training camp report- McNeil catches TD pass

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Jul 24, 2006

Chargers practice at Qualcomm

Date: Aug 5, 2006

The Chargers kicked off their second week of training camp with their annual Fan Fest, and those in attendance were treated to discounted rates on food and drink, autographs, and an impressive display by the team. Practice was short but crisp, as the team seemed excited to be practicing in Qualcomm Stadium instead of Chargers Park.

There was good news on the injury front, as LaDainian Tomlinson and Eric Parker both returned to action. Roman Oben was out again, a trend to will likely continue for the foreseeable future, but he did show marked improvement during his agility exercises and appears to be moving around better than he was just a week ago.
The day’s action started during pre-practice warm-ups with the offense working on goal-line situations. On one play Marcus McNeill – who was lined up as the third tackle - slipped out into the flat, where he caught a touchdown pass from Philip Rivers.
McNeill’s grab was quickly topped by an incredible display by Nate Kaeding during a special teams drill. Keading connected on all eight of his field goals during the session, with his last being a 60-yard effort which cleared the cross bar with ease. Kurt Smith assumed the field goal duties during the second session and connected on four of his five kicks, although his longest attempt was only 42 yards.

In between the special teams sessions, there was a seven-on-seven passing drill. Several offensive players made great catches there, including Keenan McCardell, Antonio Gates, Aaron Shea and Malcom Floyd. Brandon Manumaleuna made a spectacular grab as well, although he did also drop an easy one over the middle.

The success of the receivers was due in large part to the struggles of the secondary. Antonio Cromartie continues to be caught out of position, and Quentin Jammer can’t catch anything even when he’s in position. Newcomer Marlon McCree was beaten often by Gates, although most safeties share a similar fate.

The practice’s most competitive session consisted of the offense attempting to drive 70 yards downfield against the defense. There were several big plays in this session, including a beautiful touchdown pass from Rivers to Floyd.

After Rivers went to the bench, the offense lost its efficiency. Igor Olshansky and Shaun Phillips each recorded sacks, and Terrence Kiel made a terrific interception in the end zone, although it was negated by an encroachment penalty.

The players are off tomorrow, their first full day of rest since camp began. Their preseason debut is one week from today’s practice, when they host Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers.