Saturday wasn't James Jones' first time at Qualcomm Stadium.
The wide receiver had taken the field numerous times throughout his career as a member of the Green Bay Packers and Oakland Raiders. While he only joined the Chargers this week, he was already looking forward to his first taste of the Q as a member of the home team.
It didn't disappoint.
"That felt great," he said with a smile as he left the field after a spirited practice at FanFest. "I've played here quite a few times in my career, so I know how passionate these fans can get. I was looking forward to this. It was exciting to get in here in front of them and give them a taste of what we are going to be this year. It felt nice to have their support this time!"
Jones wasn't the only new Charger who enjoyed his first experience as a member of the home team at the Q. Jeff Cumberland signed with the Chargers in March after spending his first six seasons with the New York Jets. The tight end had one of his most productive practices this summer, making numerous grabs as the offense marched down the field. Doing so on his new home turf in front of over 18,000 fans made the day even more meaningful.
"I like this atmosphere, so today felt real good. I liked the crowd and the fans. They were definitely into it. It was a good vibe for us. I felt like it was on game day. A lot of these fans don't really know me, so to have a couple catches like that and make some plays for them to see felt good."
Saturday also marked the first time the rookies got to take the field at Qualcomm as NFL players. It was a moment second-round pick Hunter Henry said he will never forget.
"It was surreal," he said, taking another look at the fans screaming and chanting his name. "It was a lot of fun. I love this stadium and these fans already. Getting out here and feeling it, it really was just surreal. I can't wait to get out here for the (second) preseason game."
One player who knows the Q perhaps better than anyone is Philip Rivers. FanFest was number 17's first time back on the field since the emotional victory over the Miami Dolphins last December. The quarterback is a fan of the annual practice, and this year's was no exception.
"It was certainly exciting to be back. It's the yearly kickoff of the season back in the stadium. The fact that we did think (it was) the last time in here against Miami, to be back (feels good). We'll be back in a few weeks against Arizona, and obviously the whole season. I thought it was one of the better turnouts I've seen here in some time."