Chargers training tamp: LT spoils Sammy's Day

After Wednesday's successful night session, the San Diego Chargers took the pads off for their lone practice on a scorching Thursday afternoon. It was a day for the defense, highlighted by numerous batted passes and two interceptions from a rejuvenated Sammy Davis.<br><br> After practice, LaDainian Tomlinson proclaimed his faith to the Chargers organization in a profound way.

Practice was overshadowed by the admission of LaDainian Tomlinson. He has agreed to a new contract that will keep him in blue and gold through 2011. Nothing could be finer in this hour of need.

The show must go on.

Undrafted rookie receivers Luke Powell and Wes Welker continue to share repetitions on punt returns. Both players, mainly because of their diminutive size, will have to stand out as returners during preseason games to have any chance of sticking with the team. Powell shows more quickness and moves, while Welker possesses a daredevil attitude. Look for both players to get plenty of chances during preseason.

Scrimmages started with the usual; a short pass from Drew Brees to LaDainian Tomlinson. On this play, Brees went through his progressions but nothing was there so he settled for the dump-off.

Brees then hit a wide-open Kevin Dyson on crossing route. The pass protection was magnificent, with Mike Goff sliding to his left to keep a blitzing linebacker away from Brees. The block drew the praise of offensive coordinator Cam Camreon: "Mike Goff, that's a great job! Great job!"

Tomlinson took a pitch to his right and was able to pick up a couple yards. Defensive line coach Wayne Nunnely, in his distinctive tone, sent a reminder to his squad: "We're playing in a few days now. Let's get better!"

The defense responded, by stuffing Tomlinson on the next play. There were five defenders there to keep Tomlinson from getting positive yardage.

Brees rolled out to his right, where both tight end Justin Peelle and wide receiver Kassim Osgood were running towards the sideline. Both players were open with Osgood ten yards deeper than Peelle. Brees noticed and threw a 15-yard completion to Osgood.

Cleo Lemon ran the second team offense and on his third snap, threw a floater in the direction of receiver Micah Ross. A boxing-glove clad Drayton Florence was in coverage, and had it not been for the gloves, would've had the easy pick. Lemon responded by hitting Luke Powell over the middle for a nice gain. Kevin House had coverage.

Joe Germaine went one of three, including a pass that linebacker Stephen Cooper should've intercepted, and a play in which linebacker Ben Leber got a phantom sack. Though sacked, Germaine threw the pass anyway. It was a bad decision as the pass landed directly in the arms of safety Hanik Milligan. Germaine's third pass was a completion to wide receiver Ruvell Martin. Safety Robb Butler had coverage, he stuck with Martin and pushed him out of bounds preventing a bigger gain.

Brees started the next session with a short pass intended for Reche Caldwell, but Sammy Davis, who was the star of the day, batted the ball away. The next play was over before it started as the snap never made it to Brees and nose-tackle Jamal Williams recovered the fumble.

The offensive line then provided nice protection, but the downfield coverage was good so Brees settled for the dump-off. Only problem was the defensive line saw it coming and swatted the ball down.

Brees' next pass was incomplete to Dyson, who ran an out pattern that was covered well by Quentin Jammer. Brees then hit Kassim Osgood on a 15-yard out. Drayton Florence had coverage. Next, Brees found Antonio Gates who was able to beat solid coverage from Milligan.

Lemon went two for three. Both completions were short passes.

Brees went again and started with a short completion to Reche Caldwell, who was immediately tackled by Jammer. Brees then hit Tomlinson on the run in the middle of the field. The play put Tomlinson in open space at full speed. Scary.

Brees and Dyson mis-communicated on the next play. Dyson cut in, while Brees threw out where Sammy Davis, and his boxing gloves were waiting. Davis snagged the ball and took it back for a touchdown. Before crossing the goaline, Davis raised his red-gloved left hand in celebration, and to the cheers of the defense.

"It was a tremendous feeling to get that first one," Davis said with a grin. "We've been putting in the work and are happy that the work paid off, but we're far from being satisfied."

Davis would later have a second interception of Brees. The picks are impressive considering the boxing gloves the defensive backs wear. They are designed to help enforce the new rules enforced by the NFL.

"I am really trying to work on my technique and trying to stay consistent. Whether we are in a zone, off man, or press coverage."

Lightning Quicks

-Jamar Fletcher had a nice pass break up.

-Caldwell had a false start, drawing a shout of: "Focus!" from Schottenheimer.

-Brees threw deep over the middle to Gates, who couldn't make the tough play. Cooper had good coverage.

-Ruvell Martin had two drops on the day.

-Grant Mattos continues to make his catches.

-Brees tried to a screen pass to Tomlinson in a crowd. It was a terrible pass that the defense easily knocked down.

-Andrew Pinnock was seen with a boot on his right leg (calf injury). He is expected to miss two weeks of action.

Will Mortensen can be reached at

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