Friday Morning Mini-Camp

One more day and fans will be arriving in droves to see their San Diego Chargers practice. In the meantime, practice is in full swing and the fun for some is just beginning. With some time off coming right after this weekend, now is the time to make the impression that will last in the coaching staff's mind.

Cleo Lemon looked sharp early on and was drilling some balls to running backs. He has shown nice zip on his balls and has really not performed badly thus far in practices. The staff has given him added reps as a reward. During some red zone drills, Lemon took about 10-15 straight snaps. Dondre Gilliam saved him on one route. Gilliam made a circus catch just inside the goal line and managed to keep his feet in bounds.

Gilliam wasn't done either. On one route he slipped and fell to his knees. Somehow he managed to remember the ball was on its way and faced the quarterback as the ball hit him in the chest. As it bounced off, Gilliam snagged it before it hit the ground despite being that much closer to the carpet.

Tim Baker missed an easy grab during one particular session. The ball was placed perfectly but he could not corral it. After the play he looked dejected and hung his head as he made his way back to the huddle of receivers waiting to run routes. He may be seeing his time with the Chargers coming to an end if he continues to miss the easy ones.

Yesterday we mentioned Seth Burford was watching his motion man before snapping the ball. Today he did not give his receivers a glance. What it shows is he must be looking at the films during player meetings. As Justin Peelle went into motion, Burford took the snap on his count and threw a strike to Peelle who has really come on as a receiver of late.

Burford who has serious zip on his ball was having some trouble with his soft tosses. Whenever he threw the ball with some air underneath it, the ball wobbled on its way.

Brian Sump almost had his head taken off today as he took a pass that was directed at his eyes. Sump threw his hands up in almost a protective nature, and the ball jumped off his palms before Sump regained his composure and snatched the ball on the way down.

Tim Dwight, Reche Caldwell and Kassim Osgood missed consecutive bullets from Burford who was blazing balls in there. All were within reach and on target but each receiver had a mental lapse.

Osgood bounced back later in practice during one-on-one drills. He got up on two separate deep balls and came down with both. He still needs to work on keeping his feet on the ground as he will leap for anything, even when no defensive back is on him. Of course, in these instances he was able to shield the defender with his body and make sure he was the only one who would catch the ball.

Rob Adamson saw more reps today with Doug Flutie sitting this one out. Adamson was delivering the ball on target for most of the morning, but a tight spiral was few and far between as the ball shimmied through the air.

Tim Dwight was absolutely flying on one route. With a throw from Brees about 3 yards too far, Dwight turned his speed on and someone managed to catch up with the ball. It was a beautiful sight to see that kind of speed and hustle in motion.

A new development saw Mike Scifres holding on field goal attempts. With Steve Christie still missing from the field, Mackenzie Hoambrecker again saw all the placekicking duties. Hoambrecker was working regularly from 53 yards out and he made some and missed some. The more important fact was Scifres taking the snaps from David Binn and lacing them up for the kick. Scifres did mishandle one snap as the ball bounced off him and landed a couple yards away. Darren Bennett took over a few snaps later and Hoambrecker talked to him after he placed his first snap down, a miss. Hoambrecker explained how he likes the ball to be placed and the very next snap was good from 53.

More information is available at our premium message boards. Don't be afraid to ask questions there. I answer any and all. Tomorrow there will be no morning notes session as I will stay by Chargers Park and take a few people out to lunch (you know who you are). I will post them as soon as I get back from the afternoon session.

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

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