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Observations from the First Padded Practice

Key plays, notes, quotes photos and more from Monday's action.

Top Plays:

Antonio Gates brought early cheers with a diving grab over the middle.

Darius Philon sliced through the offensive line for a big run stuff.

Melvin Gordon ran up the gut for a big gain behind a strong block by D.J. Fluker.

Dexter McCoil used his height to break up a pass along the right sideline.

Jeff Cumberland made a smooth catch over the middle on a crossing route.

Manti Te'o had a well-timed deflection early in 7-on-7s.

Philip Rivers threw a dime over tight coverage into Tyrell Williams' breadbasket.

Melvin Ingram worked the outside to get around the offensive line in one-on-one drills.

Branden Oliver slid to the ground to come up with a low throw for an impressive reception.

Steve Williams read the quick slant and swiftly closed on the receiver to knock it away.

Rookie Watch:

Hunter Henry made the catch of training camp, leaping high to catch the ball at its apex before crashing to the ground with possession.

James Ross wrestled the ball away off a quick strike over the middle to come up with an interception.

Dom Williams made a diving snare in tough coverage.

Who Impressed:

Ricky Henne's Take: The tight ends impressed me on Monday as they made a number of highlight reel catches.  Hunter Henry showed the athleticism, soft hands and catching ability that made him the first TE taken in this year's draft with a leaping, diving catch in 7-on-7s.  Antonio Gates also had a diving catch of his own, while Jeff Cumberland showed he is more than just a blocker.  The Chargers have a day off tomorrow, but I expect a spirited practice on Wednesday now that they got their feet wet again wearing pads.

Hayley Elwood's Take: Putting on the pads always adds a fierceness to a camp practice, even in team drills.  Watching the offensive and defensive linemen go up against one another was more exciting with the players in pads.  Guys were getting lower, flying around and had no problem getting after one another at almost full speed.  In addition, it was really exciting to see inside linebacker James Ross have such a showing on the field.  Ross was a non-contract participant at the team's Rookie Mini Camp this past spring. 

Bolts Quotebook:

"It was great to see the guys today in pads.  The big thing from here on out is you want to see how your players play in pads because that's how the game is going to be played come Sundays…The big thing is how quickly can we become a team and become one, and how physical can we (get) through training camp." – Head Coach Mike McCoy

"The pads (can) expose your lack of technique.  If you don't use power technique with pads on, you're not going to be successful.  That's the best thing about pads; you can get away with a lot in shorts and a t-shirt.  When somebody is running full speed at you trying to hit you, that's where you'll see technique." – ILB Manti Te'o

"We did pretty good.  We had a couple guys who got after it.  Even with power plays, everybody did a good job.  Talking about it, communication was great." – OG D.J. Fluker

"So many young guys brought out their nasty side today, especially on the offensive line.  The defensive guys, we knew we had it.  I'm with those guys everyday so they played a little more aggressive today." – DT Corey Liuget

"It felt a little more real with getting the pads popping a little bit. It was a little bit more physical from everybody.  This is how we're going to play and I love the atmosphere and the things we did today.  I think we took a step towards Kansas City but we have a long way to go and a long time until that game." – CB Casey Hayward

Odds and Ends:

Head Coach Mike McCoy announced that Stevie Johnson will have a procedure done on his right knee after sustaining an injury on Sunday.  He hopes to have a timetable for his return in the coming days.

Over 1,000 fans came out for the first padded practice of the year.  The next open practice takes place on Thursday at 9:30am.

#ChargersCamp Fan Corner:

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Top Photos:

The first full-contact practice increased intensity on day three of Training Camp.

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