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Chargers Camp Report: Bolts Get Physical with Short-Yardage Situations


The Chargers put in a good day of work Wednesday at Jack Hammett Sports Complex.

The team practiced for roughly 90 minutes, but did so in full pads in a session that featured plenty of physicality.

Here are five observations from the 12th day of camp:

1. Lots of 3rd-and-short situations

Head Coach Brandon Staley upped the intensity Wednesday by putting his team in numerous short-yardage situations.

The Bolts ran nine total plays on third-and-2 or fewer, with each offensive unit getting three attempts in the situation.

The first-team offense converted twice on run separate plays on third-and-1, but a Justin Herbert pass attempt was incomplete on third-and-2.

The Bolts second-team offense then moved the chains with a successful run on third-and-1 before Chase Daniel hit Gabe Nabers for a first down on third-and-2. The final play of the sequence, which came on third-and-1, was a run play with a fumble that was recovered by the offense, but it was behind the line of scrimmage and would have brought up fourth down.

Easton Stick led the third-team offense, which converted a run on third-and-1. Stick then threw incomplete on third-and-2 before a third-and-1 run toward the sideline was too close to call. In an actual game, video review likely would have been needed.

Overall, it was an evenly matched sequence for the offense and defense.

2. 1st-team defense steps up in team drill

Earlier in practice, the Bolts first-team defense balled out in an 11-on-11 situation.

The offense had the ball at their own 30-yard line and was looking to put together a drive. But the offense went three-and-out as Chris Rumph II was credited with a sack on third-and-6.

The first-team offense then got a fresh set of downs from the 30, but that drive also went three-and-out as Herbert's pass on third-and-6 fell incomplete.

Given another set of downs, the offense clicked a bit when Herbert hit Keenan Allen for a 37-yard gain down the right sideline. Joshua Palmer later made a sliding catch on third-and-5 to get the Bolts inside the 10-yard line.

But the drive was thwarted inside the 10, as Damon Lloyd had a pass breakup and then solid coverage on back-to-back plays to end the threat.

3. Everett emerging as red-zone target

The Chargers later worked in the red zone, where Gerald Everett remained a favorite target of Herbert.

The two connected for a score in Sunday night's scrimmage, and were at it again Wednesday.

On fourth-and-goal from the 2-yard line, Herbert fired a dart to Everett over the middle for the score.

Everett, who was signed as a free agent this spring, has 12 career touchdown catches through five seasons.

4. Bandy, Taylor provide quite the battle

The most notable play of Wednesday's practice came when the third-team offense was on the field in 7-on-7 drills.

With Ja'Sir Taylor in coverage on Michael Bandy, the wide receiver drifted across the field toward the left sideline. As the pass approached the pair, Taylor stepped in front of the ball and seemed to corral the pass for the interception, which drew a cheer from the defensive sideline.

Yet as the two went to the ground, it was Bandy who wrestled the ball away and was awarded the catch to send the offensive sideline into a frenzy.

The play highlighted the increased competition as players fight for roster spots.

Other notes from 7-on-7 drills included a pass break up from Asante Samuel, Jr., and a 4-yard touchdown catch by Kevin Marks, Jr.

5. Joseph-Day shows out up front

Sebastian Joseph-Day is among the many newcomers to the Chargers defense.

The defensive tackle made his presence felt in team drills Wednesday by stopping Austin Ekeler for no gain in a team drill, the following up with a credited sack on Herbert two plays later.

He also flashed in the red zone when he stopped Joshua Kelley for a short gain on a run play from the 15-yard line.

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