TE Ladarius Green (U.S. Presswire)
It says something that the Chargers are beat up on the offensive line and in the secondary, yet they continue to carry four tight ends with the intent of developing Ladarius Green. To learn more about the talented pass catcher, we go one-on-one with him in this new Q&A.
San Diego selected Ladarius Green in the fourth round out of Louisiana-Lafayette. The team was high on the tall tight end, taking him despite having Antonio Gates, Randy McMichael and Dante Rosario already on the roster.
Green, a three-time All-Sun Belt League choice, finished his college career with 149 catches for 2,201 yards and 22 TDs.
The hope is that Green can blossom into a complement -- and possibly an heir apparent -- to Gates. In the meanwhile, he will look to mix in more big plays like his 31-yard catch in a Week 2 win against the Tennessee Titans.
Brian Ducoffe: On draft night, what was your reaction to being taken by San Diego?
Ladarius Green: Oh, I was ecstatic. Everybody was sitting there with my family, and just waiting there sitting for my name to go across the screen, you know, waiting and waiting, it was the most stressful time in my life. But it was really exciting coming here. I know people [in San Diego] too.
BD: I know you grew up with both parents in the military. What was it like growing up playing football with them in the military?
LD: I was very young when they were in the military. But by the time they got out of it, football was already there. And just knowing that they went out there and did the stuff they did, it’s just motivation and drive. They did something for their country that I think is great. And while I play football, it’s just not a big deal compared to what they did.
BD: What’s it like playing with and learning under Antonio Gates?
LD: Words can’t explain how good it is. He’s one of the best tight ends to ever play the game and I get to just sit back and watch him play and watch what he does. He coaches me up every day. It’s like I said, a dream come true to learn from somebody like him.
BD: You’re the second tallest player on the Chargers’ roster and the tallest receiver. How do you turn your height into an advantage on the field?
LD: It’s actually sort of hard because when you’re tall you’re kind of clumsy. But you just have to focus, you have to make those plays that other guys can’t make. I have to go after the ball every time cause I know that they expect you to make big plays. It happens a lot in practice.
BD: When the team comes off a tough loss like Monday against the Denver Broncos, how do you and the rest of the rookies come into practice the next day?
LD: I know we need to come in ready and focused. I have to do what I have to help the team in the way I know I can. I can’t just sit back there and pout cause, you know, I don’t want to be a player like that. I have to step my game up every day and become the best player I can.
BD: When you’re off the field, how do you like to spend your time?
LD: I love movies. I’m a big movie guy. I love watching movies and I’ve got a big collection, as well. I love to just sit back and watch a movie.
BD: What do you need to do for you to consider your first season a success?
LD: I have to give the best effort I can. I need to know coming out of practice that the coaches are saying I’m getting better every day. Knowing I’m helping out and just getting the approval of Antonio Gates and Randy McMichael, them telling me that I’m doing good, getting better and stepping up. Then I know I got better this season.
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Brian Ducoffe is in his second year of covering San Diego sports. He has been previously published in University Link Magazine and wrote as an NBA columnist for Gacksports.com. Follow Brian on twitter @brianducoffe.