BH Interview W/ Chargers Running Back Tyronne Gross

There is a lot of buzz these days about the uncertain future of Michael Turner days as a San Diego Charger. Fans know how well 'The Burner' has played when on the field and like the insurance he provides as a backup to LT. But Bolt fans also realize that it would be good to try to get something for Turner in a trade before he walks away in free agency.

So if Michael Turner is traded, where does that leave the Chargers in terms of running back depth? Who will compliment LT on Sundays as his backup?

Enter Tyronne Gross.

Gross could be another undrafted free agent gem AJ Smith and his front office have found. Tyronne was a proflic and dominant runner in the lesser known NAIA collegiate conference. While at Eastern Oregon University, Gross broke records and was virtually unstoppable on the field. He drew comparisons to Barry Sanders and defenses would focus their entire energy on trying to contain him.

Tyronne was impressive in his very limited field time last preseason. But those who watched Gross play saw an explosive runner with excellent balance. Tough carrying the rock, Gross also showed he can catch the ball out of the backfield.

I had a chance to ask Mr. Gross a few questions and gained some insight on a guy who will be getting more and more attention as the season nears:

BoltHype: You popped up on a lot of fan's radars during the preseason last year where you showed flashes. How has your first season in the NFL been for you?

Tyronne Gross: It's been a blessing just being here.

BH: As a productive running back in college, what was it like being on the Chargers' practice squad?

TG: It's an honor just being in the NFL. Yes I missed not being directly on the field at game time because I've been used to playing ever since Pop Warner. I realize this is a different level of football and I am going to give 100% as I always have. I'm looking forward to working my way up. I've been put in a great situation placed on a team with L.T. and Lorenzo; two great guys that I've always admired growing up and having the opportunity for them to mentor me one-on-one. I feel that God just put me in the right place at the right time.

BH: How do you maintain your focus and desire?

TG: Playing football has always been a passion for me. When I was growing up I lived football, I ate with the football in my arm, slept with the football on my pillow, and finally to have the opportunity to be on a professional level in truly a blessing.

BH: As you may have heard, Michael Turner is being shopped for a possible trade. Also, Ray Perkins has been recently signed by the Dolphins. What does this mean for you in terms of snaps in practice and on the depth chart?

TG: As of now I am coming into the offseason competing to be the #2 guy. I don't know what the situation with Turner is going to be. I wish him the best either way, whether he is here or away. As for me, I going to strive to be the best I can be.

BH: What would you say your strengths are?

TG: My height plays a big part, as you know I am not very tall. My quickness, speed, and work ethic are pluses for me. And to be able to run in the NFL, a big offensive line is prime.

BH: What can you bring to the table with this offense?

TG: My versatility, and I think I can be a change of pace guy as well as a compliment to L.T.

BH: Who is your closet friend on the team?

TG: All the guys on the team are my friends; they have all taken me under their wings and helped me in one way or another. But two of my closest friends are my Big Brother (Fullback) Lorenzo Neal, and my roommate (Corner) Cletis (Flash) Gordon.

BH: What are some interests you have beside football and what are your plans after you leave the game?

TG: I love music and especially gospel music, so I would like to write, direct / sing gospel with a great mass choir. And to work with children, especially the disadvantaged and those that are disabled, would be one of my ways of giving back to the community because God loves everybody and he doesn't just help us to help ourselves, he helps us in order that we may help others.

I'd like to thank Tyronne for spending the time to answer my questions. I'm looking forward to seeing some more of what you can do at camps and during the preseason Tyronne!

April 21, 2007

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