SAN DIEGO -- One player who has earned praise from the coaching staff of the San Diego Chargers through the first week of training camp is offensive lineman Michael Huey.
With players like center Chris Watt and guards Orlando Franklin and Johnnie Troutman getting rest days because of minor injuries, Huey has gotten an opportunity to work at both center and guard with the starters.
And he has made the most of it, holding his own and not looking out of place with that group.
"The more you can do, the better," Huey said. "It shows your worth and your value. Whenever they ask me to do a task, I’ll do it with a smile on my face, and I’ll do it 100 miles per hour. I’m just trying to find this place as my new home, trying to help this team out, be a part of this team and help them build toward a championship."
Head coach Mike McCoy and offensive line coach Joe D'Alessandris have praised Huey’s performance so far at Chargers Park.
"Michael Huey’s done a nice job of getting better every day," McCoy said. "He’s made the most of his opportunities, and that’s what it’s all about. We brought him in here this offseason and he’s worked extremely hard to learn the system and learn how to do things."
Added D’Alessandris: "Michael Huey is gaining knowledge as a center and a guard. And now his performance should improve because of his total understanding of the offensive line play and communication."
A free agent addition during the offseason signed in March, Huey played three seasons with the Arizona Rattlers of the Arena Football League, helping them win three straight league titles.
Huey was an undrafted rookie free agent by the Seattle Seahawks in 2011, but was released a week into training camp. The Chargers signed Huey a week later, but released him at the end of August. Last season, Huey spent two weeks on Washington’s practice squad.
At 6-foot-4 and 317 pounds, the University of Texas product is a better-than-expected athlete who plays with good leverage. Huey said playing in the Arena Football League helped prepare him for a return to the NFL.
"Things are actually faster (in the Arena League), believe it or not," Huey said. "It helped me build on athleticism. And also, it’s a pro league, so I was able to mature a little bit more than what I was coming out of college. I feel like I’ve developed into a smarter, stronger player."