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Jason Verrett's staggering accumulation of injuries over the past several years could have shaken anyone's resolve to stick with football.
Instead [url=http://www.49erscheapstore.com/ahkello-witherspoon-jersey-cheap]Ahkello Witherspoon Jersey[/url] , the Chargers' once-dominant cornerback is determined to get his game right back to where it was two seasons ago.
Verrett participated in a full practice during Los Angeles' minicamp Wednesday for the first time since last September, when he eventually lost a second consecutive season to a left knee injury. Verrett looked healthy and sharp while getting to know several teammates who weren't around for his Pro Bowl season back in San Diego in 2015.
"It's night and day different from last year," Verrett said. "I'm just happy to be able to move around. I feel solid."
Verrett tore a ligament in his knee four games into the 2016 season, ruining his chance to establish himself as an elite NFL cornerback following his breakthrough in 2015. He made it through only the regular-season opener last year before his knee proved too painful, eventually requiring another surgery.
But after several months of rehabilitation, Verrett feels great and looks healthy. He's looking forward to fighting for a job in the Chargers' crowded secondary and putting together a season that could secure his future as a free agent next spring.
"Being out here, just seeing how deep we are at every position, it's great," Verrett said. "Especially in the defensive room, we have so many guys that can play all over the field. Being able to get back to how I used to play, and adding that onto what we did last year, it can be special."
Injuries have affected all of Verrett's four seasons with the Chargers, who drafted the Northern California native in 2014 out of TCU, where he famously played his senior season with a torn labrum in his shoulder.
He played in only six games as a rookie, but made an interception in Oakland despite tearing his labrum again earlier in the game. He made the Pro Bowl in his second season with the Chargers, missing a mere two games with injuries.
And then Verrett's knee gave out in October 2016. He never felt fully healthy last year despite the Chargers' extreme caution with him in training camp and the preseason, and the pain eventually forced him to give up.
All told, Verrett has missed 39 of 64 possible regular-season games. It's a source of frustration, but Verrett also sees his experience as a well of knowledge.
"I just think it's part of my story," Verrett said. "I dealt with so much adversity getting here, and then the fact that I dealt with a lot of injuries [url=http://www.vikingscheapstore.com/adam-thielen-jersey-cheap]Adam Thielen Jersey[/url] , it's kept me up to date. Whenever other people are going through injuries, I feel like I know so much. Tell them, 'Hey, work on this,' or 'Work on that.' I just feel it's something the man above put on my plate so I'm able to be a gift for somebody else."
Verrett isn't a taller, bulkier cornerback in the more modern mold of the position's archetype, but his speed and educated football instincts made him a standout when healthy. Chargers defensive coordinator Gus Bradley sees Verrett rounding back into that form.
"Sometimes when you see a guy come back from an injury like that, it takes some time," Bradley said. "I don't see it right now. The way he's working out, the way he's practicing, he's in a really good place right now. ... His skill set, what he has, his speed, his athleticism, his change of direction, it is elite."
The Chargers showed their commitment to Verrett in April 2017 when they exercised his fifth-year contract option, but he returns to a roster with a well-stocked defensive secondary.
Casey Hayward earned a Pro Bowl selection last season as Los Angeles' lockdown corner, while Trevor Williams emerged as a dependable starting corner and Desmond King excelled as a slot corner and nickel back. Starting safety Jahleel Addae played a major role in Verrett's recovery by hitting his teammate with daily texts and steady encouragement.
The Chargers also used their recent first-round pick on Derwin James, who could be headed toward an immediate starting job at safety after getting major responsibilities in offseason practices.
It's too early to say where Verrett fits into the mix, but he's determined to find a spot while he plays for his future.
"They stuck with me throughout the entire time last year," Verrett said. "Being able to come out here [url=http://www.raiderscheapstore.com/connor-cook-jersey-cheap]Connor Cook Jersey[/url] , make a few plays and see all the guys cheering on and having that squad, it's helping me get through my days."
Bobby Beathard loathed first-round draft picks and reveled in taking chances on players from out-of-the-way colleges.
It was a formula that paid off with two victories in four trips to the Super Bowl as general manager of the Washington Redskins and San Diego Chargers.
He also loathes dressing up, meaning the gold blazer he’ll wear when he’s inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame won’t get much use after Saturday night’s ceremony.
”I don’t think I’ll be wearing it many places except there,” Beathard said. ”I don’t think I’ll be going out to dinner with that coat on.”
That’s Beathard, 81, who always was more comfortable dressed as a Southern California beach bum. In jobs ranging from scout to general manager, he helped build seven Super Bowl teams for four franchises, including four winners, during a career lasting nearly four decades.
Beathard was so low-key that when Kevin Gilbride was hired as Chargers coach in 1997 and insisted that everyone wear a coat and tie on road trips, even the GM, Beathard reached into his pocket on one trip and found an NFL schedule from 1989. That had been the last time he wore a blazer, when he worked on NBC’s pregame show.
Beathard certainly didn’t need a blazer for scouting trips to small colleges, or to bodysurf in his beloved Pacific Ocean, run the Boston Marathon or have a few beers once a week with his buddies in Franklin, Tennessee, where he’s lived for several years.
But he’ll have to wear one Saturday night.
His presenter will be Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs, hired by Beathard with Washington before the 1981 season.
”I would have had one of my sons but I think it was more appropriate to have Joe,” Beathard said. ”We spent a long time together.”
Gibbs, inducted in 1996, coached the Redskins to victory in two of the three Super Bowls the Redskins reached in the 1980s. Those are the teams Beathard is best-remembered for building.
He also built the San Diego Chargers’ only Super Bowl team, which was routed by San Francisco in the 1995 game.
He began his career as a part-time scout for the Kansas City Chiefs in 1963 before leaving to scout in the AFL. He returned to the Chiefs in 1966 [url=http://www.raiderscheapstore.com/shareece-wright-jersey-cheap]Shareece Wright Jersey[/url] , when they played in the first Super Bowl. In 1972, Beathard was hired as director of player personnel for the Miami Dolphins, who won consecutive Super Bowls.
The Redskins hired him as GM in 1978 and he began doing things his way. He viewed first-round draft picks a commodity to be traded away to stockpile lower picks. He also worked the free agent market. In 1982, the Redskins team that won the Super Bowl included 27 free agents signed by Beathard since he was hired. In his 11 years in Washington, the Redskins used their first-round pick only three times.
In 1988, Sports Illustrated called him ”The Smartest Man in the NFL.”
Beathard didn’t like the title.
”That was kind of embarrassing,” Beathard said. ”Whoever put that in there, I told them when it first came out, `Well, you better go back and ask my high school and college teachers if that’s true, and I don’t think they’d agree with that.’ ”
Taking Beathard’s entire career as a whole, the label certainly fit.
”If I ever got into that position, I had a plan how I wanted to do it and it wasn’t that the No. 1 draft pick was the most important thing,” Beathard said about becoming a GM. ”Every year we’d go out all year to all the colleges, scouting and looking at the players. And if it was a draft that was deep in talent I thought it was more valuable to get some of the later picks, because there were real good players down there, not only in the first round. If you had a high pick in the first round, trade that and get multiple picks where all the other players were. Fortunately it worked out for us. The only grief I got from it was from Darrell Green.”
Of all his draft picks and free agent signings, Beathard said his favorite was Green, the 5-foot-8 defensive back from Texas A&I who was taken with the 28th pick overall – the last pick in the first round – of the 1983 draft. Green went on to a Hall of Fame career.
”That doesn’t mean the other guys, the Art Monks [url=http://www.buccaneerscheapstore.com/chris-godwin-jersey-cheap]Chris Godwin Jersey[/url] , the Russ Grimms and the Jeff Bostics, all those other guys, it doesn’t mean those weren’t just as important,” Beathard said. ”When we took Darrell Green, I’ll never forget the phone call. When I called Darrell he was down at Texas A&I and I called Darrell and said, `Hey Darrell, it’s Bobby; we took you.’ He got mad at me and said, `Why did you wait until last pick to take me?’ And I said, `The way the draft works, we won the Super Bowl so we had the last pick, so blame the other (27) teams that didn’t take you. Don’t blame us.”’
Beathard left the Redskins in May 1989 and was out of the NFL only one season before being hired by the Chargers. His first draft pick was Junior Seau and the Chargers reached the Super Bowl five seasons later. Seau was posthumously inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2015.
When he scouted colleges, Beathard, who retired in April 2000, said he’d look beyond the players recommended by coaches.
”I traveled the whole country to every school that played football to look for players. I got to see the players personally, besides the scouting staff. I just had a lot of confidence in my evaluation. I wasn’t afraid to take players from small schools, or small players.
”I think of Darrell Green, we had a little receiver, Alvin Garrett, guys t [url=http://www.officialusafootballs.com/new-england-patriots/danny-shelton-jersey]Authentic Womens Danny Shelton Jersey[/url]
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