Yesterday I talked about four players I would be watching when the Chargers faced off against the Titans in the team's first exhibition game. Here is what I saw.
Its only preseason, but Hunter Henry looks like the real deal. The rookie out of Arkansas' pass catching ability was on display as he accumulated 43 yards on three receptions. On his first reception, Henry found a soft spot in the defense and picked up a nice chunk of yardage. He did a nice job working up the seams and never showed to have any problems getting open. There was a pass from Kellen Clemens that he may or may not have dropped depending on who you ask. Henry got open, and Clemens put the pass right on him, but Titans defender Antwon Blake went high at Henry's head while Da'Norris Searcy came in to jar the ball loose. There probably should have been a flag thrown but no penalty was called, and the pass was ruled incomplete.
Where Henry stuck out to me was in the run game. He was moving men. It seemed like every time the Chargers ran a play to his side there was a nice chunk of yardage to be gained. It was a stellar first showing for the rookie, and he has got me excited to see a lot more of him in the near future.
Speaking of stellar first showings, rookie guard Donavon Clark put up quite the performance last night against the Titans. He played both at right and left guard showing solid pass protection skills and good ability as a run blocker. On the Chargers second drive of the game, he pulled from his right guard spot making a key block that sprung Branden Oliver for a nice gain. It wasn't a flawless performance, but it was about as good as you could ask for from a rookie playing his first game. Look for #63 in the coming weeks as I'm sure he will continue to impress.
Drew Kaser had a solid outing during his first game in a Chargers uniform. Did I mention before that the kid has a leg? Well, he put it on display in last nights exhibition game. Kaser got some good hang time on a couple of punts allowing the coverage unit time to get downfield and make a play on the return man. He did have two touchbacks during the game, but that's okay. It was a nice showing for the rookie, and there is not much else to say.
Just like in practice, Dexter McCoil was all over the field Saturday night. He made a fantastic special teams play after a Drew Kaser punt, recovered a fumble forced by Josh Perry and Nick Dzubnar, broke up a pass in the end zone, and made a really nice tackle on Dexter McCluster on a play that had a chance to go for 6. He truly was a standout player on a defensive unit that left some things to be desired. McCoil's versatility on defense is something this team sorely needs, especially at the safety position. I hate thinking that there's still a chance he doesn't make the final roster. However, if he continues to play the way he did last night in Tennessee he may just force the coaching staff to keep him on.