Chargers Mini-Camp: Friday Recap

We cannot stress this enough…<br><br> Marty Schottenheimer has done a wonderful thing getting the rookies and undrafted free agents in early in order to get the playbook down and work on conditioning. Now practices are becoming crisp and players know where they are supposed to be.

The afternoon session was just as good as the morning. With the Mighty 1090 looking on from the flight deck (an area above the field offering a splendid view), the session went on without a hitch. Well I guess that depends on whom you ask…

David Boston surprisingly missed a few balls today. One ball that Drew Brees threw his way was way too far inside and Boston had little chance. Another grazed off his fingertips and fell incomplete. We have come to expect so much from him it seemed odd to see the occasional miss.

Speaking of Brees, he was practicing his play fakes today. It is an area he can improve vastly upon, especially with the threat LaDainian Tomlinson is. He should take a look at the Chad Pennington school of play fakes. Both are in their second year as starters and Brees could learn a lot watching the way he fakes his handoffs during play-action-pass.

Mackenzie Hoambrecker was practicing standing kicks from the 40 yard line. He would stand and kick the ball without taking even one step. I am not too sure what the drill was designed to do, but he was getting the ball about 30-35 yards downfield. Speculating, I would say it helps leg strength, and aim, as he really had to struggle to keep it straight with such little movement.

The offensive line was practicing hand slapping techniques and spins on each other. The goal was to keep the opposing teammate in front of them at all times. If they can keep a defender in front of them, it will prevent holding calls down the road, but getting rid of Ed Ellis did that too.

Besides that the o-line practiced their run blocking assignments and Dralinn Burks again looked solid. He lined up at left tackle and was fluid coming out of his stance sealing the outside to create running lanes.

Phil Bogle had a very good day today. He was quick off the ball and releasing off his blocks to the inside to pull out and lead the way for LT. He also stood his ground against the crafty rushers coming his way and was keeping his man wherever he directed him.

The defensive line was also working on their technique today. They faced off versus each other and practiced getting inside the hand slaps their brethren would throw their way. Much like the offensive line practiced keeping the man in front of them, the D-line was practicing how to get around their man and pressure the quarterback.

Andrew Pinnock was playing the role of lead blocker again today. The added reps with Lorenzo Neal out does not bode well for Joey Goodspeed who has not seen nearly enough time in that role and has been dropping passes like dead flies.

Speaking of Pinnock he has also stepped up of late as a pass receiver. Early on he had some troubles catching the ball as he failed to turn enough to face the passer. He is getting much better at that now. He caught a high pass from Cleo lemon today stretching up and extending to haul it in. Of course the next play he ran, also from Lemon, resulted in an incompletion as Lemon sent a strike to Pinnock, but Pinnock could not hold onto it. Pinnock proceeded to clap his hands in frustration knowing he should catch those balls.

Reche Caldwell was conjuring images of a #2 receiver when he went up to make a catch over Cedrick Henry deep in the secondary. Caldwell held onto the ball even as Henry had a hold of his jersey through the last few seconds of the route.

Tim Dwight also capitalized on Henry later in the session. Dwight pulled a nice move to bet him to the inside and Kwamie Lassiter came over to help as Brees delivered a laser into the traffic. The offense again came out on top on this one as Dwight snared the pas between the "Malachi Crunch" awaiting him. Dwight has proven to be one of the better receivers in traffic and he is not afraid to take a hit, which he did on this play, intentional or not.

Kassim Osgood had a very solid day overall and came down with a catch from Seth Burford that landed just over his left shoulder into his outstretched arms. Osgood proceeded to show his competitiveness when he gave a stiff arm to some defender who was tracking him down.

After a good day yesterday, Nick Maddox looked more comfortable today. He caught a swing pass from Lemon and would have been popped by Stephen Cooper who closed in fast on him and held up just as the ball arrived. Maddox knew the hit was about to come but still managed to catch the ball in position to brace himself for the hit. Since it is practice the hit never came and Cooper slapped his pads instead.

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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