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Manti Te’o earning respect of Chargers coaches, veterans

Manti Teo

San Diego Chargers linebacker Manti Te’o practices during mini-camp held at the Chargers’ facility Tuesday, June 11, 2013, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)


Given the unusual circumstances surrounding his final year at Notre Dame and somewhat baffling performance in the National Championship game, Manti Te’o was always going to have to prove to whatever organization decided to draft him that he was worth the investment.

So far with the San Diego Chargers, Te’o is passing the test with flying colors.

According to Michael Gelhken of the San Diego Union-Tribune, Te’o has impressed coaches and players alike with his skill and maturity in the Chargers’ facility.

Head coach Mike McCoy, center Nick Hardwick and linebacker Larry English in addition to other members of the Chargers organization all praised the approach Te’o has brought to the team and the work ethic he’s showed since being drafted in April.

“I see what’s going to be a heck of a football player,” Hardwick said. “He gets good jumps on the snap. He knows where the ball is going. He seems to be really quick to react on it. In the locker room, he’s a cool guy. He’s easy to be around.”

It appears as though Te’o has answered any questions his teammates may have had about what kind of person he is off the field. Now it’s just about what he can do on it.

“When you’re on the football field, everything else doesn’t matter,” Te’o said. “Thankfully for me, I’m surrounded by a bunch of teammates that have really pushed me to be better. All they care about is No. 50 is working his butt off, and I’ll take care of the work ethic part. They’ll make sure I’m moving in the right direction. ... I can’t be a leader if I don’t know where I’m going.”