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What a strange trip it's Binn at long snapper

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Johnny Lightning, Oct 16, 2010.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006

    By Chris Jenkins
    Friday, October 15, 2010 at 4:40 p.m.

    Back in the immediate aftermath of the Chargers’ first victory, a defeat of the Jacksonville Jaguars , David Binn walked through the locker room in street clothes that he’d worn throughout the game. For the first time since 1998 -- including a team-record 179 consecutive starts -- Binn had not played.
    “Surreal, weird,” Binn said that afternoon. “You know “The Christmas Story,’ where the ghost is taking the guy around to look at his life and says, “You’re no longer here’? That’s what it was like.”
    Since then, the story has only gotten stranger, even downright freakish. After 16-plus years with Binn as pretty much the only long snapper they needed _ or seemingly would need for the rest of time _ the Chargers have gone through three different replacements.
    Sunday at St. Louis, they’ll have yet another one in rookie Mike Windt, signed after the Monday release of Ethan Albright . Binn’s first two replacements, James Dearth and Ryan Neill, both have gone on injured reserve.
    “At one point, we had three long snappers in the training room at the same time, talking shop,” said Binn, grinning. “As a long snapper, you don’t get to do that a lot.”
    Had the Chargers known they’d go through so many guys in Binn’s place -- especially given the extraordinary erraticness they’ve had on special teams the first five games -- they might not have placed him on season-ending IR in the first place and hoped for a mid- or late-season return.
    While recovering from his hamstring issue, Binn has been helping out in his usual ways in practice, acting as quarterback in drills with running backs and receivers.

    Crayton time?
    When he was a Dallas Cowboys rookie and second-year player, Patrick Crayton had to wait his turn in the receiving corps, and moving up the receiving depth chart sometimes meant someone else was injured. Thirty-one years old, he’s now sort of going through the same thing in his first season with the Chargers.
    “You know, it’s going to happen in time,” said head coach Norv Turner of Crayton's prospects for more plays. “But right now there are some guys that Philip (Rivers) has been throwing to for years, and we are moving Malcom (Floyd) around, (so) he is getting more and more catches.”
    The listing of Legedu Naanee as doubtful for Sunday _ he missed the week of practice with a hamstring issue _ may mean more activity for the veteran who joined the Chargers in trade at the outset of the regular season. Crayton has just five receptions, albeit for 94 yards, to show for the four games he’s played with San Diego. Three of those came in the loss at Seattle three weeks ago.
    “My role here was a little different (than anticipated),” said Crayton. “Being myself, being such a competitiror, I anticipated coming in here right away and getting involved. But it’s a process. It’s taken a little longer than I thought, that’s all.”
    St. Louis would seem a decent opportunity. The Rams are bound to devote more defensive focus to Floyd, who had a career day with 213 yards receiving at Oakland, which may open up the field for Crayton. According to both him and Turner, it’s mostly a matter of the new receiver developing a familiarity with Rivers.
    “Day by day, we’re getting closer and closer,” said Crayton. “ He’s getting to know how I come out of my break a certain way and I’m learning to run to where he wants to throw the ball. It’s a constant work in progress.”

    Mathews, Davis ready
    Running back Ryan Mathews and wide receiver Buster Davis each are probable for the Rams game after taking part in practice again Friday.
    “I think (Mathews) is doing well,” said Turner. “I’m looking forward to getting to where we have that kind of rhythm where he gets more of a load.”
    Along with Naanee, linebacker Brandon Siler was listed as doubtful to play. His foot injury kept him out of drills all week.

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