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3 Observations: Bolts Defense Victorious in 2-Minute Drills


The Chargers held their penultimate practice of training camp Tuesday at Hoag Performance Center.

The Bolts will practice again Wednesday ahead of Friday night's road preseason finale against the 49ers.

Here are three observations from today's practice:

1. Defense wins on final drive

Most of the Chargers starters haven't played in the preseason and likely won't Friday against the 49ers.

But they're still getting good work in against each other in the dog days of August.

The Bolts worked on a 2-minute drill Tuesday, but it was the defense that came away victorious.

The offense led 13-10 at the end of the first half as the unit took over on their own 43 with 57 seconds left. In essence, the offense was trying to add to the lead before halftime.

Michael Davis recorded a pass breakup on Justin Herbert's first pass of the drill. And even though Herbert hit Keenan Allen for 9 yards on third-and-8 to move past midfield, the offense soon faced first-and-15 from the 50 with 12 seconds left and no timeouts.

Sebastian Joseph-Day put an end to the drive with a sack on Herbert. The quarterback threw the ball anyway, and Davis was called for pass interference on Joshua Palmer, but the flag was inconsequential as the sack had already taken place.

The reserve offense then trotted out for the same drill but an interception from undrafted rookie linebacker Nathan East gave the defense a pair of wins on the day.

Earlier in 7-on-7 drills, Asante Samuel, Jr. tallied an interception to keep up his stellar play of late. It was Samuel's fifth takeaway of camp.

2. Herbert, Palmer start fast

The Bolts spent a portion of practice repping the start of a game as the top units went against each other with 15 minutes on the clock.

With the ball at their own 30-yard line, Justin Herbert and his group struck fast.

Although Joey Bosa opened the drive with a sack, Herbert responded with a 22-yard pass to Palmer that moved the chains. An Austin Ekeler run gained a few yards before Herbert hit Palmer again, this time for a 50-ish yard connection that put the ball inside the 5-yard line.

That result was good enough for the drill, as the units went back to the 30-yard line to replay the drill rather than try for a score.

Herbert continued to be locked in, hitting Quentin Johnston for 21 yards on the first play of the series.

Herbert later moved the sticks by hitting Johnston for 5 yards on third-and-4, and came up clutch again on third-and-7 when Tre' McKitty hauled in a 10-yard pass.

But Herbert's group stalled out just outside the red zone as JT Woods came away with an interception over the middle.

3. Dicker perfect on the day

Cameron Dicker continued his strong camp by making all four of his field goals in team drills Tuesday. Dicker was true from 30, 33, 38 and 40 yards out.

Dicker, who was the only kicker who participated Tuesday, has now made 62 of 68 field goals (91.2 percent) in camp.

The Bolts also worked on kickoff coverage and punt coverage and return drills during the session. Derius Davis, John Hightower, Pokey Wilson and Darrius Shepherd were the punt returners.

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