Morning Session at Camp Schottenheimer

Morning practice at Camp Shottenheimer started at 8:10am sharp! One could see the Olympic torch burning in the distance, or was it? Ah, there's nothing like the smell of Napalm in the morning. The San Diego Chargers players caught a break this morning though as it was only 72 degrees out w/ a slight brees. According to one local resident, it can be and has been much hotter. At any rate, it was the perfect morning to start out the 2003 season in their new facility.

And just like minicamp last month, David Boston was the first player on the field. This is a good sign for Charger teammates and fans, a bad sign for opposing DB's.

The players had little time to adjust to their new environment because the coaches had them lined up for sprints within the first 15 minutes. 20 gassers for the OL/DL and 16 for all other positions. Believe me when I say this, the results were not pretty, especially for rookie Andrew Pinnock. A couple of diehard fans who made the trip up from Orange County, Lance Klem and Justin Williams, were amazed that this young man would come into camp trying to make the roster and still be that out of shape. Leading the charge on the opposite end of the Pinnock spectrum, were veterans Lorenzo Neal and Doug Flutie. Not only are these pros still in tremendous shape, but they serve as valuable mentors for the many young players on this team.

After the conditioning was finished, the players broke out into their perspective units and walked through their assignments. Checking off what they had learned in the previous mini camp. The coaches were meticulous with their instructions and watchful eye.

Absent from morning practice were LBs Carlos Polk, Zeke Moreno, Ben Leber, and Donnie Edwards, WRs Tom Dwight, Reche Caldwell, and Eric Parker. I mention these players because we all know there are major battles shaping up with the #2 & #3 WR positions in addition to the battle for the starting MLB spot.

I was a little surprised to see that the morning practice wrapped up about 30 minutes early. For a team that fell off a 6-1 start last season, it just didn't make sense. But then again, this is the very first practice in a while for many of the players (Pinnock). All is well for Chargers at their new facility as they start their march towards that elusive 16-0 season….

Kenny Williams can be reached at

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