English hopes to make NFL first language

SAN DIEGO -- The reason why the San Diego Chargers drafted Larry English with the No. 16 overall pick in the 2009 draft was to have a pass rusher from the linebacker position in case Shawne Merriman ever wasn’t around.

EnglishEnglishMerriman isn’t around. He has held out of camp because he wants the Chargers to assure him he won’t be traded. The team doesn’t plan to trade Merriman right now, but it won’t give him any assurances. That means English is going to have a big role until Merriman comes to camp. Even if Merriman gets in the fold, the Chargers expect big things from English.

That’s why this camp is so important for English. He is getting more repetitions than he ever got as a rookie.

“I’m trying to take advantage of it,” English said. “I’m on the field a lot. That is a big help. I feel much more comfortable this year than last. Really, I feel better every day.”

English has been impressive in camp. He is a speed rusher, who has often blown by offensive linemen on his way to the quarterback. We didn’t see that much from English as a rookie. He had a very plain rookie season. The Northern Illinois product had 36 tackles and two sacks as a rookie.

“I want to relax more in games this year,” English said. “I think that will make a big difference.”

So should all of his practice reps in training camp.