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How Did the Rookies Feel in Pads?
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On Friday, Head Coach Mike McCoy said “football is played in pads” and that’s exactly what transpired Saturday morning.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for the players to show us exactly what they’ve learned and how well they know our system,” McCoy said. “Now it comes down really to the basic fundamentals. We’re not going to the ground, but when you say blocking and tackling (or) wrapping the ball… it’s just the way the game’s going to be played.”
It’s been a long time coming, but for the rookies, this was the first time they’ve suited up since college.
“(Melvin Gordon) did a nice job,” McCoy said. “The defense did a nice job on a couple of runs there, creating an opportunity where he had to do something and he showed today and he’s only getting more and more comfortable as we go.”
“It was fun,” said linebacker Kyle Emanuel. “Like coach said, this is the way football’s played. Before, it was more mental but it was nice to get back out there.”
“I thought my first day was pretty good,” Perryman said. “I made a couple plays today and I felt like I was back at the (University of Miami) just running around…I had a little collision here and there which is what I look for anyway.”
McCoy added that putting the pads on gives him and his staff another solid look at the rookies and their performance on the field.
“We’ll watch the film,” he said. “It’s going to be great to watch the film and see who rose up and who knows what they’re doing and doing it the way you want to do it in pads.”
Part of being a rookie is learning from, and competing against, the veterans on the roster. With that said, some of the newest Chargers said putting the pads on was a unique experience to play with and go against some of the league’s top players.
“I think it went well,” Emanuel said. “We got to work with (the veterans) in OTAs without pads so I thought it was going to be a little different. But physically, I did alright. I always have room to improve so I’m trying to get better every single day.”
While they’re still learning game, they’re also learning not to do too much, too soon. Taking the game in stride is essential to having a successful camp.
“You just have to take advantage of every opportunity you get,” Mager added. “Opportunities are slim so you just have to make sure you’re ready.”
“I just go out there and do my job and play my game within the scheme,” said Perryman. “I learned, during my freshman year of college, that when you do too much, you get out of focus.” Read