English Impresses In His Return To The Practice Field

Larry English has been an enigma for San Diego Chargers fans; Sure we've seen his highlight clips, but that's like dangling a steak in front of a hungry dog. To truly satisfy our appetites, we've got to see #52 on the field making plays. So far this preseason, English has been held back by a sore hamstring. But finally healthy, Larry English is back on the practice field and he's looking dangerous.

I got a chance to catch up with Larry over at Chargers Park last week. He wasn't practicing, but it was clear he was eager to get back on the field. He was on the sidelines, talking with teammates and taking mental reps. After practice, I asked English about his hamstring and how he was feeling.

"It's feeling really good," English said. "I'm running and working out every day. I'm feeling good. I feel like I could go right now, but it's more precautionary than anything."

It's tough enough for a rookie to make the transition to the NFL, but it can be even harder for a high-profile rookie like Larry English. These guys go from playing a college football season, straight into post-season all-star games. From there, they go to pre-Combine preparation camps, and must stay in shape for individual team workouts. Once drafted, they attend offseason coaching sessions, mini-camps, and finally training camps.

All this activity can put a tremendous strain on the body, and Larry English is doing all he can to fight through that. After being hampered with hamstring soreness that has kept him from practicing and playing in the preseason thus far, he is finally back on the field and Head Coach Norv Turner loves what he sees:

"He looked great," Turner says about Larry English's return. "He's got such great burst and explosion. It just jumps out at you when he is able to come back and practice. His first two steps are as quick as anyone I've ever been around."

The Chargers are counting on English to be an early contributor. Much of their defensive scheme revolves putting their outside linebackers in position to make plays on the quarterback. Without English, and with Shawne Merriman slowly coming back to full strength, the Chargers have only managed one sack in two preseason games. And to be honest, that sack was probably a gimme considering the Quarterback was already out of the pocket and was attempting to run for the first down. In order to become the dominant defense the Chargers hope they can be, they'll need to generate more sacks and having Larry English come back and be part of their arsenal is exciting to both the Chargers themselves as well as their fans.

August 25, 2009

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