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Young players press for progress while vets wait for training camp.

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Johnny Lightning, Jun 15, 2010.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006
    Chance to shine

    By Christopher Smith, Chargers.com
    Posted 1 hour ago

    Young players press for progress while vets wait for training camp.

    SAN DIEGO – Marcus Mason[​IMG] led a parade of white jerseys to the top of the hill opposite the building at Chargers Park.
    The coaching staff raised the stakes on the final play of Tuesday’s practice, a simulated fourth-and-7 that dictated which side of the football had to run.
    Jeremy Williams[​IMG] caught a pass one yard short of the yard marker, and Mason dashed up the incline first, about a 30-yard jaunt.
    “I saw we didn’t get the first down, so I just ran straight to the hill,” he said. “I just happened to be first that time.”
    The spirited moment capped the 10th day of Organized Team Activities (OTAs). Mason didn’t take credit for hustling, but it wouldn’t be a shock if he dashed up the rise ahead of his teammates on purpose.
    Mason, who graduated from Youngstown State in 2007, now has practiced for four different NFL franchises, including two stints with the Washington Redskins. He wants to prove he belongs.
    “My goal is to be playing, constantly playing. To be a part of a team,” Mason said. “Not just helping on scout team. I want to be a part. I want to hear the commentators say my name.”
    Many of the 45 players that participated Tuesday feel the same way. It’s all but guaranteed less than 100 percent of them will make the trip to Kansas City on Sept. 13 to open the season.
    While many experienced players aren’t expected to attend the final week of OTAs, instead left to prepare their minds and bodies for a long stretch that begins with training camp at the end of July, the slower-paced sessions benefit guys like undrafted rookie linebacker Kion Wilson[​IMG].
    He got two or three reps near the end of practices last week.
    “The veterans aren’t (here), so the pace isn’t as fast,” Wilson said. “It’s a little bit more laid back and you’re getting the majority of the reps.”

    ON THE SIDE: Josh Reed[​IMG] ran some routes and caught passes from Philip Rivers[​IMG] before the team’s OTA on Tuesday.
    Reed, one of three free agents signed in the last two weeks, will wear No. 82, although he wore shorts and a T-shirt on Tuesday.

    BOLTS: Nick Novak[​IMG] kicked footballs at the light pole between practice fields from about 35 yards. He drilled two in a span of five minutes … Kevin Ellison[​IMG] made a nice play on the football for the second straight day, intercepting a pass intended for Richard Goodman[​IMG] on Tuesday … Traye Simmons[​IMG] also intercepted a pass intended for Ernest Smith[​IMG], who got swarmed with double coverage. Smith beat coverage for a deep reception a few plays earlier … Ryan Mathews made consecutive receptions during an 11-on-11 period. He later scampered down the left sideline on a screen pass that would’ve gone for a good gain.

    PRACTICE WEATHER: Sunny, 69 degrees

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