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Pair of Bolts Earn Rivers' Praise vs. Cardinals

Fans gather at Qualcomm to rally on the Chargers as they host a joint practice with the Arizona Cardinals.

Keenan Allen spent the past three seasons carving up opposing defenses, earning a four-year contract extension in June.

Travis Benjamin proved to be one of the league's most electric playmakers last year with the Cleveland Browns, and the Chargers inked the coveted wideout to a four-year deal on the first day of free agency.

During Tuesday night's joint practice with the Arizona Cardinals, both players showcased why the Bolts made a big investment in them this offseason.

Nearly 10,000 fans in attendance watched as Philip Rivers repeatedly connected with the receivers under the lights at Qualcomm Stadium.  They made a number of highlight reel catches against the likes of Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Peterson and a highly regarded Cardinals secondary.

"Shoot, Keenan's going to hold his own against any corner" Rivers said.  "(Peterson) is a really good corner.  He made his share of plays and covered his guy. Just like I tell you in the preseason, you can't overreact.  You certainly can't overreact to one practice, good or bad.  But I think it's certainly good for Keenan.  He goes against a top corner every day in (Jason) Verrett, and he goes against a top corner tonight.  It's good for all our receivers.  Keenan can win against anybody.  He's capable of doing that, and he's got to keep on rolling."

KA13 was rolling Tuesday night.  Whether during one-on-ones, seven-on-sevens or 11-on-11s, the wide receiver made his presence felt.  From sharp routes to break free underneath to a deep bomb along the left sideline to a quick-strike touchdown near the goal line, it was another strong practice for one of San Diego's top weapons.

"I thought it was great (today)," Allen said.  "We did a great job competing on both sides of the ball. I thought they did a great job as well.  I thought they had some great technique; Patrick Peterson obviously has that…. Once we heard we were practicing against another team, everybody got boosted up for the practice more."

While Allen repeatedly brought the fans to their feet, it was a simple pass to Benjamin that was Rivers' favorite part of the day.  Number 17 admitted that it was one few would expect him to point out since it came in one-on-ones, but the possibility of what it means going forward is significant.

"My favorite play of the day was a comeback that I threw to Travis in one-on-ones.  Not because it was a great throw or anything like that, but it was just one of those (where) I had to throw early, the timing (was there) and he got out (of his break).  Those are the trust-building plays I talk about where you need to make with a guy you haven't thrown a ton of those to.  So I thought all in all, I thought it was good and we did some good things (that) will be fun to watch and correct."

Benjamin missed FanFest earlier in training camp as the Chargers were cautious with a minor ailment.  As a result, the wideout relished his first opportunity to make a name for himself on his new home turf, and was grateful to hear Rivers chime in on a play he too felt helped build their chemistry.

"This felt good to participate in practice in this stadium in front of these fans," he said.  "I gave them a glimpse of what I had.  I felt a good connection with Philip.  It's always a good feeling when 17 comes up to you, congratulates you and tells you, 'Just keep doing what you're doing.' I know if I just run a precise route, he'll put the ball there.  It's a great feeling for me."

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