Shawne Merriman spoke to the Chargers rookies Tuesday, telling them to be ready for the unexpected in the NFL.
“I came in with hype and a persona,” Merriman said to the rookies, via the team website. “Things came out of left field that I didn’t expect, that I didn’t know how to deal with at the time.”
Merriman entered the league as the 12th overall pick with a “Lights Out” nickname that he lived up to as a rookie in earning Pro Bowl honors with 57 tackles and 10 sacks. But he served a suspension for performance-enhancing drugs his second season and was slowed by injuries his final five of eight seasons. Merriman finished with 45.5 career sacks.
For the second consecutive year, Merriman shared his story and answered questions during the Chargers’ Rookie Transition Program.
“I want them to know what the expectations are of them from the team,” he said afterward. “That they know what’s important around them. Doing things the right way goes a long way, and it sets them up for the future. That is one thing I wish I knew. I didn’t have this as a rookie. Every player is different when they come in, and people can tell you different things. When I was a rookie, I didn’t have one-on-one time to ask someone who went through it questions I had at the time. I wish I did. I think it could have made things easier.”