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Versatile Wilson finding his niche

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, May 21, 2009.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    [​IMG]

    Casey Pearce
    Posted May 20, 2009

    The Chargers believe veteran tight end Kris Wilson can help them in several different ways.

    Earlier this week, Chargers Head Coach Norv Turner was asked to clarify what position Kris Wilson[​IMG] plays.

    “He’s a tight end,” Turner said, referring to how the sixth-year pro is listed on the team’s roster and depth chart.

    But that doesn’t fully tell the story.

    “I do a little bit of everything,” Wilson said Wednesday following the team’s third Offseason Coaching Session.

    That’s what helped land the veteran in San Diego last September, and it’s what will likely keep him with the Chargers this fall. While predominately a tight end, the 6-2, 251-pound Wilson has started 23 games at fullback during his career. He’s also played H-back and excelled on special teams.

    “He’s a very versatile guy,” Turner said. “He’s got a chance to help us because he can do on-line stuff and he can move around.”

    Wilson began his NFL career as a second-round draft pick in Kansas City where he spent four seasons. When he reached free agency, he chose to join his hometown Philadelphia Eagles, a move that didn’t work out well.

    According to Wilson, the tight end role was greatly reduced in Philadelphia last year, and the Eagles released him following training camp. Two days later, Wilson signed with the Chargers. He was inactive for the first 13 weeks of the season, but ran with the scout team in practice and learned the offense.

    “It was different jumping into the mix in September,” Wilson said. “A lot of the learning of the offense goes on this time, during the spring and summer. Plus, when you’re playing on a talented football team, you just have to earn your way out there. I came in with the attitude that I was going to work hard and start over.”

    Wilson’s first game action with the Chargers came in Week 14, which was also his first trip back to Kansas City. He was active the final three weeks of the regular season and started both of the Chargers’ playoff games as the team opened in a two-tight end set.

    “He got more comfortable with what we were doing as the year went along,” Turner said. “Because of some injuries he was able to contribute on special teams. He’s really a good special teams player, so we had him up and active so we’re able to get him a couple plays on the offensive side.”

    Wilson hopes that year two of his Chargers tenure brings even more opportunities. He feels much more comfortable in the offense and is excited about the possibility of using his wide range of talents.

    “I’m learning a lot of different things,” Wilson said. “You never know what they’re going to ask you to go out there and do. I’m just thankful that the coaches are finding different ways to get me involved and giving me a chance to show that I can do different things.”

    “I’m just happy to be on the field, playing special teams and complementing what (Antonio) Gates and Brandon (Manumaleuna) do.”
     
  2. RM24

    RM24 BoltTalker

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    That's awesome since we are building up this team with solid vets like Wilson top to bottom. That's the mark of a championship team when you have versatile vets like him coming in and making their mark as a backup or on special teams. Here's more info on Kris Wilson from when Philly signed him just last year:

    LINK

    Eagles Sign TE, Fan Wilson To 3-Year Deal

    (March, 2008, last year)

    By: CHRIS McPHERSON

    Born in Harrisburg and a product of J.P. McCaskey High School in Lancaster, Kris Wilson grew up an Eagles fan. Now, he'll get a chance to suit up for his favorite team.

    Wilson became the fifth free agent to sign with the Eagles this offseason when he signed a three-year deal Wednesday joining Asante Samuel, Chris Clemons, Dan Klecko and Rocky Boiman. A second-round pick of the Kansas City Chiefs in 2002, the versatile Wilson has caught 42 passes for 345 yards and four touchdowns as a tight end, H-back and a fullback. Even though he started 12 games for the Chiefs as a fullback last season, the 6-2, 251-pound Wilson will battle for a spot in the tight end rotation.

    "I definitely wanted to go somewhere where we're going to win games," said Wilson at his introductory press conference at the NovaCare Complex. "Everybody knows that in this business, winning is everything. Also, being in a good offense, a balanced attack that can kill you with the run and kill you with the pass. Being close to home, I'm a Pennsylvania boy. I grew up in the area. I still live in the area, although I live in New Jersey now. I grew up an Eagles fan."

    Aware that the Eagles tagged L.J. Smith as their franchise player, used a fifth-round pick on promising Brent Celek just last year and have veteran Matt Schobel in the fold, Wilson doesn't care about the numbers game. He just wants the chance to compete.

    "I'm here to play football, compete, and to try to get a chair in the room," said Wilson. "My strengths are stretching the field, catching the ball, beating defenders one-on-one, mixing it up and blocking guys; a lot of the all-around things that tight ends do. I think, at the tight end position, you have to be a jack of all trades. I think that I can mix it up and do a number of things on the field."

    After hauling in 88 receptions for 1,431 yards and 15 touchdowns as a four-year starter at Pitt, the Chiefs couldn't shy away from Wilson's athletic ability even though they had All-Pro Tony Gonzalez on the roster. Wilson turned heads in training camp, but a broken leg prematurely ended his rookie year. He battled back and became a role player filling in wherever necessary - primarily on special teams. But when injuries forced a need at fullback, Wilson learned the new position and was able to start in 22 games over the past two seasons.

    "I knew that I was a versatile player. When I made the transition to fullback, I wasn't sure exactly how it was going to go, but it went well. I felt good about it," said Wilson. "I've made a living knowing how to do a number of things. We all know that in this business, the more you can do, the better off you are. For me, it's just another tool in my belt."

    The opportunity to play tight end may have been limited because of Gonzalez, but Wilson learned plenty from him during his four years in Kansas City.

    "Professionalism, most of all. Knowing how to come to work and kind of leaving everything else behind," said Wilson. "Do your job. Like (Chiefs head coach) Herm Edwards says, 'Know your role and do your job.' I think on and off the field, Tony is a professional. He knows how to get it done. He knows how to prepare to get it done. Those are some of the things I picked up from him."

    Wilson remembers getting up on Sunday mornings to watch Golic's Got It. He used to aspire to play on the same level as Randall Cunningham and Fred Barnett and Keith Byars. Now, he's a Philadelphia Eagle in his own right with a great chance to make an impact wherever it may be needed - on offense or special teams.
     
  3. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

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    I was wondering about our depth at the position, so thanks for the info. I getting more and more confident about the outcome of next season.
     

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