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News » San Diego Chargers Inside Slant 2009-05-01

San Diego Chargers Inside Slant 2009-05-01

San Diego Chargers Inside Slant 2009-05-01
Usually to get a club's attention, it's a player's game tape which raise an interest.

But in the case of defensive end Vaughn Martin, he was a hit on YouTube long before the recent draft.

And it involved the Chargers, who would ultimately pick Martin with a fourth-round pick.

When Chargers scout Tom Gibbons wanted a closer look at Martin, a product of Western Ontario College in Canada, he got an up-close-and-personal look during a private workout. Gibbons was knocked on his backside by Martin, a scene which is a YouTube classic in the minds of NFL watchers.

"He was a good sport about it," the 6-foot-3, 331-pound Martin said. "When I got to San Diego (for a formal visit), coach (Norv) Turner said he was looking for a blocking pad so we could re-enact the whole thing again, but Mr. Gibbons wasn't there."

The clip is titled "Chargers Scout Blown Up," which could be considered more entertaining considering the Chargers burnt the No. 113 pick on him.

Now will Martin be able to pick up the NFL game? He's been playing the slightly different Canadian version but is confident his learning curve won't be steep.

"I've always been a fast learner, so it's not something I'm worried about," he said. "I'm excited about putting theory into action. I'm just a blank canvas, and they'll be able to mold me into the player they want me to be."

Martin is as raw as he is a brute. The Chargers' plan is to work him in gradually and hopefully he can at least add depth in the early stages of what should be an interesting NFL career.

How many other players can say they were born in Jamaica and raised on hockey and soccer in Canada -- plus clobbered an NFL scout?

That said, Chargers general manager A. J. Smith likes Martin's ceiling.

"He's an outstanding athlete with a great upside," Smith said. "He's a big, strong guy with a nice motor and a mean streak. He's got a lot to learn, but it's going to be interesting to see how quick his development grows. He's smart."

The Chargers might have been keen to take a flier on Martin.

The team lost starting end Igor Olshansky -- a former second-round pick -- to free agency. And the next two players on the depth chart -- Ryon Bingham and Jacques Cesaire -- have never been full-time starters.

Expecting Martin to go from playing in Canada to starting for a team looking to contend for a Super Bowl berth is a bit of a stretch. But so was the notion -- at one time -- of a basketball player from Kent State who didn't play football in college becoming a five-time Pro Bowler.

Can you say Antonio Gates?

Can you say welcome to San Diego, Vaughn Martin?

Smith has already noticed a mean streak in Martin which will play well with the likes of Jamal Williams, Kris Dielman and Nick Hardwick.

"It's contagious," Smith said. "You're trying to bring in players that are good and talented, but also have an attitude. If you've got that, it brings a presence."

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: May 1, 2009

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Marques Harris Name: Marques Harris
Position: LB
Age: 26
Experience: 4 years
College: Southern Utah
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