Chargers camp: Weekend Notes and Quotes

FanFest was held on Saturday at the Chargers training camp in Carson. A lot of activities were held on and off the field. One of the more intriguing drills was pass rushing drills with one defender facing one offensive lineman or tight end. Jamal Williams showed his strength during the drill when he bested the best offensive lineman thus far in camp, Mike Goff.

Jamal Williams, in his second trial of the day, faced off against Mike Goff and met him head on. They locked up and Williams promptly threw Goff off him, leaving himself with a clear path to the quarterback. Williams locked up with Goff again and tried to spin around to the right side but Goff set his base and stopped him cold. Williams also met up with David Brandt and bowled him over in the first round, slipping quickly past to get into the backfield. On the second go round, Williams was a bully on the playground when he threw Brandt to the ground.

Goff's first test came against Jacques Cesaire and Goff stopped the defensive tackle on both tries. Goff gives away a little push but when he had slowed the oncoming rusher enough he uses his superior footwork to set a wide base and stop the rush in his tracks.

Igor Olshansky met up with Toniu Fonoti, an ongoing battle since both arrived in camp. Olshansky made a nice spin move to the inside but Fonoti stayed with the Russian to push him out wide, despite Olshansky getting a step. Fonoti bested him again later in the same drill, not allowing him much room to move on the second go round.

DeQuincy Scott, who led the team in sacks last year, was relentless in his pursuit against Kris Dielman. Dielman held him up as long as possible but Scott finally broke through. Dielman may have held him up just long enough but it was tough to tell. Scott then came back with another move that brought the competition to a new level. Scott swatted Dielman as he tried to lock up and made a little duck move to come in unhindered at the snap. Dielman was visibly upset, smacking his hands together in frustration. They met a third time and Dielman knocked Scott's helmet off as they dueled. Dielman stood his ground and got the "W". Dielman got one more solid block in when he faced Justin Riley. He pushed the swift linebacker out wide and held him off before the whistle blew.

The moves that made Dave Ball one of the best sack artists in the country at UCLA became evident on Saturday. He had not gotten much action in the backfield but has possessed an unending motor. Facing Carlos Joseph, Ball swiftly moved past him to the outside and got the edge as Joseph could not keep up.

"The have looked really good to me," Ball said of the offensive line. "I usually work against Leander Jordan and Roman Oben and they have looked real good. I think the offensive line will be very solid."

Roman Oben was challenged by Otis Leverette. Oben had a tough time keeping the non-stop action that the long armed Leverette displayed in round one but he kept him at bay. Leverette was aggressive and non stop action in that round. The second time around, Leverette made a good move to hand slap Oben and came on the inside to get pressure. Oben also faced Robert Pollard. Pollard made a swift upward slap that brought Oben's hands up and Pollard squeaked in underneath to have a free look at the QB.

"I can do pass rushing," Pollard boasted. "I think that is something I can develop into and get better at."

Leander Jordan, holding 60 pounds on his competition fared well. Faced with speedy linebacker Howard Hodges, Jordan stayed with Hodges in round one and pushed him at will in round two.

Troy Andrew had the prospect of dealing with Ryon Bingham. Andrew faced up and won both meetings. The first time out he was able to withstand a straight on barrage from Bingham and the second time Bingham tried to go wide but could not turn back inside as Andrew setup camp.

Shane Olivea continues to impress. He handled Jason Fisk on two occasions, staying with him on the first go round as Fisk went this way and that and pushing the veteran out wide when he tried to go inside with a move the second time out. Olivea also got to take on Leverette and handled the big lineman both times out.

Phil Bogle saw action against Cesaire. Easily handled by the veteran Goff, Cesaire proved to be superior to Bogle. He pushed Bogle down with an outside move and took advantage as Bogle lumbered backwards and tripped up. The second time out Bogle looked slow on his feet to setup with Cesaire proving the quicker and getting the outside edge.


Drew Brees was crisp, hitting most of his outlet receivers but he did not hit any deep passes. He overthrew Eric Parker in the seam, hit Antonio Gates on a 15 yard route in front of Quentin Jammer, and targeted Dwight on a quick hit with Dwight alluding one player before Robb Butler gave him a shoulder. His best pass of the day that left people in the stands drooling was on a play-action-pass where he hit Parker in stride with Drayton Florence lagging behind. Brees also hit Reche Caldwell who held onto the ball despite being flattened by Sammy Davis.

"The guys are excited to turn this thing around and I think that is what you see out there," Jammer said of the excitement generated at FanFest.

Caldwell could not haul a tough catch on a deep route with Jamar Fletcher and Kwamie Lassiter on either side of him. The ball was thrown from Cleo Lemon and is a catch NFL receivers make. Lemon found his targets a little deeper down the field than Brees. It almost appeared as though Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron opened up the offense for the strong armed Lemon. Lemon threaded a bullet into the arms of Ryan Krause as Lassiter was draped over his back. It was a pass only a strong armed player could make. Lemon also hit Grant Mattos on a sideline route and went back to him on the next play. Mattos with steps on his defenders was running an go route but Lemon threw it too far for the streaking receiver.

Joe Germaine did not see any action in 11-on-11 drills.

Lightning quicks:

"Its' been amazing," rookie linebacker Shaun Phillips said of his first taste of an NFL camp. "I didn't think so many people would come out and support us. There are a lot of fans out here showing support and though we had a bad season last year, to see that we still have all these fans is pretty amazing."

Josh Norman has stepped us his blocking this season. He looks superior to all of the other tight ends this year. It is a far cry from previous seasons when he was arguably the worst blocker of the group.

Jesse Chatman lost a ball when Robert Pollard knocked it loose. Scott jumped on it for the recovery. Chatman had little room to run on his carries as Leverette came into the backfield quick on a counter going right.

Kassim Osgood showed some nice blocks on the day, using his size to pummel defensive backs out of running plays.

Eric Parker had his worst day on the field. He dropped a pass in front of Jammer and missed another one later in practice. They were two of the precious few he has dropped throughout camp.

Matt Wilhelm has been making strides on running plays. He has been able to cut through blockers and use his strength at the point of attack. The second year linebacker busted up a toss in the backfield to Michael Turner when he knifed through the line.

Denis Savage can be reached at

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