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How Did Derwin James Look at First Chargers Practice?

Over 40 rookies took the field at Hoag Performance Center on Friday for the first practice of rookie minicamp.

However, all eyes were on the 6-2, 225-pound safety wearing number 33.

After all, nobody expected Derwin James to last until the 17th overall selection when the Chargers were fortunate enough to scoop him up.

So, how did James look in his first practice as a member of the Bolts?

While you shouldn't put too much stock in a minicamp practice, he definitely showed the tools everyone hoped to see…and then some.

"He's an alpha dog, no doubt about it," said Head Coach Anthony Lynn.  "He is a leader, and that's why we brought him on this team.  It's just a matter of time before his intangibles start to show."

The Chargers love the versatility James brings to the safety position, as he's capable of playing in the box, deep at free safety, in the slot and so on.  However, for his first practice, the team had him play strong safety in the box while also venturing into the slot to cover tight ends and wide receivers.

It's all part of the process to get James up to speed.

"They're just trying to take it step by step, let me learn one position," James mentioned.  "And if they see me somewhere else, they'll probably just let me learn that position. They've said just focus on one position for now."

"Our defensive staff is very creative in how they use their defensive personnel," Lynn added.  "Right now, we don't want to put too much on their plate, but we're looking at (James) definitely at different spots."

While James made it look easy on the field, he noted he still has a long way to go.  Specifically, he knows he must get the terminology down pat to play at full speed.

"It's like learning a new language," James said.  "I feel like it's coming along day by day. Coaches don't expect me to get it all in the first day. I feel like I've got the right coaches around me and moving in the right direction."

Nonetheless, taking the field donning the lightning bolt on the helmet marked another step in James' lifelong dream, which is why it'll be a practice he'll never forget. 

"Today when I got here for the first time, put my Chargers helmet on, it felt great. It was fun just coming out here. I haven't been in a football game since December. Man, it's fun coming out here and getting my cleats back on the ground, moving fast and going against somebody. A lot of time, I've just been working out (alone). Now, I get to go against live people. That's fun."

Chargers rookies take the field for the first day of Rookie Minicamp at Hoag Performance Center. 

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