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Sun., Jul. 19, 2015 7:30 AM PDT
Meachem Ready for an Emotional Return
Robert Meachem is sure Sunday night’s game will be an emotional one as he returns to face the team he spent the first five years of his career with.
But just how emotional it will be remains to be seen.
“Honestly, I know it’s going to be emotional, but I couldn’t tell you (how much) right now,” he said following Wednesday’s practice. “It’s going to be one of those things I’ll see when I get there. I might be teary eyed, but I don’t know. I might be exhausted from overdoing it. I have no idea what I will feel like being on the other side. It’s like Jackie (Battle) said last week, I know all the people who work there. So it’s going to be a weird feeling. Half of the fans are worried sick. I know them, so it’s going to be a weird feeling, but I thank God for giving me the opportunity to do this.”
Meachem will be the first to admit he has had a slower start to the season than anticipated. Through four games, he has just six catches for 92 yards. In the four years prior to signing with San Diego, he hauled in 141 balls for 2,269 yards and 12 touchdowns. But to his credit, Meachem isn’t panicking as he understands that it takes time to build a rapport with a new quarterback, even one as talented as Philip Rivers.
“If I had a guy like Malcom (Floyd) who I’ve been around for eight or nine years with, he’d be my first option too,” he said. “But we’re getting there. Me and Eddie (Royal) are getting there.”
In fact, the speedy wide receiver thinks his coming out party could come as soon as this Sunday.
“(This week’s) not a bad setting for a big game,” said Meachem. “I think it’s a great setting for a big breakout game. I think it’s the best place to do it in because I don’t think the fans will boo. I think they honestly would cheer for a great breakout game. I had some great times there.”
Rivers agreed with his wide receiver, saying the two are on the verge of translating their success on the practice field into game action.
“There’s no apprehension there or hesitation,” said Rivers. “Last week we didn’t have too many opportunities. One I shouldn’t have thrown and the other we had a chance down the field. But it’s game to game. Who knows who it’s going to be this week.”
With so many new faces and free agent additions, the members of this year’s Chargers team are no strangers to facing off against a former squad. Fullback Le’ron McClain did so last week against the Kansas City Chiefs, and he has some advice for Meachem.
“I just told him not to turn it into a personal battle,” he said. “In the back of your head, you want to go out there and show them what they’re missing. But the most important thing is to get this team a win, and he knows that. You have to do whatever you can to produce for the team, and that’s the mindset he has to take.”
Luckily for the Bolts, as much as Meachem wants to have a breakout game, he knows it’s more important to come home with a 4-1 record rather than put up big numbers in a loss.
“The best news would be to come away with the win,” he said. “If I get to do something special in the process, that would be great. But I want to come away with a win.”