Sunday, November 24, 2013
Chargers' Ladarius Green shows off speed
By Eric D. Williams
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Even as San Diego Chargers tight end Ladarius Green blazed past Kansas City Chiefs defensive backs Quintin Demps and Brandon Flowers as if the two were standing still for a 60-yard touchdown reception, something else ran through his mind.
“I just hoped I didn’t trip,” Green said, smiling. “Or fall down and fumble or something. I was just so excited. I don’t think I ran by him. I think he took a bad angle. It just looked kind of deceiving. C’mon now, I’m not that fast.”
San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers begs to differ.
“He’s the fastest guy on the team,” a smiling Rivers said in the locker room afterwards. “That might make some of the receivers mad, but it’s true in my opinion.”
As promised, the Chargers used Green more often against Kansas City, and it paid big dividends. Green was targeted four times, and finished with three receptions for 81 yards, including his first career touchdown reception in San Diego's 41-38 victory.
Those numbers do not include what would have been a 35-yard reception in the second half that was called back because of an ineligible player downfield penalty on San Diego offensive lineman Jeromey Clary.
The heir apparent to Antonio Gates, Green still has some work to do, according to his mentor.
“I try to do as much as I can to help mold him into a starter in this league,” Gates said. “I see that in the future for him. I was once a guy in that situation. Unfortunately I played and started as a rookie. I think once you put everything you have into a situation like I have and my career, and you play with a guy and are like, ‘Wow, he’s starting in the league and he’s working.’”
Rivers and Reid get cozy: After completing a pass to Green near the Kansas City sideline, Rivers argued with the officials when Kansas City head coach Andy Reid stepped between the San Diego quarterback and the referee, bumping him from behind as if telling Rivers to get back out on the field.
Rivers had a few words with Reid before running back to the huddle.
“He kind of bumped me, but it was all in fun,” Rivers said. “He probably coaches a lot like I play, with a lot of passion, respect and love for the game. That’s how I played today. I had a lot of interaction with the fans behind me, but it was all good clean fun.”
Injury update: Running back Ryan Mathews suffered a hamstring injury in the second half and was replaced by Ronnie Brown. Offensive lineman D.J. Fluker suffered what looked to be a leg injury, but should be OK. Receiver Eddie Royal had to leave the game in the final quarter with a chest injury according to U-T San Diego, and did not return. And defensive lineman Corey Liuget suffered an unknown injury on the final play of the game, and had to be helped off of the field.