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Te’o realizing that “little things” make NFL different from college

Manti Te'o AP

Chargers linebacker Manti Te’o has learned plenty in the past year.  When it comes to the NFL, he’s learned plenty in the past week.

Through his first five training-camp practices with the Chargers, the second-round pick has begun to figure out that the “little things” make the difference between the pro game and the lower levels of the sport.

“The running backs have vision,” Te’o said, via Tom Krasovic of U-T San Diego.  “You tell the running back to run to the right, he’ll run to the right, but if the hole is not there, he will bounce.  You have your good running backs in college.  Everybody here came from college.  The best of the best is here.”

Te’o learned that lesson when he thought he had running back Ryan Mathews tracked down in the backfield.  Until Mathews unexpectedly cut and sped away from Te’o.

The former Notre Dame standout also has learned quickly from tight end Antonio Gates the difficulty of covering NFL-caliber wideouts.

“With a lot of guys, you can kind of tell what they’re going to do,” Te’o said.  “With Gates, you can’t.  I think that’s the biggest difference between college and the pros.  In college, you can, for the lack of a better word, you can cheat a little, you can predict what people are going to do before they do it.”

To help him react to what players on offense do, T’eo is 16 pounds lighter than his top weight in college.  While that may make it harder for him to dish out and take physical poundings, the modern NFL places a much greater premium on linebackers covering receivers.

The linebackers who can’t will be off the field on third downs.  For Te’o that could be the difference between perceived success and failure in the NFL.

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29 Responses to “Te’o realizing that “little things” make NFL different from college”
  1. ther3alslimshady says: Jul 31, 2013 12:08 AM

    Like the option of having REAL girlfriends?

  2. sdcameron says: Jul 31, 2013 12:15 AM

    Stud.

  3. Rick Spielman is a Magician says: Jul 31, 2013 12:24 AM

    In the NFL, you can actually see the women who are throwing themselves at you.

  4. kd75 says: Jul 31, 2013 12:50 AM

    In the NFL, Its like playing Alabama every week.

  5. trodriguez89 says: Jul 31, 2013 1:00 AM

    Be careful with Matthews, he’s fragile.

  6. therealraider says: Jul 31, 2013 1:11 AM

    So .. he’s slow.

  7. hellogoodbyeandgoodnight says: Jul 31, 2013 1:22 AM

    Antonio Gates isn’t a wideout he’s a tightend. There’s a difference between playing wide and playing tight. I’m just going to assume you meant receiver and let it slide this once PFT. I’m watching you.

  8. thegreatgabbert says: Jul 31, 2013 2:29 AM

    Little things you can’t even see.

  9. stampnhawk says: Jul 31, 2013 2:47 AM

    Another of the “little things” The players are the real deal in the pro’s; so are the women that chase them.

  10. steel59 says: Jul 31, 2013 3:38 AM

    Welcome To The NFL Kid!!!!

  11. shickenchit says: Jul 31, 2013 3:43 AM

    I can’t believe he dropped to the 2nd round because of what happened. In a couple years, once the 2013 draft matures and develops, I predict that people will say Teo was the steal of this draft. The Bears should of gotten him to replace Urlacher. I’m saying this and I’m not even a fan of San Diego.

  12. bensstinkyfingers says: Jul 31, 2013 4:22 AM

    Hopefully the veterans on the team, make him carry around an inflatable doll holding a sign that reads “see my girlfriend really is real”.

  13. joetoronto says: Jul 31, 2013 6:07 AM

    “Te’o realizing that “little things like not making up imaginary girlfriends” make NFL different from college”

  14. whysomanylosers says: Jul 31, 2013 6:47 AM

    This article shows exactly who Manti the athlete is; a gifted athlete that could use his abilities to play (fairly well) at the college football level. It wont be enough to succeed at the pro level.

  15. maverickjcw says: Jul 31, 2013 6:50 AM

    the difficulty of covering NFL-caliber wideouts….. He couldn’t cover D1 college wideouts and TEs. Te’o will be out SD at the end of his rookie deal..

  16. mtheparrothead says: Jul 31, 2013 7:00 AM

    Yes t’eo it was so much easier for you playing against those less talented college players. *cough Alabama.

  17. dsimp724 says: Jul 31, 2013 7:17 AM

    Are we sure this “reporter” really exists?

  18. petehemlock says: Jul 31, 2013 7:19 AM

    His experience with Lennay will help him get used to hugging air in the NFL.

  19. ctiggs says: Jul 31, 2013 7:54 AM

    Manti will be proposing to me before the season starts

    – Lennay

  20. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Jul 31, 2013 8:06 AM

    Can you say bust?

  21. aaroncurryisbust says: Jul 31, 2013 8:37 AM

    He’s also surprised that players at this level are actually in relationships with real girlfriends.

  22. explosionsauce says: Jul 31, 2013 8:39 AM

    I bet he’s learning that nfl players have actual fake girlfriends.

  23. thegonz13 says: Jul 31, 2013 9:31 AM

    Yeah… One of the little things is that girlfriends are real!

  24. CKL says: Jul 31, 2013 11:14 AM

    He’ll just have to immerse himself in film now. Guys(given if they have NFL ability to begin with) who study tha game and the opposition’s tendencies and can apply them are the ones who separate themselves at this level especially thinking man positions like MLB. Now that football is his job instead of a 20 hour a week think like college, the only thing stopping him from getting better in the film room is himself. I’ve never heard anything bad about his work ethic so I don’t expect it to be a problem for him.

  25. National Fanatic says: Jul 31, 2013 12:20 PM

    He’s leading the NFL in rookie jersey sales. And I’m tempted to buy one! He’ll be a gamer, ballhawk and baller!

    WELCOME TO SD!

  26. picksix19 says: Jul 31, 2013 12:38 PM

    All that fake girlfriend stuff is getiing old fellas

    Come with something new already

  27. joetoronto says: Jul 31, 2013 1:04 PM

    picksix19 says:
    Jul 31, 2013 12:38 PM
    All that fake girlfriend stuff is getiing old fellas

    Come with something new already
    ***************************************************
    You wish, that will stay with him far after his career is over, FAR after.

  28. pinion8ted says: Jul 31, 2013 1:36 PM

    you can predict what people are going to do before they do it.”
    ——————————————————–
    ’cause you were so good at that in college, right?

  29. jjackwagon says: Jul 31, 2013 4:32 PM

    Will it be McFadden or Charles that plays Bo Jackson to your Brian Bosworth?

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