Coach Boras on Tony Terrell

Tony Terrell joined the San Diego Chargers shortly after the 2003 NFL Draft as an undrafted free agent from UNLV. Terrell has been commended for his work within the community and Chargers Update had a chance to sit down with Offensive Coordinator Rob Boras of the Running Rebels.

Tony Terrell started for four years at UNLV, playing offensive guard, and earned first team all-Mountain West Conference honors as a senior.

We know that Tony Terrell has been honored with accolades for his work in the community; can you expand on that for us?

"He is probably one of the best, if not the best, human beings I have had the opportunity to coach. He was one of the 22 members of the American Football Association Good Works Team, which is recognized for the people that do community service over and beyond the call of duty. Very Christian, gives back to the community, great with people from all walks of life -- racial backgrounds, sociological backgrounds. He is comfortable around all types of people.

"He graduated in 4 ½ years from UNLV so he has a good work ethic both off the field and in the classroom."

And as a football player?

"Football wise he started every game but one for four years for us and the one game he didn't start was due to injury his redshirt freshman year. He played guard for us throughout his career. Started at guard for every game but one. Was a one time Honorable Mention or 2nd team All Conference player and one time 1st Team All Conference player for us last year.

"He was one of the strongest guys we had in the weight room."

Does it help with recruiting the solid citizens you hope will play for UNLV?

"He was easy for us in two regards:

"With 105 members of our team he was the captain and the leader of the team but he was somebody more that you could point to and say here is a guy that does the right things. Very rarely did he do the wrong thing. He made good decisions."

How will he go from the one giving the advice to incoming freshman football players at UNLV to getting advice in the NFL?

"He has never been afraid to ask for help. He has had a learning disability and he has learned at a young age that he needs more help then the typical person. He is not afraid to ask whether it's from another player, from a coach. He is kind of a sponge, he is going to try and soak up everything from his position coach to any of the veterans around. He is somebody who is going to listen and is sometimes overbearing with the amount of questions."

What caused him to go undrafted?

"He had two injuries that he tried to play through last year and playing injured he was probably better than what I had as a backup. That probably hurt him. Earlier in the year he played at a lot higher level than he played the rest of the year. He was playing with a really bad ankle and trying to do the right things for the team. He is very team oriented, but I think it probably hurt him more so as far as the NFL draft and those things because he wasn't playing up to the level that he was capable of playing at."

Did you have any say, coaching him through the possibility? "We had kind of prepped him for that and he called me after Hudson called him on Sunday, the day of the draft. The way he called with the excitement in his voice you would have thought he was just drafted. He is a kid from inner-city LA and playing in the NFL getting a $2,500 signing bonus would have been the same if he was drafted in the first round. He is very level headed that way. You wouldn't have known he was a free agent with the excitement in his voice when he called me that night."

The Vikings and Bengals offered free-agent deals to Terrell. But Terrell, of Hawthorne, Calif., ended up signing with the Chargers, about a two-hour drive south of his hometown in Lawndale.

Do you know what made him choose San Diego?

"He had enough offers. I think probably a couple things. One is he is from LA and obviously being a southern California guy. Family, he and his mom are very close and I think having his family close is one thing.

"Then John Robinson has had three offensive line coaches:

"Hudson was the first and I am the third. He has been watching Coach Houck's teaching tapes and stuff for four or five years now. With Coach Robinson talking about Hudson and Hudson has been kind of a mentor to me so he probably heard more about Hudson Houck in the five years here and I think that played into it as well."

What kind of offense do you run at UNLV?

"We are a two back, pretty traditional. I think the last three years we have finished in the top 18 in the nation in rushing. We are pretty run oriented and we try to strive for a balance, but we are run first."

In total Terrell played in 45 games for the Rebels including the last 40. He allowed a total of seven sacks and 24 quarterback pressures over those four years, and only allowed one sack during his senior campaign.

How is he blocking in space, on pulls etc..?

"He is probably not quite as athletic as we want. In a small amount of space he was good. On short pulls to get him out on the edge…he is not going to great out in a lot of space, but in a closed amount of area with shorter pulls he did very well."

Was the offense built around running his way?

"Not necessarily. We probably did run his way but that is just the way our offense is. If you were to breakdown runs going toward him and away from him it is probably very heavily at him. That is just the nature of our run game."

Is Houck the guy to help make him successful in the NFL?

Well I think he has the work ethic and I think just getting the consistent coaching (with Hudson Houck) is going to help him out.

Denis Savage can be reached at or via the following link: Denis Savage

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