Quotes around the "Camp" Fire

I like working with undrafted free agents, draft picks and the young guys around camp. The veterans may know they have a spot on the team, but not every rookie does. Therefore, when we chat with them they are brewing with excitement and let out some funny comments as well.

Some rookies need that extra word to get them over the top and others are convinced they got a raw deal. Others just have personality bubbling at the seams.

Courtney VanBuren (linking problems have caused me to combine his last name for it to work) was not pleased to hear Chargers Update had spoken to his coach at Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Van Buren immediately stated, "What? See now I know they said something bad about me. What did he tell you?"

Van Buren is a behemoth. His jovial attitude belies his size. At over 350 pounds he is still menacing.

I told him that he would just have to do a sit-down interview with me to combat anything Coach said about him.

He agreed, "That's right. I am going to have to now. I know they told you some deep dark secret."

The great thing about these young guys is they are not veiled in their comments. They thoroughly enjoy the spotlight as it has not become old, and they hope they will be signing autographs for along time.

Kassim Osgood talked to us about how he came to San Diego, "I went about it in a roundabout way," he says.

After watching him in practice we are just happy he is here. I don't care what he ran at the combines if he catches the fade and terrorizes the secondary. In fact most of us drool about the red zone threat he would pose opposite David Boston. Who would you cover?

"The crazy thing is I ran it a lot better over at (San Diego) State," said Osgood. "I guess they weighed the one at the combine more heavily."

"They hear what they want to hear," I say.

Oz ran a slow time at the combine in the 4.7 range and his stock plummeted. Lucky for us if you ask anyone around town.

When talking to Nick Maddox he is genuinely interested in the conversation and after a good week of practice is a lot happier.

Maddox: "I just have to keep doing what I am doing."

"That's it; you had a great career over at Florida State," I add. "I will tell you who I am talking to: Kassim Osgood, Brian Sump and you. If I don't think you have a shot I will tell you and I probably would not be standing in front of you getting your thoughts."

"Sump is good out there", says Maddox.

"Yes he is, but you need to focus on yourself."

"So you really think I have a shot?"

"Yes I do."

Maddox nods absorbing the praise and thinking about what has gotten him here.

When he looks back up to meet my eyes he has regained his confidence and is ready for the battle ahead.

"I can make this team," Maddox states and now I believe him.

Denis Savage can be reached at safage@cox.net or via the following link: Denis Savage

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