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Mailbag: Who Has Been the Biggest Surprise of Chargers Camp?

Q:  Jason Verrett is on the field for some of the team drills I was reading. I was curious how he is looking? Does he look like he will still be that shut down corner like when he was healthy? – Dylan Knowles

A: Let’s put it this way – Jason Verrett looks like Jason Verrett!  He’s working his way in slowly as the team has a plan to have him fully ready for the season opener, but he’s made his mark when on the field.  He made a play on Monday during his first stint in team drills that showed his athleticism and high football IQ.  Number 22 read the play perfectly, jumping in front of the receiver to punch it away.  Verrett’s big play sent his teammates into a frenzy as they fed off his dynamic athletic abilities.

Q:  Who's the biggest surprise of training camp? – Sam Joe

A: This is such a subjective question, but for me, it’s Jeff Cumberland.  It’s not that I’m surprised by his ability, but I forgot how big a role he was going to play last season before his Achilles injury, especially with how Antonio Gates and Hunter Henry performed throughout the year.  But Jeff has really stood out as a force on a consistent basis.  He boasts a rare size-speed combo, and I can see him forcing the Bolts to find ways to get him involved.

Q:  How is Austin Ekeler doing? Also, what are his chances of making the 53-man roster? – Garrett Fera

A:  I’m not in the business of making predictions on players’ chances of landing on the 53-man roster, so I can’t help you with that question.  However, I’m happy to say that the undrafted running back is turning heads at training camp. Head Coach Anthony Lynn has sung his praises several times, noting how Ekeler has shown some juice on his runs.  He’s definitely someone to keep an eye on during the preseason.

Q:  I love me some Denzel Perryman.  How is our monster hitter doing so far? – Denzel Fan

A:  It’s hard to judge someone like Denzel Perryman in practice because a big part of his game is laying the lumber.  Come the preseason is when we can really evaluate how he’s done, but thus far, he’s really stood out.  He’s a force in the run game, and there are times he lets up that you know if it was a game, the opposition would be flat on his back.  What’s really stood out to me is what a leader he’s turned into.  He’s still only 24 years old and not much older than the younger players, but as the seasoned vet of the group, everyone looks up to number 52.  Denzel is one of my favorite players to watch, and is always good for a great sound bite.  So it’s safe to say “our monster hitter” is off to a good start.

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