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Evaluating the Wide Receivers with WR Coach Nick Sirianni
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Over the coming weeks, we’ll be checking in with the Chargers’ position coaches and coordinators to get the inside scoop. We continue with Wide Receivers Coach Nick Sirianni.
Evaluating the Safeties with DB Coach Ron Milus
Evaluating the Cornerbacks with DB Coach Ron Milus
Evaluating the Tight Ends with TE Coach John McNulty
Evaluating the Running Backs with RB Coach Ollie Wilson
Evaluating the Special Teams with STC Craig Aukerman
Evaluating the Defensive Line with DL Coach Giff Smith
Evaluating the Offense with OC Ken Whisenhunt
Evaluating the Defense with DC John Pagano
Chargers.com: You are taking over the position this year after leading the quarterbacks for us in 2015. How much does your time coaching Philip Rivers help in your current position?
Chargers.com: What is your coaching philosophy when it comes to the wide receivers?
Sirianni: If you asked any of the receivers, they’ll tell you there are some things I have very specific talking points on. They will hear me say a lot that they need to beat press man coverage, and you’ve got to catch the ball in a crowd. When guys are in college, there is not as much press man coverage and fewer crowds as far as catching the ball with traffic around them. So they will hear me ask them a lot, ‘How are we going to beat press man-to-man coverage?’ That is what we are going to have to beat to beat Denver, and that is what we are going to have to beat to beat Kansas City and Oakland. And then at practice, you’ll see us working before and after practice catching on the side with me pulling at their arms. And then it’s also about how you get out of your breaks. I’ve probably said 1,000 times since we started that it is all about fundamentals and technique.
Chargers.com: Keenan Allen agreed to terms on a contract extension last week. He has had so much success in this league, but what do you think he needs to do to take his game to the next level?
Chargers.com: With his speed, Travis Benjamin brings something to the table we haven’t had in a long time. Have you noticed that already, and what kind of wrinkles can you add with a guy who runs like that?
Chargers.com: Stevie Johnson is the oldest vet on the team, and started last season off with a bang before getting hurt. What do you see his role being in 2016?
Chargers.com: Tyrell Williams came on strong at the end of last season. How has his offseason been, and is he taking those next steps?
Chargers.com: Whenever his number is called, Dontrelle Inman seems to rise to the occasion. How do you view him?
Chargers.com: Javontee Herndon got his first chance last season midway through the year. What do you need to see from Javontee for him to make the active roster Week 1?
Chargers.com: While he’s mainly known for his special teams ability, how has Isaiah Burse looked out there during OTAs?
Sirianni: He’s done a good job. I think Isaiah brings something to this group that is very unique, and his best skill is what I think is the most important skill for a wide receiver. That’s change of direction skill. You can be really fast, but you have to be able to change directions. You can have all the straight line speed, but if you can’t change directions, it’s hard to play wide receiver. Those DBs change directions really fast. So he has ultra-quick ability to change directions. He is a very quick player, and I know as a quarterback, it’s a very attractive quality to create separation from a defensive back.
Chargers.com: Finally, from Torrence Allen returning from injury to undrafted free agents like Dom Williams, DeAndre Reeves and Jamaal Jones, what will they need to do to earn a spot?
Sirianni: The first thing a young player needs to show a coach is simply knowing what to do. It’s so important to just know what to do, and how to do it. So know what your assignment is on this particular play, and know how you are going to use your techniques to accomplish that. I think that is how a young player grabs your attention. They do that with their movement skills, how to catch the football and being reliable. So that is what we are looking for.