Chargers Camp: Friday Blues

Friday morning the San Diego Chargers were in full pads, but their heads were not into the session. The practice was marred by sloppy play ranging from dropped passes to offsides calls. Marty Schottenheimer was not pleased with the performance and it prompted him to bluntly state, "We'll fix it."

Ray Lee Johnson was animated this morning when he came onto the field. He was yelling to his teammates to get them pumped for the morning drills, "20 days left, 20 days left!"

Unfortunately, the rest of the team did not listen very well as they came out flat.

Not all the news was bad. Drayton Florence spent all morning running with the first team defense and Marty Schottenheimer acknowledged he is the current front runner to start. No telling what will transpire when Sammy Davis is fully recovered and back on the field competing in drills. Florence has displayed an aggressive style of play and has been rewarded with interceptions, pass defenses and receivers being knocked down without a completion. While he is not turning every pass away, he has clearly shown the coaches he has big play ability at any time and is not afraid to take a chance. The onus remains on the safeties to help support Florence, and we may see some coverage roll to his side on more than one occasion come the season.

Schottenheimer also said Florence has the leg up on kickoff returning duties. Florence takes kickoffs at a full run, which gives him the advantage of being at full speed from the start. He has shown a knack for finding a seam.

Cedric Wilson gets the game ball with two interceptions on the day. One came off a pass intended for Terry Charles. The ball bounced off Charles' hand as he tried to snare it and after another tip, Wilson came down with it and sprinted upfield. The second pick came in front of Charles again as he swiftly cut in front of a quick out pattern to snatch the ball without a fight this time.

Josh Norman had another up and down day. He caught a pass over the outstretched hands of Ryan McNeil. Norman had to leave the ground and dive to snare the pass and McNeil was upset he did not get a hand on it as it slithered through his hands. His reaction coincided with another defender yelling, "Ball! Ball! Ball!" something that was absent from yesterday's practice.

Later in practice, Norman was yelled at by Tight Ends Coach Tim Brewster, "Catch the [expletive] ball!" after he missed an easy pass from Brees in the middle of the field.

Defensive backs Coach Jerry Holmes was getting on Quentin Jammer during coverage after he gave up an out pattern completion, "Too much cushion, he can't outrun you!"

Tim Dwight, who smoked Jammer on two consecutive days with deep routes, absolutely made him loose his shoes today. On the play in question Dwight pulled the same move, an "out and up" and Jammer went long. The problem is Dwight never made it to the "up" portion of the play and cut the route off near the sidelines. Jammer, anticipating another deep route was a good 10-15 yards off the ball when the catch was made and it prompted Holmes to yell.

Marty Schottenheimer let his frustration show with the morning practice asking his players to play harder, "Let's keep pushing, let's get it over the top. Focus on this snap and this snap only. One play at a time."


Marty Schottenheimer had a well placed water break at 9:15 AM this morning instructing his troops to, "Water break, and let's get some fluids please." After he called the break he ensured everyone got over for a glass of water before continuing practice.

Did you know?

The Chargers sent scouts to watch the Kansas City Chiefs practice on Friday?

"We eliminated the two minute drill we were going to do because there are too many scouts out here," KC Head Coach Dick Vermeil said.

Denis Savage can be reached at

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