The first depth chart of training camp was released Sunday. How did players react?
The period was a bit longer than in most practices. Players got a bit more work in, focusing on their specific skill sets. Steve Williams started the day off having some difficulty catching the ball during a cornerback drill.
The safeties got some work in with an interception drill. Tony Burnett struggled to hold onto the ball, then followed up his next rep by misreading the ball. Eric Weddle was the best of the group. He only had three interceptions last season.
Marcus Gilchrist had a nice over-the-shoulder catch. With Brandon Taylor returning, Gilchrist could see some time back at cornerback. But based off his performance this camp at strong safety, it is more likely he stays at his new position.
One on Ones
Keenan Allen finished strong after every catch. With Vincent Brown still sitting out, Allen could see an increase in minutes in the upcoming preseason game.
Mike Willie was listed as a fourth-string receiver on the depth chart. It seemed the Willie was out to make a statement, running only deep routes during the one-on-ones versus the cornerbacks. He beat Williams on the first rep, dropped the second, and was over-thrown on the third.
Malcom Floyd managed to get an inside step on Shareece Wright. Josh Johnson played strong coverage on Robert Meachem to force an incompletion.
Seven on Sevens
Ladarius Green got open often during the drill. He can’t get too comfortable, though, as the Chargers have three tight ends fighting to take his spot.
Charlie Whitehurst must have felt like gambling today. He was throwing more deep balls than usual. Not every pass was complete, but at least none were intercepted.
Floyd had a drop after receiving a hard hit. It seemed like his foot was bothering him after the play, but he stayed in and played through practice.
Allen brought in a tipped ball on a slant route. He saw the ball come his way a bit more than usual today. He was working with both the first and second teams.
Chris Gronkowski is a guy on the roster bubble. He looks to be making an impact on special teams, placing good blocks during the drills.
Dwight Freeney spent the period on a stationary bike, but went back into practice.
Team Drills, Part Deux
Danario Alexander burned Derek Cox down the sideline, catching a bullet from Philip Rivers. Eddie Royal capped the first team drive with a score off a slip screen. Mike McCoy worked with Royal in Denver and is glad to have him in San Diego.
The second team worked the no huddle. Whitehurst found Dan DePalma for a score. DePalma’s spot on the 53-man roster is being blocked by Robert Meachem. DePalma has been working significantly harder than Meachem through camp, but the Chargers owe Meachem $5 million this season.
The third team defense looked good. Damik Scafe swatted a Brad Sorensen pass at the line of scrimmage.
The team ended practice by working on the Hail Mary. Throwing the ball more than 45 yards into the end zone, both Rivers and Sorensen completed their passes.
Looking Good Again
Richard Goodman was named the starting kick returner on the depth chart. After practice, he had this to say about the news: “You can’t go into camp expecting anything other than an opportunity. I’m just going out there and controlling what I do, just taking advantage of every opportunity I get.”
–Royal looks quick and focused. He was catching cornerbacks off guard all day long.
–King Dunlap currently leads the race for the starting job at left tackle. Based on camp performance, he deserves it.
–Manti Te’o is getting better at matching up against Antonio Gates. Gates still wins the battles, but if Te’o can come close to stopping Gates, he’ll be well off against most tight ends come the regular season.
–Nick Novak had a horrible day kicking with a strong crosswind. He missed three field goals from 30 or longer. However, it’s important to note the team practices with significantly narrower field goal posts than regulation.
–A little friendly fire? After a play had ended, Dallas Walker rocked Luke Tasker, who was completely upended.
–Deon Butler lost his shoe during a play for the second time this camp. Either someone needs to teach him how to tie his shoes properly, or the training staff is going to have to tape them to his ankles.