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What We've Learned From Chargers Camp So Far
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Tuesday marks a well-earned day off the field for the San Diego Chargers following five strong days of work.
Here is what we learned about the Bolts so far…
Keeping Pace – That has been a major buzzword among coaches and players alike. Whether it’s in individual drills, team periods or even in between sessions, everything is about keeping a fast pace. As head coach Mike McCoy said Sunday:
“You only have so much time out here and we only have so many snaps that we can get. I told everybody in certain drills to go as fast as you can because we’ve got a lot of guys we want to try to evaluate here. We’ve got to make sure we take advantage of every opportunity we get out here. It’s an opportunity for guys to get a lot of reps. There are different drills we want to do. We tell the players we’re going to challenge them. That’s how we all started practice today and they did a nice job.”
The Front Line Shuffle – Many fans want to know about the offensive line, which is understandable since the unit has experienced a good amount of turnover from last season. According to McCoy, he’s going to keep mixing up the players until he finds the right five-man unit:
“We’re going to move guys around. We’ve got to find out who the best five guys are and that’s our goal; to figure out who those guys are going to be, move guys around, play guys right and left, bounce them around, maybe move a center to a guard. Just do things because it’s a long year as we all know and the bad part of the game is that guys get dinged here and there so guys have got to be able to step up and we’re going to figure out who those guys are. We’re going to build depth on the football team so we’re going to move guys continuously throughout training camp.”
Royal Flush – After last year’s admittedly disappointing season, Eddie Royal has been a constant playmaker out on the field for the Chargers. Royal had to overcome numerous injuries last season as well some personal issues as his mother dealt with an illness. But as he told Chargers.com, he’s looking forward to a rebound year and part of the reason he’s confident heading into 2013 is reteaming with McCoy, his former offensive coordinator in Denver:
“It’s good to be back with him. Some of the words that I hear in the meetings and in the huddle are kind of similar and I can revert back and remember a few things. So I have a leg up on that. I know what to expect out of him. He’s a great coach. He’s kind of similar to how he was as offensive coordinator. He’s just always going to be him. He’s got a good presence about him and he’s got a lot of confidence to him, which rubs off on the player. When we are confident in the coach, and he is confident in the guys, you’ve got to feel good about the team we have.”
Can’t Get No Satisfaction – Many of the Chargers are feeling unsatisfied --- and in a good way. Players like Kendall Reyes, Danny Woodhead and Keenan Allen say that while they have tasted success they aren’t satisfied with the status quo. Instead, they want to keep working hard to get better. Just read what Reyes had to say:
“I definitely like where the team’s at, but me personally, I think I have a lot to work on. I think that’s obvious, but I’m having a lot of fun with it this year, so that’s really good. I’m happy with where I am but I know I can get a lot better.”
Wright Foot Forward – Another player who has had an impressive beginning of training camp is Shareece Wright. After being limited last year due to a myriad of foot ailments, he’s made a number of top-notch plays in practice. According to Wright, it’s all about confidence:
“It said a lot to me that they feel that way about me, and it helps me have confidence in myself. As a corner you need to play with confidence. It’s important for this position. Being here for three years, I feel more comfortable with where I’m at. Confidence is everything I feel like. If you don’t have that, you don’t really have anything.”
The Ties that Bind – To a man, many of the players say their favorite part of training camp is the bonding that goes on between teammates. There are certainly plenty of examples of how tight-knit a team the Chargers are, including Eric Weddle and Philip Rivers relationship that has blossomed over seven seasons together as well as Manti Te'o claiming Donald Butler is like an older brother to him:
“With Donald, he’s like a big brother to me. He really helps me out before the plays, during the plays and after the plays by just correcting me and helping me to know where I’ve got to go. And sometimes even when I know where I’ve got to go, he just gives me that confirmation that (I’m) doing the right thing. To have someone like Donald over there who is constantly being that big brother to me, I’m definitely very, very grateful for it.”
Fantastic Fan Support – Each day of training camp has seen more and more fans flock to Chargers Park. With over 3,000 in attendance on Sunday, the total for the four day period is close to 10,000. The fan support is crucial according to McCoy:
“We had another great day out here. Great fan support here, they told me while I was walking over here that we had 3,000-plus people, so thanks again to the fans. This is a great atmosphere around here and this is what we want to do: start something special. It’s great. We get the fan support and the players getting involved. You’ve seen as the days have gone along too more and more players have volunteered to walk over there and to sign autographs. We want to thank the fans.”
Finally, be sure to watch the top plays from the first week of training camp below. Read