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Chargers confident in Dombrowski
SAN DIEGO – Aaron Kampman’s resurgence in Jacksonville was a storyline last week.
The ninth-year defensive end recovered from knee surgery to sack Denver’s Kyle Orton one and a half times and pressure him a handful of others.
Kampman’s name didn’t come up much Sunday in a 38-13 Chargers win. Part of that is due to left tackle Brandyn Dombrowski.
“You talk to the position coaches and they’d get into all this technique stuff. I tend to evaluate it pretty simply,” Head Coach Norv Turner said. “His guy has not gotten close to the quarterback.
“Kampman is a very good rusher. I think they felt they could take advantage of that situation and it obviously worked to our advantage. I can just see his confidence growing right now and I think each quarter he plays in a more physical manner in the run game.”
Not one to say much to his credit or detriment or to offer a glimpse of whether or not he feels the weight of getting thrust into the starting left tackle role three seasons after he signed as an undrafted free agent guard, Dombrowski has said he doesn’t pay attention to the reaction surrounding his play.
He’d have to search hard to find something negative said about him through two games.
“The last couple weeks he’s been doing an outstanding job,” Antonio Gates said. “Trust me, we definitely commend him and it’s not overlooked.
“It’s hard to come in and play in this league and play consistent whether you’re a starter or you’re a guy that’s filling a role. We said all along that we’re asking guys to step up and make plays. That’s the strength of (our team).”
IN RANGE: While it’s unlikely he’ll reach the historic mark against Seattle this week, Gates is 11 catches shy of 500 for his career. He’d become the seventh tight end in NFL history to reach that mark two weeks after Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez, the all-time leader, caught his 1,000th pass.
Gates has caught at least 11 passes twice in his career. Seattle allowed 14 receptions to tight ends in its first two games, including eight to Vernon Davis of San Francisco.
Gates has reached a historic period in his career, ascending all-time lists seemingly with every catch months after signing a contract that will keep him in San Diego through 2015.
“It’s so far-fetched for me to even consider things such as all-time greats because I feel like I have so much football left. I’m just trying to consume all the positive reinforcement and just keep playing at a high level,” he said.
Rivers, who also is signed through 2015, refuted the notion that Gates was his “safety net” because Gates often is the primary receiver.
“(But) you know where he’s going to be and he’s certainly a guy over the last seven years you can count on,” Rivers said. “He continues to find ways to get open.”
GAME OF INTEL: Former San Diego quarterback Charlie Whitehurst now is the backup in Seattle.
Expect the Seahawks to ask him a few questions to see if they can gain an advantage, Turner said.
“He does know our personnel a little bit. Some of it will help them. Some of it might be too much information,” Turner said. “The one thing Charlie knows is that with us you’ve got to expect the unexpected and we’re going to have some things that they haven’t seen before and that he hasn’t seen before.”
GOOD SO FAR: All four AFC West teams won at least one game through Week 2 for the first time since 2002.
The Chiefs lead the division at 2-0 and every other team is 1-1. Turner isn’t surprised.
“I think all three of the other teams in our division have gotten better,” he said. “They’ve all been drafting in the top 10, and you draft good football players (there).”
PRACTICE WEATHER: Sunny, 69 degrees.
LONG-RANGE FORECAST: The current forecast for Sunday’s game in Seattle is a high of 71 degrees and a 50 percent chance of showers.