Chargers rookie Brenden Rice, Jerry Rice's son, feels he has lots to show

by Christina S. Brown
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Brenden Rice already had lots to show because the son of Professional Soccer Corridor of Famer Jerry Rice.

Not being chosen till the 225th choose within the 2024 NFL Draft two weeks in the past added extra gasoline to the fireplace.

Many thought Rice can be a middle-round choose. As a substitute, he didn’t go till the seventh spherical, when the Los Angeles Chargers chosen the USC huge receiver.

“My dad was scorching,” Rice mentioned about not going till late within the third day. “The primary phrases he mentioned was, ‘Time to go to work.’ He mentioned, ‘I shall be with you each step of the best way.’ He mentioned, ‘Now, I’m going to be concerned in all your exercises to any extent further, and we now have lots of people to show fallacious, lots of groups that go forward.’ It’s going to be one hell of a narrative.”

Rice watched loads of tape of his father whereas rising up, however he has a unique physique kind.

“I mannequin my recreation after the larger varieties of receivers — the (Raiders’) Davante Adams, the (Titans’) Calvin Ridley extra so, and even (Tampa Bay’s) Mike Evans,” Rice mentioned. “With the ability to go forward and be bodily on the prime of the route, create separation, or go up and make a jump-ball play, these varieties of performs, and be constant for my quarterback as properly.”

As a substitute of wallowing in what he described as a irritating draft course of, Rice is making an attempt to look forward. With the Chargers rebuilding at huge receiver, he could have loads of alternatives to indicate he deserves a spot on the roster.

“The whole lot’s upon me,” he mentioned. “In the event you guys don’t see me approaching this fall, that’s on me. In the event you guys see me on the market, then I put within the needed work to place my greatest foot within the door and go on the market and produce.”

After transferring from Colorado, Rice confirmed throughout his two seasons at USC that he’s a bodily receiver and properly developed as a route runner. He led the Trojans with 12 receiving touchdowns final season together with profession highs in catches (45) and yards (791).

Moreover having Caleb Williams as his quarterback, Rice felt as if the switch benefited his recreation in different areas as properly.

“I felt as if, after I went to USC, my IQ simply occurred to take one other leap to a different degree,” he mentioned. “With that, I used to be in a position to go forward and discover holes into defenses, learn coverages, learn shadow methods, learn the DBs and what they’re going to do, watch the movie and know what I’m going to get from them, and what I’m going to see on recreation day.”

Rice goes from Williams — whom Chicago chosen with the primary general choose within the draft — to a different prime quarterback in Justin Herbert. Rice is anticipated to be a priceless choice for Herbert when working the center of the sector, particularly after Mike Williams was launched and Keenan Allen was traded to the Bears.

Rice was certainly one of three receivers the Chargers drafted. Ladd McConkey was picked within the second spherical, and Cornelius Johnson additionally went within the seventh spherical.

“Brenden has lots of explosive performs down the sector and lengthy landing manufacturing — Arizona State, UCLA, Stanford, these video games. He can stretch the sector vertically,” Chargers assistant normal supervisor Chad Alexander mentioned. “He does lots of issues that you just actually, actually like. He blocks and does a extremely good job.”

Rice and the remainder of the Chargers’ draft class and undrafted free brokers are getting in control throughout this weekend’s rookie minicamp. Coach Jim Harbaugh lauded the whole rookie class after Friday’s follow for its preparation. Harbaugh additionally realizes there’s little time, particularly with on-field actions with the entire group beginning in a few weeks.

“Consider it this fashion — we now have the veterans, who’ve been going for about 5 weeks now, pondering ‘that is my job,’” Harbaugh mentioned. “We’ve got rookies which might be approaching. They’re coming onto the (Interstate) 405. That site visitors is transferring quick. Right here come these new gamers (this weekend) to get them to grasp the system, to study the performs in order that they gained’t decelerate the veterans once they merge on Monday.”

Reporting by The Related Press.

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