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Pad popping time

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Johnny Lightning, Aug 1, 2010.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006
    By Christopher Smith, Chargers.com
    Posted 3 hours ago

    The defense is excited about Sunday’s full-pads practice, the first of training camp. They’ve waited more than six months to hit someone again.

    SAN DIEGO – The NFL is an offensive league.
    Quarterback is the most popular position among fans and the rules make it more challenging for defensive backs than it was when the forward pass first became prevalent.
    Add to that the restrictions on physical contact during OTAs mandated by the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and the red, no-contact jerseys worn in practice by the aforementioned quarterbacks, and it’s difficult for defensive players to stand out.
    It’s no wonder they look forward to Sunday’s full-pads practice, the first chance for full contact in more than six months.
    “I’ve been waiting all offseason to hit somebody,” Stephen Cooper said. “Putting on the shoulder pads gives me a chance to let off some stress over this offseason. I’m not trying to hurt anybody on my team, but I’m going to hit them as hard as I can.”
    Said Jyles Tucker: “Defense … you know you love to hit. When those pads come on, stuff is going to be popping. Everything’s going to be that much faster, that much more intense, that much more focused, so I really look forward to it.”
    The public will benefit from the aggressive green light, as the 4 p.m. practice at Chargers Park is open to all.
    The players and coaches, too, will pay close attention to the practice. Competition presumably will escalate as the sound of collisions and grunts floats through the air.
    “What you really evaluate is the most competitive situations you put them in,” Head Coach Norv Turner said of what the coaching staff uses to analyze players. “There’s a lot of guys that will do it well in practice situations or run something well when it’s not as competitive and there’s certain guys that step up and do a great job the more competitive it gets.”
    Quarterbacks still will not get blindsided by a blitzing linebacker that wears the same helmet they do, but the big bodies on the line of scrimmage can better simulate game action.
    Players on both sides of the football know they can prove something about themselves with full contact.
    So what can they reveal about themselves?
    “I think it’s the physical nature of somebody; if they’re really willing to stick it in there or if they’re going to shy away a little bit,” Steve Gregory said. “Aside from that is, did they slow down at all? Once you put pads on, does their speed stay the same? Does their movement stay the same, or does it hinder them? I think those are things that make a difference once you put pads on.”

    OPTIMISM CONTINUES: Head Coach Norv Turner continues to give an optimistic outlook for this year’s Chargers.
    Pleased with the potential to become a better, healthier overall team, Turner said throughout the offseason this group can be better than recent San Diego teams if they continue to make progress.
    He voiced another bit of confidence Saturday.
    “This has been an extremely focused team,” Turner said. “You don’t win 13 games if you’re not. But I think every year this group grows in maturity. (The veterans) know what it takes to be successful.”

    BOLTS: Nathan Vasher adjusted to a deep ball to make an interception during the morning practice … Darren Sproles made an acrobatic, twisting catch 15 yards downfield in coverage during 7-on-7s … Antonio Gates pawed a difficult pass with his left hand, then squeezed it in stride for a highlight catch … Billy Volek
    made a pair of pretty timing throws down the right sideline to Gary Banks and Buster Davis … Antoine Cason and Traye Simmons each grabbed an interception during the evening practice.

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