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Jerry Attaochu Eyes Growth in 2015
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No longer the rookie, outside linebacker Jerry Attaochu is relishing his role as a second year player on the Chargers’ defense.
A year ago, Attaochu entered minicamp bracing for the unknown. He was the new kid on the block trying to find his role on defense and contribute in any way he can. Now, with a full NFL season under his belt, number 97 said being comfortable has made all the difference with this season’s minicamp.
“It’s been a change of worlds,” Attaochu said. “Being a part of the whole offseason program, knowing the flow of practice, knowing the playbook to a T and working with your teammates; it’s been a world of a difference. It’s been a lot of fun. The guys really came together on defense and that’s really important.”
As for what’s specifically changed for him, Attaochu said he’s seen a lot of growth in his demeanor. He’s taken extra steps to improve his relationships with his teammates on the field by means of communication.
“Communicating with my defensive linemen is priceless,” he said. “Getting that camaraderie with your teammates is better than anything.”
Attaochu said knowing his teammates and the year under his belt has helped him become a more vocal player. He feels comfortable conversing with the defense about making more plays.
“(The outside linebacker room is) very smart and young but in a way, mentally experienced,” Attaochu added. “Being with a lot of (experienced) guys (on defense), we have an older demeanor in the meeting room. All those good things (they teach us) rub off.”
Learning from his peers is something Attaochu hasn’t taken for granted. He’s personally put in more effort to push himself thanks to what he’s seen with his teammates.
“Starting in January and into training, Melvin (Ingram) and everybody else came in to get in great shape. Everybody’s a little leaner and faster. I appreciated it because when we were working out it pushed me a little more.”
Attaochu’s rookie campaign ended with him playing in 11 games notching 10 total tackles, one pass defended and two sacks. He’s taking the knowledge he learned last season and is ready to put it towards 2015. One thing in particular is never letting the good games get to his head and the bad games weigh him down.
As for 2015, his main goal is to stay healthy to compete all season long.
“(I want to put) everything I have into every game this year. Play all 16 games and know that I’m going to make a lot of plays.” Read