Run, Charlie, Run
With the Chargers heading to Philadelphia to face the new-look Eagles Sunday, San Diego needed its own version of Michael Vick.
Enter second-string quarterback Charlie Whitehurst, who ran the scout team offense Wednesday and simulated Vick-like situations for the Chargers defense.
"I'm trying to do my best impersonation," Whitehurst said, smiling. "I thought I was pretty good."
It's a challenge for anyone to really emulate the Eagles, as their first game under new head coach Chip Kelly consisted of a (hyper) no-huddle spread offense that resulted in 443 total yards and a victory over the Washington Redskins.
"The tempo is really quick," Whitehurst said. "They run a bunch of plays at you that other teams don't do. Obviously Chip Kelly is the only guy in the league who's really doing it."
The attempts at re-creating Philadelphia's offense are, well … exhausting.
"You try the best you can and it tires you out," Whitehurst said.
Still, it was a welcome challenge for the athletic quarterback, who teammates describe as "quick" and "a scrambler."
"I have a lot of fun with it," Whitehurst said. "You try to hide the smiles … You hope you don't keep it and run yourself too much, give the defense a good look. It's a lot of fun."
Added linebacker Donald Butler: "He took [the ball] a couple times and he was running with it. He looked good.
"Charlie can run, now. Charlie can run."
High Flying Eagles
The Chargers have a short week to prepare for an Eagles offense that is not only unfamiliar, but at times, unforgiving.
"I think it's going to be fun, " said linebacker Jarret Johnson. "It's definitely all new to me. It's kinda weird because I'm asking all the young guys, what was it like when you played against [Kelly] in college? I never played against an offense like this. All the young guys have, whether it was Oregon or a similar offense.
"It's kinda weird, I'm going to a second year player who's on the practice squad, trying to get tips from him."
The Eagles ran 53 plays in the first half of their season opener, stunning (and exhausting) the Redskins' defense.
"It's about the speed," Butler said. "You have to be ready for the speed. If you're not, then you're going to get gassed."
The NFL's vice president of officiating, Dean Blandino, admitted Tuesday that the personal foul against Cam Thomas in the fourth quarter of the season opener was the wrong call.
Thomas was fouled for unnecessary roughness with Texans long snapper Jon Weeks. The penalty gifted the Texans with a new set of downs, which resulted in a touchdown and a huge momentum shift for Houston.
Thomas takes full responsibility -- saying he shouldn't have put the team in that position at all -- but still, the blown call is a tough one to take.
"It's very frustrating, knowing where we were at," Thomas said. "Just 'what if' … I gotta keep moving forward though."
It was a bittersweet ending for an otherwise solid performance from Thomas, who made an interception off a tipped ball on the Texan's first play from scrimmage.
"It felt really good," he said. "I wish I had a pick six. Next time I'm gonna get my Danario Alexander on, dunking on a goalpost. I'll show you how to really dunk."
Thomas is, of course, referring to Alexander's signature touchdown move … the goalpost dunk. It's also a trademark of wide receiver Malcom Floyd.
Manti Te'o worked on the side field Wednesday, still trying to recover from what the team is calling a "bruised foot." Te'o missed the first start of the season and could miss the second as well.
Head coach Mike McCoy, in mysterious McCoy fashion, declined to give too many details about whether the linebacker could return to practice this week.
"You'll see tomorrow," he said.
If Te'o doesn't start against Philadelphia, expect Bront Bird to take his place. Bird recorded 14 tackles in the season opener, the most he's had in his NFL career.