Robb Butler Chargers Camp Diary II

When we caught up with Robb Butler he was en route to Los Angeles to get away from the daily grind and his home consisting of little more than four walls at a Hotel. Coaching sessions start again at the San Diego Chargers complex on Monday. In his second diary entry, Butler's adrenaline pumps through each story as he talks about the week off that wasn't, the repetitions rookies are getting, learning from the veterans, a look at the San Diego offense and the difference between veteran and rookie.

On the week off:

It was technically a week off. But if you were smart, you took your mind over to the facilities and work out and run to stay in shape. And it wasn't bad because you got paid for it too.

Anytime they say money I am there. You have to work out four days and run four days and not be late. If you worked out three days you got nothing. It was a win-win situation because I got to stay in shape and got paid for it.

On the last week of camp:

They started to turn it up a notch with the installation. We are seeing less and less reps, the rookies are seeing less and less reps. Coach Schottenheimer told us that is the nature of the business of the game and the way it is. Whenever you get an opportunity you have to capitalize on it.

We are just getting mental reps. We get a couple reps, but for the most part we are getting mental reps. They told us in preseason that rookies play most of the game, all of the second half. Just being ready when the opportunity comes and to capitalize it – seize the moment.

On watching from the sidelines:

I am trying to pull from the vets. They are not too far ahead of us. The veterans make the bulk of the mistakes because they get the bulk of the reps. From being in the NFL know the cause better than some of us. Some of us are surprised at things. We didn't know why we were doing the things we did in college and now we have to understand what everyone is doing from the secondary to the linebackers and how they work together to make a sound defense.

For the most part for me, I just pull the checks, the calls. The safeties have to make a lot of checks, a lot of calls. I watch that. Technique-wise, I don't try to mimic someone else's game, I have my own style.

If your inside leg is supposed to be up, if that is what the coach says, that is what I am going to do but after that, let your athletic ability take over.

Certain guys may not be great cover guys. Covering is one of my strengths so if I get a tight end flexed, I am going to crush him. If the guy in front of me doesn't press because he is not a great cover guy, I don't learn that from him. I play to my abilities. As far as the mental stuff, I watch them and learn from them. If they are making a mistake, I try not to make the same mistake.

On the offense:

Recently I started watching those guys. The first week of minicamp I was just worried about what I had to do. I noticed some of the vets, they get accustomed to the receivers. The veteran receivers, they have been watching them for years, they kind of know their style.

I was out there blind and uncertain. I am learning just how a receiver gets off the line. I am learning little keys and how a receiver raises up. It gives me an indication of what I need to bring and make me a better defensive back.

On the difference between rookies and veterans:

I am watching those vets. Jerry Wilson is great at anticipating. It is not athletic ability that sets us apart from the vets, it is the knowledge. They just know what those guys are going to do before they do it.

You see a guy sitting on a route and say, ‘How did he know that?' If that guy would have ran straight (the defender) would have been in trouble. They know when a guy is going to run an out by things like down and distance, posture, alignment and they do all that pre-snap.

It happens so fast that they come out full speed running routes, you see a DB sitting back on a ten-fifteen yard route and you think, ‘Oh my God, if the receiver keeps going he is going to blow right by him.' Low and behold, they always break and (the defensive back) is always in goof position to make a play on the ball.

That is where I need to become a great technician. A lot of guys will play forever who aren't the fastest guys or the greatest athletes, they are just smart.

Robb Butler Camp Diary Part I

Robb Butler will join periodically throughout mini-camp and training camp and share his experiences and the learning process along the way.

SD Super Chargers Top Stories