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Sun., Jul. 19, 2015 7:30 AM PDT
Dose of Wildcat
SAN DIEGO – The Chargers got their annual dab of the Wildcat formation Sunday as Patrick Crayton, Mike Tolbert and Jordan Todman alternated at the quarterback position.
San Diego plays Miami, who helped revive the single-wing variation, Oct. 2 at Qualcomm Stadium. But running back Ronnie Brown no longer plays for the Dolphins.
Head Coach Norv Turner said San Diego could see the formation as soon as Week 1 against Minnesota and needs to be ready.
“It was mostly for our defense,” Turner said of the practice reps. “They need to see it because it’s different. When you practice against it, it’s not a major problem, but if you’re not prepared for it, we all know it can be a big problem.”
Turner didn’t discount the formation as an option for the Chargers. Crayton gained 5,688 all-purpose yards at Northwestern Oklahoma State, throwing for nearly 2,000 yards and rushing for almost 1,800 at quarterback.
IMPROVED: Kory Sperry added 15 pounds this offseason and stands a good chance to make the roster as the third tight end.
Turner called him one of the most improved players on the team, adding that the extra bulk is helping Sperry become a better blocker.
Antonio Gates, Randy McMichael and Sperry all are known for catching the ball, but Turner called McMichael an “outstanding” and underrated blocker and hopes, with improvement, Sperry can be more effective as well.
“When you’re that big, you can get on to people and you can block them,” Turner said of Sperry. “We’re trying to get him to play a little bit lower and continue to be more physical and he’s responding to it.”
CASON PRACTICING: Antoine Cason’s right hand is coated in tape and padding, a large, round mass that resembles a club. He participated in a good portion of Sunday’s practice.
“It’s good for him to get out there moving around,” Turner said. “By the time we play in September, hopefully (the padding on his hand) is scaled way down.”
Cason didn’t take reps as a punt returner, relinquishing his spot in line to Vincent Jackson.
“Vincent can return all the punts he wants in practice,” Turner chuckled. “That’s as far as he’s going to get.”
TICKETS AVAILABLE: More than 7,000 tickets need to be sold by 5 p.m. Monday to lift the local television blackout of Thursday’s preseason opener at Qualcomm Stadium.
The Chargers and Seahawks will kick off at 5 p.m. The game is being televised nationally by ESPN’s Monday Night Football crew. If the blackout is lifted, fans in San Diego can watch on ESPN and KFMB-TV.
Tickets may be purchased on chargers.com, by calling (800) 745-3000, or at the Chargers ticket office (Gate C, Qualcomm Stadium), which is open Monday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
ROSTER MOVE: The Chargers signed California-Davis fullback Dean Rogers on Sunday.
San Diego also waived Whittier receiver Giovanni Stanley.