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Linebacker Camaraderie Beneficial for Attaochu
Attaochu has greatly enjoyed his warm San Diego welcome as well as the past few days at training camp, especially the padded practices.
“(In pads) you can go full speed…you can go game speed and you can play without a break,” Attaochu said. “But it’s been fun. Just getting to work with these guys and getting the older guys to help (me) with being a rookie. I’m just trying to embrace it knowing that everybody’s gone through it.”
Two players who have gone through it are veteran linebackers Jarret Johnson and Dwight Freeney, who have taken on mentoring roles with Attaochu.
The linebacker corps is one of the Chargers’ deepest positions. The wealth of knowledge each player brings to the room is immense and Attaochu is thankful for their guidance, including some recent rookies.
“The younger guys, Manti (Te’o) (and) Melvin (Ingram), who’ve come in as rookies more recently are fresher as to what I need to transition,” he said. “The linebacker room is a collective thing. They’re helping all the guys in the room. Talking to us, telling us little details about our game, things they’ve seen in their careers that can help us out.”
Despite being a standout player for the Yellow Jackets, Attaochu knows if he wants to generate pass rush in the NFL, he’s going to have to bypass some of the league’s biggest offensive linemen. Who better to practice against than D.J. Fluker and King Dunlap?
“(Those guys) are as big as it gets so (I’m) working my techniques against that. Trying to get around those guys…they’re like mountains.”
Attaochu said his key to getting past some of the league’s biggest players is to play to one’s individual strength. Attaochu’s? Speed.
“I’m helping them too, trying to give them what I have in my speed…we’re just trying to make each other better.”
Attaochu says he’s seen improvement in his ability to pick up the Bolts’ defense from rookie minicamp through OTAs and now training camp. Still, he knows he needs some time before the defense becomes a cerebral concept. But if his evolution as a player thus far is indicative of his teammates’ help, he’s well on his way toward accomplishing that feat.