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Chargers Haven't Bought Into Bleakness

October 04, 2003|Sam Farmer

Sam Farmer, pro football specialist for The Times, is spending some of his time this season swapping e-mail with NFL personnel. This week, Farmer was online with San Diego defensive end Marcellus Wiley, whose 0-4 team plays Sunday at Jacksonville.

Farmer: What's the mood of the team right now?

Wiley: The mood is probably better than perceived from the outside. You would think that we have had some success on the field just because guys are so excited to get out there on Sunday and turn this thing around. It's not a situation where we have to get the jumper cables out just to get guys going. We have not had the results we have wanted, obviously, but it still has not deterred our confidence.

Farmer: Did it feel as if that Raider game just slipped through your grasp?

Wiley: Yes. Definitely. That was so disappointing, playing that game, in comparison with our other three games, because it was clearly evident that we could have won that game if we could have finished out. But we didn't. That's how the games go sometimes.

Farmer: You're facing Byron Leftwich on Sunday. What are your impressions of him?

Wiley: He's got a strong arm and he's confident. He came out nervous in his first game, but he calmed down and played really well. He's a big guy. You've definitely got to jump on him and pray to bring him down.

Farmer: How did Rush Limbaugh's comments strike you when you first heard them?

Wiley: My first impressions were, I wasn't insulted, just because I have heard it before. I think that is toilet-bowl talk that should not be on national TV. It's just sad to see that was aired out for younger kids, who are very impressionable. I think about the kid that plays Pop Warner that is a black quarterback and thinks that he is an exception to the rule, rather than just another player on the field. And I think about the white cornerback who thinks he is an exception and he shouldn't be there. Donovan McNabb is a great quarterback whose stats are comparable to any quarterback that has ever been in this league at this point in his career. The defense doesn't throw touchdowns. The defense doesn't run for first downs. Donovan and his offense did that.

Farmer: Is there a rule you'd change in the league right now?

Wiley: I would like better enforcement of the chop-block rules. But other than that, I would change the timeout system. I wish you could carry timeouts over. Why three in the first half, three in the second? Why not just say six in the game? It's kind of like, you don't spend all your money at the first store.

Farmer: I saw you rapping on "Monday Night Football," going up against Joey Harrington playing piano. I missed the ending. Who won?

Wiley: He disgustingly killed me. He got 87% [of the votes]. Actually, I wasn't disappointed. It was funny I got killed in that fashion, but it was a lot of fun. From that, I have gotten phone calls from record labels and producers who say they really want to work with me. They want to know where my head's at, find out if I'm for real with this. I am serious about it. I have been rapping as long as I have been playing football.

Farmer: Wow, he got 87%?

Wiley: All my friends said, "I would have voted for you. I didn't have a computer." I think I was dealing with a different demographic because I was rapping rather than playing the piano. Middle America killed me in the votes. I'm sure they didn't vote for the rap. That is where all the Nielsen boxes are anyway.

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