Tuesday, May 8, 2007 | Legedu Naanee, the Chargers’ fifth-round draft pick from Boise State, was assigned jersey No. 89 when he arrived last weekend for mini-camp at Chargers Park.
He worked out with the other wide receivers in the Friday afternoon and Saturday morning sessions. But before the Saturday afternoon practice, Chargers head coach Norv Turner approached the 6-foot-3, 230-pounder on his way to getting dressed.
Normally, a rookie being stopped before practice is cause for alarm. But this wasn’t August or September, when the “‘The Turk”‘ — the NFL nickname for the team employee who must find a player about to be cut — is a dreaded figure.
This was May, and the reason that Turner stopped Naanee was to give him jersey No. 40 to wear for the afternoon workout.
Turner had X’s and O’s swimming around his head, and Turner wanted Naanee to work out with the tight ends. That explained why the head coach was playing the role of an equipment manager.
“‘He told me they wanted to use me different ways,”‘ Naanaee said. “‘I guess to disguise things. I was surprised, but it’s OK with me. I want to do whatever I can.”‘