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Chargers Camp Report: Light Practice Includes Plenty of Red-Zone Work


The seventh practice of Chargers Training Camp is complete after a quick session at Jack Hammett Sports Complex.

Here are five observations from the seventh day of camp:

1. Staley opts for lighter practice

A day after the Bolts practiced for two-plus hours in full pads, Head Coach Brandon Staley opted for a lighter session Wednesday.

The Chargers wore just helmets and shorts, and practice was a little over an hour this time around.

After practice, Staley said he likes where the team is at, but is also being cognizant of rest and recovery.

"It's where it should be through seven practices," Staley said. "You have to build these guys up. You have to build a foundation in pads. I felt like we had two really good days in pads.

"Then, came back down here in the red [zone] area — a really short practice, get an off day, and then come back and have a lot of quality work, then finishing with a scrimmage," Staley added. "That third day, they're ready to really compete and have a lot of plays and really build some wind. More drives, more substitutions and having to play longer. We're in that process of building them up."

The Bolts are off Thursday before resuming camp on Friday.

2. An impressive day for Parham

Tight end Donald Parham, Jr., flashed Wednesday, showing off a strong connection with Justin Herbert on a pair of plays.

First, the duo hit on an 18-yard touchdown pass in a 7-on-7 drill. Parham motored up the field before Herbert hit him with a back-shoulder throw at the 1-yard line, with the tight end cruising into the end zone.

Later in a full-team drill, Parham made an athletic catch on the right sideline in the red zone that would have put the ball inside the 3-yard line.

"A lot of improvement as a player, just becoming a complete tight end in the league. I know that our quarterbacks have an enormous amount of confidence in him," Staley said. "He's shown to make a lot of big plays in the passing game.

"I think that he improves as a blocker every time out there. It just gives us a lot of flexibility in how we can play. He's had a very good camp. I'm really proud of him," Staley added.

Parham had 20 receptions for 190 yards and three scores in 2021.

3. Carter finds the end zone twice

Don't think of DeAndre Carter as just a return specialist.

Sure, the first-year Charger has excelled there previously in his career, but he also popped offensively Wednesday with a pair of touchdown receptions.

Chase Daniel hit Carter on both of them, as each score came in a 7-on-7 drill.

Carter's first score came on a go route for 25 yards up the right sideline, and he followed it up later with a double move down the left side for a 10-yard score.

Staley had plenty of praise for Carter after practice.

"He really got off to a good start with our quarterbacks in the springtime. He's a very good receiver. He's not just a return specialist," Staley said. "This guy can play offense — he can play in the slot, he can play out wide.

"He's very good after the catch. He can run with the football. We're glad to have him," Staley added. "He has fit in well with our football team. Really thankful that he's here."

4. McCourt steady on special teams

Make it back-to-back strong days for kicker James McCourt.

The rookie hit eight of nine total field goals Wednesday, following up a Tuesday practice when he made five of six kicks.

McCourt's lone miss was to the left from 46 yards out, but he was true on his other kicks ranging from 33 to 51 yards. He hit both attempts at 50 yards or longer.

His first kick of the day came in a 2-minute drill, as the first-team offense had to settle for a field goal from 42 yards out in an end-of-half situation. 

5. Adderley continues strong camp

Nasir Adderley made a statement on the final play of practice with a diving interception on Daniel.

With the second-team offense nearing the red zone, Daniel looked for Maurice Ffrench in the front right corner of the end zone.

And while Ffrench appeared open, Adderley swooped in for the takeaway for the first-team offense. It was the second straight day Adderley recorded an interception.

"I told you guys at the end of minicamp that I thought that he was a real bright spot, a stand out," Staley said. "You ask for that, and I feel like he definitely earned that mantle, and he's earning it in camp here.

"He's really flashing in the run game and in the passing game. Little things: command before the ball is snapped, helping his teammates out," Staley added. "Without Derwin [James Jr.] being out there, you're able to feel that more, that quarterback presence. That's something that you need at safety, it can't be a one-man show. He's off to a good start. We expect him to continue to play that way."

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