Senior Bowl: Chargers rumblings

The snow that kept scouts from many east coast teams away from Mobile until Monday early afternoon wasn't the reason that the San Diego Chargers arrived late. They were apparently being fashionable. A.J. Smith, Marty Schottenheimer and a slew of scouts were on hand Monday and they split their forces for practice.

Marty Schottenheimer took the North squad practice along with several scouts and general manager A.J. Smith.

On the south side, James Lofton and Clarence Shelmon headed up the team of scouts. The interesting thing to note here is neither has a contract for 2005. The likely implications of their presence in Mobile point to a return to the team for this coming season.

As far as the eye could see, however, the absence of two coaches loomed large. Rumored to be a done deal as of late last week, Cam Cameron may be poised to his the open market. There was no signing of the offensive coordinator on either field.

Not surprising was another missing element of the Chargers' team. Offensive line coach Hudson Houck was also AWOL. His departure has been foreseen over the past couple of weeks and this showing may have cemented it.

On the South side of town, several scouts monitored the linebacking situation and wanted to see how it that competition would shake out. At the end of the day, they did a lot of looking but did not do much conferring with the linebackers.

Ironically, it was a player not on either Senior Bowl roster that was getting some attention from one Chargers' scout.

Offensive tackle Chris Colmer is missing some of the festivities due to surgery he had on his torn rotator cuff in late November. In his defense, the North Carolina State product played the entire season with the injury and performed well. Colmer took home the team's Ken McNeil Iron Wolf Award, given annually to a player who has comeback from an injury.

Colmer, 6-foot-5, 305 pounds, missed the 2003 season with a viral infection and he felt he had to play in 2004 or he would lose out on his chance to play in the NFL. During the 2002 season, Colmer led the Pack with 151 knockdowns, considered a school record. He started every game of the season for NC State at left tackle and was actually selected to play in the Senior Bowl but the aforementioned surgery kept him on the sidelines.

According to one scout, Philip Rivers has done some lobbying for his former blindside protector.

Word is that Colmer may have elevated his stock by performing so well despite the lack of a strong punch to push off defenders. As long as his shoulder checks out, he good get a lot attention.

Coach Lofton took the lead after practice. Since his specialty is working with wide receivers, Lofton focused his attention on UAB receiver Roddy White. He came up to the receiver and congratulated him on a good practice.

White ran some crisp routes in practice and showed a nice ability to create separation from the defensive backs.

White caught 65 passes for UAB this past season for 1,339 yards and 13 touchdowns. It marked the second year in a row that White broke the twenty yard per catch barrier. He also added eight 100-yard receiving games on the year, including a 10-catch, 253-yard game against Tulane.

With a solid performance the rest of this week, White could quickly rise up the draft boards. The Chargers are well aware.

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