Los Angeles Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson remembers when he was a rookie determined to make a name for himself on special teams.

"I knew that you do good on special teams, you get on the field. I took pride in that," Johnson said.

Johnson is now a firmly established part of the Rams defense, allowing him to enjoy the increased intensity of Monday's practice focused entirely on special teams. Without fans in attendance for the first time during training camp at UC Irvine, the Rams more than made up for the possible energy deficit during spirited drills as George Thorogood's "Bad to the Bone" blared over the speakers.

"Man, this is the most exciting practice for me to see what young guys come up and step up," Johnson said. "This is the first day in pads, so you know it's going to be physical."

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At 66 years old, George Thorogood, who grew up in Wilmington, still plays about 100 dates a year all around the world. (Submitted photo/Mitchell Glotzer)Courtesy Delaware State News

George Thorogood has only one request when he and the Destroyers play the Delaware State Fair Friday night.

Keep those mosquitoes away.

“Delaware mosquitoes are the worst. They are deadlier than the cobras in India,” he proclaimed.

Mr. Thorogood should know, having grown up in Wilmington, graduating from Brandywine High School in 1968, and going on to become perhaps Delaware’s best-known musical export.

He and his band play their first professional gig Downstate Friday at the Delaware State Fair during a stop on their Badder Than Ever Tour.
The Fabulous Thunderbirds will open the 7:30 p.m. show at the fair’s M&T Grandstand.

At 66 years old, George Thorogood, who grew up in Wilmington, still plays about 100 dates a year all around the world. (Submitted photo/Mitchell Glotzer)

While it is surprising to learn that the First State favorite has never played Kent or Sussex County since hitting it big, he does recall a gig at the Dover Air Force Base many years ago.

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By Ed Symkus More Content Now

It doesn’t matter that George Thorogood and the Destroyers have never cracked the Top 10.

Their rock-blues-boogie is instantly recognizable, whether the first sound you hear is the purposely distorted buzz of Thorogood’s big Gibson guitar or the nasty, raspy growl of his voice.

Even without hit status, a handful of the band’s songs — “Bad to the Bone;” “Move It on Over;” “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer” — get regular play on classic rock radio. Thorogood and his longtime Destroyers lineup of Jeff Simon (drums), Bill Blough (bass), Jim Suhler (lead guitar), and Buddy Leach (sax) are in the middle of yet another summer-long cross-country tour.

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Courtesy Shore News Today

In 1973, a barely-out-of-his-teens Wilmington guitarist piled his gear into a fellow musician’s Chevy van, and they drove off to play their very first gig at a University of Delaware dorm. More than four decades and 8,000 live shows later, that same guitar slinger is still considered one of the most bad-to-the-bone performers in rock.

It’s 2016, and George Thorogood & The Destroyers are badder than ever.

For Thorogood and his longtime band – Jeff Simon on drums and percussion, Bill Blough on bass guitar, Jim Suhler on rhythm guitar and Buddy Leach on saxophone – their new Badder Than Ever Tour is proof that staying true to yourself and your music can still mean something, according to his official biography.

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