Chargers Camp report: Full Squad

The Chargers kicked off training camp Saturday morning, and hundreds of fans showed up despite the rain to get their first looks at the 2006 squad. The stars were on display, as LaDainian Tomlinson, Antonio Gates, Shawne Merriman and company were ready to get the new season underway.

On the injury front, Roman Oben, Bhawoh Jue and Jamal Williams were held out of practice and did only sideline rehabilitation. Oben appeared to be in pain just walking against mild resistance, and seems unlikely to be ready for opening day. Jue seemed to be moving impressively well in running and cutting drills, and Williams appeared to be fine.

Philip Rivers looked comfortable in the starting position, as his passes were crisp and on the mark. Charlie Whitehurst continued his impressive offseason and A.J. Feely looked sharp as well, meaning the Chargers impressive quarterback depth remains intact despite the loss of Drew Brees. Each of the quarterbacks excelled during individual drills, although the offense appeared bested by the defense during scrimmage play.

The star of the day was Darren Sproles, as he showcased his incredible speed and suddenness on numerous occasions. He also showed improvement returning punts, as he caught every one cleanly during both warm-ups and special teams sessions.

"We will look at Eric once again, Markus Curry and a couple of other guys," head coach Marty Schottenheimer said of the punt return unit before adding, "Darren is the guy I expect to be the guy."

Another player who really shined was Sean Coffey, a 6-foot-4 receiver who is competing for a roster spot as an undrafted free agent. He showed terrific hands and great body control in making several nice catches downfield.

Unfortunately for the Chargers, Coffey and Malcom Floyd appeared to be their only downfield threats on this day. Too often the team's quarterbacks were forced to throw to their check-down targets, and many fans in attendance were getting impatient with the short passing game. Fans were also upset at the multitude of dropped passes, as Vincent Jackson and Lorenzo Neal let several well-thrown balls hit the ground.

Although there weren't many big plays on offense, several were made on defense. Antonio Cromartie made an amazing interception, leaping high into the air to make the pick at the ball's highest point.

"I am feeling real good," said Cromartie. "The biggest thing was getting back in the groove and making sure I did not miss anything."

Later, Donnie Edwards caused a fumble which was picked up by Marlon McCree and taken back the other way.

The special teams were impressive as well. Mike Scifres was consistently booming punts over 55 yards downfield with hang times over five seconds. Sproles was solid on returns, as was Curry, who performed well on defense, too.

After practice had ended, Tomlinson and Cory Lekkerkerker stayed and signed autographs. The fans showed their appreciation, chanting "LT, LT!" long after the players had left the field.

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