A Lights Out Interview

Mike RitterContributor IMay 30, 2009

SAN DIEGO - DECEMBER 24:  Linebacker Shawne Merriman #56 of the San Diego Chargers celebrates his recovery of Quarterback Jay Cutler's #6 of the Denver Broncos fumble of the ball from the pressure of Luis Castillo #93 of the Chargers during the first half of their NFL game at Qualcomm Stadium December 24, 2007 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

Shawne Merriman is a pivotal defensive player for the San Diego Chargers. After missing nearly all of 2008 when he opted to have season-ending knee surgery following Week One to repair two torn knee ligaments, Merriman returns in 2009.

The following are a list of questions I would like to ask the star linebacker at the start of training camp.


  • Are you physically ready to take the field?
  • What has this last year been like for you rehabbing your knee and being unable to help a Chargers' pass defense that ranked second-to-last in the NFL last season?
  • Did you ever speak with members of the defensive unit to either try to pump them up or give them advice?
  • If so, what would you tell them?
  • Did you ever feel responsible for the defense's downfalls in 2008?
  • In hindsight, should you have had your surgery immediately following the 2007 season?
  • How eager are you to take the field now?
  • Do you feel like since this is your contract year that you have something else to prove?
  • What was your initial reaction to hearing the Chargers drafted another inside linebacker, Larry English, with their first-round selection?
  • Do you see your knee being a hindrance at all anymore, or should fans expect to see the "Lights Out" dance more than ever?
  • Do you have a specific number of sacks you'd like to reach this season?