Chargers sign ex-Pro Bowl RB Dexter McCluster

Looking for a replacement for injured running back Danny Woodhead, the San Diego Chargers have found their man.

The Chargers announced on Tuesday they have signed former Tennessee Titans and Kansas City Chiefs running back Dexter McCluster.

McCluster makes sense for the Chargers because of his familiarity with the team’s offensive scheme from his time with the Titans when San Diego offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt served as that team’s head coach.

And like Woodhead, McCluster is a change-of-pace back who can be used in passing situations and in the return game.

The Chargers lost Woodhead for the season, placing the 31-year-old veteran on the injured reserve after he suffered an ACL injury against the Jacksonville Jaguars last week.

Strong first impression: While much of the focus this preseason was on Brady and Garoppolo, Brissett managed to make a solid first impression. In the third preseason game against the Panthers, Brissett completed all nine passes he threw for 85 yards and a touchdown.

Rookie duties: Brissett often got tasked with carrying the pads of Brady or Garoppolo off the field during training camp, reminding him of his rookie status. Said Brissett, “I’ve got to do it, hopefully it will go away [in] a little bit, but it’s a part of the process and I’m having fun with it. I just have to put them on and walk out of here.”

A true letterman: During his first season at NC State, Brissett used to write letters to his teammates before each game. “It’s a matter of saying I appreciate what you’ve done so far,” Brissett said. “Or if someone is going through a rough time, it’s a chance to say I’m here for you if you need me. Sometimes, you’ve got to joke with some of them. With the offensive linemen,nah you have to joke with them because they’re never serious, anyway.”

In two seasons with the Titans he scored one rushing touchdown, gaining 378 yards on 95 carries. He also had two receiving touchdowns, catching 57 passes for 457 yards.

Biggest injury questions for all 32 NFL teams

Linebacker Sean Lee was held out of practice last week because of soreness in his surgically repaired left knee, but the time off was designed to have him ready for this week. He played just 29 snaps in the preseason but he said he feels ready to go, and the Cowboys will need Lee to be at his best. He is their best playmaker defensively and knows how to get the rest of the defense in the right spots, which is a must against a veteran quarterback like Eli Manning. In two games against New York last season, Lee had 18 tackles. — Todd Archer

“I go off the belief … where you want to go in with the plays you’ve been repping all offseason and training camp. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel now. So Carson’s been exposed to everything in our game plan that we put into today, what we’ll put in tomorrow and on Friday,” he said.

“And not so much just for the quarterback position, but we also have some other positions — DGB (Dorial Green-Beckham) is still learning the system, we have some young receivers, defensively how Jim [Schwartz] attacks, it’s very simple and basic to the extend of guys can play fast. And that’s what you want, you want guys to not do a lot of thinking on the football field, just go react and play. And obviously, the quarterback position is key to that because he’s communicating plays to the entire offense.”

“Oh my gosh, Big Ben, another great one,” Norman said. “You look at the quarterbacks in this league, and Big Ben has been up there since he’s been in the league. He’s one of the great ones. I’ll walk up to him and be like, ‘Hey, can I get your jersey?’

“That’s how much respect I’ve got for him. I don’t ask for jerseys like that, until someone shows me they are great at what they do. Big Ben is that. That’s the utmost respect I have for a quarterback.”

Arizona corner Patrick Peterson poked fun at him on Twitter about a video from a Redskins practice that ended up on social media. But when it came to Roethlisberger and Brown, there was nothing but love from Norman. In fact, Norman can be a quiet player on the field, teammates say. Even Norman said he wouldn’t trash talk with Brown, because he likes him.

“Watching him and what he’s able to do is freakish,” Norman said. “When you look at the receivers in the NFL you don’t have to stop nowhere other than Antonio Brown. It starts and ends with him. That’s going to be a tall task to take on, and I respect that. I’m looking forward to what he brings, because that matchup is going to be a physical one and a fun one. I have nothing but respect for that guy.”

Monday will mark the first time Norman covers Brown in a game — they didn’t match up in a 2013 meeting — but that respect extends as well to Roethlisberger, whom Norman called “cerebral.”