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Bolts Offense and Defense Face Off for First Time

Posted May 27, 2014

OTAs mark the first time this offseason the offense and defense can go against one another.

The veterans on the Chargers roster participated in Phase I and Phase II of the offseason conditioning program together.  The rookies held their own minicamp and then joined the vets last week to complete the second portion of the program.

Tuesday, however, was much different as the team held its first true practice of the 2014 season.  Phase III kicked off with the first of 10 OTAs.  For the first time, the offense and defense were able to practice against one another, and the day looked like an in-season session minus the contact.

“It’s a great start,” said Head Coach Mike McCoy.  “It’s great to have the team out there for the first time together with everyone.  We had the rookie camp a couple weekends ago, so it was good to get them out there (as) an introduction.  They did a nice job studying. (That) was obvious since the last time they were on the field.  So we’re off to a good start.  We’ve got a long ways to go.  It’s an introduction to the way we’re going to do some things.  We changed some things (with) the way we’re practicing.  (We’re) teaching everybody the tempo, how we’re going to practice against one another and how we’re going to do things here.”

The majority of this team was together in 2013, but there were enough significant differences to make Tuesdays session noteworthy.  That includes new offensive coordinator Frank Reich, who McCoy’s fully confident in after being promoted from quarterbacks coach.

“It’s going to be great,” he said.  “He’s done a phenomenal job to this point in time…. He’s out there running the practices and doing great.  During Phase I, Phase II, the meetings and everything we’ve gone  through to this point in time, he’s done an outstanding job.  Anytime you have a new coordinator or position coach there’s always going to be some little change whether it’s in the meeting room or the practice field.  It’s been great to sit down with him every day to go over new ideas.”

One new player the team got a chance to look at was seventh-round pick Tevin Reese after the wide receiver missed rookie minicamp in order to graduate. Tuesday’s OTA marked the first time the team got to take a look at him with his helmet on in action, and the Chargers came away impressed.

“You love his passion and his burning desire to play the game,” said McCoy.  “He plays it the way it’s supposed to.  Size doesn’t matter to him at all.  He goes out there and always has a smile on his face.  He works extremely hard.  It’s not a surprise at all when you see him on the practice field why he had the success he had in college.  But he’s got a long ways to go. We’re going to move him around a little bit and he has to learn the entire system.  It’s all the rookies.  They’re all in the same boat (in) that they’ve got a long ways to go.  But it’s great to have speed like that on your football team.”

McCoy is also eager to see improvement from other youngsters who were recently rookies.  He noted how Keenan Allen won’t sneak up on anybody this year so he needs to keep working hard while third-year tight end Ladarius Green needs to continue his development as well.  According to the head coach, the best way to do that is by practicing just as diligently as they would during the season.

“We’re trying to do whatever we can to help the team,” he said.  “We’ve got to work on all the little things. It goes back to the whole thing.  How are we going to practice during the season? And that’s what we’re trying to create in the environment here.  Play as close to game speed as you can and do all the little things right.”

Single game tickets go on sale this Friday at 10:00am.  Fans will be able to purchase tickets by logging onto chargers.com/tickets. Tickets can also be purchased at the Chargers Ticket Office at Qualcomm Stadium (Gate C).

 The Ticket Office is open Monday-Friday 8-5 p.m. and Saturday from 10-4 p.m.

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