Sights and Sounds From Chargers Minicamp 2010

BOLTHYPE's Jeff Williams breaks down his notes on the final day from Chargers 2010 Mini Camp.

The Chargers ended their first minicamp today, and it will be remembered as much for who wasn't there as for who was. While the Chargers had their full allotment of defensive linemen (10 in all) and running backs/fullbacks (totaling 9), the Chargers were sorely lacking in wide receivers and to a lesser extent offensive linemen. With WR's Jackson, Floyd, Nanee, and Davis out due to injury or for contract issues, the receiving corp was down to practice squader Gary Banks and undrafted rookies Bryan Walters and Seyi Ajirotutu to take snaps with the 1st string. Unfortunately, they played like the inexperienced players they are. And with Clary out due to injury and McNeill out with his own contractual concerns, the Chargers had Brandyn Dombrowski and Corey Clark starting at the tackles. Not exactly a comforting thought for Chargers fans, but it is only May.

Friday's practice continued the Chargers emphasis on rookie instruction, as a number of rookies are expected to make a significant different in 2010. RB Ryan Mathews spent a lot of time working one-on-one with RB coach Ollie Wilson going over defensive reads, as did rookie TE Dedrick Epps with TE coach Rob Chudzinski. NT Cam Thomas was ridden pretty hard by DL coach Don Johnson on multiple occasions- a good sign, because Thomas' previous reputation for taking plays off has to change for him to make a strong contribution this season.

Other sights and sounds:

* Marcus Mason, who was claimed on waivers from the Redskins, and rookie Shawnbrey McNeal seem to be the leading contenders for the 3rd string RB spot. Both shared carries with the 2nd team offense (Mathews and Sproles rotated with the 1st team).

* FB Jacob Hester took most if not all of the carries with the 1st team offense. I have to wonder if FB Mike Tolbert will rotate in later in the off-season, or if he is destined to play a slightly different role on this offense in 2010.

* Friday's 1st team defense included Cesaire, Boone, and Castillo on the defensive line, with English, Burnett, Cooper, and Phillips at linebacker, and Cason, Gregory, Weddle, and Vasher in the secondary.

* Darren Sproles was the obvious favorite of the few kids in attendance. Immediately after camp ended Sproles was the first person they sought out.

* K Nate Kaeding looked good kicking medium-range field goals, but his jogging looked awkward, like a guy who is coming back from an injury (imagine that, huh?).

* P Cort Johnson handled all of the punting duties during the Friday's sesson.

* Some of the more interesting sounds from Friday's practice included a lot of chatter from the defense during team drills. Thomas and Phillips could be heard chirping throughout morning drills. And at one point during practice Norv could be heard yelling at his defense to "plug the holes," because Mathews had some huge running lanes to blow through early on.

May 28, 2010

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Anonymous said... May 29, 2010, 11:40:00 AM

This blog is getting better by the day, great work

EMoJr said... May 29, 2010, 9:50:00 PM

Thanks for the report. Hope to hear more news next time on our other draft picks, Butler and Stuckey, and some of our other free agents, like Kion, Cory and Boris.

Anonymous said... May 29, 2010, 11:07:00 PM

Any idea when Floyd and Jackson will be back on the pratice field?

lighting 72

Jeff Williams said... May 30, 2010, 12:05:00 PM

No one knows for sure. Floyd has the least leverage of the two so I imagine he will be in first. Jackson deserves a long-term deal, but it's doubtful that he will get one soon. There are no signs that any of the current restricted free agents will sign contracts anytime soon, but I'm guessing that Jackson and/or McNeill will be the last Chargers in camp.

Anonymous said... May 31, 2010, 5:20:00 AM

rb situation is gonna be interesting to watch. tolbert and hester are stud special teamers, good runners but not great blockers. they have that other UDFA FB also at camp?

secondary, whats with jammer? is he injured, or are vasher/cason the starting duo right now? and stuckey, how is he doing?

hopefully all of the guys who werent here come back soon. VJ deserves a huge contract. mcneill should also be resigned at the right price. he is a franchise LT, although not one of the top5 right now.

Jeff Williams said... May 31, 2010, 8:41:00 AM

Jammer sat out practice due to a minor leg injury. He is still the starter without question. I was hoping to see more from Stuckey but there was nothing significant to report. At this point Gregory is the starter with Ellison out.

Anonymous said... May 31, 2010, 9:35:00 AM

thx a lot jeff for answering. most people didnt expect stuckey to do too much this season anyway, so i just hope he gets some playing time this year. idk, i am really excited to see him.

and you said that jammer is the consensus starter. do you have any guess (after watching practices) who would start opposite him if the season started tomorrow?

and last question, have you seen something from any UDFA which makes you think that he could make the team?


Jeff Williams said... May 31, 2010, 7:33:00 PM

Ya know, if the season started tomorrow then Cason would most likely be the guy opposite Jammer, if only because Vasher is still learning the system. Given a full training camp, I think Cason is the favorite but I won't count Vasher out.

There are a number of intriguing undrafted free agents who have a shot at making the team. Ajirotutu may make the team at WR if he can fill the special teams void left by Osgood. Nick Richmond could provide good depth at offensive tackle. But you will probably hear the most about Shawnbrey McNeal at RB. He won't make an impact this year, but he could be a replacement for Sproles in the future if he can beat out Mason for the 3rd RB.

Anonymous said... Jun 1, 2010, 3:28:00 AM

thx a lot jeff. keep up the good work. greetz from austria, big chargers fan over here. i really appreciate all that info and stuff. great!


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