The Chargers’ annual FanFest is always a memorable experience, and true to form, the Q was rocking this year with a record 18,000 fans in attendance. But as much as those in the stands relish the experience, the players are equally grateful to practice in front of them and mingle afterward.
Saturday was extra special for a number of players as it marked their very first time taking the field at Qualcomm Stadium as a Charger. For the rookies, it was another milestone in their lifelong dream of playing in the NFL.
“I loved it,” Jason Verrett said while signing autographs. “I love everything about it. I had my first interception on this field when I was a sophomore against San Diego State, and now I get to call this place home. And these fans are great. I love spending an afternoon around them.”
Seventh round selection Tevin Reese was as equally enthusiastic about the session as the team’s first round pick.
“This was unexplainable,” the wide receiver said. “I played a bowl game here as a junior, but this is a completely different feeling now that I’m a Charger.”
Chris Watt never played at Qualcomm in college like Verrett and Reese, so he enjoyed his very first visit to his new home turf.
“This was a really cool experience and the fans came out and really supported us,” he said. “We had a record setting crowd, which is really unbelievable. Being out here for the first time helps with the communication. I had a false start I wish I could get back, but I guess it’s good it happened during a practice here and not a game, so I’ll make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
The rookies weren’t the only ones who relished their first taste of the Q, as free agents like Donald Brown enjoyed settling into his new digs.
“This was nice and was a great atmosphere,” he said. “We had a great turnout and it gets me even more excited for Thursday under the lights.”
New tight end David Johnson agreed.
“This is my first time ever here, and I liked it a lot,” he said. “I like the idea of FanFest. This whole thing has been really cool.”
Finally, while he isn’t new to Qualcomm Stadium, Malcom Floyd appreciated being back on his home field for the first time since opening night of the 2013 season. It was especially meaningful as the crowd went wild every time M-80 made a play.
“It feels good to hear them because they’ve always had my back,” he said. “It feels like it was just yesterday I was here. But I did hear them and I want them to know I appreciated it.”