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Feeling nostalgic: Charger’s looking good so far!

Created: 09 August, 2013
Updated: 13 September, 2023
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3 min read

Quarterback Philip Rivers at Charger’s Fanfest. Photo courtesy of San Diego Charger website..
Quarterback Philip Rivers at Charger’s Fanfest. Photo courtesy of San Diego Charger website..

I had the chance to attend the Chargers Fanfest last week as a “legend” — Legend being that you get to sit in a tent and sign autographs with other old players, in my case my tent was inhabited by myself, Billy Ray Smith and John Carney.

The one hour autograph session wasn’t bad even considering the heat and the reminders of my age –Is 46 really that old or am I kidding myself into thinking I don’t look as bad as some of these other guys?

After the hour of autographs I was able to take my two sons and some of their friends from school onto the field to watch practice-It was my second time this summer seeing a practice and a few things always stick out.

Owner Dean Spanos is much nicer to me now than he was when I played.

Larry English will always be second team no matter how many outside pass –rushers get hurt or sign with other teams. I am guessing the new staff figured out as quickly as the old staff that he is a bust.

King Dunlap– seemed like the biggest human being I have ever seen when he walked past me onto the field- I felt like the kid from the movie Real Steel when the Robot Zeus entered the arena past him. I really doubt he can be that effective in the NFL of today with the kind of speed that comes off the edge. Being from Philadelphia I am a lifelong Eagles fan- I still can’t shake the visual of Dunlap giving up three sacks in a matter of minutes against the 49’ers. I don’t feel comfortable with him protecting Rivers blind side .Rivers does not flee and move like Michael Vick –Dunlap could prove to be a disaster for the Chargers.

The whole production of the NFL is so much larger than I remember-probably because it is.

# 10 second year receiver Mike Willie looked strong and caught everything thrown in his direction even when being mugged like a twenty year old blonde Filner Aid.

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Manti Te’o was a lot bigger than I thought he would be and looked ok as long as he wasn’t trying to cover Gates.

There is hardly any full speed physical contact in camp anymore. Before the Collective Bargaining Agreement or CBA –standard camp practice was three times a day-two in full pads (hitting) and one in shorts and shoulder pads. Now it is one practice a day and the most contact you see is between the receivers and corner backs.

I don’t know if it was the nostalgic atmosphere of just the feel of a fresh new beginning but things seemed upbeat and promising around Charger Park. With that I am going to temporarily buy into the local hype, I say local simply because anyone outside of San Diego considers us to be the NFL’s version of a Journeyman at best. ESPN Pre-Season Power Rankings have the Chargers at #22 behind the likes of the Chiefs – Panthers –Dolphins and Buccaneers-on the bright side we are still projected higher than the Raiders at #29

I can still remember the dark days when all that we could hope for was to be higher than the Raiders –let’s hope those days are gone forever.

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