Chargers Minicamp Saturday Notes

The field goal kickers made their debut on Saturday to the "oohs" and "aahs" of fans. Several players made it back out for the afternoon session, but that does not mean they were active participants in the San Diego Chargers second practice of the day. Philip Rivers got some cheers, as did Drew Brees.

While there was definite support for Drew Brees by certain pockets of fans, he has been the forgotten man elsewhere. There was no Drew Brees press conference and no reporters swarmed his locker.

The talk on campus surrounds newcomer Philip Rivers who responded with another solid day.

"You always get a little more jacked up when fans are out there," Rivers said. "I don't know what a good turn out is here, but it seemed like a good turn out to me. The fans were as excited as we are."

While he did not call a touchdown for the fans in the huddle, Rivers said that the team needs to get up for any situation to get the ball in the end zone and admitted when he broke huddle that it was "just as if no one was out there" as he focused on his job at hand.

"The intensity is picking up," Rivers added. "I made some mistakes. The key is to learn from them."

"He's making good progress," Head Coach Marty Schottenheimer said. "He is not immune to errors. It's going to take some time certainly for him to get where he's going to be comfortable."

Brees, coincidentally, was erratic on the day. He would have two terrible passes and follow it up with one sweet pass that left you wondering which quarterback he really was. When he was on, the ball landed squarely in a receivers' hands with room to run. When he was off, the ball met the ground.

When he was throwing in the "move the chains" scrimmage he would blow first and second down pass plays and come back on third and ten to complete a 20 yarder. The problem is those catch up with you.

Kicking it:

Nate Kaeding and Mackenzie Hoambrecker had a ‘kickoff' in the morning session.

Each kicker lined up from various hash marks defined by Schottenheimer and as he counted the clock down to zero they had to perform. The first kick started from 29 yards out and each subsequent kick was moved five yards back.

Kaeding hit from 29, 34, 39 and 54 while missing wide right from 44 and wide left from 49.

Hoambrecker hit from 29, 34, 39, 44 and 54, hitting the right upright on his attempt from 49 yards out.

The difference between the two was height and distance. Kaeding's ball got up much quicker and he had a tad more distance, but that proved irrelevant with him missing two kicks.

For his performance, Hoambrecker earned praise.

"Hoambrecker Stepped up and did a nice job," Schottenheimer said. "Today he really stepped up and did a terrific job."

Bad outing:

By far the worst performance of the day had to go to Doug Flutie. He threw three picks and was either late in delivering the ball, short with his passes or just plain off target most of the day. Brees, Rivers and Lemon outshined him by a mile.

Change of Position:

Omari Hand has made the transition to linebacker, playing on the right outside. Hand explained that he knew about the change this offseason and has been preparing for it. He remains excited about the possibilities in the 3-4 defense and played surprisingly well when he dropped back into coverage, although he did bump a corner while backpedaling. It did not affect the outcome of the play, an incomplete pass to the side where he bumped his help.

The injury front:

Phil Bogle dressed in uniform for the afternoon but did not participate in any drills. He is still day-to-day with a knee injury.

Reche Caldwell also suited up and ran a few routes in the afternoon but a groin injury hindered any prolonged action.

Josh Norman had a hamstring injury but said he was "feeling better" after practice ended.

Adrian Dingle is still out as he recovers from knee surgery.

Mike Goff suffered an injury to his abs and sat out both sessions.

"It is not a significant injury but is one, that if you don't manage it you are asking for trouble," Schottenheimer said of Goff. "We are not going to go down that road. I think he feels like he can go and the medical staff feels like he can go. We are not taking any chances with abdominal strains as they can become chronic."

Denis Savage can be reached at

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