Chargers Minicamp: Sunday Morning Practice

The San Diego Chargers wrapped up their mandatory minicamp on Sunday and one of the prevailing thoughts as the day ended was the impression the defense has made. Coming into a newly instilled defense that preaches aggressiveness, they were winning battles on the field, something that was clearly missing from any practice last year.

While everyone wants to see the offense do well, it is the defense that holds the key to the Chargers season. The corners have been more aggressive and the work up front has paid off.

Otis Leverette batted a ball down from Drew Brees at the line and was applying some pressure from his left defensive end position. He had an active day and when he could not get the penetration he wanted he threw up those long arms of his.

DeQuincy Scott was also active on the line and just missed a few ball with his hands. Igor Olshansky was a dominant force on the interior in run situations. He used his hands well and even made a tackle. In case you didn't know, there is no tackling allowed.

Quentin Jammer came away with one interception on the day, running stride for stride with Kevin Dyson into the end zone, turning to find the ball thrown from Philip Rivers and snaring it for the INT.

Jammer called the interception a bit of redemption for an earlier miss:

Rivers threw an out pattern that he wanted Dyson to stop on and come back to the ball as pressure was coming. The ball hit its target, though not intended, as it smacked right into Jammer's shoulder and fell harmlessly to the ground as he held coverage on Dyson.

"I had to redeem myself," Jammer explained of the events of the day. "I dropped a pick earlier in the practice. You go to the sidelines after dropping a pick and you got all your buddies ridiculing you so I had to make up for it."

One of the first people to come up to Jammer after the pick was Head Coach Marty Schottenheimer.

"Quentin Jammer had that interception today, a big play down in the end zone. "Q" continues to impress. They are going to be much the better for the benefit of the experience they have had."

The offense is also noticing that the defense has stepped up and while it doesn't reflect well on the practice field, it has the opportunity to really change the facet of a game, and that is where it counts.

The improvement on defense was "definitely" noticeable to Tim Dwight.

"The better they're getting, the better we have to compete," Dwight said. "Watching Jammer and Sammy (Davis) improve is huge. Kiel is coming on really well and Drayton is a tough guy, he is a big player, he loves to be physical and you like to see that and he hustles. They definitely make us work everyday and we make them work everyday. It has been a lot of fun the last couple of weeks."

Kevin House also picked off a pass against Brees and his play has gotten solid reviews from the coaching staff. Schottenheimer dropped his name subtlety after practice as someone who has stepped up.

Denis Savage can be reached at

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