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Rookies Get Taste of Chargers Football

Last Thursday was supposed to be the Bolts' Blue & White scrimmage at SoFi Stadium.

But with the recent events surrounding social justice in the country, head coach Anthony Lynn cancelled the inter-squad scrimmage and instead, opted for a day of conversation and reflection.

In lieu of Thursday, Sunday's training camp practice at Jack Hammett Sports Complex served as the closest thing to a game environment that Chargers players will get ahead of Week 1.

Part of what made Sunday feel game-like came down to what the team wore, as they suited up in their new uniforms for the first time.

For some of the newest members of the team, it was an experience they'll never forget.

"It's been exciting getting a chance to wear these uniforms," mentioned rookie running back Joshua Kelley. "I can't believe it. I had goosebumps when I was in the locker room just seeing my name on the back of this jersey. It's special. Today was fun, we got a chance to go out here and play some football (and) move the ball."

Rookie receiver Joe Reed called donning the unis "a dream come true."

"Growing up, wanting to play professional ball and coming home after church and now finally being able to put this uniform on today, a Sunday, (was special,)" Reed said. "Being able to come out here and compete just loving the speed of the game (and) the physicality. We've been waiting a long time, especially this year. It seems like this offseason has been going on forever, so just having a chance to come out here and compete with my teammates has been a true blessing."

Both players admitted while they've made strides in camp, they also know there's a lot of work to be done. Kelley said he wants to get better at pass protection citing being adept at pass pro "is gonna separate who's on the field, especially on third down and in crucial moments of the game." 

For Reed, the versatile receiver and returner said, "I go to bed at night trying to figure out how I can be a better player. Whether it's watching more film, watching myself, watching other guys."

One benefit for both guys is how they have savvy veterans to learn from. Kelley cited Austin Ekeler and Reed noted Keenan Allen.

Both listed these players as guys who not only play the game the right way, but are willing to help and share how they've become pros in this league.

"(Austin Ekeler's) a leader, and I just come to him after every single series just making sure like are my aim points good? Is my track good? Is everything detailed?" Kelley mentioned. "He's been successful at this level, so he's a great resource. He's really open to like helping me and other guys. I can't say enough good things about Austin."

"Just watching Keenan, the way he carries himself or the way he dissects defenses (and) how smart he is, it's very easy to learn from him," Reed added. "A lot of times in the meeting room, he helps coach us up, too. (Wide receivers) coach Phil (McGeoghan) will ask Keenan his thoughts or opinions on the play or defensive coverage. It's a true blessing to be in the same room and be able to spend time with a great receiver like Keenan."

Check out some photos from Sunday, August 30th's Blue & White scrimmage at Chargers Training Camp 2020, presented by SoFi.

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