8:49 a.m. EST – The media room on the east side of Lucas Oil Stadium is packed with laptops, recorders and bodies, many of whom are discussing plane flights and power strips. We’re still awaiting the arrival of players, which will begin to trickle toward the three podiums in the next few hours.
For us on the West Coast, it’s early. My laptop read 5:15 a.m. when I booted it this morning. It might not help that the only nourishment I had yesterday was a cup of Auntie Anne’s cinnamon sugar nuggets and a steak burger in the Indianapolis airport.
10:35 a.m. EST – General Manager A.J. Smith talked with Sirius Radio this morning about several topics. Says the team will pursue C Nick Hardwick and will talk to G Kris Dielman about his future when the team returns from the Combine. Also confirms the team is “working our way through” medical issues with Marcus McNeill.
10:44 a.m. EST – Smith also says the team “would love” to have WR Vincent Jackson return. Doesn’t think using the franchise tag is a likely option because of the high price it would require, which would infringe on the Chargers’ other needs.
Smith admitted he “had some issues” with Jackson’s off-field behavior in the past, but “I’m comfortable with where we are now.” Says Jackson’s status with the Chargers likely depends on the market he and his agents feel they can get from other teams. San Diego still wants him at receiver.
11:19 p.m. EST – Spoke to John Spanos, director of college scouting, in the lobby at Lucas Oil Stadium.
“We want to get better at rushing the passer,” Spanos said. “I think if you look at this year’s draft class, there are a lot of talented pass rushers out there. It’s a pretty deep class.”
11:35 a.m. EST – Georgia P Drew Butler can become part of the second father-son NFL kicking specialist combo in history. Butler’s father, Kevin Butler, played 13 seasons for the Chicago Bears and Arizona Cardinals.
The only father-son NFL kickers? No, not the Gramatica family — English place-kickers Bobby and Ian Howfield.
1:39 p.m. EST – San Diego State P Brian Stahovich talked about the difference between a “degrading” 2-10 season as a freshman and winning a combined 17 games his last two years with the Aztecs.
Stahovich also has worked with Chargers P Mike Scifres, who gave him a basic lesson in Australian rules kicking. Says he would love to be in camp with San Diego.
2:28 p.m. EST – All the punters and kickers have come through the media room, along with a few handfuls of offensive linemen. Still, it’s been slow. That usually means a deluge is around the corner.
2:48 p.m. EST – Kalil on declaring for the NFL as a junior: “I’ve done all I can at USC. I was All-American. I won the Morris Trophy. It was definitely time for me to move on and take my skills to the next level.”
4:02 p.m. EST – Pittsburgh G Luke Nix: “I used to be missing my two front teeth up until two years ago. My mom made me get false teeth put in. I used to walk around looking like a real football player.” Got them knocked out in a bike accident when he was young.
5:29 p.m. EST – That’s it from Lucas Oil Stadium for today. Kind of a light day. Several prominant offensive linemen did not reach the media room today, so tomorrow should be loaded. The skill players should talk Friday, including SDSU QB Ryan Lindley and RB Ronnie Hillman.
Stay true and keep pounding,
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