Blue and Gold Illustrated

Oct. 28, 2013 Issue

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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irish in the pros Manti Te'o Charging Ahead John Pagano to the huddle during the team's 19-9 win over the Indianapolis fter a tumultuous start to 2013 with Colts on Monday Night Football Oct. 14. the infamous fake dead girlfriend In his first three games after returning hoax, a rout in the BCS National Cham- from the injury, he recorded 13 tackles pionship Game to Alabama and slip- while adapting to NFL life. The biggest ping to the second round in difference from his days at the NFL Draft, former Irish Notre Dame is not necessarlinebacker Manti Te'o is reily the speed or the oppolieved to be back on a footnents, but rather becoming ball field living his dream of familiar with the new rouplaying professionally. tine. It hasn't come easy. A foot "It's new," he said. "I injury sidelined the rookie knew everything at Notre for nearly two months, but Dame, I knew the ins and the Laie, Hawaii, native has outs of the defense, and you returned to the field and come here to the NFL and made an immediate conyou have to learn a new detribution to the San Diego fense. And you gotta start all Te'o recorded 13 tackles in over, so the process starts all Chargers' defense. "Everything's good," the first three games of his over again, but I learned it. Te'o told Blue & Gold Illus- NFL career after missing The first couple weeks and trated. "It's going as good as nearly two months due to a months of learning the proit could go at this point. It's foot injury. san diego chargers cess and going through the photo courtesy always going to be better to plays and the schemes and be out on the field and back out playing all that, it was rough. But through all the football, and [playing] with my guys it's repetition and all that, I've gotten better. definitely a good process for me to go I'm at a level of comfort now that I can through." just start playing ball, and I'm going to A year after Te'o earned the most post- get more comfortable as I go. season awards in college football history "It's all uphill and it's all positive right and finished as a runner-up to Texas now." A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel for Te'o said he hasn't been the subject of the Heisman Trophy, the Chargers are a stereotypical "welcome to the NFL" already entrusting him with veteran re- moment on the field, but he has noticed sponsibilities. a change in parking lots from his college With a pair of San Diego linebackers days to today. injured, Te'o wore the in-helmet speaker "When you're on the field, it's differto relay calls from defensive coordinator ent, things are faster, but it's not as fast By Andrew Owens A

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