"I want to be more of a factor on offense," said Osgood of his goals for this season. "My goal for myself is to score at least 10 touchdowns."
In order to help himself reach such lofty expectations, Osgood spent the summer in Florida training with Randy Moss. Although Randy Moss is a horrendous role model for his young fans, he is a stellar role model for young receivers such as Osgood. If you want to be the best, why not learn from the best?
Along with Moss and teammate Drayton Florence, Osgood has pushed himself to his limits while in Florida in order to gain an edge for the upcoming training camp. With Reche Caldwell returning to health and Vincent Jackson being brought aboard via the draft, Osgood will have to have his best showing to date if he is to keep from sliding to number five spot on the depth chart.
So while others are enjoying their last chances to relax before training camp rolls around, Osgood is picking up the pace in his workouts.
"Our workouts are actually getting more intense right now," Osgood said. "That's what you have to do if you want to be the best."
Even though Osgood strives to be the best receiver in the game, he is not doing so at the expense of his special teams responsibilities. That is an area of the game in which he has excelled, and he plans to continue doing so in the future.
"It's just a matter of wanting to be out there," said Osgood of his role on special teams. "It's a lot of hard work. You just have to have that mindset that you're going to get downfield and make a play. You have to want to be out there and be willing to hustle."
It is that admirable work ethic that has allowed Osgood to be effective in all aspects of the game. It also helps that he has a Pro Bowl quarterback throwing the rock his way. Osgood had a front-row seat for Drew Brees' resurgent 2004 season, and was not surprised to see Brees respond to adversity like he did.
"People said it was an open competition, but Drew never looked at it that way," Osgood said. "He prepared like he was the starter from day one. He made some great throws, and really established himself from the start of the season."
Even if something were to happen to Brees, Osgood is confident that the offense can keep rolling. That confidence stems from the faith he has in Brees' backup, Philip Rivers.
"If needed, he can come in and run the offense just as easy," predicted Osgood. "He has a quick learning curve. He's really improved a lot, and I think he'd do a pretty good job."
Regardless of who is at quarterback, Osgood still plans on breaking out this season. And as anyone who has ever played fantasy football knows, wide receivers in their third seasons breakout more often that chocolate-eating teenagers.
So maybe he'll catch 10 touchdowns, and maybe he won't. But given his combination of confidence, drive and natural ability, I'd be hard pressed to bet against him.
Michael Lombardo can be reached at Lombardo@SanDiegoSports.net