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3 Observations: Bolts Defense Snares 1st INT of Camp


Day 2 of Chargers Training Camp is complete.

The Bolts held their second practice of camp Thursday in Costa Mesa, practicing for nearly two hours without pads.

Here are three observations from today's practice:

1. Layne's INT leads the way

The Chargers defense snagged their first takeaway of camp late in Thursday's session, and it was Raheem Layne who tallied the interception in full-team drills.

The safety was in coverage on Michael Ezeike on a comeback route when Layne stepped in front of the tight end to corral the pass. Layne also tallied a pass breakup while covering Donald Parham, Jr., in a 7-on-7 drill.

Layne's takeaway seemingly opened the floodgates for the Bolts defense as the unit began to make one big play after the next.

Khalil Mack soon popped the ball loose from Gerald Everett as Derwin James, Jr., picked up the pigskin and raced down the sideline for a score.

Asante Samuel, Jr., then nearly had an interception before Michael Davis and Cam Brown also notched pass breakups.

2. The offense responds

The session wasn't all tilted in the defense's favor, however.

Moments after Layne's interception and James' score, Justin Herbert responded with a 40-yard touchdown strike to Quentin Johnston that drew raucous cheers from the crowd.

Herbert's connection with the first-round rookie was one of many deep passes the quarterback uncorked on the day, something that's become an evident trend in the first few days of camp.

Herbert also hit Mike Williams and Keenan Allen for 40-plus yard passes in 7-on-7 drills.

Chargers Offensive Coordinator Kellen Moore said adding explosive plays has been a focal point of the offense so far in camp.

"Certainly it's something we've talked about," Moore said. "With the availability of the receivers and what we have on offense, we're really excited about exploring that. I think Justin has done a phenomenal job the first couple days of giving us those opportunities."

3. Hopkins gets his kicks

The first installment of the kicking battle took place Thursday, even if only one kicker got reps.

Dustin Hopkins made six of eight field goal tries in practice as every attempt was from 50 yards and in.

The veteran was good from 26, 28, 31, 33, 40 and 47 yards away. He pair of misses came from 36 and 44 yards, respectively.

Hopkins is battling with Cameron Dicker for the Bolts lone kicker spot. Dicker will likely take reps later this week.

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