Chargers Saturday Aftenoon minicamp

Saturday's afternoon session at Murphy Canyon saw another big crowd on hand to witness the San Diego Chargers practice. And they didn't disappoint, coming out with spirit – especially the defensive progression.

The afternoon session was dominated by the defense – make no mistake about it. They limited the offense to short passes and nothing more throughout the session.

Donnie Edwards goaded the offense on multiple occasions during the afternoon practice.

After five consecutive plays in 11-on-11 drills netted roughly ten yards of offense, Edwards asked, "When are you going to throw a pass more than two yards?"

On the next play, the pass went three yards, prompting the linebacker to quip about it. "That one went three yards," he said, holding three fingers up to the offense.

And that was the story of the day. The defensive line got significant pressure up the field in the no-pads practice. It kept the passes short as the secondary didn't have to do as much work in the 10-to-15 yard range.

Luis Castillo, Igor Olshansky and DeQuincy Scott all stood out from the defensive line.

"I think it is a matter of get off and feeling comfortable," Olshansky said of his ability to get upfield consistently this year. "Trusting yourself. A lot of times I focused on the guy instead of the ball. When you focus on the guy you are going to be a step late because he gets off on the snap and if you get off on him instead of the ball, you are going to be late automatically."

The big defensive end, entering his second year, has transformed himself into a more agile defender. During the first practice of the day, Olshansky was chided by Coach Nunnely for his work on his swim move. Like an eager student craving that extra edge, he asked the coach whether his second run through was better. He constantly was working with the other linemen and the coach to improve his game – and we are still in minicamp.

Shaun Phillips, another second year player, made an impact in preseason last year but during the year he was relegated to a small role and did not make an impact.

This year, Phillips is pushing Ben Leber on the Strongside for playing time and has a chance to make a good impression now that Leber is wearing a boot and Phillips is on the front line with the first team defense.

"I just go and am trying to close fast to the quarterback," Phillips said. "My thing is just that I want to win more battles than I lose. You are not going to win all of them. Everyone is too good out here. I just want to win more than I lose."

On the offensive side of the ball, three players, in particular, had great days that they can build upon.

Kassim Osgood continued his torrid start to camp with another strong practice on Saturday afternoon.

"Taking practices seriously, look at film," Osgood said of his development. "Coach Lofton shows me what to look for, how to set up your opponent, how to find ways to get open and how to picture a play going in your head and how (that play) would look against that particular defense."

Kris Dielman doesn't understand that the team isn't in shorts – he thinks they are in pads.

Why you ask?

Dielman went after the defensive linemen on Saturday afternoon, taking Olshansky clear out on one play and firing up the big Russian. Olshansky came back in a foul mood but wasn't in the right frame of mind to make a play because he was so mad at getting thoroughly trounced the play before. Edwards had to come up to him and calm him down.

Darren Sproles continued to spark the crowd and after practice everyone was asking about him.

"He has great suddenness about him," head coach Marty Schottenheimer said about Sproles. "He is one of the most exciting players I have seen in a long time."

Lightning Quicks:

One player who did not have a good day was Jerry Wilson. Wilson was one of the up-men on special teams drills and Nate Kaeding nailed a kick that ricocheted off his leg and back to the kicking team.


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