San Diego Chargers running back Ronnie Brown (30) makes a one handed catch while defended by linebacker Donald Butler (56) during training camp at Charger Park.
Darren Smith and Marty Caswell are at Chargers Park this afternoon, picking off any and all big names associated with the team for interview on their radio show. I was particularly interested to hear what Norv Turner said when talking with them, so here are my notes while listening (link to audio).
- Right off the bat, Norv mentions that the lockout hurt the team's preparation last year and says everyone is more up to speed this year.
- Norv likes opening day at the Del Mar Racetrack. "It's great people-watching." He went with Troy Aikman this year. Darren mentions that Norv was Aikman's presenter for Troy's Hall of Fame induction.
- Ever notice that Norv refers to offensive players by their first names and defensive players by their last names? It's something I've only picked up recently, but he just did it again when talking about past holdouts by "Marcus, Vincent and Merriman."
- Did Norv just admit that he lied? "As much as I said (about Legedu Naanee filling in for Vincent Jackson in 2010) 'Hey, we're gonna be fine.' You know that there's going to be a void." After that, he's asking us to believe his excitement about this year's team. Fool me once, Turner....
- Norv is talking up the "explosiveness" of Ronnie Brown.
- Here's something I don't like about Norv interviews: He gets asked a simple question and rambles in response for about 5 minutes. Every time. It's all useful stuff that kind of answers the question, but it is by no means direct.
- Norv mentions that Robert Meachem and Philip Rivers have not been on the same page, but says he sees it getting better as time goes along. "They're starting to get a real feel for each other."
- Norv says that he doesn't expect Eddie Royal or Jared Gaither to play on Thursday against the Packers, but says that the team will not be overly cautious either. Says that Antoine Cason and Richard Goodman should expect to play despite missing time.
- Michael Harris has "improved every day since getting here in May." Norv brings up the point that Harris has been facing Antwan Barnes, Melvin Ingram, Shaun Phillips and Jarret Johnson as proof that Harris is for real...maybe we should be asking if the issue rests with the OLBs.
- Norv talks about Ingram like he's Shawne Merriman. "He's so powerful that his arms could stop at his elbows and he'd be fine." "Once someone worries about his speed, he can change direction and, with his hands and helmet in a guy's chest, he's a very powerful man."
- Turner is not afraid to pile on the praise for departed RB Mike Tolbert. In the last few sentences he has said "He became a leader", "He's one of my all-time favorites" and "I love him."
- Norv makes an excellent point, when talking about players sticking up for him and keeping him in San Diego for 2012, "There have been a lot of times when players were in situations where they could've said 'It's Norv's fault,' and they never have."
- "We've been real close to getting into the playoffs and everyone knows that, once you get in, anything can happen."
- "I don't think there's a team in the history of the league that has worked harder on 3rd down defense than we have." Norv is admitting that every season is different and each year you have to focus on different things.
- Oh, Darren's got Norv walking a tightrope. He wants to say that the female referee working the game on Thursday should stay away from him and "close to Philip" because of the different levels of foul language that will be used, but he doesn't want to say it outright.
- Nobody is better throwing out 2 or 3 quick questions at the end of an interview to catch the person comfortable and offguard than Darren Smith. It's an art.
- On his way out, Darren gets Norv to say that Ronnie Brown has probably been the MVP of the 2012 Chargers training camp thus far. Wow.