Chargers preparing for Arizona

The preseason rages on with the San Diego Chargers set to face the Arizona Cardinals on Saturday. One familiar face was back on the field on Wednesday but is out for live game action.<br><br> Rookies getting praised is sometimes rare, but the coach has heaped praise on one young man three times in the past week.

"He won't start this week," Marty Schottenheimer said of linebacker Donnie Edwards who returned to practice on Wednesday.

Edwards did not run the full team drills but was in pads. He said he expects to be ready for the following week of action.

The preparation began for the weekend's action when the Chargers met on the big field that many may remember from FanFest.

Coach Schottenheimer walked away pleased from the action, especially from the rookies.

"I am really pleased with the energy," the coach said. "They are going at it full speed. That is the kind of foundation that is needed to put the pieces together."

And when further prodded on the most impressive rookie to date Schottenheimer was quick with his answer:

"Nick Hardwick."

It was the third time since Saturday that Schottenheimer has applauded the effort of Hardwick and certainly bodes well for the future of the young man. He has already shown a work ethic that reminds of a veteran and he has picked up many of the nuances of the playbook.

Hardwick has been running first team for quite a bit of camp and the former wrestler has made significant strides in his game. Is it the wrestling background that has helped expediate his success on the playing field?

"As far as wrestling goes it has helped me with leverage and body balance and positioning," Hardiwck said. "Other than that, the only thing it has given me is work ethic because I think wrestlers are hands down the hardest working group of guys."

The other side:

In Arizona, Dennis Green told reporters that San Diego was better than their 4-12 record would indicate and went on to praise a number of the Charger players.

"San Diego is lot better than the 4-12 team that played last year," Green said. "They are playing a new defense and Wade Phillips has had a lot of success when he's played a 3-4 defense. They've got two first-round picks in the secondary who do an excellent job of coverage. LaDainian Tomlinson is one of the top backs in the National Football League so we'll have our hands full, but I think our guys worked with good intensity today."

En-lightning news:

Imagine sitting in class with Donnie Edwards or Kansas City Chiefs tight end Tony Gonzalez. Picture a chalk talk with quarterbacks Donovan McNabb of the Philadelphia Eagles, or Daunte Culpepper of the Minnesota Vikings.

That will be the scene in each NFL city this fall as one lucky student and his or her class will be joined by a player as part of NFL Take a Player to School presented by JCPenney Afterschool.

Edwards will represent the San Diego Chargers in the program.

Players will visit the schools on Tuesday, October 19 or Tuesday, October 26 and will speak with the students about the importance of education and afterschool programs.

Children ages six through 13, an age group most in need of afterschool programs, will be eligible to win the contest by filling out entry forms available in all JCPenney stores nationwide now through September 20. One winning child will be selected in each of the 32 NFL markets and one non-NFL market to "Take a Player to School." Winners will be announced the week of October 8.

"I am pleased to be part of this effort to encourage students to stay in school and participate in afterschool programs," said McNabb, the NFL's national spokesperson for the program. "There is nothing more important in America than our youth, and we need to give young people every opportunity and inspiration to succeed."


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