Mruczkowski not afraid of making others mad

Scott Mruczkowski is entering his rookie season with the San Diego Chargers knowing that Shane Olivea, a seventh round pick and rookie last year, began every year of his freshman campaign in the NFL on the starting line. Expected to play center, he likely won't be able to match that feat with Nick Hardwick under center, but he was ecstatic to join the squad. He will be putting it all on the line and if it angers someone along the way, so be it. The lineman is trying to break camp with the team.

Hailing from Bowling Green, Scott Mruczkowski was surprised by a few draft day happenings, namely being drafted.

"It's incredible," Mruczkowski said. "I didn't expect to get drafted, and for them to pick me up is just awesome. Even going to San Diego, the city itself is so incredible. I've heard a lot of great things about it, and Coach Schottenheimer's one of the best in the history of the NFL. I'm just real excited to be able to come to San Diego. I was just a seventh-round pick, so I'm ready to go to show them how I play football. I'm just real, real excited about it."

Strong bloodlines fueled the selection; he has a brother, Gene, who made his NFL debut in 2004 for the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots.

Having a brother who just recently entered the NFL and made a team has its benefits. The advice certainly won't be about the spread of food after practice. Not only was Gene able to help him through the training process for the draft, he also can offer up some tasty selections on the upcoming training camp that Scott will endure.

"It's huge because I get a lot of insights that not a lot of other rookies get as far as what happens in training camp and what kind of attitude you need to go in there with, how you're gonna have to perform to make the squad," the younger Mruczkowski admitted. "He's full of very valuable information and that's what I'll be able to get."

The Chargers are getting a player who has manned every position on the line. He began his career at tackle, redshirted while learning the position, switched over to guard in 2001 and 2002 before moving to the anchor spot as a junior and senior. Ironically, he almost moved to left tackle when an injury forced the starter out but his health returned just prior to the season opener.

His versatility had the Chargers excited, but they envision him as a center – for now.

Having spent time at each position along the line, Mruczkowski knows the responsibilities of each player and can call the shots with confidence. After all, the center's responsibilities include making the calls for the entire offensive line.

"When you walk to the line of scrimmage you have to make all the calls. You have to understand the offense and you have to understand the defense you're playing against. The only difference that I see is making the calls and recognizing the defenses, telling your guards what to do, telling your guards who the hot guy is, watching for blitzes and pointing them out and picking them up."

On the eve of minicamp beginning, Mruczkowski is still just a rookie.

Before he begins pointing out the intricacies of blitzes, he will be lugging shoulder pads and helmets off the practice field.

While he will be subject to rookie pranks and the obligatory end of the year fiesta when he will have to perform some song and dance in front of the veterans, Mruczkowski isn't ready to simply lie down. Training camp is a competition and roster spots are at stake.

"You don't want to go in there and talk any trash or think you're better than anybody else. But you don't want to go in and not perform to your fullest potential; you don't want to eat it up on the first play. You're trying to make the team. If playing my best makes somebody mad, it makes somebody mad; I'm just trying to make the squad."

And so it begins. Minicamp starts today and lasts through Sunday. It is the second impression many of these players will make and this one will have to last until training camp begins at the end of July.

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