Find Out Their Favorite Local Restaurants and Why They’re Hyped About This Season
Written By: Matthew Simon San Diego Super Chargers
Photographed By: Damien Noble Andrews
The San Diego Chargers are a household name in Southern California. Their successes, losses, changes and consistencies have been supported by loyal fans since the beginning. All of their accomplishments are due in part to the players, coaches, and of course, their fans. We sat down with some of the San Diego Chargers’ star players and even their head coach, to find out what they have in the works for the 2016 season.
Down the Line
Kyle Emanuel | # 51 | Position: Linebacker | Years of Experience: 2
Q: Going into your second year in the league, what are you excited about this season?
Kyle Emanuel: I’m looking forward to getting back onto the field. This is a long break, even now we’re still not in pads, but I’m just looking forward to getting back out there with the guys.
Q: Who are the guys that fans should look out for this year in terms of production?
KM: Hopefully everyone, I’m excited to see the new inside linebackers, JB (Joey Bosa) and Josh (Perry). I think they’ve come a long way just in this small period of time and hopefully that will carry over into the season.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about being here in San Diego?
KM: Oh man, I come from a small town in North Dakota so the weather is up there and the beaches don’t hurt either.
Keenan Allen | # 13| Position: Wide Receiver | Years of Experience: 4
Q: Tell us about the excitement of having a new contract before the season starts during minicamp.
Keenan Allen: I walked into the facility smiling. I’m excited and feel a little bit of pressure not to drop everything after I just signed. Everything was good and I feel good.
Q: When the contract announcement came out in June, you mentioned that you had “unfinished business, ” so what are your expectations this year?
KA: I just want to come out and get back to where I left off.
Q: After your injury do you have any extra precautions that you take before you head onto the field?
KA: Not at all, I’m just trying to get back to where I left off and just go out there and kill it.
Q: What does it mean for you and your family being a third round pick to now being able to sign a deal like this?
KA: It shows that hard work pays off, I just fought hard for what I could get and now we’re here, hopefully I can do it again.
Q&A With Mike McCoy, Head Coach
Q: Has anyone stood out to you early on in offseason training?
Mike McCoy: Overall, the way the defense has gotten after the football and number of balls they were able to get their hands on for interceptions. Also, the energy and excitement that the team is playing with right now, I’m very pleased with the attitude of our football team.
Q: How’s Keenan (Allen) coming off of the season with his injury last year?
MM: (He’s coming back) really quick, he’s coming off the ball, he’s lighter. He’s worked extremely hard, give him a lot of credit. That was a tough injury last year early on and just what he went through and how hard he’s worked, he hasn’t skipped a beat. He’s been chomping at the bit.
Q: How excited do you get when you come out here with the fans and it’s starting to feel like football season?
MM: (It feels like) one day closer. It’s great to have our season-ticket holders out here. It adds a little bit of energy and excitement. I couldn’t be happier with the energy and excitement of the players. It’s been different, it’s a different mindset, it’s a new year.
Q: What are you and the fans equally excited about?
MM: The development of some younger players, having someone like Philip Rivers run the offense, bringing some speed in with Travis Benjamin, seeing Danny Woodhead run around out there and Melvin looks great after the rehab he’s gone through this offseason.
D.J. Fluker | # 76| Position: Right Guard | Years of Experience: 4
Q: Going into your fourth year in the league, what are you looking forward to with the season around the corner?
D.J. Fluker: Everything is going good so far, so it’s good to work on the fundamentals. It’s good to see how from day one to now, we’ve gotten better.
Q: With the addition of Matt Slauson from Chicago, how does he impact the offensive line and what you guys want to do this year?
DF: Slauson came in with an old school mentality, (he’s an) old school center. That’s what we need though. We need some guys that are like that and bring some physicality to the team and compete. He’s done a great job.
Q: With some newcomers on the team, where in San Diego would you recommend the guys to go for postgame meals?
DF: Man, I tell people to go to Dirty Birds, it’s highly recommended. Best wings I ever had.
Q: For yourself, where are your go-to spots when you’re in town and have a chance to grab something to eat?
DF: Dirty Birds is a great spot, but I’m more of a pho guy. I like flavor so I like to go to OB Noodle House.
Run That Back
Melvin Gordon| # 28| Position: Running Back | Years of Experience: 2
Q: With training camp in full-swing, how have things been going for you in your second year?
Melvin Gordon: I think it’s been going pretty good. It’s coming along, just got to continue to build and get more reps and get better. That’s all I’m focused on right now.
Q: What are you looking forward to when the season starts, do you have any teams circled on the schedule?
MG: No, I’m looking forward to playing every team. Every team is great in this league, this is the highest you can go in this sport. So, I look forward to playing everyone because everyone is great.
Q: With a lot of guys crowding the backfield for reps, how does that add to the competition and help you guys get better?
MG: You got to just come out here and compete every day. Any running back can step in and make something happen, so it keeps you on your toes a lot. You just got to come out here focused every day and try to make the best of each rep you get.
Philip Rivers| # 17| Position: Quarterback | Years of Experience: 13
Q: How was it to get out there and know football season is around the corner?
Philip Rivers: It was good. It was nice to have some fans out there. It always adds a little juice but it was good. We want to finish the offseason well.
Q: How do you balance working hard during the offseason during OTA’s and mini camps?
PR: There’s a lot of getting away from it, but when you come back it’s go time hopefully until February. I think it is good to rest and reenergize, but continuing to mentally look at things still and study.
Q: With Antonio Gates so close to breaking the record for touchdowns for tight ends, what can you say about what has gotten him to where he is?
PR: There’s such a suddenness at, what, 36? He’s still looks fast and sharp. I think it’s exciting, because he still had a solid year and a big impact. I’m fired up about this year.
Hunter Henry| # 86| Position: Tight End | Years of Experience: R
Q: With your rookie year in full swing, how has it been for you so far?
Hunter Henry: You can’t complain about this weather in San Diego and I get to play with guys like Philip Rivers and Antonio (Gates), guys that have advanced the game. Just to be out here and continue to work and build relationships with the guys, it’s a lot of fun.
Q: What’s it like playing and learning from a future Hall of Fame tight end in Antonio Gates?
HH: It’s amazing and crazy the opportunity God put me in. I’m very, very blessed to be here in this situation. Especially with Antonio, one of the best to ever play this position.
Q: Not being too familiar with the San Diego area, where have you been spending your time when you’re not working?
HH: Del Mar, I like that area. We’ve been up there to the beach a couple of times and it’s a pretty nice spot. I’m a beach guy so hitting those spots has been fun.
Q: Where’s your favorite food spots that you’ve been to so far in San Diego?
HH: Eddie V’s in La Jolla is very good and World Famous those are the two spots off the top of my head.
9449 Friars Rd
San Diego, CA 92108
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