The Chargers were back on the training camp grind Tuesday, practicing for almost two hours at Jack Hammett Sports Complex.
The session wasn't in pads, but those will come on Wednesday and Thursday when the Cowboys arrive for joint practices.
Here are five observations from the 14th day of camp:
1. Michael Davis continues to impress
Chargers Head Coach Brandon Staley said Tuesday that the second starting outside cornerback spot is up for grabs between Michael Davis and Asante Samuel, Jr.
Newcomer J.C. Jackson has the other spot locked down, but Davis is certainly making his case to start opposite him.
Davis' strong training camp continued Tuesday when he made back-to-back big plays in full-team drills against the first-team offense.
First, Davis tracked Jalen Guyton across the middle of the field before diving to break up the third-and-12 pass attempt.
But Davis was even better on the next play, which was third-and-7, when he stepped in front of a pass for DeAndre Carter and picked it off. The cornerback initially bobbled it for a split-second, but got control and raced the other way for what would have likely been pick 6 in a real game.
Davis has appeared in 79 career games with 43 starts over five seasons with the Bolts.
After practice, Staley went into detail on the competition between Davis and Samuel.
"Those guys are competing. They're both competing well. We feel like they're both starting-caliber corners," Staley said. "We feel like, with our top four corners, that we have four starting-caliber NFL corners. We have two guys, for sure, that can play Star [nickel cornerback], as well, with Asante and Bryce [Callahan]. I know that J.C. could do it.
"That's good for our football team. We wanted it to be an open competition. It has been," Staley added. "It's going to continue to be. Those guys are both playing well for us. We're excited to see them the next two days versus Dallas."
2. Daniel, Carter strike for deep TD
The Chargers held a 2-minute drill situation toward the end of practice. The offense needed a field goal with 42 seconds left and the ball at their own 35-yard line.
Forget the field goal though, the second-team offense found the end zone … and needed just one play to get there.
On first-and-10 at the 35, Chase Daniel hit DeAndre Carter for a 65-yard score against the first-team defense. The wide receiver got behind the defense and breezed down the field for the final 35 yards.
For what it's worth, the Chargers defense argued the play should have been a sack … a clear sign we're in the dog days of training camp.
Earlier in the drill, the first-team offense was stymied by going four-and-out in the drill. Herbert was unsuccessful in hitting Guyton and Joshua Palmer deep before rookie Ja'Sir Taylor had a pass break up when Herbert was looking for Guyton over the middle.
Herbert's final throw over the middle of the field fell incomplete.
3. Red-zone observations
The Bolts also got some red-zone work in Tuesday in 11-on-11 drills.
Justin Herbert hit Keenan Allen for an 18-yard score that fired up the offense, but Herbert later completed a pass … to himself.
On third-and-goal from the 6-yard line, Herbert's throw was batted down at the line of scrimmage but ricocheted right back to the quarterback. Herbert caught the deflection and ran for four yards before getting out of bounds.
Other standout plays in the red-zone included a 20-yard touchdown pass from Daniel to tight end Hunter Kampmoyer over the middle, plus a strong pass deflection by safety Raheem Layne in the end zone.
4. Herbert-Ekeler connect through the air
Herbert targeted Austin Ekeler 94 times a season ago, with the running back catching 70 passes for 647 yards and eight scores.
The duo looked in fine form Tuesday, especially in 7-on-7 drills, when Herbert found Ekeler twice to move the chains on third downs.
On third-and-4, Ekeler picked up the first down on a pass toward the left sideline. Three plays later, Herbert hit Ekeler on the right side on third-and-10 to move the sticks.
The pair also had a noteworthy play in team drills, as Herbert threw a high-arching pass to Ekeler in the left flat. The pass barely cleared the reach of Joey Bosa (who stands at 6-foot-5 and leapt in the air), as the defensive sideline couldn't believe Herbert was able to find Ekeler over Bosa's reach.
5. A kicking update
As usual, the Bolts focused on special teams for a good portion of practice. On Tuesday, that included punts, kickoff and field goals.
Punter JK Scott had one of the highlights when he perfectly placed a punt inside the 5-yard line. With the ball near midfield, Scott lofted his kick high enough to allow it to be caught at the 4.
James McCourt handled all of the field goals Tuesday, making four of six attempts. His longest make was from 50 yards out, and he as also true from 33, 37 and 43 yards away. McCourt's 46 and 53-yard attempts were wide right.
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