Reche Caldwell (Rick Stewart/Getty)
Younger siblings grudgingly accept hand-me-down clothes, but Michael Lombardo reports from the Senior Bowl that one younger brother receives his older brother’s legacy, for better or worse.
The Chargers' grocery list for receivers would be much longer without the addition of Chris Chambers midway through last season. However, the offense can always use another play-maker. Andre Caldwell is making a name for himself at the Senior Bowl and the Chargers could be tempted to pluck him from the aisles.
The Chargers let Andre's older brother, Reche Caldwell, leave via free agency after the 2005 season. After drafting Reche in the second round of the 2002 draft, the Chargers grew tired of his lack of focus and attention to detail. Reports indicated he was nonchalant in his game preparations, even putting his feet up on the desks in the film room.
Andre assures Michael Lombardo a bad attitude is not a Caldwell trait. In fact, Reche has been helping his younger brother prepare for the pre-draft process.
"I talked to Reche every day about what's going on," Andre said. "He tells me to be myself and to be the man I've been for 22 years. He said not to hide anything because they know everything about you. He said to go out there and compete, showcase my talent, and try as hard as I can every day out there on the football field."
Good advice is evident in the younger Caldwell’s decision to play out his senior year. He said that he wanted to work his way into the first round; and although that remains a long-shot, his stock continues to rise.
For all their aversions to Reche, the Chargers like what they see in his younger brother. The same traits that prompted the Chargers to use their second-round pick on the elder Caldwell in 2002 could land Andre a shot at the Chargers’ roster.
Andre's college productivity was similar to that of his brother. Andre tallied more than 750 yards last season at the University of Florida, the same school where Reche rose to fame. He totaled 185 receptions in his four-year career, good for eighth all-time in SEC annals.
Coming from Florida could hinder Andre's draft stock. Coach Urban Meyer runs a gimmick offense that does not translate well to the NFL. Also, Florida has a long history of funneling disappointing receivers into the pro ranks.
However, Andre believes his school will work to his advantage.
“It prepared me a lot," he said. "I don’t think it gets too much tougher than how we practiced and how we prepared. We tried to focus on the little things."
If Andre can match Reche's talent and avoid his personality pratfalls, then the younger Caldwell might be making plays for the Chargers next season.
Amberly Richardson is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and a correspondent for Scout.com. She has contributed to the official Web sites of Shawne Merriman, Lorenzo Neal, Shaun Phillips and others for Sixthman Communications.