ESPN Insider: Whispers from around the NFL


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Staff member
Jun 20, 2005
Chula Vista, CA

• Athletic rookie CB Antonio Cromartie, currently playing the nickel role, has seen more action as a kick returner in practice of late, but head coach Marty Schottenheimer isn't ready to commit to him in that role just yet, despite the fact he's more explosive than current KR Michael Turner. Cromartie has been impressive on the punt-coverage team, along with WR Kassim Osgood.

• The Chargers' defense has gotten a lot of publicity, but a key ingredient to San Diego's overall success, according to sources, has been FB Lorenzo Neal. The 14-year veteran still brings a physical presence in paving the way for RB LaDainian Tomlinson. Neal doesn't play with the same balance he once did and gets caught lunging too much, but he plays hard and still has the power and knowledge of angles to move people.