Chargers receiver Tim Dwight a fan favorite

During the recent June minicamp at the San Diego Chargers Murphy Canyon complex fans called out for their favorite players. While LaDainian Tomlinson got some screeching yelps for his attention, Philip Rivers got some love and Igor Olshansky got his new trademark call, it was veteran receiver Tim Dwight who got called to have his shiny head rubbed. <br><br> "That was LT," Dwight said of the applause. "It was LT and Gates coming across the middle."

The reality is many fans in attendance were screaming for number 87, Tim Dwight, their beloved wide receiver who makes up for his height with his heart.

"If it was happening that is great," Dwight said. "I was hoping fans would show up Saturday and Sunday and I just want to say thank you for coming out and supporting us. It was good to see people being interested in what we were doing."

The team is building something in San Diego. The attitude change is evident when you talk to any player. The spark is back in their eyes.

Dwight, after an injury filled season reports healthy. He played in just nine games last year and caught 14 passes. And now more than ever he realizes the pinch is on.

Unlike others, he welcomes the competition at the wide receiver position.

"It is the kind of competition we need between our teammates," Dwight said. "We need guys to step up and raise the level because 4-12 is not taking it. I expect the wide receiver group, guys like Eric Parker and Kevin Dyson and Kassim Osgood and Reche Caldwell to come and take my job or I take their job. We love each other and we are fighting out there but at the same time we need to compete at a high level to win in this league."

And it is about wins for Dwight. He has proven in the past that he will sacrifice his body for the greater good. Despite his stature, he blocks with reckless abandon and is among the better blocking receivers on the team.

Dwight may be healthy, but he is still working off the rust and fending off the group of receivers vying for his spot. One of the benefits is an improved secondary that he must face on a daily basis.

Dwight sees the progress in the defensive backfield and is thrilled. Not only does it make the receiving group better, but it means an improved team overall when the season starts.

"Totally, the better they are getting the better we have to compete," Dwight said enthusiastically.

Dwight followed with a warning of his own for the rest of the receivers and a shot at the rookies and assortment of players vying for a backup job.

"If we can't open against them, then we are going to have trouble getting open against everybody else across the league," the veteran said. "When you are going up against some of the guys who are non-starters and you are not getting open that means we're not getting open against starters."

It is one of the reasons that the rookies will generally practice against each other to start during camp and once they start to prove themselves they move up the ranks to face the backups and then the starters. But they will all cross at some point.

Does it mean the rookies aren't worth a dime or is Dwight that good?

Neither, just a reality since the rookies vying for those last few roster spots are raw and untested. In time they too could be looking to steal a spot on the roster from a veteran.

Either way, Dwight is excited about the upcoming season. He sees the future and says it is bright.

"We are coming," Dwight foretells. "We are building and I like to see that. I don't want to say we are a good football team right now because I would be lying. We are building and getting better and that is the type of attitude we have to take. Just realize who we are and build on it."

Denis Savage can be reached at

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