Los Angeles Chargers Training Camp Day 3 Takeaways

Chargers Training Camp Dan Feeney, Chargers offensive line
Los Angeles Chargers Guard Dan Feeney. Photo Credit: Monica Dyrud - Sports Al Dente

Day 3 of Chargers training camp is in the books, and there are a number of positives to take away from what we saw during the short two-hour practice.

Los Angeles Chargers Training Camp Day 3 Takeaways

Philip Rivers Is In Mid-Season Form

Old and reliable, Philip Rivers looks polished and ready for the season to start tomorrow. He is still arguably the top QB in the division, and considered by many, including this writer, a top-10 quarterback in the league.

In team reps on Monday, vintage Rivers played “Houdini” numerous times avoiding pressure in the pocket and completing a pass in a very tight window. It’s clear that his favorite target is Keenan Allen, as it should be, but he did spread the ball around to the likes of Mike Williams and second-year Tight End Sean Culkin.

Training Camp brings a lot of questions marks for every team around the NFL, but Philip Rivers is not one of them.

Melvin Gordon Desperately Needs To Improve His Blocking

In 1-on-1 drills, Gordon was burned not once, not twice, but three times in the blocking drill. All three times the defender used a simple swim move to sidestep Gordon and continue unabated to the interim quarterback.

28 may be the unquestioned starter in the backfield, but if his blocking continues to slip and doesn’t improve, he will find himself losing more and more game reps. One of his knocks coming out of college was his ability in pass protection. Today was a glaring indication that the problem still persists.

Cardale Jones May Not Make The Team

This is probably a huge overreaction considering it is day 3 of camp, but Jones has not looked good. In fact, rookie Nic Shimonek was getting third-team reps ahead of him. Jones is very slow in his progressions and does not put much touch on his throws. Each time he came in, an incompletion was almost imminent.

At this point, if the Chargers decide to keep three QBs during the season, the only thing that might save him is the ability for them to put Shimonek on the practice squad. There is still plenty of time for Jones to turn things around, but he has already dug himself a deep hole three days in.

The Run D Looks Improved And Solid

The Chargers had a tremendous defense in 2017, but if you could find any chink in the armor it was against the run, where they ranked 31st in the league. This has been a focal point for Coach Lynn heading into camp and the play today should be recognized. Granted, the big fellas in the trenches are not going full-speed and the blocking is basically paddy-cake, but all run stoppers were filling the correct gaps, and leaving no room for Gordon, Ekeler, or any other running back to break free (Ekeler did break off one big run for a TD, however).

Overall, it was a good day for the run defense to build upon. Once the action is full go, we can really see if the improvement from last year has been made.

Derwin James Still Not Practicing

Rookie first-round pick, Derwin James, remained on the sidelines for day 3 of practice. Coach Lynn said on Saturday that he is day-to-day but they do not want to rush him back. He did note that it does concern him that ‘James’ is missing all of these reps that are crucial for young players.