Chargers camp: The final day

The final trip round the practice field for training camp at Chargers Park occurred on Wednesday.

The motto for the final practice of camp was "Let's concentrate. Let's do it right." Those words from head coach Marty Schottenheimer began the day's festivities. He wanted no repeat performance of Tuesday when he was critical of the team's practice habits.

"Move the chains" is one of the last drills always run by head coach Marty Schottenheimer at the end of each camp. It is a test of how the offense and defense look at the end of camp.

Needless to say, the defense was stifling.

Eric Parker narrowly missed a long reception that would have made up for the lack of offensive production but the ball was just slighly overthrown - but don't fault Parker for not trying.

The defense allowed only two first downs through the entire drill, and even those were questionable. It took Drew Brees four downs to get his and Cleo Lemon was the only quarterback to get his within a normal set of downs. Lemon was even sacked behind the line by Adrian Dingle, making his job that much tougher to convert.

Philip Rivers tried to hook up with Vincent Jackson on two deep routes but each time Drayton Florence was there to deny the big wide receiver with his air-tight coverage.

"Being aggressive, that is what being a defensive player is all about," said linebacker Steve Foley. "Kind of like a kid who has been neglected all his life, you want to go out and show something."

They certainly did for most of the day.

Stephen Cooper picked off a pass in red zone drills as Rivers tried to find his tight end, Danny Young, in the end zone. More impressive was the pass was the first attempt that the offense did not run the ball.

Justin Peelle came down with a beauty in the same drill. He reached over the defender to snare the pass, despite the defender getting a hand on the ball. It is the type of play the Chargers staff has been waiting four years for Peelle to make.

Peelle will get a chance to show his stuff over the next few games with Antonio Gates sidelined. With unrestricted free agency on the horizon, he will have to show the hands he had on Wednesday to remain a Charger.

With camp ending, there was a little more humor on the field than usual. Steve Foley was louder than usual and Donnie Edwards referred to him as "Foley, the cut man" during one set of linebacker drills where the veteran linebackers tossed the mats they train with at the younger group. Foley was called the "cut man" with praise because as each of his unit tried to block the mats being tossed their way, Foley was getting his through more often than not.

The rest of the group got its chance to get back at Foley, Edwards and Randall Godfrey and only Godfrey was successful in his escape from flying mats.

How much will Edwards play this week against Minnesota? He is still bothered by his ankle and attempting to "work through it." He participated in most drills but said he was not 100 percent and feeling like the player he normally is.

"I am trying to get my ankle right," Edwards said. "I don't feel right. It is still swollen."


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