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San Diego Chargers Links 8/27

CHARGERS NOTES: English back in action, hopes to play Saturday
The outside linebacker was thrilled to be back on the field doing more than mental reps.

"I felt like I've been ready to go for a few days now," he said. "But it's probably good that I took the extra time, had a complete recovery and got back to 100 percent."

CHARGERS: Burnett sheds label and blockers
"Through two preseason games and training camp, he's been an exciting addition to our team," coach Norv Turner said. "He's got speed, he covers the field and he's a playmaker. He's going to help everyone on the defensive side make plays.

"That's why we wanted him and that's what we saw. The only thing you couldn't see much of was Kevin as an every down player. He's proven over two preseason games that he can handle it."

Cromartie continues to impress
Cromartie wasn't the only player making interceptions Tuesday. "Pick City!" the defense shouted after Kevin Ellison grabbed what was at least the fifth interception of the afternoon practice. Said Philip Rivers, who was intercepted on successive plays by Kevin Burnett and Cromartie: "That was brutal."

Bolts' Clary toughest on himself
"Jeromey Clary is a very underrated player," Turner said. "I like Jeromey and what he does for us. I know a lot of (fans) would disagree with me. We leave him by himself against a lot of good players. He held up great (in 2008), and I think he's going to continue to get better."

For sure, what was deduced as Clary messing up sometimes in 2008 was often actually right guard Mike Goff's inconsistency. The Chargers believe they have rectified that, but so far Clary has worked with two different guards in preseason games, as Kynan Forney and Louis Vasquez have taken turns being hurt.

In the sack is no place for Rivers, even in preseason
"During the regular season, I'm looking for continuity on offense, defense and special teams," A.J. Smith says. "During the preseason, I'm all over the place, looking around at players. If this happened during the regular season, I'd say we have a problem. I saw Peyton Manning went down four times. It's not pleasant, I agree. You can get hurt, but you can get hurt in practice. It torments me."

There's more to Chargers at tight end than Gates
The only thing that's certain is that they will be used. Toward the end of last season, the Chargers ran some three tight-end sets. Manumaleuna is now listed as a fullback as well as a tight end on the depth chart. And Wilson was a starter at the same position during his tenure with the Kansas City Chiefs.

When asked about his position this week, Wilson smiled and said, "Just put me in." Preference: "Playing."

Man Behind the Mask: Gartrell Johnson
"The thing I’ve learned the most from LT is how he carries himself on the field. He actually likes to check in with the defense during practice to see what everyone is doing. He’ll go over to the defensive backs and see what they are up to and then he’ll go talk to the safeties just to get an idea of how things are working so he can use that information to better his own game plan. That’s definitely something I’m trying to pick up on."

Castillo happy to feel healthy
Turner indicated Cesaire might not play in the preseason at all. Said Turner: "Whenever a guy goes a couple weeks and doesn't play, there is a level of concern. But I think he's going to be all right. I think he could play against San Francisco (in the Sept. 4 preseason finale) if that's what we choose to do. We've got him on schedule to be ready for the opener."

Opportunities arise for young linemen
With Jacques Cesaire, Ryon Bingham and Vaughn Martin out with injuries and Jamal Williams and Ian Scott resting Wednesday, the Chargers dressed just five defensive linemen Wednesday, and Luis Castillo was the only one of the group that has played in a regular-season game.


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