“Rivers, Rivers, Rivers…..Freeny, Freeny Freeny….Teo, Teo Teo….Weddle, Weddle, Weddle…Fluker, Fluker, Fluker!” These were a few of the chants that echoed inside the walls of Qualcomm yesterday at the San Diego Chargers Fan Fest 2013 .
This sense of excitement was an open armed welcome for the new faces gracing the Charger’s organization. It was the first time that new Head Coach Mike McCoy lead his team onto the field at Bolt’s Stadium along with other new editions like Manti Te’o, Derek Cox, D.J. Fluker, Keenan Allen and Dwight Freeney.
New linebacker, Freeney spoke with Pro Player Insider’s Theresa Villano about his first Fan Fest experience. “It has been an amazing experience. Just having everybody and all the fans out here.” It was unbelievable the love Freeny got from the fans and in hearing this love Freeny replied, “(Fans) they didn’t count it against me that I have been playing against them (as a Colt). They are rooting for me and this team. ” (chuckles). For over 10 years. Freely has been very involved in the community and he plans to bring just that to San Diego as well, “For me it is all about the community. I am blessed to be in this position and I wasn’t put in this position for nothing. So no matter no matter where I am I give back some way or another and I like to do that as much as possible.”
Veteran Charger Eric Weddle said, “The fan turnout has been amazing. Their energy , their passion, just gives us as players a chance to tell them thanks. We appreciate them; without them we would have no Chargers or NFL.” When asked about what he did on his day off from camp he quickly responded by saying, “I usually hang with my kids, go to a movie, get back to daddy time, and being a good husband.” On top of being one of the league’s top safeties and voted No. 48 in PFT’s ranking of the top 100 players in the league, Weddles’ character is exactly why fans are chanting his name.
A full team practice also took place for the attending fans. During the 7 on 7 drills River’s arm was on point hitting his favorite targets like Malcolm Floyd, Ryan Mathews, and Eddie Royal. After drills Coach Mike McCoy spoke to the media about the Bolts starting QB and the changes to the team this year. “Phillip (Rivers) has done a great job. I think he loves what Ken Whisenhunt has brought to the offense and has bought into what we want to do 100%….It’s been a physical camp since we put the pads on. We have created a new tempo here, we are playing fast, not a lot of breaks. and we are re creating our identity here. We are building the toughness of our team through training camp, but we have a long ways to go,” McCoy said.
McCoy and Whisenhunt are not the only one rooting for Rivers. Noble fan and guest Charger’s commentator Mac Pham was able to interact with River’s before practice.(See video below) “After doing a school report on Rivers, I’ve become one of Rivers top fans but I know I’m not his biggest fan. According to my research, his family seems to be his biggest fans,” Pham said.
A long list of Chargers alumni also attended the event to show fan support including: Hank Bauer, Jamal Williams, Pete Shaw, John Carney, Willie Buchanan, Darren Bennett, John Carney, Darren Carrington, Terrell Fletcher, Mike Goff, Burt Grossman, Don Macek, Anthony Miller, Chuck Muncie, Billy Ray Smith, and Doug Wilkerson.
It was a great day for Chargers fans and people of all ages came out chanting. Hands down, America’s finest city enjoyed the opportunity to meet the new faces and new beginnings that the 2013 Chargers season will bring.
–For more under the helmet access Follow @PlayerInsiders @Theresa_ppi
Check out our pics of Fan Fest 2013 here and for many more visit Pro Player Insiders Charger’s Facebook album (Photos by Pete Santos):
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