According to Eric D. Williams at espn.com, Dwight Freeney is forcing his teammates to take notice of his play at camp. After missing the last 12 regular season games last season with a torn quad, Freeney seems to be close to 100 percent, and has the Chargers starting left tackle raving about his performance.
“I think he’s actually got a step faster because he’s a lot smarter than he used to be. He’s an intelligent football player. He can look at you and your set off the ball and work his move, and beat you just from looking at you.”
The words from King Dunlap should generate excitement, but also need to be taken with a grain of salt. At 34, Freeney will have an uphill battle to return to the form that saw him make seven Pro Bowls over the past decade. With that being said, it’s good to hear his technique and mental game are looking exceptional. The hope — from a fan’s stand point — is he can teach young rushers (Melvin Ingram, Jeremiah Attaochu) all the tools that made him the future Hall of Famer he is today. Additionally, as we mentioned a few weeks ago, Freeney had a substantial impact in his four games as a Charger last season. He was on pace to lead the NFL in QB hurries before injuries derailed his 2013 campaign.
Everyone tends to “look great” in training camp, but it will be interesting to see what form Freeney brings to the field in 2014. The good news for us is the first preseason game is only 10 days away.