The boys are back

The San Diego Chargers brought together the full ensemble for minicamp this weekend with the old and new intermingling. It is the start of what the team hopes to be a Championship season.

Philip Rivers has been throwing for several weeks and his foot is nearing 100 percent – although he admits it is not yet there.

One player he noticed right away – first round pick Craig Davis.

"The draft picks stepped in," he said. "All of them did a nice job. Craig Davis is going to be a heck of a player. He can really run and showed some signs of why he was picked where he was."

LaDainian Tomlinson also felt the presence of the fresh blood – but in a different way.

The Chargers star running back is focused on winning and his attitude and demeanor reflect that. He wasn't happy about bowing out in the playoffs after a 14-2 season and looks at each draft pick, measuring their strengths and how they can assist the club moving forward.

"You wonder how much time you have," said Tomlinson. "You start to think which guys are going to help you win. You start to think like a coach – what is this team going to be like, how will this team be different from last year and how will it be similar?"

Safety Eric Weddle, a second round pick out of Utah, is soaking it all in, literally.

Since arriving on Sunday, Weddle has been pounding the playbook into his head, studying and learning the terminology.

His goal is simple. Show the rest of the club that he can play. The rest will take of itself.

"It is a first impression out here with all of the older guys," Weddle admitted. "I just want to come out here and work hard and earn the respect of the older guys. I don't want to be a guy that makes mistakes out there."

He is getting some help. He went out to dinner with Marlon McCree on Thursday night and is grateful that the veteran has taken the time to show him the way.

"Marlon McCree – he has been taking me under his wing and giving me every tidbit and knowledge he can give to me."

Friday was just the first step in building a Championship club under head coach Norv Turner. There will be time to iron out the roster – but that doesn't mean the veterans aren't thinking about it already. And the rookies are just trying to prove they belong. That kind of mix and chemistry could go a long way towards the trust that is necessary come January.

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