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Camp Set to Heat Up with First Padded Practice

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It's finally time to put on the pads…and the players are fired up!

Through OTAs and minicamp, players wear shorts and jerseys, so this moment has been a long time coming.

Putting on the pads is even more exciting for the rookies, who will be donning a full NFL uniform for the first time in their lives.

"It's been a while since I've put pads on so I'm ready," said rookie linebacker Kyzir White. "It feels great just getting adjusted to everything, being around my teammates (and) trying to get this thing rolling for a great season."

"The past two days, it's felt like we had pads on, just the level of competition and the intensity, but it changes a little bit," added wide receiver Dylan Cantrell. "I think intensity's going to be even higher (and) competition is going to be great. You get a better feel for actual football. We're going to try to be safe and keep each other off the ground and protect each other."

Taking the field for training camp is already exciting because it means the season is just around the corner, but finally getting to put on the pads ramps practice up to new heights.

"It's pretty physical out here already, but it just takes it to another level," said tight end Braedon Bowman. "I think it's always good to put the pads on. It kind of evens the playing field for offense and defense. It's tough without pads on. You're making sure you're not getting hurt, but also want to be physical enough to get the job done. The pads really let you go all out and do your actual job."

You could even say putting on pads signals the beginning of "real football," as fans and coaches will see players go harder than they have the past two days.

"I think it's just a more efficient way to practice, more realistic obviously. You have more pass rush moves you can use," mentioned defensive end Joey Bosa. "Once you get the pads on, you can see where you are with the pass rush technique because all the power moves come into play."

Count Bosa's bookend, Melvin Ingram, as another player excited for what comes with a padded practice. After all, Ingram is entering his seventh season in the league and knows how putting the pads on adds a new layer of competition for what will unfold during the duration of camp.

"(Putting pads on tomorrow) separates the boys from the men. Simple. Man, that's what football is — pads. Grown man football."

Chargers Training Camp has kicked off! Click here for information on attending one of the several open practices between July 28 and August 23. To celebrate football being back, we're giving away two 2018 season tickets! Click here to enter for your chance to win.

Take a look through the top practice photos from day two of Chargers Camp.

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