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Chargers close Mini Camp feeling good, progressing.

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, May 28, 2010.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006
    Positive vibes

    By Christopher Smith, Chargers.com
    Posted 7 hours ago

    Chargers close Mini Camp feeling good, progressing.

    SAN DIEGO – Sure, news crews have air time to fill.

    Reporters have blogs to write, tweets to post and newsprint to create.

    But what can anyone really surmise from these initial practices, particularly without the context enjoyed by the coaches and players themselves?

    “I think you can tell a team’s chemistry,” tight end Kris Wilson[​IMG] said. “(And) there’s a lot of guys around here that have played football together for a long time.”
    As many as 36 of last year’s most central 40 players, according to Head Coach Norv Turner.

    “That’s how you grow and get better. We have a great foundation built in all three phases,” Turner said after Friday’s practice, the last of Mini Camp. “We have a core of guys that know what’s expected of them and they can work on the little things and then we can build on some of the things we’ve been able to do with small additions, little tweaks.

    “You can speed up the process because they know what to do.”
    The veterans, center Nick Hardwick[​IMG] said, are familiar with the system as much as with each other. They don’t have to relearn the basics and can start “at the intermediate to advanced level and work from there.”
    “The thing that I would take from (Mini Camp) is that the tempo was high,” he said. “The energy levels were high. Guys were excited to be here working hard. Guys brought a focus and a maturity and I think that’s all you can ask.”

    KICKING IT: Nate Kaeding[​IMG] spent several minutes Friday launching kicks off a tee and through the uprights on the far practice field.
    Kaeding, practicing for the first time since he injured his groin in the days leading up to the Pro Bowl, was limited on Wednesday but looked sharp by the fifth practice of Mini Camp.
    He began at the 20-yard line, squeezing kicks through customized uprights narrower than NFL regulation, and eventually moved back 10 more yards.
    Punter Mike Scifres[​IMG] even held a few for him. Scifres, collecting punts from Cort Johnson[​IMG], booted a few of his own on the cool and breezy Friday.

    MATHEWS PLEASES: Ryan Mathews[​IMG]’ first five practices with his Chargers teammates didn’t do anything to dissuade Turner from his optimism regarding San Diego’s first-round draft choice.
    The running back broke through the line of scrimmage cleanly and into the secondary a few times during 11-on-11s on Friday.
    “The one thing that is exciting, obviously, is when he knows what to do and he gets that ball in his hands,” Turner said. “He’s an exciting runner.”

    BOLTS: Gary Banks[​IMG] caught a deep pass from Philip Rivers[​IMG] in double coverage despite a defender clutching at his jersey … Rivers completed 8-of-10 passes during a two-minute drill, including a touchdown to Banks on the final play … Paul Oliver[​IMG] tipped a pass to himself for an interception and raced the other way for what would’ve been a touchdown.

    PRACTICE WEATHER: 63 degrees, sunny
  2. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006
    Minicamp ends

    Kevin Acee

    Friday, May 28, 2010 p.m.31 1:56 p.m.

    Even with training camp two months away, five practices in a three-day minicamp were enough to get to know the 2010 Chargers a little better.
    Veterans will have four more coaching sessions (June 8-14) and rookies will stick around for four more after that the next week. Some players will be at Chargers Park for conditioning until the end of June, but that will be the last on-field work until training camp opens July 26.
    Based on what happened on the field and what was said off of it the past three days, here are some things to consider and watch out for when it gets serious at the end of July:

    • First-round pick Ryan Mathews showed enough -- explosion, ability to catch the ball -- that the Chargers believe they know what they got.
    • The third running back is most likely going to be either rookie Shawnbrey McNeal or Marcus Mason. Both looked good this week. The 5-foot-9, 190-pound McNeal is too easy to compare to Darren Sproles because of body type. He's not Sproles, but he can move, has great balance and cabn catch the ball. Don't rule out Curtis Brinkley, who the Chargers signed after the draft in 2008 and then brought back this year after he was shot last summer.
    • Speaking of Sproles, he is amazing. Is he actually better again? I think so.
    • Darrell Stuckey has a lot to learn, but he has some time. Steve Gregory is not going to be easy to get off the field, though. The battle for playing time at strong safety will be intense. And don't forget C.J. Spillman.
    • Jyles Tucker and Antwan Applewhite are good enough to both make the team. Will the Chargers carry five outside linebackers? Probably, but August will be interesting. And, by the way, the Chargers are better with Shawne Merriman on the field. Larry English may yet be a serviceable successor, but the reason the Chargers will keep Merriman another year and then let him walk with no payback (other than a compensatory pick) is because they will be better in 2010 with him playing for them.
    • Antonio Garay can play, but the Chargers seem like they'll give Cam Thomas every chance to emerge as the primary nose tackle. Ogemdi Nwagbuo was getting his first practice work since midseason. We're going to have to wait to see where he fits in.
    • It was rough at times with the rookie receivers. A couple of them can catch and seem to be learning, but there was a severe dropoff from the route precision, instinct and natural communication with Philip Rivers that Malcom Floyd and Vincent Jackson bring. It was even apparent when Buster Davis went down after the first practice with a concussion that he was miles ahead of the rookies. That said, it's hard to imagine Ernest Smith and Jeremy Williams could have done much more to help their causes. Along with Gary Banks, who had a great Thursday and Friday, they will battle for the fifth receiver spot. (And even Buster Davis' biggest supporter has to wonder when his luck will turn around, so it's not unfathomable there would be more than one spot open.)
    • Tackle Nick Richmond and guard Justin Jeffries seem to be the cream of the free agent rookie crop on the offensive line.
    • Seventh-round draft pick Dedrick Epps is almost certainly going to be the third tight end, but Richie Brockel from Boise State (6-1, 251) has H-back potential a la Brandon Manumaleuna. This offensive staff could make use of him. Could be a battle for that roster spot.
    • Antoine Cason is going to start at right cornerback. But the first couple weeks of offseason practices has shown that Nathan Vasher and Donald Strickland know how to play. Injuries have hindered both, but they're veterans who can make the Chargers' secondary better and much deeper.

    Video here... http://www.signonsandiego.com/weblogs/bolts-blog/2010/may/28/minicamp-ends/
  3. Trumpet_Man

    Trumpet_Man Well-Known Member

    Feb 14, 2006
    Gary Banks is the ****. The dude is nails. Etch it in stone. :bolt:
  4. MasterOfPuppets

    MasterOfPuppets Charger fan since 1979

    Aug 8, 2006
    Did you guys get to see any of the practices from the super secret spot?
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

    Aug 3, 2006
    Nice to finally have a really good read on him. Hadn't heard that much until now.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. foober

    foober BoltTalker

    Aug 17, 2006
    I really hope one of the udfa o-tackles is good enough to make the team and be good. I guess richmond looks the best so far. The guard jeffries is big as well. Richmond is a monster and super smart. HOpe he can be our good backup o-tackle. We need one.

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