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Monday, June 12th, 2006

2006 Chargers Mini Camp

I took the kids on Saturday to the San Diego Chargers Mini Camp. We had gone last year and really enjoyed it, although I had found Chelsea’s enthusiasm a bit surprising. Boo enjoyed it as well, and it’s gratifying to hear him trying to say “Football” and look excited about it – his older sister has been doing her best to get him excited about marching band and color guard.

Mini-Camp is a showcase practice and training session, and is the first chance for the public to get to see the new draft picks and free agents. The big thrill for me is getting up close to some of my favorite players – Luis Castillo, Igor Olshanksy, Shawne Merriman, and Steve Foley (the defensive line practices real close to the crowd), and to see all the others doing drills and running through some downs. The receivers were doing a great job, especially McCardell, Osgood and Floyd, but what we were all hoping for was some signs of brilliance in our secondary. Our new shining hope, Cromartie, obviously has skills, but was outclassed. Jammer was looking pretty good, though. Darren Sproles is just freaking amazing, and two another surprise standouts were Matt Wilhelm and Akbar Gbaja-Biamila – clearly, there’s some real competition going on for linebacker slots.

Our new starting quarterback, Phillip Rivers, has a great arm, but we already knew that. What is far more important, and something we can’t see in a session like this, is how he’s stepping into the leadership role, but every Charger in the news lately has been full of praise for him. This speaks well of both Rivers and the team unity. Ever since A. J. Smith decided to let Drew Brees go and floated Donnie Edwards for trade, two immensely popular players, I’ve been concerned that the Chargers might start cracking up, but they look to be holding together really well.

I started last session with a lot of excitement, thinking that 2005 was going to be our year, but we didn’t even make the playoffs due to a series of crucial mistakes that resulted in a string of narrow losses. I haven’t gotten over that, and this year I’m just not as excited. Maybe the threat of the Chargers leaving San Diego is hanging oppressively close now. But going to Mini Camp got my juices going, and I saw a lot of reasons to be hopeful again. Man, it’s such a long time until the season opener!

Posted by Greg in Family & Friends, Football

2 Comments »

This entry was posted on Monday, June 12th, 2006 at 05:23 PST and is filed under Family & Friends, Football. You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

2 Responses to “2006 Chargers Mini Camp”

  1. The Analyzer says:

    The Chargers are in for a suprise this season. Rivers isn’t the answer and letting Drew Brees go will cost Marty his job. It will also make them the laughing stock of the NFL.

  2. Greg says:

    lol.

    I guess considering the state of their team and their prospects for the oncoming season is just such a depressing experience for Raiders fans, they’re forced to disparage other teams in an effort to resist the impulse to gnaw off their own arms and legs.

    Thanks for your comments, Mr. Analyzer, although they’re a little dated. We already know that AJ, not Marty, was responsible for letting Brees go, but the conspiracy folks have already covered whether it was a tactical move on AJ’s part to push team president Dean Spanos to fire Marty. That’s pretty far-fetched, because Dean and owner dad Alex are going to have their hands full this year, being courted by other cities for a new home. I wish Drew well, but without an O-line like the Chargers’, he’s going to find his effectiveness limited.

    As to PR, anyone who says he knows how this kid will turn out deserves to be laughed out of the building – he could be great, he could be a dud. He’s got undisputed potential, and that’s all we can tell.

    And for a surprise – well, if we make it past the first round in the playoffs, that would be a surprise – so I hope we’re in for one, too!