Offense goes beast mode with Wildcat formation
The offense turned to a new page inside the playbook by deploying the Wildcat for five plays, with Ronnie Brown as the focal point and Philip Rivers lined up wide. The offense ran three variations of the formation:
- On the first play, WR Michael Spurlock took a direct snap and handed the ball to Brown for an inside run.
- The second play had Brown take the snap, fake a handoff to Robert Meachem then run inside.
- In a third variation, Rivers ran back under center and took to the air twice, completing a play-action pass to Malcom Floyd and then a screen pass to Brown.
Bigby makes presence felt
After seeing minimal action in his return on Thursday, Atari Bigby played a bigger role. He took the starter's reps early on, stuffing an inside run during the nine-on-nine session and delivering a forearm blast to Randy McMichael along the sideline during the blitz period. Later in practice, Bibgy ceded time to rookie Brandon Taylor, as the third-round pick took a majority of the first-team snaps.
Rivers showcases quick release under pressure
In a pass-happy practice, Rivers displayed his trademark emotion and put forth a strong performance, especially during the blitz period. Throwing from an empty backfield, Rivers showed a quick trigger with the rush closing in. Later on, he found Vincent Brown behind the defense for a long score.
Scifres showcases arm -- not leg -- on special teams
Trick plays spiced up a normally dull special teams period. On a pair of fake field-goal attempts, holder Mike Scifres went one-for-two, rolling right and completing a pass to Kory Sperry. The placekickers then tried punting as Nate Kaeding and Nick Novak took direct snaps from a field goal formation and attempted quick punts.
Meachem delivers big plays
In the nine-on-nine period, Meachem made a leaping catch on a high throw from Rivers. The marquee offseason acquisition followed that up in the 11-on-11 session by running past the defense and hauling in a deep pass for a crowd-pleasing TD.
Ryan Mathews made the best catch of the day, extending over Jonas Mouton along the sideline and catching a pass from Kevin O'Connell over Mouton's head while staying inbounds.
Offense prevails in the end
On a fourth-and-5 play between first teamers that concluded practice, the defense blitzed and Rivers quickly dumped the ball to Brown in the flat. Brown turned upfield and stretched for the first down along the sideline, a conversion that drew some hollering from the offense.
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Anthony Gentile is a San Diego area journalist and University of San Diego alum. Follow him on Twitter at @_anthonygentile.