How much more does Mike Scifres have to do to earn a spot in the Pro Bowl? Not much, according to Scifres, who is now the league's highest-paid punter. He believes that if he can maintain his high level of play, his veteran status will land him in Honolulu.
"That's the plan," Scifres said.
However, he is far from complacent.
"You come into each season trying to do equal or better every year," he said. "If you come in expecting less you're setting yourself up to fail. No one wants to be the same; everyone wants to go higher and higher. I look at every day as an opportunity to get better. I'm trying to go out and perform better than I did last year."
Olivea the Right Tackle for the Job
The droplets under his helmet continue to come from the hard work he puts in during his quest to continually prove to himself and his teammates that he can be counted on as the team's starting right tackle.
Worry about someone taking over the spot he anchors? During one mini camp practice?
"Hell no! That was the first practice, just one day," Olivea said. "I'm not even really trusting that. Motivation for me is proving myself to the other ten guys on offense. I'm not worried if for a couple plays or one practice they put in a new guy. It's more about being confident in myself."
The Chargers must be confident in Olivea, too, as they recently rewarded him with a new six-year contract.
Leading the Charge
Another recently extended player, Quentin Jammer, is being pushed as well. No, rookie Antonio Cromartie is not looking to take his job just yet. Rather, Jammer is being pushed into a leadership role as he enters his fifth season.
"With a pup like Cromartie over there, you have to teach him the ropes a little bit," Jammer said. "You see he has so much athletic ability out there, you just want to see him get his technique ready for the season."
Injuries Cut Deep
The Chargers not only have the league's best tight end, but they have the best depth at the position, too.
That claim to superiority may be suspect during week one, as Shea is expected to miss the game with a back injury while Krause is listed as questionable after tweaking his hamstring during practice.