Day eight of training camp is in the books. As Mike McCoy would say, the players worked extremely hard.
Despite the fact that they weren’t tackling to the ground, it was a very physical practice today.
Here are some notes and observations from today’s practice.
– Players that didn’t practice: Ricardo Mathews, Malcom Floyd, Johnnie Troutman. Brandon Flowers and Patrick Robinson did a little work on the side. They were not full-participants in practice.
– Dontrelle Inman continues to impress, making difficult catches look easy.
– The pace at which Philip Rivers and Stevie Johnson are building a strong rapport is impressive.
– Johnson is a very crafty route runner, getting open far more often than not.
– Melvin Gordon is still adjusting to life in the NFL. He has shown a propensity to be impatient, running into the backs of his offensive linemen often. As mentioned in other posts, he has flashed some special ability, but building patience in the running game should be a focus moving forward.
– John Phillips looks much quicker now that his knee injury is fully recovered. He’ll be on the field more than expected during the first four weeks of the season while Antonio Gates sits out.
– Danny Woodhead looks to be back to where he was prior to suffering a broken fibula in week three of last season. He looks very quick in his cuts and seems to be doing great.
– Joe Barksdale seems to be a solid addition to the offensive line. With Troutman out, his reps increased and he held up respectably in both run and pass blocking.
– Daily camp update: Brock Hekking has amazing hair.
– Melvin Ingram is benefiting from playing at a lighter weight. He is constantly creating good push and getting what would be sacks if it was live play.
– Kyle Emanuel looks physical and has made some impressive plays in one-on-one drills again today.
– Craig Mager had two pass breakups on consecutive plays.
– After struggling in pass coverage the other day, Jimmy Wilson rebounded well.
– Regardless of what day of practice it has been, Jason Verrett always stands out.
– Ladarius Green made a few catches, but wasn’t targeted much throughout practice.
– Lowell Rose had a solid day in the secondary, breaking up multiple passes in team drills.
– Jacoby Jones is most likely going to be used at wide receiver more than I originally expected. It’s not that he’s out their with the first team, but he gets open and makes plays when called upon to do so.
– Joe D’Alessandris makes watching the offensive-line drills very enjoyable.
– On another coaching note, Don Johnson spends a good amount of time slowing things down for the defensive linemen, stopping to talk to the group as a whole, often. He seems like a great teacher.
There you have it. Overall, it was a solid day for many of the Chargers’ players. Without getting ahead of myself, there is something about this team that has me thinking that this could be a special year.