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Chargers' Te'o poised to make season debut against Cowboys

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 08:13 a.m. HST, Sep 28, 2013

SAN DIEGO >> Manti Te'o is poised to make his regular-season debut when the Chargers host the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. 

Te'o, who has been out with an injured right foot since Aug. 8, has been working with the starters this week and he's hoping to help a defense that is ranked dead last against the pass and No. 31 overall.

"I'm excited, anxious and the nerves are going to be flying around," said Te'o, a Heisman Trophy finalist at Notre Dame and the Chargers' second-round pick. "But at the end of the day, football is football. My guys have been reminding me of that."

Coach Mike McCoy said Te'o has looked good in practice and he expects the linebacker to do fine on Sunday. In particular, McCoy is hoping Te'o can help the Chargers force turnovers. 

The Chargers are minus-three in turnover ratio. They haven't recovered a fumble and have only one interception, and that came in the opening minutes of the first game.

"That's definitely what a defense wants to do is keep the points down and get the ball back," said Te'o. "But I can't promise you anything other than trying to help the team win."

Te'o, a 2009 Punahou School graduate from Laie, played just nine snaps before getting hurt in a preseason game. The transition from practice speed to game speed figures to be a challenge, but the Chargers don't have the luxury of bringing him along slowly.

Defensive coordinator John Pagano is confident Te'o has the skills to make the adjustment.

"We're giving him as much game speed here as we can," Pagano said. "It's always a challenge your first time playing in anything. It's the ability, and the game speed is always going to be faster than anything else. But that is something he is going to adapt to very quickly."

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mcc wrote:
Best wishes, Manti! Play your game!
on September 27,2013 | 01:01PM
allie wrote:
Good luck
on September 27,2013 | 02:06PM
lokela wrote:
Fo real this time. Go get um Teo.
on September 27,2013 | 03:16PM
oxtail01 wrote:
He's going to help that defense stay dead last.
on September 27,2013 | 03:44PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
omg. Up to this point three plus and one minus comment. So my vote will increase Manti's popularity or reduce it to 3 to 2. I vote yes, go get'em Manti. I watched Notre Dame football only because Manti was playing and although I am not a diehard Fighting Irish fan, as I am mostly a UHM fan, we are still proud of u Manti Teo. I would say this though, everytime I think of your name Manti, I think of the Praying Mantis.
on September 27,2013 | 05:41PM
oxtail01 wrote:
Popularity vote won't change their bad defense.
on September 27,2013 | 07:32PM
joshislost wrote:
harsh but true
on September 27,2013 | 10:51PM
gyamashita wrote:
not a great matchup for him...gonna be tough trying to cover witten.
on September 27,2013 | 03:46PM
allie wrote:
He may not be NFL caliber. We shall soon see. We wish him the best.
on September 28,2013 | 03:14PM
koa26 wrote:
We're rooting for you, Manti!!
on September 27,2013 | 05:41PM
pursuit2000 wrote:
I'm sure Lenay will be so proud watching you...
on September 28,2013 | 12:57AM
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