Chargers: Working Out

The warm-up period lasted about 15 minutes consisting of the usual stretching and side stepping drills to get the juices flowing for a practice session. In the back, San Diego Chargers Head Coach Marty Schottenheimer watched and waited, wearing his customary practice hat. Here is the best (Brian Sump) and worst from practice and maybe a little more:

On Defense

The defensive secondary broke off into interception drills early on, getting used to reading the quarterback and making breaks on the ball. Of course the ball was sent a little too easily their way having no receivers in on the drill.

When it came time to test the secondary and their skills at breaking up passes Drayton Florence was the only guy who consistently beat his man in one-on-one drills. He missed an easy interception after jumping a Cleo Lemon throw that was a touch behind the receiver, but the ball went through the hands of Florence and he responded by smacking his helmet, then his hands together in disgust.

Florence also had a play for two other balls. One time he went up to battle for a ball, slamming into a receiver as the ball got there and came down empty, but so did the receiver. Another time he tipped a ball but was unable to wrangle it in.

Sammy Davis was able to get his hands on a few balls, especially during out pattern drills. He showed good closing speed to get a hand in front of the receivers' eyes and batted a few balls away.

Tony Okanlawon missed an interception opportunity on a poorly thrown ball by Cleo Lemon. In fact no one was able to hold onto an interception chance although they were able to get their hands on a number of balls.

Jammer slipped once or twice in coverage and it looked like he was trying a little too hard to show up the rest of his defensive teammates.

Kevin House looked lost out there today as he had bad recognition on routes being run as well as reading the quarterbacks eyes.

On Offense

Brian Sump had perhaps the best day on offense. He was flying around the field proving he is that fast in game as Coach Bob Stitt alluded to during the interview Chargers Update had with him last week.

In one drill he caught the ball in the middle of the field barely in stride and accelerated around the left end leaving his pursuers in the dust as no one was able to even get close to him.

Sump is trying to make the squad as a kick returner and extra receiver and one can already envision a role on the offense taking reverses and using his speed and vision to break off big gains. The reverse is a staple of the offense in San Diego, and another candidate may have just been found.

Kassim Osgood made the catch of the day earning applause and some hooting and hollering from his teammates. He snagged a ball he had no business catching on a deep route towards the sidelines showing a nice burst of speed beating the man covering him with a double move on one-on-one drills to get the ball that was thrown over his wrong shoulder.

Antoineo Harris looked good catching the ball out of the backfield and was able to split the seam on defenders during six on seven drills.

Conversely, both Dahrran Diedrick and Nick Maddox looked lost running pass catching routes. Diedrick didn't even look at the quarterback as the ball dropped a few feet from him and Maddox missed a couple balls thrown his way. In both cases the coach was the only one in "coverage".

Terry Charles slipped on a couple of routes during a one-on-one session against a defender and it looked like he was trying to do too much to get open and not letting the natural route give him separation.

Josh Norman had perhaps the worst day on the field. He dropped a few balls thrown his way and looked visibly upset which could have carried over to successive routes. When he did make catches they were often bobbled before being secured.

Special Teams

Lefty kicker Mackenzie Hoambrecker was out practicing kickoffs on one side of the field alone and getting a few nice boots in. Meanwhile, Mike Scifres was also working on his kickoffs with a coach, presumably Steve Crosby, watching his every move and giving him pointers on each kick. Scifres appeared to have the bigger leg of the two, but was not as consistent with his placement of kicks.

Crazy Man Award

Dralinn Burks, an undrafted free agent out of Kansas State, has the big hair going for him. No one knows how he fits it under the helmet!

Denis Savage can be reached at or via the following link: Denis Savage

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