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First opener for Sperry

Posted Sep 8, 2011

Tight end Kory Sperry played 15 NFL games in his first two seasons as a borderline roster guy. Much improved, he’ll get a chance to experience his first regular-season opener Sunday.

SAN DIEGO – Kory Sperry, one of the most improved players on the Chargers roster, knew something had to change.

He saw the field in his first two seasons for Miami and San Diego but in a limited role, catching seven passes for 104 yards. Always athletic, Sperry packed more muscle onto his 6-foot-5 frame and focused on blocking, which he referred to as “a huge weakness.”

Sperry met with Nick Hardwick, Kris Dielman and Jeromey Clary during the summer to get advice on footwork and fundamentals.

“For someone who’s not real football-savvy it would be tough (to pick up), but Kory’s a football player,” Clary said. “He knows how to control his body. He understands leverage.

“It says a lot about him, how he cares. He realizes that he can make a huge impact on this team by being able to block and being able to catch second. That’s what we need around here is unselfishness and people to keep learning.”

As the third tight end, improved blocking might’ve earned him a roster spot and should help on special teams as well. Sperry still is a solid option as a pass-catcher.

“Some people have a rocky start and some people don’t,” Sperry said of his career arc. “I guess I had a rocky start but I was able to impress the coaches and stay around here. Now I’ve just got to keep going. It’s very important to get out there and earn the respect of your coaches and players so they trust you when you’re in the game.”

TDs to CURE HD: The Chargers are introducing a newly-formatted TDs to Cure HD program to help raise money for the Huntington’s Disease Society of America in its quest to find a cure for the fatal genetic brain disorder.

Joining is simple: just pledge between $2 and $20 for every Chargers touchdown. Each dollar will go to research and is tax-deductible. The more you pledge, the more benefits you get, including an exclusive visit to Chargers Park during training camp, player autographs and free tickets to the annual Shoot to Cure HD event.

It’s an easy way to root for the Chargers while contributing to a worthy cause. To sign up, please visit www.hdsandiego.org/spv-70.aspx.

CHANCE TO VOLUNTEER: Fans attending Sunday’s game against the Vikings at Qualcomm Stadium will have the opportunity to become a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) member in San Diego.

Fire and rescue personnel train and empower citizens to form effective CERT teams. CERT instructors also teach citizens to take life-saving action to help families, neighbors, businesses and communities get through the first few hours or days when emergency services are overwhelmed.

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