Mike Withycombe, a 6-foot-5, 300-pound tackle who Chargers General Manager Bobby Beathard said has loads of potential, was picked up Tuesday by the Chargers off waivers from the New York Jets.

"He's a very talented kid that has never achieved," Beathard said. "He has size, strength and he's a gifted athlete. There's no physical reason he can't play in this league."

Yet in two seasons, he has only started three games. That leaves one big question. Can the Chargers motivate him to play at a level other teams have not?

"It's going to be up to Mike to make the most of it," Beathard said. "I think it's just a matter of getting it out of him. If Alex (Gibbs, offensive line coach) can do that, he can be a player. Some coaches haven't been able to do that."

Every day, a few new faces. It's emergency list time, and the Chargers are stockpiling candidates in case of injuries.

Tuesday's chorus line of tryout guys included: John Guerrero, a tackle from USC who was cut by the Rams, Dempsey Norman, a wide receiver cut by the Cardinals, George Radachowsky, a safety cut by the Jets, Barry Voorhees, a guard cut by the Giants, and Clarence Seay, a wide receiver cut by the Giants.

Radachowsky started 13 games for the Jets last season and was given good marks by Larry Pasquale, the Chargers' special teams coach who was an assistant for the past 10 years with the Jets.

"George is a heads-up player," Pasquale said. "He's a very good hitter and a very good competitor."

Coach Dan Henning won't say until today whether Sunday's starting quarterback will be Billy Joe Tolliver or Mark Vlasic, who started Sunday's season-opening loss to the Dallas Cowboys. . . . They call him "Sleepy," but Henning says Eric Floyd hasn't napped in practice. A guard who spent 13 weeks on last year's developmental squad, Floyd was thrust onto the front line when injuries depleted the ranks on the offensive line. So far, so good. "He's a hard worker, he's a non-complainer and he's an athlete," Henning said. "In my mind, Eric is going to be in the league a long time."

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