Chargers Defense Elevates Play

With the first real action of the preseason on Saturday vs Seattle, the main concern with the San Diego Chargers is the progression of the defense.

With the recent domination of the offense during practices at Carson, and the injuries to wideouts David Boston, Eric Parker, Tim Dwight, Dondre Gilliam, and Kassim Osgood the defense looked to start the week with a confidence booster.

On Monday morning the defense did just that. For the first time since camp has opened the defense bested the offense for the majority of a practice session. Chalk it up as a moral victory since it was done without the services of the Chargers top wideouts, but the linebackers did the job in the run defense while the defensive line finally held it's own. The offense wasn't the only squad missing key players as the defense was without the services of defensive ends Marcellus Wiley and Raylee Johnson making the defensive performance even more impressive.

Practice started with the two squads competing in run drills. The intensity was high and elevated even higher with the Charger offensive coaches Hudson Houck (OL) and Tim Brewster (TE) laying into players after subpar performances. After a run play was blown up Houck was on his group shouting: "What the (expletive) are you doing? That's the easiest (expletive) thing we've got! Get your head out of your ass!"

Tim Brewster then added more fuel to the fire when Antonio Gates gave up on a block too soon. "Finish him alright, you gotta finish him, finish him!", he barked at the former power forward.

On one play Jacques Cesaire(DT) burst through the offensive line blowing up Jesse Chatman 3 yards into the backfield. The defense continued to outplay the offense in the remainder of these run plays.

On another play Drew Brees faked right then threw a dump off to Tomlinson on the left but Tay Cody was there to prevent a positive gain.

The offense eventually resorted to trickery to make something happen. Drew Brees dropped back to pass, then tucked the ball away going about 10 yards untouched on a designed QB draw.

Another play they used a shovel pass to Chatman to gain 8 yards. Chatman continues to impress with his vision and burst through the hole. Seeing him practice and witnessing him stay after practice to hit a pad and catch passes, should leave Charger fans feeling comfortable as LT's back up.

The offense was handcuffed without the stud receivers throughout 11 on 11 drills. Not having Boston and Dwight is like Brees flying a plane without wings.

So we chalk this one up for the defense and hope they can build on this mornings performance. We'll find out soon as afternoon practice is only an hour from now.....Stay tuned.

Will Mortensen can be reached at

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