Chargers work out first day kinks

The first day of practice at the San Diego Chargers facility on Murphy Canyon wasn't perfect – but the players attribute that to being back on the field in a true practice environment.

Rookie Vincent Jackson caught the brunt of the mumblings on Friday morning when he dropped two balls and was in on a play that resulted in a turnover.

There were two turnovers from the offensive side of the ball, one a fumble on a reverse between rookies Darren Sproles and Vincent Jackson.

The thing that the coaching staff stressed to the players afterwards was the exchange where the Sproles should hand Jackson the ball rather than Jackson trying to take the ball from Sproles.

"We were both a little off in doing that," admitted Jackson. "It is just a matter of practicing it a little more."

Jackson was also badgered by members of the secondary for his dropped passes and took it well, saying it was all in good fun.

As a rookie out of Northern Colorado, Jackson may have been trying to do too much. He stressed the importance of being on the field for Friday's practice after missing some of the rookie sessions earlier in the week, meaning he was also practicing for the first time.

"Getting back into the swing of things," Jackson said. "It was the first practice – getting the cobwebs out."

But the kinks remain for most of the players as they get back into the grind and begin to get their bodies ready for the grueling process that takes them into the season.

Linebacker Donnie Edwards admits that he has work to do and looks forward to the time when his body is tuned into the two-a-days.

"It is about the third or fourth day, that is when camp gets on you," Edwards explained. "Your legs get a little heavy, a little sore and you have to push through. After that your body gets conditioned to it."

"Everyone is getting accustomed to making the cuts and that sort of thing – football shape," quarterback Drew Brees added. "The first day, two days, is getting your feet back under you."

"Everybody is trying to get the feel for it right now," safety Terrence Kiel agreed.

It is not only his body that needs a refresher course. It is also the mind.

No one forgets how to ride the bike. But when you haven't done it in a while it takes time to get your wind back.

A refresher may also be needed on how to ride without holding on for dear life to the handlebars.

"The first practice, you have to get used to getting all the reads down and the calls," said Edwards. "Everything has to be real familiar. The more you go over it the better it gets."

As for the Pro Bowl quarterback, he is happy to be back on the field in the hopes that his team can take the next step in 2005.

Admittedly, he is not ready to start the games just yet but when Green Bay comes calling in less than two weeks he will be ready.

"I feel ok right now," said Brees. "I don't feel 100 percent just yet but it is definitely coming around real quick."

Training camp is about finishing the Rubik's Cube and mastering the new varieties thrown into the offensive and defensive gameplan. It is understandable that there are knots that need to be undone.

As long as those binds are cast aside in the next week and a half before the competition starts, everything will be fine. Any lingering effects, however, could carry over into the regular season.


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