Osgood Catching on as a Jacksonville Receiver

Osgood is in the zone

By Bernie Wilson
|  Sunday, Sep 19, 2010  |  Updated 9:46 AM PDT
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Osgood Catching on as a Jacksonville Receiver

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Kassim Osgood couldn't help himself after catching a 24-yard touchdown pass from David Garrard last Sunday in Jacksonville.

He got down on his knees and raised the ball in the air, drawing a 15-yard penalty for excessive celebration.

"I mean, it's been so long since I've been there that I didn't know they changed the rules," Osgood said. "I'm playing ignorant here. I'll know that for next time."

That could be as early as this Sunday, when the Jaguars visit the San Diego Chargers. It'll be a homecoming for Osgood, who was with the Chargers from 2003-09. Also playing in front of friends and family will be linebackers Kirk Morrison and Russell Allen, who like Osgood played at San Diego State.

Allen's family bought 114 tickets, not nearly enough to lift the local blackout. The Chargers fell more than 7,000 tickets short of reaching a sellout by Thursday's deadline, snapping a streak of 48 straight sellouts, playoffs included. It's the first blackout for Southern California's only NFL team since Nov. 11, 2004.

Osgood was a special teams ace who was a three-time Pro Bowler. However, Chargers coach Norv Turner didn't give Osgood much of a chance at wide receiver. Osgood caught only three passes in three seasons under Turner.

"I would have loved to have been able to contribute as a wide receiver in San Diego," Osgood said, mentioning how much fun it would have been to do it in front of friends and family. "That would have been a huge bonus for your career. But sometimes in your career and when you've been in the league for a certain amount of time, sometimes you have to go somewhere else to reinvent yourself."

Osgood isn't pigeonholed in Jacksonville.

"I just wanted to have a chance to be able to contribute on offense, so I was definitely stressing that as something I wanted to do coming into a new team," he said.

"For me, I just want to stress to the coaches that I'm available for whatever they need. If it's a plug-in play here or there, or anywhere. If they want me to go in and try to block the kick on a field goal, I'll do that. Or if David's arm gets tired, I'll go back there at quarterback and get a little quarterback in."

That last one was a joke, of course. But Osgood hasn't lost any of his rah-rah approach.

"I just make myself available for whatever they need, just whatever I can do to contribute to a win."

Garrard extended Osgood the confidence the Chargers didn't.

"I've been working a lot down here at receiver and getting a lot of rapport with the quarterback," Osgood said. "He said he just threw it out there trusting that I would make the play for him. It came out pretty well for us so it's going to add to the confidence of the quarterback and myself. That's a huge deal for me just knowing that I can be put in that spot, and to come out on top is a benefit for me."

The Chargers could have used Osgood on Monday night in their dismal 21-14 loss at Kansas City. They allowed Dexter McCluster's team-record, 94-yard punt return for a touchdown, as well as other big returns.

"I see the guys on the field and you start to get that same gut feeling, like, 'Man, you just know the coach is going to come and yell at you on the sideline.' You want to see your buddies do well against other teams. It's pretty tough to sit there and watch it, especially when those are guys I grew up with and had been in the league so long with."

The Chargers won despite getting 298 yards passing from Philip Rivers. The Chargers were denied four times inside the Chiefs' 10-yard line in the final minute.

"We just didn't play well enough to win the game," Rivers said. "We made the critical errors you can't make, we turned it over, we had three or four delay of game penalties, we had a big play against us in the kicking game. Those are recipes to get beat on the road."

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