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News » San Diego Chargers Inside Slant 2009-03-20


San Diego Chargers Inside Slant 2009-03-20


San Diego Chargers Inside Slant 2009-03-20
Kevin Burnett's introduction to the media was delayed a day - and he couldn't be happier. Not that the free-agent, inside linebacker was reluctant to meet the press. It was just that the Chargers had a more pressing item to take care of last week: telling the world LaDainian Tomlinson was staying in San Diego.


"I was praying I had LT as a teammate," Burnett said. "I contemplated walking in there and shaking his hand during the press conference to let him know I'm glad I don't have to play against him. I'm excited to get to play with LT and I'm excited to be in San Diego."

The Chargers are equally upbeat about adding Burnett to possibly upgrade the spot opposite starter Stephen Cooper.

Burnett figures to push Tim Dobbins and Matt Wilhelm for the starting role. Wilhelm started the season as the starter but was pushed aside by the more physical Dobbins.

And if Burnett isn't in on early down, it figures the athletic player will see the field on passing downs.

"I believe anywhere you go, it's open competition," Burnett said. "I'm looking to be a player. I came here for the opportunity to play and that's all I can ask for. I think your play speaks louder than anything."

He started but four games in five seasons in Dallas, but was also a key contributor on special teams.

If nothing else, the learning curve with the Chargers' defense doesn't figure to be steep for Burnett. He played in the 3-4 alignment the past couple of years with the Cowboys under the watchful eye of head coach Wade Phillips.

It was Phillips, before taking the Cowboys' post, who installed the 3-4 in San Diego.

"I think they're going to use me a little bit more in some of the packages they have," Burnett said. "It's a very similar style defense (to Dallas). I assume I'll be a big part of the third-down package and the passing game."

The Chargers often ask their inside linebackers to drop back into coverage on throwing downs, with outside linebackers Shawne Merriman and Shaun Phillips making a bee line for the pocket.

Burnett's skills seem to fit what the Chargers are seeking.



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: March 20, 2009

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Tyronne Gross Name: Tyronne Gross
#22
Position: RB
Age: 25
Experience: 1 years
College: Eastern Oregon
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