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Turner predicts intense competition for 53 man roster

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Buck Melanoma, Jun 20, 2012.

  1. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

    Turner looking forward to competition

    SAN DIEGO — With all the offseason changes — and the urgency of getting back to the playoffs — Norv Turner thinks the competition to make the 53-man roster will be the hardest since he took over the San Diego Chargers in 2007.
    The Chargers opened minicamp Tuesday with a walkthrough in the morning and a regular practice in the afternoon.
    Turner said he's stressed to his players that the offseason program has been geared toward preparing players to win jobs during training camp.
    “We have some really great competition on this team. No. 1, I think we'll have the best competition we've had to make the 53-man roster,” Turner said. “I think it's going to be a hard team to make. It's going to be a real hard team to make the 46-man roster, the guys that dress on game day.
    “Then when you go through every situation, whether it be kickoff coverage or punt return or third-down defense or short-yardage offense, it's going to be hard to be one of the 11 guys on the field. That competition is great in terms of helping guys improve, but the other thing it certainly gives us is some added depth, so if we're in the situation we've been in the last couple years, if we have an unusual amount of injuries, hopefully we have guys who have been here, who have practiced. Those are the guys that will be playing instead of having to go to the waiver wire and get a guy ready in three or four days.”
    San Diego was 8-8 last year and 9-7 in 2010, missing the playoffs both seasons after winning four consecutive AFC West titles. San Diego has one playoff victory in the last four seasons.
    Looking to reverse the slide, the Chargers had a big haul in free agency. They signed two of their own free agents, center Nick Hardwick and left tackle Jared Gaither, and brought in several other free agents, including linebacker Jarret Johnson, fullback Le'Ron McClain and wide receivers Robert Meachem and Eddie Royal.
    Wide receiver Vincent Jackson left for a big deal with Tampa Bay.
    San Diego used its first three draft picks on outside linebacker Melvin Ingram of South Carolina, defensive end Kendall Reyes of Connecticut and LSU strong safety Brandon Taylor.
    Quarterback Philip Rivers, looking to bounce back from a season in which he committed an NFL-high 25 turnovers, including 20 interceptions, is excited to be talking about all the newcomers.
    “This has been as crucial as an offseason that we've had,” Rivers said. “We've added more pieces that are going to play significant roles, and we didn't have one last year.”
    Keep Chao away from our guys. :cautious:
  2. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

    And on that note ....

    CHARGERS: Bigby looks to fit in as secondary's fourth wheel

    New acquisition Atari Bigby , pictured during a May practice at Chargers Park, gives the Chargers a veteran presence at strong safety. HAYNE PALMOUR IV | hpalmour@nctimes.com

    SAN DIEGO ---- The free-agent addition to the Chargers secondary comes complete with an NFL GPS.
    Atari Bigby, who was working at strong safety with the starting defense as the Chargers began a three-day minicamp at their practice facility in Murphy Canyon on Tuesday, joined the Chargers in March following one season in Seattle. He also played six years in Green Bay after initially being signed as an undrafted free agent by Miami in 2005 and spending a training camp with the New York Jets.
    "I've definitely been around," Bigby, 30, said.
    That is not necessarily true of the other three spokes in the projected starting defensive backfield ---- Quentin Jammer, Eric Weddle and Antoine Cason ---- who were all high draft picks of the Chargers and have spent their entire careers in San Diego.
    Jammer, a 10-year veteran, said that Bigby has the experience to manage any challenges that he might face fitting in with the other members of the secondary who have only known the Chargers way.
    It's simply a matter of learning a new system, Jammer said, something Bigby's highly tuned gridiron GPS is equipped to do.
    "He's doing a great job," Jammer said. "He's picked it up really, really fast. Just picking up the defense, learning to play with guys he really doesn't know.
    "But that's what minicamp and all the OTAs and training camp are for. So he can learn where to be and how the guys that he's playing with play."
    After being signed by the Dolphins out of Central Florida, Bigby was cut prior to the start of the preseason then promptly picked up by the Jets.
    The Jets, in turn, released him during their final roster cutdown that year. But Bigby latched on with Green Bay and played there until signing with Seattle as a free agent in 2011.
    His most productive years with the Packers came in 2007, when he started all 16 games, and 2009, when he made 11 starts. He intercepted nine passes in those two seasons. A shoulder injury cut short his 2008 campaign, and two years ago he was slowed by ankle surgery.
    Last year with the Seahawks, he appeared in 15 games, starting two, and had 18 tackles split between defense and special teams.
    "A lot of the stuff that's going on, I can relate (to)," Bigby said after the first of two practices Tuesday. "I'm picking it up fast. For me, it's been good. It's been a natural transition for me, playing with Eric, a guy that's very smart and he's a team player. So he's been helping me and we've been jelling well."
    Following the afternoon workout, Bigby and Weddle chatted like old friends as they came off the practice field together.
    "My boy," Weddle said, grinning broadly, when Bigby's name was brought up.
    "Honestly," Weddle continued, "he's come in and been a great teammate, great friend. He's been open, hasn't really put up any guards in a sense, which is awesome. He's come in with open arms and really thrown himself into it. It's been great. I'm excited for him."
    Bigby was easy to identify in his knit rasta hat during the morning walkthrough, which was conducted without helmets or pads. He said the recent series of organized team activities, which preceded this week's minicamp, have been invaluable for him, as he goes about fitting into the established position group.
    "This is my first time doing all the OTA's since probably 2008," Bigby said. "It's good for me, you know, learning the system and the guys and the town and everything."
    Bob Sanders, Steve Gregory and Paul Oliver were the Chargers' strong safety starters last year. None of them are on the roster this season.
    The Chargers did select strong safety Brandon Taylor in the third round of this year's draft.
    "I've played with a lot of safeties over the last five years," Weddle said. "And it's just nice to get a veteran in here who has played a lot and seen things and can go out and play at a high level."

    Et cetera
    The Chargers announced the signing of John Cullen, a rookie free agent offensive tackle from Utah. He was on the practice field for the first day of minicamp. ... The Chargers formally placed RB LaDainian Tomlinson on the reserve-retired list.
  3. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

    Oct 28, 2009
    Nice culottes. ;)
  4. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

    Weddle chimes in ...

    by Dan McLellan, CBSSports.com
    The Chargers have added 16 veteran free agents this offseason. Coming out of OTAs and minicamp, FS Eric Weddle believes the competition for roster spots will be fierce this season. “There are going to be a lot of players on the outside looking in,” Weddle said. “That is because of how many good players we have on this team right now. That is what you want as a team. You bring competition in and it makes the team better. There is obviously going to be tough cuts in the end.”​
    14 hours ago CBSSports.com

    Weddle says he and teammates will work through break
    by Dan McLellan, CBSSports.com
    With the conclusion of minicamp the players are now off until training camp begins in late July. “You have to be smart about it and you have to be mature,” FS Eric Weddle said. “There really isn’t days off anymore once you get a couple years into the league. You just don’twant to lose what you have gained over the last few months, where you are at physically. You don’t want to take a step back by taking a couple of weeks off and then get into training camp, because that is when you get injuries.”
  5. CoronaDoug

    CoronaDoug Official Hater

    Feb 14, 2007
    Atari Bigby can always go back to acting.



    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

    Jul 11, 2006
    Is that the magic in the air I feel, or just a bad case of methanol pressure relief?

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