Osgood primed for an expanded role

San Diego Chargers wide receiver Kassim Osgood was at the San Diego State Pro Day on Thursday. He came by to lend support to Adam Hall, running routes for the signal caller. Even Osgood, with his frame, could not help Adam throw better. We caught up with Oz just before he took the field and we discussed the departure of David Boston, the signing of Kevin Dyson and the future in blue and gold.

Kassim Osgood spent much of the season excelling on special teams. When injuries hounded the receiving corps and Reche Caldwell struggled, Osgood was thrust into a starting role. He responded with a 100 yard game against Pittsburgh in game 15 and ended the year with 13 catches for 278 yards (21.4 avg.) and two touchdowns.

Now with David Boston gone, there are opportunities to start. But what about the move that sent Boston packing?

"I learned a lot from him last year," Osgood said. "I would say he was a good influence on me. I talked to him a lot. He is a real quiet guy and I guess the coach didn't feel he fit into our team networking. When a guy has baggage like that, I guess they just wanted to get rid of him and do whats good for the team."

A number one receiver is gone and the Chargers are stuck with what is considered number two and number three receivers everywhere.

Osgood hopes to take advantage.

"It opens up a starting position so we will go into camp fighting for a starting position," Osgood said.

One spot was taken this offseason with the addition of Kevin Dyson. Dyson has some baggage in the injury department but Osgood feels he will be an excellent addition to the club.

"He runs really good routes," said Osgood. "I have watched him all throughout his career. He is somebody to learn from also and he has a lot he can bring to the table. It should be good for us."

Coincidentally, route running is one of the areas that the coaching staff said Osgood had to work on this offseason. His goal is to truly comprehend the offense and let it become second nature.

Working with Coach James Lofton this offseason he has become a better conditioned athlete and says he "has been at it so I don't get out of shape."

As for his role on Thursday, Osgood was the advice giver. Right before his workout he told us that he would be catching passes from Adam and "hopefully his arm is ready."

It wasn't. That did not stop Osgood from counseling him after the session. Not much could help Hall's performance as he was visibly upset after the showing and packed his gear and left the field while the rest of his teammates were still working out.

Osgood, meanwhile, was constantly swarmed with Aztecs seeking advice and he was not above sticking his head in to listen to scouts. He would then traverse over to the player and tell them what was being said about them. It was as if a changing of the guard occurred. Osgood went from the rookie on the bench to the grizzled veteran that is sought out by his peers. Osgood has been there before. He knows how to turn a terrible forty time into a chance to play in the NFL.

That experience has molded him to the player he is now. He is confident and has set lofty goals for himself next season, namely a 1,000 yard season.

"That's a pretty hefty goal for a second year guy but I think I can manage to get it," Osgood said.

Denis Savage can be reached at safage@cox.net

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