San Diego Chargers: What We've Learned Through Week 2 of Training Camp
The first two weeks of San Diego Chargers training camp went by like a blur.
After several days of hard work, the Bolts are approaching their first preseason game and will soon be ready for the start of the regular season in nearly a month's time.
The dog days of summer in Southern California have been somewhat kind to the players, with temperatures hovering around the mid-80's in the morning, but it didn't take long for the heat to claim its first victims.
Two Chargers guards -- rookie Chris Watt, Johnnie Troutman -- left early. Both heat related, source said. They're OK. Hot first day in pads.— Michael Gehlken (@UTgehlken) July 26, 2014
Still, the Chargers continue to grind each day in camp and have put the first couple weeks to bed. Here's what we've learned so far.
Watt and Troutman Duking It out for Clary's Job
With Jeromey Clary forced to watch from the sidelines, a healthy competition at right guard has transpired between third-year man Johnnie Troutman and rookie Chris Watt.
Both players have gotten their share of reps with the ones in camp, but in the first posting of the depth chart (which was released on Friday) Watt was the listed starter at right guard. That being said, it's a bit early to assume Watt has the edge.
As for Clary, U-T San Diego's Michael Gehlken reported that the veteran guard is pushing for a Week 1 return.
Verrett Wearing Red as a Precaution
The Chargers coaching staff is urging first-round pick Jason Verrett to play it safe following shoulder surgery, they've even gone so far as to designate him with a red shirt in practice.
Jason Verrett, who had shoulder surgery in March, is wearing red jersey signifying hands off. Working in slow-speed team drill. #Chargers— Tom Krasovic (@UTkrasovic) August 1, 2014
But as Gehlken reported on Friday, it's been difficult for the former TCU Horned Frog to follow orders. Ricky Henne of Chargers.com documented a spectacular play on the ball by Verrett, which could have easily made his coaches clap and cringe at the same time.
Brown on Ice
Fourth-year receiver Vincent Brown injured his calf on the second day of camp and hasn't participated since.
Gehlken reported on Thursday that Brown will likely miss San Diego's preseason opener on Aug. 7 against Dallas and could be out longer. Despite the injury, it doesn't seem likely that Brown's roster spot is in jeopardy, but the competition at receiver could threaten his standing on the depth chart.
The San Diego State product failed to deliver a breakout season in 2013 and was ultimately overshadowed by Keenan Allen's electric rookie performance. Brown is also faced with the challenge of this being the last year of his rookie deal.
For the Chargers brass to consider Brown a building block for the future, he'll need to make his presence felt even with Allen and Malcom Floyd topping the depth chart.
Seventh-Round Wideout with First-Round Speed
The first couple weeks of camp have highlighted some strong receiver play, in particular from the Chargers' seventh-round draft choice, Tevin Reese.
Reese's reputation as a speedster has preceded him at Chargers Park, and fans in attendance have been treated to some pretty impressive plays down the field. Henne posted two of Reese's catches in practice, one of which could have easily garnered top-play nomination on the nightly recap.
Tom Telesco struck gold with a receiver in his first year as general manager. Is it possible he goes 2-for-2 with the Baylor Bear?
Fan Support on the Rise
A record 18,000 fans showed up for Chargers Fan Fest at Qualcomm Stadium on Saturday, indicating a sudden rise in support for the Bolts.
Coming off their first postseason appearance in four years, the Chargers have drawn out fans from all the nooks and crannies that were unhappy with the way the team fared under former GM A.J. Smith and then-head coach Norv Turner.
The new regime has had a positive impact on the fans, even before the start of the regular season. I witnessed the excitement firsthand when I attended training camp on Thursday and saw the vast crowd gathered at Chargers Park. The players fed off that energy and were able to please the fans as well as coaches.
With the added support heading into 2014, this Chargers team is quickly flourishing and in considerably better health than it was in previous years.