Nande Ready to Fill a Role

Looking for a hidden X factor for Sunday's game? Try linebacker Terna Nande, who recently joined the Chargers' practice squad after spending more than a year learning the ins and outs of the Titans defense. Nande goes one on one with Amberly Richardson to provide an update on his progress and a forecast for Sunday's game.

Editor's Note: For the Insider portion of this interview, click here.

Amberly Richardson: You were ranked 40th on a list of the top 100 NFL prospects for 2006 by USA Today. What were your expectations going into last year's draft?

Terna Nande: It was a little different for me because of my left liver injury. I was just excited and anxious to get to play football on whichever team gave me the opportunity to.

AR: You were given the opportunity to play in a few preseason games with the Titans last year. Is there anything you think that you could have done differently to make the active roster?

TN: Basically, what they wanted to see out of me was more production. Being a rookie, you have a hard time digesting the playbook because it moves a lot faster. Also, the veteran players were given more reps for the Titans during preseason. If I would have had more plays, it might have been different.

AR: Do you feel you weren't given enough opportunities with the Titans?

TN: I played a lot on special teams in the preseason, but the Titans focused on getting their veterans work because they had Super Bowl hopes. I was third on the depth chart, so when you are third you don't get too many reps to show what you can do.

AR: What went through your head during the times when you didn't have a team?

TN: A lot. You are uncertain about your future. You don't know if any other teams are interested in you. I was going to a lot of workouts with other teams.

AR: What are the biggest differences between the Titans and the Chargers?

TN: There are a lot of differences when you go from team to team. The atmosphere in San Diego is more relaxed because they are used to winning and almost expect to win. The Chargers have team players who are competitive on the field, not with each other. The chemistry that the Chargers have is uplifting and positive. The Titans wanted to win very badly and made a lot of cuts because they wanted to bring in veterans who could help them do that.

AR: Are you happy to be on a team with a reputation of developing young players?

TN: Yes, the past few weeks I've learned so much. The Chargers really want you to know what your role is. Mental capacity is the most important thing at this level. The Chargers do more coaching and developing good new players, so it's a better fit for me.

AR: What do you bring to a team?

TN: I think I can bring a lot. I'm very athletic and versatile. In college, I had great success as a rush passer. The Chargers can use me inside or outside. I'm also a dominant force on special teams.

Click here for the rest of the interview, where Nande talks about his relationship with Ron Rivera, his inside scoop on the Titans and more.

Amberly Richardson is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and a correspondent for She has contributed to the official Web sites of Shawne Merriman, Lorenzo Neal, Shaun Phillips and others for Sixthman Communications.

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