Training Camp Blog: High in the Skies

No left tackle? No No. 1 wide receiver? No problem. That seemed to be the case at practice on Tuesday at Chargers Park, where Philip Rivers & Co. moved the ball through the air with relative ease. Training camp correspondent Stacy Thereza explains how the offense got it done.

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The passing game started humming during a seven-on-seven drill, which admittedly favors the offense. Philip Rivers and Billy Volek were on-point with all their passes, frustrating the defense in the process.

The drill's lone miscue came off an errant throw by struggling rookie Jonathan Crompton, whose underthrown pass was intercepted by Steve Gregory. Rookie CB Traye Simmons came close to handing Crompton his second turnover of the drill, but the tipped ball hit the ground.

The defense bounced back a bit during the nine-on-nine session. Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles struggled to find room to run, a common trend over the last week's worth of practices.

The offense had more success when it went to the air, although Donald Strickland made a nice play by breaking in front of Buster Davis to break up a pass.

During the full-squad scrimmage, the momentum swung completely to the offense as the ball seemingly never hit the ground. The defense countered with some interesting looks, including one play where Gregory lined up at linebacker and Paul Oliver slid down to strong safety. Rivers was not fooled and found Antonio Gates, who shrugged off Antoine Cason and picked up big yardage on the play.

FB Mike Tolbert returned with high spirits, catching a pass from Rivers on a skinny post. Rivers went back to his backs later in the drill, using play-action before finding Sproles as a receiver out of the backfield.

The offense was having so much fun it decided to use a little trickery. The team ran a Wildcat play on which Legedu Naanee lined up at quarterback. Naanee took the ball and threw it back to Rivers, who then tossed it back up-field to Naanee. Naanee beat Eric Weddle to make the play pay dividends.

Naanee -- who also caught a pass from Malcom Floyd on a reverse -- showed even more versatility by taking off and running up the middle on another Wildcat play.

Not every Wildcat play was a success, though. Naanee, a former QB, misfired on a pass attempt to Gates. It was a small blip on a day that belonged to the offense.

Lightning Quicks

--SS Quinton Teal participated in his first practice, sporting the No. 36 jersey.

--TE Randy McMichael injured his ankle during the nine-on-nine drill and walked away limping. He returned to practice after getting his ankle taped.

How will San Diego's passing game fare? Discuss inside the message boards.

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