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Rookies Revved Up for Minicamp Debut
There will be 33 young Chargers out on the field this afternoon, and for each and every one of them, whether it is first round pick D.J. Fluker or an undrafted free agent, the moment marks the culmination of a lifelong dream.
That was the common theme yesterday when players arrived at Chargers Park for the team’s rookie mini camp. The three day session serves to introduce the players to the NFL, but most importantly, it serves as the official introduction into the Chargers organization. .
“It’s going to be amazing just to be on the field,” said Steve Williams, who had a big smile on his face. “It’s going to be a great moment. I’m proud I get to put on that jersey. I’ll cherish the moment, but I’m focusing on making plays. I want to show the coaches, and my teammates, that I’m a physical guy. That I can run, jump and cover pretty much anybody on the field.”
Sixth round pick Tourek Williams is particularly eager. Not only is it his first practice as a Charger, but it will also be the first time he lines up as an outside linebacker rather than defensive end, which he played his entire college career.
“I’ve always been a defensive end but I don’t mind moving to outside linebacker and showing my versatility,” he said. “I’ve been working out at both defensive end and linebacker since January. I had a couple little bugs in my ear telling me I might be drafted as an outside linebacker. So I’ve been working on my drops, catching the football and getting better doing linebacker stuff.”
Besides the team’s six draft choices, the team has 20 rookie free agents who will also be hitting the field. As noted earlier this week, the Chargers have a rich history when it comes to undrafted free agents. One such player, Malcom Floyd, has some advice to give to all 20 of them.
“Just be humble,” he said. “Study the playbook, be confident, work hard and listen to the coaches. If they do that, everything will fall into place.”
Another quality they possess is the chip-on-their-shoulder motivation to prove themselves after having not been drafted, which is exactly what Kwame Geathers is doing.
“I definitely have a chip on my shoulder,” said the 6-foot-6, 335-pound defensive tackle out of Georgia. “I want to show I’m a hard worker and I’m hungry for this job. I’m going to go to work. I’m going to compete for a spot on this roster, and I have a very, very big chip on my shoulder.”
Also worth noting are five players who will be participating that aren’t rookies. They include Edwin Baker, Dan DePalma, Logan Harrell, Fozzy Whittaker and Mike Willie. The quintet is able to participate due to each having received zero pension credits during their career. They too will be aiming to impress as much as any of the rookies. Read