Height advantage to Chargers Ruvell Martin

Six-foot-four. Receivers seem to be getting taller and taller. The San Diego Chargers have a few tall men that will compete for a spot on a team that includes some smaller men manning the wideout position. Call it an instant advantage for a rookie looking to make the team. Ruvell Martin is the tallest of them all and he knows how to use it.

One of the biggest advantages of a big frame is using it to your advantage. Look at the receivers around the league that are running the slant effectively. While some may not have the height of Ruvell Martin, they are all seasoned in route running and shielding the ball from defenders seeking to snatch the ball away.

"I would say my body positioning is pretty good," Martin says. "A big guy making those tough catches."

Martin is familiar with lining up from the slot. It was his role at Saginaw Valley State. He ended his senior season with 54 receptions for 632 yards with five touchdowns playing that role.

With 4.6x speed, Martin needs to have command of his route running to be effective but it is not something Martin is as concerned with. Given his frame, Martin is focused on building his strength and speed for an NFL season.

"It is always going to be adjustments going from college to the pros," Martin said. "I think, especially for me, it is going to be a strength thing and speed thing. I honestly think that is a thing that will come.

"I can't imagine myself not picking route running up. Automatically it is going to pick up anyway and I think I will be able to adjust."

Martin is just one of many that credit receivers' coach James Lofton for elevating his game. But one aspect that is also being refined is his blocking. It is a role that every wide receiver must not only do, but excel at. With Marty Schottenheimer stressing the run and the offense led by running back LaDainian Tomlinson, it is a role that must be done with zeal.

"I enjoy blocking too," Martin said agreeing. "Because I could come down and block on those linebackers that only had about 20 pounds on me. I could block the safeties and the linebackers pretty well."

It is one of the reasons that Martin wanted to gain strength. He recognized that the talent on the other side of the ball has not only gotten better, but bigger.

And when he isn't blocking his hope is to run the fade, scoring touchdowns for the Chargers.

"I love the jump ball in the end zone because I could pretty much do what I want."

The Chargers may have their own problems getting it into the red zone. But a six-foot-four receiver down in that area of the field is always a welcome sight.

Denis Savage can be reached at denis@sandiegosports.net

SD Super Chargers Top Stories