San Diego Chargers OTAs: Latest Player Reports and Analysis
The San Diego Chargers will officially begin OTAs this week, joining rookies and veterans at Chargers Park.
The schedule will go as such: May 27-29, June 2-4 and June 9-12.
During the next few weeks, players and coaches will focus more on the mental aspect as the start of training camp nears.
No live contact is permitted during OTAs, but Melvin Ingram can attest to the hidden danger in non-contact drills. This time last year, Ingram suffered a torn ACL that held him out until Week 15 of last season. Let's hope this time around everybody can stay healthy in the process.
Here's the latest dish before OTAs.
3-Day Tryout Turns into 3-Year Contract for Impressive Rookie
Craig Watts was one of 10 players invited to participate in San Diego's minicamp on a tryout basis—a rare opportunity he took full advantage of.
On May 22, it was reported by U-T San Diego beat writer Michael Gehlken that Watts would join the 90-man roster after the team waived two players:
Chargers were impressed at rookie minicamp. They'll sign a tryout player, West Texas A&M guard Craig Watts, per source.— Michael Gehlken (@UTgehlken) May 21, 2014
The 6'4", 334-pound West Texas A&M guard started 41 of the 50 games he played in and was named the Lone Star Conference Offensive Lineman of the Year in 2013. Watts will attempt to crack the 53-man roster at a position the Chargers clearly want to upgrade.
Verrett Last Remaining Unsigned Draft Pick
Last Tuesday, Ricky Henne of Chargers.com reported that second-round draft choice Jerry Attaochu signed a four-year contract with the Bolts, leaving Jason Verrett as the last remaining Chargers draft pick without a contract.
The team had already agreed to four-year contracts with Chris Watt, Marion Grice and Tevin Reese the week prior. No word yet on what's holding up the deal with Verrett, but it's a normal occurrence for the process to take longer with first-rounders.
According to NFL.com, only nine of the 32 picks have signed contracts with their respective teams.
Chris Watt Eyeing Move to Right Guard
As Tom Krasovic of U-T San Diego reported on May 16, third-round draft pick Chris Watt lined up at right guard during his first practice as a Charger, which we can only assume is the spot he'll be gunning for in training camp.
Since the season ended, Jeromey Clary's seat has only gotten hotter in the offseason, and Watt's arrival in early May has officially ignited a position battle worthy of keeping an eye on. Watt's focus during OTAs will revolve around making the mental transition to the right side before he tries his hand physically.
Veteran Receiver a Go in 2014
Michael Gehlken reported on May 19 that Malcom Floyd has every intention of playing this upcoming season despite a career-threatening neck injury in 2013.
The veteran receiver will enter his 10th season with the Chargers, hoping to capture a starting role alongside breakout star Keenan Allen.
The potential risk in coming back to the same game that nearly paralyzed him hasn't scared Floyd off, either, telling Gehlken, "The doc said … I'm at risk just like anybody else. There's not really a worry. … I'm feeling good. I think I feel like my old self."
As Floyd put it, he intends to finish where he started and enjoy the time being. "I'm probably going to finish out this contract, and then that's it. I don't have much time. I'm really taking this time seriously and just trying to enjoy it while I can."
Shoulder Injury Holding Back First-Round Draft Pick
U-T San Diego's Tom Krasovic did some digging on the status of first-round draft choice Jason Verrett following shoulder surgery this past March. From what he found, it could be a while before we see Verrett in contact drills—or games for that matter.
In his article, Krasovic notes the opinions of two experts who believe Verrett's recovery will run into the regular season, while fellow beat writer Michael Gehlken expects the TCU standout to be ready around the start of training camp in late July.
For now, it appears Verrett will likely miss OTAs due to recovery, but he'll still be in attendance and take mental reps until he's ready to fully participate.