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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 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 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 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 even held a few for him. Scifres, collecting punts from Cort Johnson, booted a few of his own on the cool and breezy Friday.
MATHEWS PLEASES: Ryan Mathews’ 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 caught a deep pass from Philip Rivers 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 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 Read