Mortensen: 2001 archive

Chargers trying to keep Flutie fresh

Sept. 5
Doug Flutie might despise the description, but he is at times understandably paranoid. Or insecure. Which is why he has been slow to embrace the "pitch count" the San Diego Chargers have put on him in order to combat the tendency for his arm to tire as the season progresses.

Doug Flutie

"We're going to watch him, make him rest and not overwork him, but he isn't thrilled about us trying to watch his pitch count," conceded Chargers coach Mike Riley. "That's because he's so competitive, and I'm not sure he really has a lot of trust because of what he's had to deal with all his life."

The plan isn't to have Flutie share games with rookie Drew Brees. But he will be asked to make fewer throws in practice. During training camp, the Chargers forced him to take an extra day off, sometimes two per week, and he will be asked to rest even more during the team's bye week after Sunday's opener with the Washington Redskins.

Flutie had a good enough preseason and training camp to satisfy new offensive coordinator Norv Turner, who may have preferred Troy Aikman before GM John Butler made the call on the ex-Bills quarterback. But Turner is a fan of his 5-foot-9 passer.

"He's a freak," said Turner. "When you look at his age, and his size, he's a much better passer than people give him credit for. He can make all the throws. He throws a really good deep ball.

"I know our receivers were really surprised early in camp because they were afraid they would out-run his arm, and they found out differently. Really, Doug's been fabulous."

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