The wide receiver is fresh off his finest NFL season to date, setting career-highs in touchdowns (8) and yards per catch (13.4). He also posted the second most receiving yards (631) of his career, but true to his nature, Royal would rather talk about team accomplishments than individual ones.
“I don’t really worry about that individual stuff,” he said. “What I’m focused on is what we accomplished together as a group. We came together, and I think you’ll see that this year
What Royal accomplished last season is even more impressive considering he hardly practiced after suffering a toe injury early in the year. He watched practice and remained active in the classroom during the week before battling through his injury to suit up on Sundays. Not being able to practice frustrated the football fanatic in Royal, which is why he’s currently relishing each OTA session at Chargers Park.
Royal’s versatility makes him a dangerous weapon no matter where he lines up, but he really made an impact from the slot in 2013. There are numerous factors that determine a successful slot receiver, including a few less heralded ones that Royal takes pride in.
While linebackers and safeties seemingly have an advantage over the 5-10, 185-pound wideout, Royal is an excellent blocker who is routinely praised by his coaches and teammates. Number 11 believes what makes an effective blocker is a willingness to do whatever it takes to seal the defender.
“You have to ask yourself if you’re willing to get in there and throw your body around (to spring) the running back,” he explained. “Are you willing to do all the little things to block that safety? To block that linebacker? The guys who block show you who the team guys are. They aren’t just about making the big catch. Yeah, that’s great, but are you willing to sacrifice to block those guys bigger than you for your running back? Blocking is a huge part of the game, and something that when you watch the tape you notice.”
Finally, like most everyone else in the organization, Royal pointed out that
“It’s great to have him back because Malcom brings so much energy to this group,” he said. “He has a playful attitude, but at the same time is focused and determined. It’s great for the young guys to see a guy that’s been playing that long, showing them the right way to do it. And he looks great. He’s out here making big catches for us all over the field so I’m excited to have him back.”