News and notes from practice on June 8:
**Defensive end Corey Liuget is expected to receive a generous contract extension in the next few days. Liuget is entering his fifth season in the NFL and has 18 career sacks and five forced fumbles. He’s been instrumental in pressuring the quarterback and creating chaos for the offense, as well as finding himself around the ball in lucrative situations.
“It gives me a sense of relief a little bit,” Liuget said, when asked about getting the contract done before the season. “Once it does get done, I’ll be very thankful that the Spanos family and the Chargers organization want me here and they believe I’m a key part to helping our city and our team win a championship.”
Speaking of sacks: The Miami native has been working hard on forearm strength and hand grip. He missed three or four sacks last season because his hands weren’t strong enough, he said.
“I have a nice little hand grip circuit in the weight room I do, so that when I do grab a quarterback, hopefully I can tear his number off his jersey and bring him to the ground,” Liuget said, smiling. “It’s about finishing.”
He’ll need to get around the big guys in front of him first, and for that, he’s been appreciative of competing against newly signed guard Orlando Franklin — a threat he used to face when the Chargers played Denver.
“He’s wearing on my body now,” Liuget said. “He’s a big man. He’s making me better, to be completely honest. I never got one sack on him. To be out here practicing against him each and every day, I know it’s going to help me develop my game.”
**After suffering a fractured fibula in the third game of 2014 and missing the rest of the season, Danny Woodhead is back on the field with his teammates and “feeling good,” he said.
“I feel very healthy,” he said. “That’s definitely a good thing.”
Woodhead looked strong at practice, cutting and running with confidence and burst.
“I want to be the same person and I think I am,” he said. “The main thing is getting comfortable and going out and doing it, and showing yourself that you can do it.”
**Linebacker Manti Te’o is looking to build off his strong sophomore year.
“[It gave me] a lot of confidence from the success that I had individually and also as a team,” Te’o said. “That 49ers game was a big confidence booster for us. It’s helping us in this offseason. We understand that we can’t go off of what happened last year but we can use it to our advantage.”
(To refresh your memory: The Chargers overcame a 21-point deficit when they played San Francisco in December and won the game in overtime. The defense didn’t allow the 49ers to score after the third quarter and made several big plays throughout the game.)
Te’o credited patience as one of the keys to his success.
“I showed my youth when I was jumping things and not being patient,” he said. “As a linebacker, the key is to know when to be patient and when to be aggressive. It’s something that I’m constantly working on and helping to get my eyes right. The more that I can do that, the more successful I can be. “
He said the difference between his rookie year and now is night and day.
“I can’t tell you how much different it is,” he said. “It feels so comfortable out there. To finally be out there and just play ball and to be able to communicate with my teammates on certain levels and not being the guy being told things. I understand things on my own and now I can help other people out. With that comes a lot of confidence and a lot of responsibility and it’s something I’m very appreciative to have. “
–Notes by Annie Heilbrunn