Turner Tinkers With Young Faces in New Places

Coach Norv Turner is using the offseason coaching sessions to mix and match players and positions. Among the players getting a long look is inside linebacker Anthony Waters. The second-year pro didn't see the field during games last season, as he was still getting his rebuilt knee in shape.

Anthony Waters is taking every rep asked of him now, and is looking good.

"He really couldn't practice a whole lot last year," Turner said of the Chargers' third-round pick in 2007. "He never was 100 percent. But he did a great job with all the opposition's stuff (on scout team) during the season. And he has had a great offseason."

Waters may be asked to contribute early with Stephen Cooper being suspended for the first four games.

Turner has also been toying with Paul Oliver, another second-year pro who didn't see game action in '07, at various spots. Oliver was a cornerback at Georgia before coming to the Chargers in last year's supplemental draft.

But Turner has him lining up a little deeper in the secondary on occasion.

"He's been playing free safety and I think that is a good move for him," Turner said. "With the way everyone stretches you out now, your safeties have to play man coverage and he can."

Oliver is also seeing time in the slot as the nickel back.

"It's a whole different world for him but he is learning and making progress," Turner said. "But we have a lot of work to do."

Another player Turner likes to fiddle with is Legedu Naanee. He's been lining up at wide receiver and fullback -- as a former high school quarterback, don't be surprised if he wings it, too.

"We ask a lot of (Naanee); he plays a lot of different positions," Turner said. "And he is going to be a positive influence in our games.

"He's capable of being a starting receiver in this league at some point and he does a lot of things."

There's a lot going on at Chargers Park as they get ready to start their drive for their third straight AFC West title and another deep run into the playoffs.

This year, they could even do it with some fresh faces contributing in a number of different ways.


UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (not tendered offers)
--RB Tyronne Gross (not tendered as ERFA).
--OT L.J. Shelton: FA Dolphins; 2 yrs, terms unknown.
--LB Derek Smith: FA 49ers; 2 yrs, terms unknown.
--OT Jeromey Clary: ERFA; terms unknown.
--WR Malcom Floyd: ERFA; terms unknown.
--CB Cletis Gordon: ERFA; terms unknown.
--CB Steve Gregory: ERFA; terms unknown.
--LB Marques Harris: RFA; tendered at $1.47M; terms unknown.
--DT Brandon McKinney: ERFA; terms unknown.
--G Scott Mruczkowski: Potential RFA; 3 yrs, terms unknown.
--QB Billy Volek: UFA; $9M/3 yrs, $3M SB.
--CB Drayton Florence: UFA Jaguars; $36M/6 yrs, $12M SB.
--S Marlon McCree (released).
--FB Lorenzo Neal (released).
--OT Shane Olivea (released).
--K Dave Rayner: Not tendered as RFA/Dolphins; terms unknown.
--RB Michael Turner: UFA Falcons; $34.5M/6 yrs, $15M guaranteed.

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