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Defense’s night

Posted by Casey Pearce on August 5, 2009 – 9:54 PM

There were 12,957 fans at Qualcomm Stadium tonight for the Chargers’ first public practice of training camp.  According to Jim Steeg, there were 7,500 hot dogs sold as well.  It was nice to hear the fans again cheering plays, yelling at players and getting involved in practice.  We had so much fun we’ll do it again Saturday morning with FanFest.

The players certainly enjoyed having the fans around as well.

“I think it brings an exta bit of energy,” Head Coach Norv Turner said.  “It’s got to be an impressive deal for our young players.  It’s kind of a start for them to be in the stadium and get going.  It really helps them in terms of getting going for the season.”

The defense definately stole the show tonight.  The emphasis of practice was the two minute drill.  The offense has two minutes to drive the field and the period ends when the defense either comes up with a turnover or a stop or time runs out.  Steve Gregory ended one drive with a hit on Antonio Gates to break up a potential touchdown pass.  Antonio Cromartie intercepted a pass to end another, and on the next play Clinton Hart stepped in front of Kris Wilson and came away with a pick. 

The catch of the night went to LaDainian Tomlinson.  On a goal-to-go play, Philip Rivers was forced out of the pocket to his left and arched a high pass to LT.  Jyles Tucker did everything he could to break it up, but LT positioned himself perfectly and hauled in the over-the-shoulder catch.

Buster Davis was back on the field after missing some work, although Larry English took the night off with a sore hamstring.  English’s injury isn’t major, just one of those things they don’t want to make worse by getting him on the field. 

I had a great time chatting with Brian Wilson and Darren Bennett tonight.  I got to join the duo for a segment on Xtra Sports 1360, the home of the Chargers, and it was great talking Bolts football with those guys.

There’s a special teams practice in the morning and then the full squad will get back after it tomorrow afternoon.


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Gregory steals the show

Posted by Casey Pearce on August 2, 2009 – 6:37 AM

The first padded practice of training camp was a physical one that started with a bang, but safety Steve Gregory shined the brightest Sunday afternoon. He broke up a pair of passes and picked off another. The fourth-year pro worked with the second team in base and the first team in nickel. He’s a great guy who you can’t help but be happy for.

Norv doesn’t do a full Oklahoma drill like his predecessor but he will throw it in there every once in a while. Ogemdi “Oggie” Nwagbuo beat Tyronne Green three times and then Louis Vasquez won a battle with Vaughn Martin. Fun stuff.

Eric Weddle talked about the secondary’s goal of eliminating big plays, and they did again Sunday. Quentin Jammer knocked away a pair of deep balls, one on a deep flag pattern where Weddle was closing over the top.

Lots of players look different when they put on the pads, but no one more than Jacob Hester. He’s put on about 10 pounds this offseason and he had a nice practice. There was a lot of inside run work and Hester could repeatedly be heard popping the pads.

When they wear the pads they do my favorite drill: one-on-one pass rush. Martin looked really good in that period, and you can really see English’s quickness off the ball when he’s isolated.

Two a days tomorrow so check back for plenty more.


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