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SAN DIEGO – A game against Chicago wasn’t enough to stifle San Diego’s competitive attitude this week, according to quarterback Philip Rivers.
Speaking after one of the hottest days of camp, Rivers raved about the intensity between units this week.
“It’s good competition. Our offense and defense really compete,” Rivers said. “There’s a lot of guys that give each other a handful across the board.
“Who wins and loses goes back and forth, and I think that’s good. There hasn’t been a day where the offense has looked really good and the defense hasn’t which is a good sign.”
GUNNER: The Chargers held their fourth and final special-teams-only session Wednesday morning.
Asked what the units focused on following the Chicago game, C.J. Spillman said understanding assignment details.
“Knowing the ins and outs of things so when you get in there, you can let your athletic ability take control,” Spillman said.
That’s a general theme he hopes will boost his career in its second season. Spillman played in five games last year and made five special teams tackles.
He and Donald Strickland handled the gunner position with the first punt coverage team against Chicago. The position, Spillman said, is about “getting to the ball by any means necessary. You’re going to be doubled, sometimes even tripled. You’ve got to get through all that and get to the ball. That’s the main objective.”
TIGHT GROUP: Outside of a copy of John Madden ’11 and a lot of free time in franchise mode, there two NFL rosters with 10,000 career receiving yards by its tight ends. Tony Gonzalez pushes the Atlanta Falcons over that number by himself, and Antonio Gates and Randy McMichael combine to surpass it in San Diego.
Add Kris Wilson’s 373 career yards and you’ve got perhaps the NFL’s best trio at the position on paper.
“I like it. I think we all compliment each other,” Wilson said. “We all have similarities, but we bring different things to the table. I think we compliment each other well.”
The group caught four passes for 48 yards in their first game together Saturday against Chicago.
“Obviously we’ll all be a lot better in January than we are that first game. The good thing is we still played pretty well,” Wilson said. “At the tight end position in particular, we know what we need to work on, footwork on things and route running. Working out the details of technique is the main focus so you’re ready when the season comes.”
BACK QUICK: Left tackle Tra Thomas has resumed team drills after returning from a knee scope Monday.
The 13th-year veteran missed two weeks before returning.
“It’s clear he enjoys football,” Head Coach Norv Turner said. “It’s clear he’s still got plenty of ability and he’s an outstanding pass protector.
GRINDING AWAY: Turner wanted to rest Malcom Floyd on Wednesday because he’s gotten a lot of reps, but Floyd asked to participate in red zone work during the first half of practice.
BOLTS: Gary Banks dragged his feet inbounds in the end zone on an athletic catch, an official signaled, despite protests from the defense … Antonio Gates caught a pass behind a defender’s back a few plays later … Eric Weddle and Spillman each broke up passes 1-on-1 downfield … Kevin Burnett stripped a running back in front of the goal line … The secondary made numerous deflections until Brandon Hughes came down with an interception.
PRACTICE WEATHER: Sunny, 84 degrees. Read