Chargers Training Camp Notes: this by saying these are my observations based on ONE practice scrimmage. As the great philosopher Allen Iverson once said: “Practice Los Angeles Chargers Hats , we’re talking about practice here!”.Here are my Los Angeles Chargers Blue/White scrimmage observations:The Mike Williams that we saw in college is about to make his debut in the NFL. It’s time for Chargers fans to finally embrace Williams and root for him to be the player worthy of such a high draft selection. He is a different kind of player. On Saturday, he was brought in on the 2nd team O when they moved the ball into the red zone. And the first play, he was wide open in the middle of the endzone for the touchdown. Then later, when the 1st team O was back inside the 10, Rivers practiced the back shoulder pass to him, which he brought in for his second score. Confidence is gonna be essential for him too. Probably why they tried to get him the ball both times. Don’t forget about Tyrell! The dude looks a little more healthier above the waist, and he’s still probably the 2nd fastest player on the team. He was equally unstoppable Saturday catching slants and deep routes. The Chargers are going to have a tough decision next year when they have to decide if they want to re-sign him. You will see a mature Tyrell this year and its safe to say he’s gonna be among the leaders in Yards Per Catch. Which brings me to Keenan. He’s probably in the best shape of his life and would typically be poised to build on last years team record season. But what I saw on Saturday has me re-thinking Keenan as a keeper on my fantasy team. His production has to take a hit. Has to. I haven’t even mentioned anything about Benji, Artavis, and the injured rookie Dylan Cantrell. It doesn’t mean Keenan is any less valuable,, it’s that Philip has so many weapons. Disclaimer: Virgil Green and I both attended the same high school in Tulare, Ca. But don’t let that make you think I’m being biased here. Virgil is going to hold his own at the position. Speaking of which, this unit will be stable for the team, and I think with just how reliable they are, the Chargers are going to let Antonio Gates enjoy retirement. Anyone worried about the Chargers back-up QB job? Don’t be. Geno Smith looks pretty comfortable out there in just his first season. Granted, he probably wouldn’t be a starter on any of the 32 teams in the league, but he just might be one of the top 5 backups though. That’s a vast improvement over Kellen Clemens. Everybody can breathe a sigh of relief. Joe Barksdale had his hands full with Joey Bosa Saturday. From the little bit that I saw, he was going toe to toe with Bosa except for one play where Bosa got free. Let us hope that iron sharpens iron analogy we keep hearing means Bosa is gonna have Barksdale ready for the rest of the AFC West. I won’t spend a lot of time on Derwin James, but I will say this: he’s gonna be lined up everywhere. The Chargers have their Ed Reed.Let us hope Trevor Williams heals from his injury quickly and its not a lingering issue. No offense to Mike Davis, but the Chargers secondary didn’t have that swag we are used to seeing. Casey Hayward got beat a few teams, but he’s gonna be okay. That right side suddenly went from a starter to backup to the backup’s backup. That’s not gonna cut it. The LB corp, if healthy Los Angeles Chargers Hoodie , should be solid. I’m hoping by week 1 its Jatavis, Denzel, and Kyzir lined up. Emmanuel will still get his burn because the coaches like him, but Kyzir should see the majority of snaps. Jatavis was everywhere on Saturday, and its gonna be a good year if he can play all 16. One Liners...Robert Aguayo booted a 48 yd fg with relative ease.No. 90 Whitney Richardson, kept flashing and I liked what I saw.Let us hope Russell Okung is in mid-season form already because I never saw Melvin Ingram get close to Philip. Austin Ekeler may be a part of this offense more than you think.Is this a make or break season for Melvin Gordon?Rayshawn Jenkins really wants to play and you can see it in his effort. Wish I could have spent more time looking at the battle in the trenches but the offense was passing too much for my eyeballs to stay glued in the muck. If Travis Benjamin gets hurt, Artavis Scott back deep returning may be the next man up. Philip shouldn’t have had an INT during the scrimmage; through the hands of Benji into Jenkins diving arms. The Los Angeles Chargers aren't ready to say farewell to Antonio Gates after all.Four months after the Chargers bade a public goodbye to the leading receiver in franchise history, Gates returned to the team on Sunday, one week before the start of his 16th season. The 38-year-old franchise stalwart is getting a one-year deal and another shot at his first trip to a Super Bowl.The Chargers intended to part ways with Gates last spring after his role declined behind starting tight end Hunter Henry in 2017. Their plans changed when Henry tore a knee ligament during offseason workouts in May, likely sidelining him for the upcoming season.Although they've been discussing a reunion for many weeks, Gates and the Chargers waited until the day before the first week of game preparation for the regular season to formalize his return to his only NFL team. Gates' 114 career touchdown catches are sixth in NFL history and the most among active players."I'm grateful that he wants to come back and play with us," Chargers general manager Tom Telesco said. "But I'm also grateful he's coming back for all the right reasons. He's not coming back to put up more statistics. He's not coming back to prove anything to anybody, because he doesn't have to do that. He's coming back because he loves his teammates, and I think he sees something special in this football team that he wants to be a part of, and that's exciting."The Chargers are a popular pick to be a playoff contender after winning nine of their final 12 games last season. Gates and the Chargers have made the postseason just once since 2009.Telesco wouldn't say whether he expects Gates to play when the Chargers open the regular season at home against the Chiefs on Sept. 9."I guess we'll see," Telesco said. "I certainly wouldn't want to tell Kansas City."Once an undrafted free agent who played only basketball at Kent State, Gates is an eight-time Pro Bowl selection and the Chargers' career leader in receptions (927), yards receiving (11,508) and touchdown catches. He set the NFL record for touchdown receptions by a tight end last September, surpassing Tony Gonzalez with his 112th TD catch.But Gates' 30 receptions last season were his fewest since his rookie year in 2003, and his 316 yards receiving were a career low as Henry took the majority of the big snaps. Gates started only four games, but he stepped up capably into a larger role when Henry was out with a bruised kidney late last season.The Chargers spent the past four months with a clear need for a pass-catching tight end. Newcomer Virgil Green is a veteran blocking tight end with pass-catching ability Customized Los Angeles Chargers Jerseys , but the only other tight end on Los Angeles' 53-man roster Sunday was undrafted second-year pro Sean Culkin, who has never caught a pass in an NFL game."I guess we're very lucky to have a player like Hunter get hurt and have a player like Antonio available and willing," Telesco said. "He knows the offense. He knows the quarterback. He knows our head coach. He knows this organization very well, and he finished the year on a strong note last year."Gates has a profound connection with Philip Rivers, who joined the Chargers in 2004 and has been their starting quarterback in every game since 2006. Rivers has thrown 87 touchdown passes to Gates, and they trail only Indianapolis' Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison as the most prolific TD duo in NFL history.Rivers publicly advocated for Gates' return in recent months, and Gates will be another solid target in the Chargers' potent offense, which led the NFL with 276.9 yards passing per game last season. With Gates back in powder blue, Rivers' top eight receivers from last season are still with the Bolts.The Chargers made several additional moves Sunday, a day after setting their roster and choosing Caleb Sturgis as their new kicker.Los Angeles released linebacker Hayes Pullard, who played extensively last year, and quarterback Cardale Jones. Telesco said the Bolts hope to re-sign Jones to the practice squad as their third quarterback behind Rivers and Geno Smith.Los Angeles claimed linebacker Emmanuel Ellerbee off waivers from Atlanta and nose tackle T.Y. McGill off waivers from Kansas City. Telesco believes Ellerbee can fit in well with the Chargers after learning the Falcons' defense of coach Dan Quinn, whose scheme is derived from the system run by Chargers defensive coordinator Gus Bradley when they both coached on Pete Carroll's staff in Seattle.Telesco also lamented the season-ending ankle injury of receiver Artavis Scott, who spent last season as a rookie on the Chargers' practice squad after winning a national title at Clemson alongside receiver Mike Williams, the Chargers' first-round pick last year."He had earned a spot on this team and had done a great job," Telesco said. "Last year at this time, we thought he could play, but this time, we know he can play."
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