It’s finally here! Training camp is upon us and we’ve seen the Bolts in their first day in pads. Players names get dropped for both the good and the bad during camp, but it’s important to not get too high or low on anyone. A lot of the drills the coaches run are to get a look at a particular position or group of players. But we’ve seen it before, the training camp hero turns into a gameday zero. Let’s look at a few examples of what we’ve heard so far…
Derek Cox struggling against the receivers –
Sure, you never want to get beat but in most games the Defensive backs aren’t going to be asked to cover guys 1 on 1 with no pass rush. Shareece Wright hasn’t helped his cause because he has looked like the play maker he was last preseason before he got hurt. Evaluation: Don’t get to down on him yet. As my man Skinny said it best:
“If the HC said the QB only has 3.5-4 seconds to release the ball on 1 on 1 drills, then I’d be worried about Cox if he couldn’t hold up.”
— Jerome Watson (@SkinnyDuzIt) July 27, 2013
DJ Fluker struggling early –
It was reported yesterday by Kevin Acee that Fluker may not be the starter if the season started today. Michael Gehlken also eluded to that in an article about Te’o and Fluker and some swim lessons. This one is sure to set off a few alarms for Charger fans, but let’s see how he looks in those preseason games. With Max Starks and King Dunlap on the roster, it’s clear they have a backup plan if the struggles continue. Dunlap has reportedly looked very solid, getting a lot of reps with the 1’s at left tackle. Evaluation: It’s early, and he’s a rookie. But my sense is his work ethic and good coaching will help with the adjustments.
Eddie Royal –
He was a player called out last year a lot during OTA’s and training camp (when he returned after missing almost a month with a groin injury). This year has been no different, he’s shown up on video highlights of practice and catching almost everything thrown to him. A healthy Royal is a good thing, as he enters year two with Philip Rivers but more importantly in an offense that needs him. Evaluation: Health is the key here, if he stays on the field and can build chemistry with Rivers, it’s promising.
Shareece Wright –
It seems like he’s picked up where he left off last year. He’s making plays and shining early on. We saw this last year, but we also saw how quickly it can change. My guess is he won’t be doing as much special teams work this year, which is probably good for his ankles. Evaluation: Excited to see him in the preseason games as a starter. A lot riding on he and Cox this year to ensure this defense takes the next step.
The bottom line is to take it all in and enjoy the practices. Just know a lot can change between now and the opener, let’s just hope the good stay good and the others continue to improve.