After attending another day of training camp, you see the trends starting to set in. Who has proceeded to have consistent good days and who was merely had “moments” here and there. It becomes apparent the little things they try to work on as camp proceeds on. This has been the case especially on the defensive side of the ball.
The most notable difference I saw was the fact that Melvin Ingram was lined up as the “Sam” and “Mike” more than several times during defensive squad drills. My take on this is simply that this is Gus Bradley’s way to get Bosa, Ingram, and Attaochu on the field at the same time. When Ingram was in the middle, Denzel Perryman moved over to the strong side. Jason Verrett also was getting his reps in on the individual drills as they begin to ease him back in. They ran a lot of single high safety sets with Dexter McCoil down on the line of scrimmage. McCoil has seemed to see his rep’s increasing. Whether or not this is because he is getting his chance or because Jahleel Addae is getting a lighter workload for rest is unknown. Perhaps with his size, he can be that Kam Chancellor type. Although this was last year’s thought process I’m sure it's more plausible now that Bradley is the defensive coordinator.
On the offensive side of the ball, undrafted rookie receivers, Artavis Scott and Mitchell Paige, continued to impress. It is said of Scott that he is too slow and doesn't have any great stand out abilities. People said similar things about Keenan Allen’s athleticism. As a fan and former coach, I like to maintain that just because someone isn’t the fastest or most agile or highest leaper doesn't mean that the guy isn't a flat out football player, and has all the moves and instincts to prove it. Paige, who will probably have to make the roster as a returner, seems to be quite the underneath slot receiver in the making. He is a monster on the 10-yard outs and quick slants. I would not be surprised to see one or both of these young men make the roster.
There is an interesting battle for the third running back spot. One of the backs competing for that spot is Kenjon Barner. He will need to make the roster as a kick returner if he is going to make it at all. If Barner wins this job then look for the team to carry 4 tail backs. If Paige wins the job, I expect them to carry 6 wide outs. Dontrelle Inman was also rather impressive. I usually tend to not be the biggest fan of his due to his inability to beat press coverage. He is not as twitchy or sudden as Paige or as much of a natural as Scott, but the guy definitely worked hard to get to this point. It will be interesting to see if he can improve on his 800-yard season or if he has hit his ceiling.
Cardale Jones got plenty of reps today, but not many good ones. I see him as a quarterback with the inability to make a quick decision in the pocket, which leads him to tuck and run much too often. Although one of those times he did convert a big play and take it to the house. During red zone drills, he often overthrew the receiver much too high in the back of the end zone. I was not too high on the Chargers acquiring him, but they gave up little to nothing to obtain him. Andre Williams had a monster stiff arm reminiscent of LaDainian Tomlinson, putting a defender square on his back and hard. Another wow play was Javontee Herndon making a circus catch falling back as Desmond King initially had deflected the ball in the air.
All in all, I would say the defense won the day. The defensive backs seemed to let everybody know it. After newcomer Tre Boston intercepted the ball on the last play of the day the defense erupted in excitement. Adrian McDonald and Michael Davis also recorded interceptions earlier in the day. The defense didn't seem to allow a long run all day either. I'm really excited about the potential this new defense has. They just seem to have a swag about them I haven't seen in years previous.