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Vasquez will benefit from debut

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Johnny Lightning, Aug 24, 2009.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006

    Casey Pearce
    Posted Aug 24, 2009

    Chargers Head Coach Norv Turner saw a lot of good things for guard Louis Vasquez to build upon Saturday night, and the rookie felt the same way.

    Chargers guard Louis Vasquez[​IMG] got his first taste of live NFL football Saturday night and he walked away feeling good about much of his work, disappointed in some, but overall excited about his future.
    “I felt like I did some good things,” Vasquez said. “Obviously it’s not what I wanted it to be, but in my first game after missing some time, I think I held my own. There’s definitely some room to grow.”
    Head Coach Norv Turner gave a very similar review of his third-round pick’s play. He was encouraged with a lot of what he saw, but believes the practice time Vasquez missed with a foot injury was evident.
    “He did a lot of good things,” Turner said. “He was really coming on and really played at a high level, then he had the foot injury. He missed 10 days and he really took a step back in terms of the technique and understanding exactly what he needs to do. It hurt us on two or three plays, but when he did it the way he can do it, he was outstanding. I think the guy is going to be a very, very special player.”
    Vasquez counted the experience as a good one. He’ll have a chance to learn from his mistakes and he’ll draw from his playing time against Pro Bowl defensive tackle Darnell Dockett.
    “That guy has an incredible motor,” Vasquez said. “To compete against a Pro Bowler like that, it’s a good feeling.”
    The Texas Tech grad wasn’t surprised by anything that happened Saturday night in Phoenix, but he noted how different the game is at the NFL level and he’ll benefit from his first experience.

    “You can’t match game speed in practice at all, but it was what it expected,” Vasquez said. “I expect it to get faster as we move along into the season.”

    Rivers reaction

    News of Philip Rivers[​IMG]’ new contract broke roughly 30 minutes before the team took the field for the Chargers’ afternoon practice. When he arrived in the locker room to suit up for practice, he was greeted by a standing ovation. Another followed when he reached the field.

    “Somebody’s got to give him some type of hard time,” said tight end Antonio Gates[​IMG], who pulled a couple fun pranks on his good friend Monday. “We can’t just let you smooth sail through here when you sign a contract like that.”
    Rivers was prepared for the ribbing, and he heard comments about the new deal throughout practice.
    “You knew today was going to be interesting out on the field,” Rivers said. “The first pass was about as ugly as it gets so I heard some of the defensive guys chirping.”
    Following practice, several of Rivers’ teammates spoke of how happy they are for their quarterback and leader.
    “He’s a great guy,” Gates said. “I know that he has the passion for winning. We’re all happy for him and we’re happy that he’s here long term.”
    The congratulations from his teammates gave Rivers a huge sense of pride.
    “The one thing you really appreciate is you sense that the guys are excited for you,” Rivers said. “That means a lot. It’s the relationships with the teammates that you appreciate, and even with something like this, you don’t lose sight of what it’s all about.”

    English, Jackson return

    Rookie linebacker Larry English[​IMG] was back on the field Monday after missing more than a week with a hamstring injury. He and Turner are hopeful that barring any setbacks the team’s first-round draft pick will make his Chargers debut Saturday night in Atlanta.
    Wide receiver Vincent Jackson[​IMG] also returned after missing some time with a sprained finger. Turner said over the weekend that Jackson could have played in Arizona had it been a regular-season game. Guard Kynan Forney[​IMG], who has missed some time with a neck injury, practiced Monday as well.
    Linebacker Shawne Merriman[​IMG] rested, while defensive end Jacques Cesaire[​IMG] (calf) remains day-to-day and didn’t practice.

    Playing time

    Turner told his starters to prepare to play three quarters Saturday night, but he’s undecided if LaDainian Tomlinson[​IMG] will see action in a third-consecutive preseason contest.
    “It’s just looking at what we’ve done in the first two weeks, looking at what we’ve done in the run game and making the decision,” Turner said. “We’re not doing it just to do it. We’ve played LT in the first two games because I thought it would help him, I thought it would help the offensive line. If by the end of the week I think it’ll continue to help then he will play. If not, he won’t.”
    Tomlinson is pleased with the workload he received in the first two games. On Sunday he watched the tape each of the 12 carries, and he appreciated the chance to critique himself this time of year.

    “I thought at times I was a bit impatient,” Tomlinson said. “I think if I had been a little bit more patient at times, I think I could have maybe gained a few more yards out there. That’s what preseason is for.”

    Long trip

    If Turner had things his way, the Chargers would do without their Delta charter flights until September.
    “If they let me make the schedule we’d play all four games here,” Turner joked Monday.
    Saturday’s trip to Atlanta will mark the longest preseason trip since they visited the same venue in 2000. While it’s quite a haul, Turner believes it can benefit his young players.
    “Going across the country and taking a road trip is good for a lot of the guys on our football team because the young guys haven’t done it,” Turner said. From that standpoint it’s something positive.”

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