Exclusive: Elliott embraces the challenge

The Chargers knew they had a tough sell on their hands when trying to sign their fourth quarterback, seeing as the top three spots on their depth chart are all but set. Although most would shy away from that apparent lack of opportunity, Brett Elliott embraced the challenge.

Brett Elliott, a 6-foot-3, 203 lb. quarterback from Linfield, was never intimidated by the Chargers' deep quarterback corps.

"I was born to play the quarterback position," Elliott said. "I've never been the biggest or the fastest guy on the field; I'm not the kind of athlete that gets picked first for kickball; but I work hard, I think I'm a good leader, and I know how to win as a quarterback."

Elliott feels he is the perfect brand of quarterback for a Marty Schottenheimer football team. He has proven he can take care of the football, as he tossed 49 touchdowns against only nine interceptions as a senior, while throwing for over 4,000 yards with a 70 percent completion percentage.

"I've had to be a really smart player and make good decisions, because I'm not the best athlete," he said. "So I think I'm a perfect fit in this kind of offense."

Of course, the Chargers' offense is an easy one to fit into. The team's arsenal includes Pro Bowl players Antonio Gates and LaDainian Tomlinson.

"It's very humbling," Elliott admitted. "Because of where I am on the depth chart, I do the running drills, and it's really cool to turn around and hand the ball off to a guy like LaDainian, someone I've been watching for a long time."

Elliott has also enjoyed the deep group of wide receivers in San Diego. Because he gets only limited snaps with the first team, he has spent the majority of his time throwing to the team's plethora of tall reserves. Vincent Jackson, Kassim Osgood and Malcom Floyd all stand 6-foot-5 or taller.

"I don't think you'll ever hear a quarterback complain about throwing to tall receivers," Elliott said. "They can eliminate a lot of your mistakes for you by going up and getting the ball. And Keenan McCardell and Eric Parker, they have both been terrific."

If he hopes to utilize all those weapons on Sundays, he knows he has ample work left to do.

"I need to learn to playbook inside and out. Charlie and I have been working on that since we got here. The terminology is so extensive. But if I can get that down, I think I have a chance to stick around," he said.

That chance is all he ever wanted. Now that he's got it, he'll spend the rest of the summer trying to make the most of it.

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