Chargers Notebook: Surprise and Happiness

With the draft now concluded, the players will begin to assimilate to life in the NFL. Playbooks will be handed out or mailed and the expectation is to know them when they first convene for Mini-Camp in early May. Before that, a number of San Diego Chargers picks shared their thoughts about the upcoming events:

Nick Hardwick, called both "an offensive guard and offensive center" by Marty Schottenheimer found out the news during a press conference. He will compete at both spots. With injuries decimating the line over the last two years, Hardwick will have plenty of chances to play.

"I just found out I would be competing at center and guard and I will do what I can," Hardwick said. "I am going to do what I can do to get as good as I can as fast as possible."

Nate Kaeding is continually looking to improve upon stats that rated him the NCAA's all time leader in FG percentage from 40-yards out, hitting 80.4 percent during his college career.

There has been talk that he must be taken off the field for fear of overkicking and tiring out his leg!

"The only thing I am concerned with is improving as a player," Kaeding said. "Right now I am concerned with being ready for the rookie camp coming up here. My number one goal, as it had been at Iowa, is to improve day in and day out to help this football team wins some games."

With the team needing a stalwart along the line that can take pressure off Jamal Williams and free up the linebackers, Igor Olshansky was the team's second round selection. The look in his eye says playing the game, specifically stopping the run, is pure joy. He will be counted upon heavily in his rookie season.

"It seems that I will be doing similar technique and similar things to what I did in college," Olshansky relayed. "In college I played a 4-3 but I played a lot on the tackle. Stopping the run is what I do well so it should be fun."

Quarterback Philip Rivers already has a firm grasp on the speed of the game changing, but he is not deterred. Rumors are he will have his contract signed shortly in order to focus on grasping the offense. He is all about preparation and is looking to make the transition to the Pro game as seamless as possible.

"The speed of the game is going to obviously be quicker and I think mentally I am as prepared as I can be coming out of college. I still know there is a way to go. The speed of the game I think is really key the next three months. I know it is different. It is always faster on Sunday than it is during the week but I think you can get used to adjustments if you prepare like you should in the next few months."

Denis Savage can be reached at safage@cox.net

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