Player Interviews

SDBR Senior Bowl Blog: 1/27


11:37pm (PST)

I ran into former Bears receiver Rashied Davis tonight at Veets Bar & Grill in downtown Mobile. We had a common friend in Jen Welter, who played in the Women’s Professional Football League with SDBR’s own Jody Taylor, and who coached alongside Davis with the Cardinals as interns last offseason.

Davis took the opportunity to provide a ringing endorsement for his good friend Chris Harris, who was recently signed to be San Diego’s assistant defensive backs coach.

“Chris is one of the most brilliant young coaches in all of football,” Davis said. “He played safety, but he understands every position [in the secondary] so well. He is one of the smartest coaches in the game.”

Davis and Harris played together with the Bears from 2005-06 and again in 2010. Davis is down here in Mobile looking for work as an assistant coach, hoping to follow in the footsteps of his former teammate.

To check out our Senior Bowl blog from Tuesday, click here.

4:25pm (PST)

I’m not a huge advocate of reporting “team interests.” While some outlets report on which teams meet with which players down here in Mobile, Ala., the fact is every team meets with every player. Most teams will divvy up the entire Senior Bowl roster and assign an assistant coach or area scout to interview each prospect.

That being said, there were a few interactions between players and Chargers scouts over the last couple days that I feel are significant enough to mention.

After today’s South Team practice, college scout Paul Skansi had a lengthy conversation with Baylor OT Spencer Drango. The imposing lineman (6’6″, 310 lbs.) is having a stellar week thus far and clearly the Chargers are taking notice. The conversation between Skansi and Drango was one of the longest open-air interviews I’ve witnessed this week.

Skansi was busy on Tuesday, too, when he spent some time after the North Team practice chatting with Ohio State safety Tyvis Powell. After cutting up with the former Buckeye, Skansi got in a few words with North Dakota State QB Carson Wentz. Don’t read too much into that, though, as San Diego would have to spend the No. 3 overall on Wentz to have any shot at him (not happening).

Also on Tuesday, Boise State safety Darian Thompson had an in-depth conversation with senior executive Randy Mueller. Thompson was a playmaking safety for the Broncos and is a candidate to fill Eric Weddle’s shoes in the backend of San Diego’s secondary.

We had the chance to sit down with Thompson for an exclusive interview last night, which is a feature we’ll publish in the next few days.

To check out our Senior Bowl blog from Tuesday, click here.

8:15am (PST)

I spoke with TCU RB Aaron Green, a scatback who churned out 1,272 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns last season. And given that he is a TCU running back, what we of course had to talk about was the greatest TCU running back (and greatest Chargers running back) of all time: LaDainian Tomlinson.

“[Tomlinson] is the biggest name to come out of TCU and forever will be,” Green said. “It’s an honor to play running back at TCU after he did. I’m proud to say I had the most yards in a single season since him in 2000. I actually have an L.T. shirt in my room here [at the Senior Bowl]. I’ve always looked up to L.T. He’s great and he really put TCU on the map.”

There are some parts of Tomlinson’s game that will never be duplicated, by Green or any other running back prospect. However, Green hopes to copy the one skill that keyed most of L.T.’s success.

He was just a hard worker,” Green said of Tomlinson. “I heard he ran like a 4.7 or 4.8 when he first got here, and he left there running about a 4.3 His work ethic was there and it truly showed.”

Green is a versatile player in his own right. He demonstrates quick feet and has a strong jump cut (similar to No. 21). He also has some ability as a receiver, having caught 35 passes over his final two seasons.

As he tries to build up those aspects of his game, the first thing he does is turn on tape of the greatest Horned Frog to ever lace them up.

“You can study a lot about L.T.,” Green said. “He’s one of the best running backs to ever play in the history of the world. He had a nice build, great balance, great vision … a rare combination of power and speed. Those are some things you can definitely try to take from his game.”

Also, there was one very underrated aspect to Tomlinson’s game: pass protection. Green took note of how well L.T. did in that area and is determined to duplicate his success.

“Pass protection is very important because that’s part of becoming a complete player,” he said. “A lot of people think that playing running back is just about caching and running and scoring touchdowns, but the most important part of the game is protecting the QB.”

Green is projected to be a third-day pick. That’s good news for the Chargers, because there is no way the team spends another high pick on a running back after what happened with Melvin Gordon last season.

Michael Lombardo has covered the San Diego Chargers since 2003. He spent 12 years covering the team for and has also been published by the NFL Network, Fox Sports, and MySpace Sports. You can see more of his updates by following him on twitter @NFLinsider_Mike.


About Michael Lombardo

Michael Lombardo has covered the San Diego Chargers since 2003. He spent 12 years covering the team for and has been published by the NFL Network, Fox Sports, Football Insiders and MySpace Sports.

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