits that sold Pagano on Tucker back when Pagano was getting to know the player long distance, recruiting him last year to come play for the Chargers as an undrafted free agent.
    Pagano saw Tucker only on video, one of a couple of dozen players that likely would not be drafted that Pagano was assigned to evaluate. He liked the way the defensive end out of Wake Forest moved, thought there was some raw pass-rushing material to work with. And talking to Tucker, he liked the kid's commitment to football and to making it.
    “You can tell talking to a kid on the phone if it's for real,” Pagano said. “You could really hear the love of the game in his voice.”
    Tucker knows no other way. He has always felt he has no other choice and certainly feels that way now that he is in the NFL playing behind (and sometimes alongside) Shawne Merriman and Shaun Phillips.
    “That's how I've been all my life, trying to work,” said Tucker, whose hurry of Brad Johnson prompted an interception in Saturday's preseason opener. “There's always been someone else being that main person. So I told myself the only way I can make things happen is go hard every play.” It's how he stuck around here, first making the practice squad last summer, then becoming a full-fledged Charger in November. And it's how he plans to improve on his abbreviated rookie season. Tucker made the practice squad out of training camp last year and then was signed to the regular roster Nov. 21 when Carlos Polk was placed on injured reserve with a separated shoulder.

    Tucker was mostly a special teams contributor through much of December, though he had a half-sack Dec. 2 at Kansas City.
    Then, as Merriman rested a good portion of the season finale at Oakland, Tucker sacked JaMarcus Russell three times, forcing fumbles on the final two and recovering one in the end zone. He was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week for that performance.
    “That boosted my confidence,” Tucker said this weekend. “Just to be able to show everybody that just because five-six or nine-five isn't in the game, don't think you can just come out and do whatever you want. The key is to be that backup guy and not have a dropoff.”
    With the Chargers routinely rotating Merriman and Phillips out of games to keep them fresh, Tucker (and Marques Harris) can get a couple of dozen plays in. The Chargers also have a package with Merriman, Phillips and Tucker in the game.
    Tucker holds Pagano in the highest regard and has worked religiously with his position coach trying to become, in Tucker's words, “wiser, smarter, so I don't have to think about everything.”
    He said the biggest difference between now and a year ago – when he knew his best chance was to make the practice squad – is confidence. “The difficult thing is knowing, 'OK, you made a few plays last year, and the expectations are going to be higher this year,' ” Tucker said. “So I look forward to the challenge and I definitely want to be able to make my team better.”

    By Kevin Acee
    UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
     
  2. TheLash

    TheLash Well-Known Member

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    great read. Tucker finished last year strong and looks to be starting this tear strong:yes:
     
  3. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

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    Jyles Tucker and Antwan Applewhite will shove someone or two off the current roster. Those guys have the attitude of football players. The apparently also have the virtue of durability and youth.
     
  4. foober

    foober BoltTalker

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    tuckers a stud now. And he's gonna get better.
     
  5. montanabolthead

    montanabolthead BoltTalker

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    He had Johnson's head on a swivel! I hope he gets more playing time to show his stuff!
     
  6. Gridreaper

    Gridreaper BoltTalker

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    ...The Bolts might really need him BIGTIME when A.J. has to make all those salary cap decisions in the coming years. If the Chargers can stockpile enough young talent, some of the free agent losses won't be quite as crippling. Who knows, Merriman might be one of the ones A.J. decides he cannot afford to keep :icon_shrug:
     
  7. PowderLove

    PowderLove Former Mod, Current Slacker

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    Wasn't Tucker the AFC or NFL defensive player of the week sometime in the last three weeks or so last season? My timeline might be off, but I'll look this up.
     
  8. PowderLove

    PowderLove Former Mod, Current Slacker

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  9. PowderLove

    PowderLove Former Mod, Current Slacker

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    Hmmm...I didn't read the whole article :p busted
     
  10. wrbanwal

    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

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    some people are going to have to be talked from the ledge when some of the cuts have to be made.

    :icon_sad:
     
  11. Charger Dave

    Charger Dave Dead account

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    If that involved Jyles Tucker you would have to talk ME back from the ledge Gramps! :D
     
  12. TheBeast

    TheBeast BoltTalker

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    We hae so much talent on this team especially at LB. Merrimonster, phillips, brandon the hybrid silers. anthony waters, harris, tucker, smith, wilhelm, coop., wow thats a scary bunch...
     
  13. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

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    If 88 can survive, I know damn well I can, but then I'm a more sensitive creature. You hard cases will be just fine.
     
  14. Boltdiehard

    Boltdiehard Well-Known Member

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    Tucker is the real deal and once again thank you AJ and staff. :bolt:
     
  15. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Looks very good pass rushing, average in the run stopping game. He should continue to improve, but I'm not annointing him just yet.
     
  16. Osmekaman

    Osmekaman BoltTalker

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    If Tucker gets cut I'll eat my dingle!
     

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