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Ladarius Green Making Presence Felt

Posted Nov 18, 2013

In his second season, Ladarius Green is making his presence felt for the Chargers.

Ladarius Green has made one thing known in his sophomore year in the NFL; when the ball gets in his hands, good things happen.

At 6-6, 240-pounds, he’s quickly making his presence felt with big play after big play. After appearing in only four games as a rookie, Green is blossoming before the Bolts very eyes.  In 10 games this year, he has caught 11 balls for 229 yards, averaging a gaudy 20.8 yards per catch.  His best game came Sunday against the Dolphins with an impressive four reception, 81-yard effort.  Both were career highs for the Louisiana-Lafayette product. 

Over the course of the season, Philip Rivers has learned that when he gives number 89 a chance to make a play, he’ll usually be rewarded. 

“It was just some of the way those plays came up,” Rivers said. “We know what he’s capable of and he’s going to continue to have a role for us in the passing game and in the running game. He was big for us with a couple of big catches.”

On numerous occasions this year, Rivers hasn’t been shy about the talents of Green.  Hearing those words of praise and knowing he has his quarterback’s trust means a lot to last year’s fourth round pick.  Still, whenever the spotlight shines on Green, he is quick to point out that he isn’t satisfied with the status quo and is looking to constantly improve.

“It’s always great to have the quarterback’s trust,” he said. “But like I’ve said, I’ve still got a long way to go.  I’ve still got a lot more to learn.”

Ahead of Green on the depth chart is one of the best tight ends the league has ever seen in Antonio Gates.  The 23-year old second year player considers Gates a mentor, but what is equally impressive is the way he’s impressed the future Hall of Famer.

“Just his contribution this year, he has definitely upgraded from last year,” Gates said. “We need him. We need him to continue to upgrade and continue like he has been doing these last couple of weeks…He definitely has a bright future in this league.”

With Green and Gates on the field together, the Chargers deploy two mismatches at the tight end position that puts a lot of pressure on the defense.  That reasoning went into the thinking when the Bolts were game planning for the Dolphins.

“This week we thought with personnel groups with Ladarius and Gates in, there were different variations of all the tight ends playing that there was good opportunity the way they were going to play us, personnel wise, and mismatches that we thought we could take advantage of,” Head Coach Mike McCoy said. “And it’s great to see a guy like that make the most out of his opportunity.”

Still, despite his success, Green is as humble a player as you’ll meet in the NFL.  He is taking his success in stride as he aims for an even brighter future than the one he’s already showing glimpses of having.

“I’m a little more comfortable, but I’ve still got a long way to go,” he said. “I’ve especially got a lot more to learn from (Gates)….I still have to get more comfortable.  I still have to get better route running.  Like I said, I’ve still got a long way to go. I’ve got a lot more to learn.”

 

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