The last single-practice day of camp finished without a hitch Wednesday as the players prepared for the full-fledged version Friday. They will not practice on the field Thursday.
Stay true and keep pounding,
Tags: Billy Volek, Cam Thomas, Curtis Brinkley, Don Johnson, Philip Rivers
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I’m not sure why — media never turn down free food — but there were leftovers from Norv Turner’s informal chat at Qualcomm Stadium. The chicken sliders and taquitos were my favorites.
There are also a few tidbits that I haven’t covered on the blog or the main site.
• Jan. 17 is a painful date for Chargers fans, but it’s not unspeakable. Turner has been straightforward in his assessment of the playoff loss to the Jets and talked about it again Thursday, acknowledging that media and fans will measure his team by what they accomplish in postseason play.
“I think everyone knows our team’s going to be evaluated once we get to the playoffs. Our guys understand that and that gives us a little chip on our shoulder,” Turner said.
He made a light-hearted joke about it but did say it isn’t fun to dwell on the loss: “That’s why I’m anxious about the season starting because we’ll have some other games to talk about.”
Tags: Antoine Cason, Antonio Gates, Cam Thomas, Norv Turner, Playoffs, Randy McMichael
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• Almost all of the 255 NFL rookies attended. Among those absent was Chad Jones, the New York Giants safety involved in a serious car accident last week.
• Asked what would happen if Cam Thomas launched himself into the space bounce with a hive of kids, Ryan Mathews broke a string of monotonous questions with this diddy: “He’ll pop that thing if he goes in there. I’ll probably be in there with him. If he ends up in there, he’ll probably squash a few kids or something like that, but it’s all fun and games.”
• Darrell Stuckey wasn’t star-struck, per se, by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. But Goodell did gain his respect: “As important as (off-field behavior) is to our organization and the branding of the NFL, it’s one of those things to where we have to realize that, yeah, he’s the man. He’s the one that runs the show. And for him to take time out to come out here and let us know how important it is to him means a lot to us.”
As an aside, Stuckey already is one of the more polished interviews on the team.
• Thomas had an interesting take on the collective fate of the rookies: “Somebody’s going to have a Hall of Fame type life. Some people are going to be wealthy. Some people aren’t going to make it past training camp. They’ll probably play one preseason game. That’s just reality.”
• Monday’s media availability was part of the NFL’s Play 60 campaign to promote active lifestyles. There were a few dozen kids from Camp Pendleton that participated in a fun lunchtime play session outside with all of the rookies. The Chargers actively sought kids to engage. Jonathan Crompton played quarterback with a few. Stuckey and Donald Butler also were quick to find some young friends.
We are officially four weeks from the first rookies-only practice at training camp.
Stay true and keep pounding,
Tags: Cam Thomas, Darrell Stuckey, Donald Butler, Jonathan Crompton, Roger Goodell, Rookies, Ryan Mathews
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About 45 players participated in the final week of OTAs last week, most of them rookies.
Here’s a look at what some of the Chargers’ draft picks, free agent rookies and young vets had to say and their evaluation of the offseason.
Ryan Mathews – “I think I’m on top of my game and ready to go, but there’s still a lot of stuff I need to learn. This upcoming month, July, is really going to help me out. If I just stay on top of everything, just keep working out and keep getting better, I’ll come back in July and be ready.”
Cam Thomas — “It really doesn’t matter until you put the pads on. It’s more mental than it is physical right now. It’s just getting the plays and understanding the philosophy of the defense. When the pads come on, that’s when we’ll tell who’s a man and who’s not. If you don’t like being physical, you shouldn’t play the sport. And I like being physical.”
Jeremy Williams — “I’ve been making as many catches as I can, doing everything as fast as I can and working hard. I think overall my OTAs went well. I’m just going to go back, get a couple days of rest, hang out with the family and then I’m going to get back on my grind. I’ll make sure I stay in shape and get ready for camp to come here and light it up.”
Antwan Applewhite — “What we try to take from it is not so much physicalness, but just the mental aspect of it. Just getting our minds back on football, getting our legs in football shape. That’s basically what we take from it, so that’s what the fans should take from it. It’s just kind of a pre-camp type thing. That’s why they call it Mini Camp. It’s just to kind of get us back into shape and get our minds ready to play football again in September.”
Dante Hughes — “This is a good time for us because we get an opportunity to play. That’s what we get paid to do and that’s what we enjoy doing, but at the same time, before training camp you definitely need that down time. You can get your body back if you have a knick or you’re bruised up a little bit. You can get those issues taken care of so that they don’t linger into the season. Plus, a lot of these guys have families. When the season rolls around, you’re not going to have much opportunity to enjoy them, so it’s a good time for us to get family time in also.”
Stay true and keep pounding,
Tags: Antwan Applewhite, Cam Thomas, Dante Hughes, Jeremy Williams, OTAs, Ryan Mathews
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