So my first attempt at live blogging Chargers training camp didn’t work out so well. I thought I had all the kinks ironed out; apparently I didn’t. I apologize if you came through hoping to get all of the exciting details as the action unfolded…I’ll do better next time, I promise.
I did manage to take some notes while observing the team’s first public session – I’ll share those with you now:
Jamal Williams had no knee brace and seemed to be doing just fine out there on the football field. In fact, I’d frequently see Williams offering up technique advice to the younger linemen. As a whole when you see the guys on the Defensive line, you quickly realize how big they are. This is certainly a very large and powerful group. Watching Luis Castillo and Jacques Cesaire go through drills, it becomes readily apparent just how much quicker and more fluid they are compared to the other guys. The question is; are we lacking athleticism on the D-line? We have big powerful bodies, but only Castillo and Cesarie (and to a lesser extent Ryon Bingham) have quick feet and good athleticism. While it’s not a pressing need, I would like to see our D-line generate a good pass rush on a more consistent basis. But getting back to the size among the D-line – Lamar Divens is freaking HUGE! Dude goes about 330 and might be the widest body on the whole team. Talk about a big free agent pickup! Hopefully he sticks around on the practice squad if nothing else. Divens has that prototype nose tackle physique – hopefully he likes getting his hands dirty because I want to see a lot of him in the preseason.
The bread and butter of our defense is in the linebackers and what a group the Chargers have. Obviously the expectations are high for Anthony Waters this year but Brandon Siler could be a sleeper. Everyone has seen what he can do on special teams, but if his hips keep improving and he continues to work on his drops into coverage, he could push for serious playing time. Siler brings the wood and is as wide as a Mack truck. Shawne Merriman is obviously a favorite among fans; I chuckle to myself whenever I see him running around with his helmet off. He’s a superstar, but at least he enjoys it!
Vincent Jackson is developing into a fine NFL Wide Receiver. He is ridiculously quick out of his breaks and was catching the ball with authority. He’s going to have to share catches with Antonio Gates and Chris Chambers, but Jackson might be our biggest YAC threat. He is powerful and athletic with a quickness not normally seen out of a guy that size. Dude is 6’5” 240lbs and can fly.
Philip Rivers looked great…almost to the point where you forget that he even have knee surgery a few months ago. I don’t want to call it a non-issue, but Rivers looked fantastic and it’s a testament to his passion and love for his team and the game.
Antoine Cason drew huge applause from the crowd when he came up with his first interception of camp. He has a solid frame with good muscularity. He looks like he’ll fill in perfectly for the departed Drayton Florence.
Ladainian Tomlinson was quick and looked like the knee wasn’t bothering him at all. That’s great news for Chargers fans. He wont take the field during the preseason so he’ll have time to get that knee up to 110 percent for the season opener.
Another fan favorite is Darren Sproles. Everyone has an opinion on Darren – I personally been a little critical of the guy. But I’m willing to give Sproles his fair shot to win me over. It seems that Norv understands Sproles more than he did a year ago, and so with this understanding he can find ways in which to maximize Sproles’ chance to make a big play. I’m looking forward to seeing how Coach Turner uses #43 this season.
AJ Smith was on the field observing his team like an architect surveys his construction site.
Jeromey Clary is still the starting right tackle.
KassimOsgood had a TD catch that the crowd applauded loudly for.
Mike Scrifres was killing the ball – 60+ yard punt after 60+ yard punt.
Ron Rivera’s making his mark on how the defense practices; he splits the outside and inside linebackers up and works with the inside guys, teaching technique and pointing out mental mistakes to his players.
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