"I was pleased at the participation of our fans," Head Coach Marty Schottenheimer said.
With the crowd urging the players on, the offense and defense both came away winners.
On the defensive side of the ball, Drayton Florence was the star of the day. Whether it was the fans or just his progress through the offseason, Florence was all over the field, coming away with three picks.
Malcom Floyd was running a fly route that Doug Flutie wanted cut short. Flutie delivered the ball about 15-18 yards downfield and Martin never looked back. Had he looked back he would have at least broken up the interception, but Florence took it and ran the distance. He kept running for a while after taking it into the end zone to pump up the defense further and show up the offense.
On his second interception, Flutie threw a crossing route intended for Kassim Osgood. Osgood had a beat on it as the ball sailed high enough for him to catch it. Florence was in tight coverage with Osgood as the ball bounced off Osgood's fingertips and Florence whirled around to snatch the ball as it came down.
Florence made his next play on this magical day on a deep crossing route to Kevin Dyson. Florence saw Dyson go up in the air on a high Philip Rivers throw and waited patiently for the ball to drop snugly into his arms. Florence was on Dyson's hip the whole route.
"He had a pretty good day," Schottenheimer said of Florence. "He is a very talented young man who is making progress. I had a discussion with him yesterday on some things and he really responded."
The star on offense, sans the miscommunication of not looking back for the ball, Floyd was catching everything thrown his way and doing so acrobatically. He made countless receptions over the head of the defensive back and falling backwards.
The thing that separated him from the pack was his ability to not only find the ball while he was in the air, but also using his body to shield the defender. Rivers seemed to find him more than any other receiver on the day.
And at the end of the morning session, Rivers pointed at Floyd as one player who really stepped up, coupling him with a few veterans in one sentence.
"From the veteran guys, Tim Dwight and (Kevin) Dyson to the young guys, Malcom Floyd, they were making plays for us and that is what it is going to take," Philip Rivers said.
Rivers, by the way, completed 11-of-14 passes in the individual one-on-one drills with two receivers dropping balls. He also went 4-of-7 in the full scrimmage with one pick.
Reche Caldwell was held out of the morning practice, stationed as an onlooker who just caught passes.
Mike Goff sat out with an abdominal strain and will not return to the field this weekend. The coach wanted to make sure he maintained his health as abdominal injuries are known to linger.
Phil Bogle, Adrian Dingle and Josh Norman all sat out the morning session in civilian clothes.
Toniu Fonoti and Jason Ball are still AWOL.
Denis Savage can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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