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Isaac Rochell: From Practice Squad to Key Contributor

San Fransisco 49ers at Los Angeles Chargers on Saturday, September 30, 2018 in Carson, CA. Final score: 27-29. (Eddie Perlas/Chargers)

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Defensive end Isaac Rochell was Tuesday’s guest on the sixth episode of the Backstage: Chargers Podcast presented by Toyota.

In five games this season, Rochell has 12 total tackles, one sack and his first-ever interception. The second-year player from Notre Dame has started three games after spending much of 2017 on the practice squad.

Among the topics in a wide-ranging conversation: stepping up early in place of Joey Bosa, playing football at Notre Dame, the reasons behind his disciplined diet, off-the-field hobbies, healthy social media habits and more. Highlights from the conversations are below.

On how Bosa’s injury has accelerated the process of being a professional:

“You look at this first regular season game against Kansas City I started. If you look at it just from the simplest perspective, four regular season games earlier I was just coming to the facility as a practice squad guy. Four games later, I’m starting, so it definitely accelerates the process. Again, it’s part of the process and there’s just so much growth that comes from those types of situations.”

On going from practice squad player to consistent contributor:

“It is really cool now to be where I’m at now where I’m contributing more and I’m in the rotation doing things, and definitely I feel like I’m more of a member of the team than I did last year. I tell practice squad guys now it’s really easy when you’re in that practice squad position to feel like a walk-on. Like, you just feel like you’re kind of there, but you don’t really feel like, ‘Man, like I’m a part of this team. I’m a part of us winning,’ which you are – hard to feel that way, though. So, now it just feels really good to (be) like, ‘Alright, this is my team. Let’s ride. Let’s win these games. Let’s win a Super Bowl,’ and you just have so much more pride.”

On his #SeeYouOnSunday initiative:

“So, #SeeYouOnSunday is kind of an initiative where I really want people to just start talking about what it means to be healthy on social media. I think a lot of people – myself included – just kind of indulge without thinking about how much time we’re wasting on an app; without thinking about what the emotional repercussions of being on an app for an extended period of time are. So, I just have the goal of having people start talking about it. So, what I’ve done is just – I’ve started interviewing people. I’ve started having people send in videos. I’ve started posting statistics just about social media and for some people, in their interviews, they’re not talking about negative things. But it’s just different perspectives of social media and the goal is for people to see that and start thinking about what their perspective is."

Subscribe to the Backstage: Chargers Podcast presented by Toyota on Apple Podcasts. A five-star rating/review is appreciated and will help spread the word to other fans during the regular season. The Backstage: Chargers Podcast posts each Tuesday and is also available on Stitcher, TuneIn or Google Play.

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