From the smell of fresh cut grass to the feeling of the summer heat, Quentin Jammer knows Training Camp well. But on Saturday, Jammer returned to Chargers Park as an alum with his family.
"It's different being on the other side of it!" Jammer said. "When you get into the league, you don't ever think that you're going to be out of it… You miss it, especially during camp. I remember coming to the first day of camp always excited for the season. You walk in and see the guys out there working so you get a little bit nostalgic."
The former cornerback was on-hand with other alumni to get their first look of the 2016 team.
While they've all said goodbye to the game they love, some players like Jammer admit watching from the sidelines still is a hard adjustment.
"I look at them and think, 'I'm supposed to be out there! What am I doing over here? I'm a fan now?'" mentioned former defensive end Raylee Johnson. "It's all about transitioning but I enjoy it. It hasn't gotten easier. Every time I get close to the stadium or if I get within five to 10 miles of the practice facility, my body starts shaking; it's amazing."
Part of what brings alumni back is the chance to mingle with old teammates and meet players who came before them. In addition, some alumni like getting the chance to see some of the newest Bolts in action.
"It's always great to see guys you played with, come back and commiserate, relive old times and enjoy each other's company," former offensive lineman Doug Wilkerson said. "It's a fun, fun time and it's an opportunity to see the young guys who are here and coming in to play. As much as we can be an aide to them, they can get a chance to see the guys who played (before)."
"It's fun to get back and get to see some of the guys I played with and some of the guys who came before me and set the stage," Jammer added. "It's always good for (my kids) to come back and see what I did and someone of the guys who put this in motion. There are a lot of guys who I met who were here before me."
The former players are very thankful for the Spanos family for welcoming them back to Chargers Park. While they may not don the lightning bolt anymore, they will forever be Chargers.
"They've always been a great family and have been about family and commitment," Johnson mentioned."
"It shows that they care about the guys, both past and present," Jammer said. "It's good to get us mingling and share experience and catch up is a special experience."
Here is a list of the alumni who attended Saturday's practice:
Vince Abbott, Joe Beauchamp,Reggie Berry, Willie Buchanon, John Carney, Andre Coleman, Charles Dimry, Speedy Duncan, Donnie Edwards, Chris Fletcher, John Floyd, Vencie Glenn, Quentin Jammer, Raylee Johnson, Kwamie Lassiter, Brandon Manumaleuna, Brett Miller, Jeremy Newberry, Scott Perry, Pat Rogers, Mel Rogers, Pete Shaw, Billy Ray Smith, Billy Volek, Ed White and Doug Wilkerson.