Sports Out West

Chargers Training Camp 2013: Eric Weddle, Donald Butler relish playing at home

Weddle Minicamp


The San Diego Chargers wrapped up their first week of training camp on Sunday, and it wasn’t too early for players to reflect on just how fortunate they were to be in position to play the game they loved in San Diego. 

For California natives Eric Weddle and Donald Butler, playing in America’s Finest City is something that they recognize as a special opportunity. 

“It’s been a blessing. I trained in Florida and I actually hated it, being three hours ahead and waking up with 30 text messages from all of your friends,” Butler told Sports Out West after practice on Sunday. “I’m a West Coast boy through and through, and I wanted to come here to San Diego, and I’m blessed that I was able to.” 

Butler starred at the University of Washington collegiately, and before that starred at Del Campo High School in Fair Oaks, Calif. He cited closeness to family and the ability to return to the Sacramento area via a short flight as a major advantage. 

“It means the world. I never take a minute, a second, a day for granted, that I’m doing what I love to do in the place I love,” said Weddle when asked what it means to play in Southern California, where he grew up before starring at Utah. “This is home for me now. I grew up in Rancho Cucamonga which is an hour-and-a-half north. Being able to be here with my family… I try to take each day as if it’s my last.” 

Both players will be anchors on a defensive unit that will have plenty to prove in a competitive division. 

“I think we did some good things last year, and we really just want to build on that,” he said. “We have the same coaches, added a few new pieces here and there, for the most part, our core group of guys are still the same so all we want to do is get better and just continue to be dominant out there.”

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Michael C. Jones is the managing editor and founder of Sports Out West and a Southern California-based sports journalist. His work is also regularly featured on Yahoo! Sports and SB Nation. You can catch up with him on Twitter: @MikeJonesTweets.