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San Diego Chargers mini camp: day one breakdown

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The San Diego Chargers took to the field Tuesday for the first day of this June's Mini Camp. Here's all you need to know about what went down at Murphy Canyon.

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

While much of Tuesday's headlines were dominated by who wasn't at the first day of the Chargers 2016 mini camp, we also felt it worthwhile to inform you about what happened with those who were actually playing some semblance of football over on Murphy Canyon Road.

So what did happen at Chargers HQ Tuesday morning?

Well, to be frank, not much. This is June after all.

Players took to the field for a mix of position drills, scheme installation and 7v7 and 11v11 work. And while there wasn't a whole lot to get excited about - we're still talking about players going, at best, half speed in shorts - there were a few items worth commenting on.

Highlight: Though Philip Rivers (and every other Chargers QB) struggled to connect on the deep ball during Tuesday morning's practice; the 12-year vet delivered a terrific pass to a streaking Keenan Allen during the initial 11v11 session. Allen beat Jason Verrett down the sideline and extended for an outstanding fingertip grab. Great ball placement by Rivers, who put the pass where only Allen was going to touch it, and an outstanding grab by the former Cal product, who appeared to be in top form.

Lowlight: Anybody banking on Zach Mettenberger to overtake Kellen Clemens for the position of Guy Who No Chargers Fan Ever Wants to See on the Field should go ahead and close their account. The former Tennessee Titan struggled throughout the morning practice session and looked particularly out of sync on crossing routes. In one period of red zone work, Mettenberger threw the ball badly behind his intended receiver who compounded the error and tipped the ball into the air for an easy interception. I'm convinced No. 4 is only on the roster to boost the defense's confidence.

Scheme Note: The Chargers worked out of the shotgun for the majority of the offense vs. defense periods, so there wasn't much to evaluate in regard the Derek Watt vs. Chris Swain fullback competition, though Swain did break off a nice run at one point.  While in shotgun, the Chargers often stacked their receivers on one side and ran combination routes off of it. There were also a number of two tight end looks, including one under center play which involved Hunter Henry lining up out wide, motioning right and cracking back to the middle of the line of scrimmage while the rest of the offensive line down blocked to the left. Melvin Gordon, who showed no discernible discomfort, accelerated through the hole for a big gain. That little bit of creativity on just one run play has me thrilled that Whisenhunt is back.

Nuts & Bolts:

  • Travis Benjamin left practice early and was replaced by Tyrell Williams, who looked comfortable running with the 1s.
  • Dexter McCoil made a great break on a Mettenberger pass during red zone work but dropped the interception. Still, his combination of size and apparent instincts is something worth looking out for.
  • Drew Kaser can boom the ball when he wants to. Dude has a leg. Also had some very promising corner kicks during directional work.