Notes from Qualcomm: The San Diego Chargers' First Major Open Practice
Last night (Aug. 4), the San Diego Chargers practiced in front of a large crowd at Qualcomm Stadium for the first time this season, and boy, did they give the fans a show.
There were a lot of big plays and flashy moves, with a lot of players sticking out for one reason or another.
Here are some observations from the action at The Q.
Wide Receiver Depth
With Vincent Jackson holding out, a lot of people seemed to fear that the Chargers' passing game would lack the fire that would come from a true No. 1 wideout.
Well, fear no more, Chargers fans. Here are some quick descriptions of the outstanding wide receivers currently on the active roster.
Floyd looked brilliant as a primary option for Philip Rivers yesterday. He looked very comfortable out there, running very smooth routes, breaking past a lot of defenders, and making a lot of very, very athletic catches. Floyd should provide the perfect spark for the Chargers during the absence of Vincent Jackson.
No need to say anything about Gates. The man is a future Hall of Famer, and he shows no sign of slowing down. He was the man on the spot last night and made a couple of crowd-wowing grabs. He looks bigger than usual, but he is just as quick and agile as he has ever been.
Well, well, well, maybe it isn't time to give up on Davis just yet. While everyone reading this is collectively crossing their fingers and knocking on wood that the LSU product doesn't fall to injury like he has in the past, it is still a possibility.
In the meantime though, it looks like Davis could provide a little firepower to this offense. He looked fast, crisp, and athletic under the lights and had plenty of moments where he found himself outplaying zones and making some clutch catches.
While he may not be as physically massive as his counterparts, Williams was probably the most exciting player to watch last night. He shows all the makings of a great receiver and a great return man. He showed great shiftiness bringing back kicks, easily moving through small holes, big holes, and even powering through defenders.
He was even more exciting catching the ball. He gave 110 percent on every play, making great catches and even pulling one in while sandwiched between two defenders. He did fumble a few catches, but it wouldn't surprise me to see Williams make the fifth spot on the roster. At the very least he will end up on the practice squad.
Seyi showed flashes of NFL potential, but he is still very green. He has work to do improving his hands and his route running, but he could be retained as a practice squad member.
It seems like the announcer was calling out this kid's name every other play. He looked good playing against some of the backup defenders but may not have what it takes in the end to make it onto a team that is already loaded with receivers.
A lot of players just seemed bigger than they have been in the past. Darren Sproles and Gates were quite noticeable. However, no one seems to have grown this offseason more than Jacob Hester. The kid looks built, which is exciting, because it could aid him in securing his spot on the team.
Fullbacks and Running Backs
Considering that Ryan Mathews, Sproles, Hester, and Mike Tolbert were all locks to make the roster this year, there were still a few open roster spots for runners and blockers. While the competition remains wide open, two players stuck out last night: Marcus Mason, the former Redskin, and Billy Latsko.
Mason shows good speed for a guy his size and has a great ability to break tackles and push piles. Latsko runs in much the same style, but the difference is FB vs. RB. Latsko is a mauler and seemed to play very physically, but he also looked very comfortable catching the ball and taking off with it. Expect Latsko to make the final cuts.
The Brick Wall
In an exciting twist, the defensive line looked pretty good. Running up the middle was stifled more often than not, and the linebackers did a great job cleaning up runs to the outside.
Bringing the House
Ron Rivera gave the people of San Diego a show, throwing out blitzing schemes that incorporated all 11 people on defense. The best part? It worked. If it weren't for the "no hitting the quarterback" directive in effect, Rivers, Billy Volek, and Jonathan Crompton would have all ended up on their backs on several occasions.
*Article Originally Written for NFLTouchdown.com*
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