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Which Young Receiver is Getting Noticed?
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Friday’s practice marks the end of the first week of Chargers training camp.
As always, players’ stock will rise and fall as they look to earn a spot on the 53-man roster.
There are always unheralded players who turn heads, and Head Coach Mike McCoy singled out one such wide receiver on Thursday.
“Isaiah (Burse), it’s been great to see how he is playing right now.”
This training camp marks the wideout’s third since joining the Denver Broncos as an undrafted free agent in 2014. He appeared in 12 games for the Broncos that season, seeing the majority of action at punt returner.
Aiming to make a name for himself with the Bolts, Burse credits his strong first week of practice with a renewed approach from his first two training camps.
“I’m just trying to have fun this year,” he said. “I’m trying to not worry or stressing myself out about trying to make the squad. I know my abilities, so I’m trying to have fun and win (when I’m out there). It’s been working. It’s a different approach but it’s been better for me.
Burse joined the Bolts last November as a member of the practice squad, and McCoy believes his time in Denver aided his adjustment to the Chargers offense.
“I think having been in the system in Denver a little bit, the terminology and things before he came here, having been with Peyton (Manning) and knowing the way certain things are done in the system at times (has helped),” the head coach continued. “He did a nice job for us through the season when he was here and then in the offseason programs and it’s like anything else; the more you are in a system, the more reps you get, the faster you are going to play (and) you are going to see him making plays.”
While Burse agrees with his head coach, he also believes his time going against the Bolts at practice last year helped prepare him as well.
“I was going against the best out there in Jason Verrett. Then going against Brandon Flowers and that defense; it makes you better. When you go out there you have that mindset that if you can compete against these guys, you can compete against anybody. You can go out and make plays no matter who is in front of you. So being on the practice squad definitely boosted my confidence going against those guys each day.”
In order to secure a spot on the final roster, the Fresno State product knows he also has to show out on special teams. He had 29 punt returns for Denver for 211 yards (7.3 yards per carry). In addition to his punt return skills, Burse is dangerous bringing back kickoffs as well. He had 126 kickoff returns for 2,835 yards over his collegiate career with the Bulldogs.
“I know they are looking at me as a punt returner and kickoff returner, too. To make the team, I have to be able to do those things, and that’s fine. If that’s how I’ve got to make the team, that’s how it is. But I do think people (underestimate) my wide receiver ability as well. I can do a lot of things people haven’t seen. I can play wide receiver outside and in the slot, but I can also play running back if they need. I don’t think the coaches even know that! But it’s fine. I’ll battle, play my cards, and however they play out they’ll play out.” Read