A Day Off

Everybody is entitled to a day off now and again, but not many undrafted free agents dare take it when they can be studying the playbook, watch some film and work on whatever the San Diego Chargers coaches may have asked…

Quarterback Rob Adamson is one of these young men vying for a spot on the team. He is caught between not getting enough reps in practice, and expected to shine when he does.

Doesn't repetition hold the key to his success?

Likely that is the case, but he is stuck handing the ball off to running backs and gazing at the other practice field as Drew Brees, Cleo Lemon and now Doug Flutie throw the ball to the receivers.

On Wednesday all four quarterbacks were again in camp. The team took Thursday off, although many players probably worked out at the Chargers facility and spent their time in the film room.

So there was Rob Adamson Wednesday getting more chances with the rock then ever before. What did he do with the opportunity?

Adamson threw a number of deep balls and was tossing them to the wrong shoulder. Receivers were expecting the ball on their inside shoulder and almost every ball was going to the outside shoulder. But that was just him warming up you say.

When Adamson did get warmed up, his balls were wobbling through the air. While they were on target, the ball appeared slow in getting to its destination.

Cleo Lemon had a good day tossing the ball. One thing he has shown consistently in camp is the ability to throw a deep ball with ease. He is still working on his touch and distance, but Lemon can hurl that oblong ball.

Speaking of those passes, Lemon hit a perfect pass to Brian Sump who hauled the ball in stride. It was the perfect play, through and through. Sump did get off to a slower start however. He bobbled a few balls early on, and while none hit the ground, he was uncovered during those drills.

Lemon had a few more nice throws and was throwing to guys who have not gotten much action until this point. BJ Lovett (who made a number of nice grabs), Antonio Gates, Dondre Gilliam (solid, never spectacular) and Grant Mattos were among the beneficiaries of the nice passing Lemon displayed.

Speaking of Gates, many are wondering what to expect from the man the Chargers secured after winning a bidding war against the Cleveland Browns. He caught one of his first passes, at least, that I remember seeing, early on and was pressed into action instead of just working on his blocking.

The whole group of tight ends were working on their 5 yard in and out routes with coaches. Five yards turn quickly, eyes to the quarterback as you cut, find the ball and catch it. Seems simple enough?

Gates, running one such route, almost got his head taken off as the ball whipped past his head. The problem? He was slow on his cut and did not swivel his hips to anticipate the ball. He was disappointed with his play and practiced a few times by himself cutting and putting his hands up expecting the ball.

Onome Ojo made the catch of the day. His second day on the job and he took to his role. Running a seam route at full speed Ojo turned to locate the throw, just as the ball was on his hip. He snagged it in stride and it left a few people wondering how his eyes and body were able to adjust quickly enough to make the grab. Now this may not sound like it is special, but imagine a defensive back running with him, intent on keeping up and the ball is delivered while Ojo is running for his life. The cornerback has no choice but to keep his back to the quarterback to stay with his man and Ojo gives no hint the ball is on the way until the last second. By then it is too late and it goes for a long gain.

Jesse Chapman made a nice grab on a throw from Doug Flutie. The ball was thrown way behind him and Chatman was able to adjust to the ball and catch it without stumbling, turning upfield quickly.

Drops of the Day

Reche Caldwell had a drop running routes with no one in coverage.

Tim Dwight missed a ball that went over his right shoulder and through his hands. The picture perfect pass from Brees fell to the ground with little fight.

Mattos dropped a pass running a 10 yard curl pattern. The ball hit him squarely in the chest before dropping to the carpet.

And lastly, the usual suspect again demonstrated some poor judgement. Kassim Osgood had a ball that went a little short and he misjudged where the ball would land. He slowed his route down and he thought he had to make up for his misperception as he jumped for the ball. Too bad as it resulted in a miss. Had he kept his feet grounded the ball would have hit him in the hands at eye level. Instead when he jumped the ball hit him below the midsection before hitting the grass.

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-Denis Savage


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