McNeill looks to get stronger

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Johnny Lightning

Go Bolts
Feb 7, 2006
Friday, Jun 23, 2006
By Casey Pearce,

McNeill looks to get stronger

Late next week, Chargers players will be dismissed until late July to enjoy some time off and prepare for training camp, but for rookie offensive tackle Marcus McNeill, it won’t be a vacation.

“Instead of palm trees, I’m going to be looking at weight racks,” McNeill said. “I’m headed home to Atlanta and I’m planning on putting a ton of time in at the gym.”

While McNeill is happy with his weight, he hopes to continue to change his body a bit throughout the summer. He’s comfortable playing at around 340 pounds but hopes to add some muscle mass before training camp gets rolling.

“Coach (Jack) Henry and Coach (Hal) Hunter have already helped me tremendously with my technique,” McNeill said. “I’ve just got to get stronger. It didn’t take me long to realize how quick and strong the defensive players are in this league. I’ve got to make sure that I can hang with them physically.”

Throughout the team’s offseason program, McNeill worked with the second unit at left tackle. While several scouts believed that the mammoth tackle’s skill set would allow him to play either side of the line in the NFL, Chargers Head Coach Marty Schottenheimer has no plans of experimenting with McNeill at right tackle for the time being.

“We don’t want to give him too much at this point,” Schottenheimer said. “We want him to learn the one position and the techniques that go with it.”

Which is fine with McNeill, who started 43 consecutive games at left tackle in college without allowing a sack.

“I really feel more comfortable over there,” McNeill said. “That’s where I’ve been for a while. It’s a huge responsibility having to protect the quarterback’s blindside, but that’s something I take a lot of pride in. I had a lot of success in college and am excited to see how it translates to this league.”

Although Schottenheimer believes that the Bolts’ second-round pick in April’s draft does need some time, he has been pleased with what he saw from McNeill during the team’s Offseason Coaching Sessions.

“He shows the athletic skills that are necessary to play there,” Schottenheimer said. “Things are moving awfully fast for him. That’s expected at this point. He’s been working hard and we’re confident that he’ll continue to do so.”

Although he’s spent most of his life in the Deep South, McNeill has enjoyed the time he’s spent in his new home.

“It’s absolutely beautiful,” McNeill said. “The people are friendly and the beaches are great. I’ve had a good time learning my way around and seeing San Diego. I hope I get to live here for a long time. It’s going to be good spending time at home with my family, but the whole time I’m just going to be working to make sure that I’m ready to take care of business when I get back to my new home.”


Carpe Diem et omni Mundio
Staff member
Super Moderator
Jan 19, 2006
San Diego, CA
And its a very big positive because this was the big complaint about McNeil from some people that he didn't lift weights and wasn't that strong