<strong>July 27, 2005</strong>
Source: <a href="http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2005/07/27/sports/professional/chargers/21_37_477_26_05.txt">North County Times</a>
SAN DIEGO ---- Quarterback Drew Brees showed no signs of offseason surgery on his left shoulder, crisply completing the majority of his passes at the opening of the rookie portion of the Chargers' training camp on Tuesday.
Brees said he suffered the shoulder separation on Oct. 3 in a win over Tennessee. It didn't hamper him the rest of the season as he had a Pro Bowl year while setting various team passing marks.
But Brees had some minor work done on his left (non-throwing) shoulder after the season.
Now after shouldering most of the offseason media load, Brees is eager to take meaningful snaps instead of endless interviews.
"I love it when football starts,'' said Brees, the NFL's comeback player of 2004. "Now I get to do it and stop talking about it.''
While yapping, Brees wiped the perspiration from his brow. It was toasty on Tuesday, which is fine with Brees.
"It feels good,'' the Austin, Texas, native said." It's a bit hotter than it was over at UCSD, but it gives us a chance to get ready for those hot Midwest games.''
The Chargers ended their two-year stint at Carson after last summer, which preceded their 1976-2002 stay at UCSD in La Jolla.
Brees said the Chargers faithful will enjoy training camp at Chargers Park.
"The best thing about it is the fans being able to come out, and not have it be an all day deal and not have to drive up to Carson,'' he said. "This is so much more convenient. I feel like we will have better crowds, get the fans back involved and let them feel that they are a part of it, which they are.''
You're no rookie!
It's billed as the Chargers' rookie training camp, with the first full squad workout on Friday morning.
And while the field was littered with new bodies, some older ones were on hand: wide receiver Reche Caldwell, offensive linemen Nick Hardwick and Courtney VanBuren, and all the quarterbacks.
"I feel like Grandpa Brees out there at 26 years old,'' Brees said. "It's fun to just watch guys develop and watch them get yelled at for doing the same stupid stuff over and over again, like when you were a rookie.''
Non-quarterback veterans can participate if they ended last season on injured reserve or had an offseason surgery.
Wide receiver Reche Caldwell continues his rebound from last year's knee injury, looking fluid while running his routes.
"I feel like I'm back at 100 percent,'' he said. "It was a long road, but I'm back.''
Said Brees: "He looks good, like he came off the knee just fine. His mind is in the game right now, and hopefully it will stay that way.''
Wonder if Camp Pendleton's barber shop had any civilian visitors recently? One look at quarterback Philip Rivers' new crew cut suggests he stopped by.
"I'm saving on shampoo,'' Rivers said, giving his sparsely covered scalp a rub.
The team's rookies, and a sprinkling of veterans, will work twice today at Chargers Park. It is not open to the public. Fans are welcome Friday morning when the team has its initial full-squad practice. ... Rookie Darren Sproles continues to be the favorite to handle the kick and punt return duties. ... Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips said his father, Bum, has returned to his Texas ranch after his recent bypass heart surgery. ... The Monday, Oct. 10 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers is sold out, although a limited number of tickets are available through season ticket packages. ... DT Lui Fuga and TE Cody McCarty were released.