As Vince Lombardi once said, “Individual commitment to a group effort– that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” This ‘Win as One’ philosophy has been around for centuries but those attending training camp are finally feeling the unity on the Chargers roster.
We caught up with Manti Teo, Jacoby Jones, Denzel Perryman, Lardarius Green and Craig Watts to find out their real thoughts on San Diego, training camp and their teammates going into the season.
One of the leads behind encouraging unity is clearly Manti Teo. “We want to build this culture around here so that when we walk on the field that we are going to dominate…together,” he said. “The linebacker corps chemistry is better then ever. We hang out all the time. We’re very business oriented, but we have fun. It’s a good feeling.” Teo is also energized about the addition of Denzel Perryman, “The addition of Denzel is great. We’re all young players, we’re all hungry, and we’re all excited. Everybody looks good.”
In addition to Teo’s commitment to the group, Jacoby Jones has clearly embraced his new team. ” It’s fun you know, the fan support is amazing especially during camp. I think I’m doing well but then we also got Jahleel (Addae), Keenan (Allen), Melvin (Gordon) out here. To be real all of our CBs are tough. I’ve got to see them drive every day. But that makes the best cornerback in the end.”
Jones also explained quite well how his whole Dancing with the Stars experience has helped him in football. ” I learned some footwork. I am going to save my dance moves and bring Bolt’s fans a lot of goofiness, a little swagger, and some excitement.”
The other newbie fitting right into the mix is University of Miami product, Perryman. When asked about what vet linebacker has really stepped in as a mentor, #52 said, “ Actually, all of them have given me good advice. More of how to be a pro, what to eat, what not eat.”
The rookie may be also dishing out advice about his toy at Chargers park. The second round pick has made national news for rolling around camp on a Segway to save his legs. Good news, it looks to be working. This linebackers hits are hard and memorable. “My father told me that whatever I touch, gets knocked down. Also to fight with a clean mind and that’s why I go out there and hope everybody feels good. My dad has been mostly my coach my whole life. I just have to give him credit.” It’s clear Perryman should be the obvious full time starter if he keeps the hard knock mentality.
Here’s a look at the other key pieces that have showed up at Chargers Park so far:
The usual team captains looked to be stepping up as expected. Philip Rivers and Eric Weddle‘s contract talks are the only thing that could be a slight distraction for the veterans, but they clearly deserve to get paid.
Flash Gordon’s wheelz have been burning rubber, while Brandon Oliver and Danny Woodhead. First round pick Gordon had the fans chanting as he will the majority of the offensive carries due to his road runner wheels. While Oliver and Woodhead are seem to be used, as expected, as blocking and catching backs.
If Keenan Allen keeps making crazy catches, he will make his daughter proud. The proud new papa has shown a softer side this offseason after the birth of his daughter. However, on the field he has been going hard. “I feel like I’m so far ahead of where I was when I first came in, as far as, knowing the game and what we want as an offense,” Allen said. A typical 3rd year widereciever breakout season looks favorable and is expected of #13.
Brandon Flowers looks like a leader and Jason Verrett a winner. The Bolts defense looks like it will be in the top 10 once again this season with the likes of these two. Watching the cornerbacks at camp makes us believe they could come out to be the best in the league.
If the camaraderie continues to translate onto the field the ‘me’ will keep turning into ‘we.’ Then the ‘we’ into wins. So, in the words of Jacoby Jones, “I am geeked up on another level for the season.”
PHOTOS: Jourdan Johnson
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