Recapping Thursday's Mini-Camp

It is fitting that the catch of the day went to David Boston one of the newest San Diego Chargers and perhaps the most prized. Yet he is only one piece of the puzzle. How did the rest of the team do today?<br><br> Let's find out as we recap Thursday's Mini-Camp with plenty of notes yet to be seen…

First the catch -- David Boston was running routes with no one covering him. Doesn't sound too hard to us? When the ball was thrown behind Boston as he glided through his route however, Boston had to adjust. With his body positioned to make the catch in stride, Boston nonchalantly reached out with his left hand behind him and snared a pass from Drew Brees as if that is where the ball was intended to be the whole time. In fact he didn't even miss a step. It wasn't the only one handed grab of the day by Boston. Later in the session he got a mitt on another ball destined to go incomplete and pulled it in with ease.

Terry Charles tried to duplicate the feat on the exact same route one play later. Charles didn't have the skill Boston had and the ball merely tipped off his hand falling to the carpet.

The session wasn't always rosy for Boston however. Boston took a slant pass later in the session and after he caught it the ball squirted free and flew about 10 feet away. Boston tried to recover it but missed the ball as he dropped to the ground and Quentin Jammer scooped the ball up with room to run. This was the only gaffe by Boston during the morning session as he didn't miss a pas the rest of the day. If it was close, he caught it.

Brian Sump continues to look fluid in his routes. Not only that, but it is obvious he is trying to maximize his opportunity here. Every route is run as if it was in the game. While others are trotting downfield to make a catch, Sump is going full speed. I don't think he knows any other way.

Onome Ojo and his long stride seem to have made a seamless transition into San Diego. He is catching the ball well and his route running is crisp. Today he made a nice fingertip catch on a pass and did it with little effort.

Kassim Osgood is still making the easy catches look tough. Instead of running under a ball he has a penchant for leaping to make a catch. That could get him mauled when the real hitting begins. It looks like it will be a hard habit to break.

Another bad habit that will need to be tempered is Seth Burford following his motion man before he snaps the ball. He will need to rely on the snap count and be confident that his man is in position while he concentrates on the coverage the defense plans to deploy.

Doug Flutie was off all day. Many passes were behind his receivers, but not to worry, Justin Peelle made him look good by snagging a ball destined for the defense. On an in route, Peelle got turned around and still managed to make the catch.

Eric Parker was unable to haul in a tough catch on another throw from Flutie. In fact it is the same play that Joel Price, Media Manager for Chargers.com, so nicely caught on camera at: Chargers.com. Okanlawon was in tight coverage on the play and the ball slipped through the hands of Parker.

We mentioned that Kevin House was playing too far off the ball during the morning session. Things continued later on when House was unable to catch up to Reche Caldwell after he caught a short pass from Flutie. The ball Flutie threw was sharp as it landed just over the outstretched hands of Carlos Polk.

Donnie Edwards and Marcellus Wiley got the first significant penetration on the day. They were in the backfield on the snap and in the mess the running back could not even be seen.

Doug Sims made one of his first noticeable impressions of camp during the morning session. He got solid penetration up the middle and was put on his back by the second man to block him on the play, Solomon Page. While on his back, Sims reached up to grab a leg of some unseen running back and hold him up long enough for Otis Leverette to make the "tackle".

Scott Pospisil, after an unsuccessful NFL Europe campaign, was mauled at the line by unknown Dralinn Burks which opened up a gaping hole for Nick Maddox. Pospisil is on his last legs to make a solid impression with so many young guys vying for a spot.

Burks had a nice day overall. He released off one block and went out to meet Jude Waddy sealing the outside to spring a running back through the open hole.

Jason Fisk showed some unbelievable strength when he matched up against Toniu Fonoti. Fisk busted up on Fonoti and pushed him back into the lane the running play was supposed to go through.

Ben Leber was seeing time over the tight end most of the morning session. On one running play Justin Peelle absolutely dominated him. Peelle, known for his blocking, was able to box him out and seal the outside for Jesse Chatman to scamper through.

Peelle exhibited excellent hands as the last option for quarterbacks. We mentioned the defense was limiting pass plays to short yardage and Peelle was the beneficiary. In fact by our count he had four such grabs on the day. The team is expecting big things from Peelle this season after working primarily as a blocking tight end in 2002.

The worst first:

Flutie fumbled a snap from Cory Raymer during one drill and Dahrran Diedrick pounced on the ball as it was lying still on the ground for a few seconds.

A little of both:

Ray Lee Johnson clearly beat Damion McIntosh on an outside inside move and was poised for a clear shot on Drew Brees when McIntosh pulled him down from behind, a clear holding penalty. Brees, unfazed by what had transpired, stepped up and delivered a pass to Dondre Gilliam in front of Ben Leber and Ryan McNeil.

Hanik Milligan came clean on a blitz and was set to terrorize Brees. Instead Brees calmly threw the ball away in the direction of Boston who was near the sidelines. The idea is if you throw it in the direction of Boston towards the sidelines enough he may come down with it.

Waddy was sent in on a blitz and as he closed in on Brees…Boston got open. Brees hit him in stride coming over the middle as Zeke Moreno drew him in coverage. They could exploit that matchup all day.

Jordan Kramer and Adrian Dingle got to Flutie on one snap. They came from two different sides and collapsed on Flutie who just tucked the ball into his impending doom.

The best for last:

Andrew Pinnock tore through a gap as the lead blocker on a play and collided with Waddy. Poor Waddy never stood a chance as he was knocked back several feet.

I have even more notes from both sessions and will put them into yet another article…someday. With another full day tomorrow it could be a bonus special that I put out after the weekend that compiles the notes left over from all three days.

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Denis Savage can be reached at safage@cox.net or via the following link: Denis Savage


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