- Anthony Davis injury: 49ers tackle out vs. Seahawks
- UFC 181: 3 thoughts surrounding Robbie Lawler’s welterweight title win
- Hero World Challenge 2014: Tiger Woods’ short game fails with 2nd round 70
- Jim Harbaugh defends Colin Kaepernick’s press conference
- Tiger Woods returns, struggles to 77 at Hero World Challenge
- Pac-12 Championship Game tickets least expensive in 4 years
- MLB offseason 2014: Will Nelson Cruz be able to repeat his success?
- Kings’ Slava Voynov will face felony assault charge
- Tim Howard earns U.S. Male Soccer Athlete of the Year honor
- Is Robert Griffin III an NFL bust?
Manti Te’o finds oasis of football, support in San Diego
- Updated: July 28, 2013
San Diego Chargers rookie linebacker Manti Te’o is reinventing himself as a professional in Southern California for all the right reasons. The former Notre Dame star has seemingly shed all of the controversy that surrounded him after his college days and can finally focus on doing his job, just like everyone else, in training camp. He’s been a good teammate, and veterans on the team have praised his work ethic and sheer ability.
Most importantly, however, he’s found comfort in San Diego, and that’s best for both he and the Chargers. He’s close to his home state of Hawaii, and in a comfortable pocket where the media is about as intimidating as a baby giraffe at the world famous San Diego Zoo. In other words, he couldn’t have asked for a better place to begin his NFL career.
“For me to be in San Diego is a perfect situation for me,” Te’o told Sports Out West after practice on Friday. “Being close to home, the Polynesian support that I have here — the Polynesian community is very big here in San Diego.
For me to be here with these coaches and these players. People don’t realize that this organization is filled with a bunch of good people. For me to be a part of that is very, very fortunate.”
But Te’o understands that he has to come in and prove himself daily in a relenteless league, and he’s focused on that more than anything else these days. So what’s his job specifically as camp gets started?
“Just to compete, learn the playbook, make sure I’m in the right place, he said. “That’s what every rookie has to do, so that’s what I’m doing.”
Not only is he humble on the field, but gracious and caring off it. As we spoke with him, he corralled a teammate who missed a young fan calling his name with genuine concern. Michael Gehlken of the U-T San Diego reported on Saturday that he gave fellow rookie D.J. Fluker swimming lessons and helped him overcome his fear of drowning. That’s the player Bolts’ fans will come to appreciate as he continues to prove himself in a dynamic league. In a culture that is so often “me first,” he is humble and likable.
That humility will pay dividends on the field, where he’s soaking up as much as possible from his new teammates and has leaned on them heavily since coming to Chargers Park. That’s especially true of fellow linebacker Donald Butler.
“The veterans have really helped me,” he said. “Donald helps me a lot. He’s like a big brother out there for me. He tells me where to go, he tells me when I make a mistake and helps me fix those mistakes – guys like him, Eric Weddle, Jarret Johnson, a lot of those guys. The whole team in general just helps me out a lot.”
Latest posts by Michael C. Jones (see all)
- Anthony Davis injury: 49ers tackle out vs. Seahawks - December 12, 2014
- VIDEO: Russell Wilson makes Fletcher Cox look silly on quarterback scramble - December 7, 2014
- Hero World Challenge 2014: Tiger Woods’ short game fails with 2nd round 70 - December 5, 2014