Chargers Camp: Missing Components

The San Diego Chargers are losing people faster than a David Boston 40 yard dash and the defense benefited with a stellar performance. Of course they were facing all the players vying for the fifth and sixth wide receiver spots. Say a name of any wide receiver, and they were likely missing from both the morning and afternoon sessions. Then more bad news came…

Stephen Alexander working in 7 on 7 drills from the 20 yard line ran an end zone route and jumped to snag a ball in the air near the sidelines. Missing the ball he came down hard and did not get up quickly. Resting with his head down on the field the trainer came over to check on him. A minute later he was limping towards the tents to receive more attention. Alexander did not return to the field further depleting those catching the rock. Turns out the injury is to his quad muscle.

Watching the receivers go one on one with the defenders was almost comical. Every third route that was run saw the same receiver going out. Big Ben, Parliament. Big Ben, Parliament. Big Ben, Parliament. Even Chevy Chase eventually saw the trend.

Only one guy among the survivors was making plays. Josh Norman looked unstoppable. He was making moves and double moves to get open and catching everything thrown near him. Throw it behind him and he hauled it in, too high – no problem.

Brian Sump also made a few nice grabs including one against Quentin Jammer in tight coverage. Sump fully extended to reach out and grab a pass sacrificing his body to make the play. The one problem – Jammer did not make a move to touch him when he went down to the ground. Poor concentration by Jammer, he needs to keep his head in the game or it will cost big time come the season. Habits are formed now.

Florence continues to hit anyone in sight. His rule is simple – come anywhere near me and I will lay you out. He is the Terry Tate on the practice field.

"He's not afraid to pour it up in there," Head Coach Marty Schottenheimer said.

The defense created four turnovers during the afternoon session. Keep in mind it was not all have been route running and likely the blame fell on the quarterbacks as well.

It all started at the beginning of practice. Linebacker coach Greg Manusky said to his men, "We have to work on jamming now, we have to work on jamming receivers at the line."

Referring to the five yard zone along the line of scrimmage, linebackers worked on getting a bump in on any receiver running near them to throw off timing. It would help this day as the offense never was able to click.

The defensive line worked on stripping the ball from quarterbacks using a slapping technique while keeping one hand around the body of the quarterback to assure you at least get the sack at the beginning of practice. Marty was on the defense today as usual yelling, "Know where your help is." The secondary is a team in itself that must be cohesive to succeed. Just a friendly reminder from the coach.

Earlier we told you that Omari Hand took the place of Ray Lee Johnson. Wayne Nunnely got all over him after one play where Hand pulled up and did not pursue saying, "Let's go Omari, you have to keep working."

Denis Savage can be reached at

Stephen Alexander limps off the field with the trainers as Ryan McNeil who was in coverage when Alexander went down looks on.

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