News, notes and standouts from Chargers camp

The Chargers held their scrimmage on Sunday and there were three standouts.

COSTA MESA, Calif. — The Chargers held their scrimmage on Sunday afternoon at Jack Hammett Sports Complex.

There was a successful two-minute offense and red zone portion of practice that quarterback Justin Herbert ran to perfection. The defense was the talk of practice by some of the plays they made.

The following are some players who stood out, some injury news, and notes.

Three players who stood out from the scrimmage:

Safety Mark Webb

Sunday wasn’t the first time Webb had created a turnover this camp. He has shown flashes of being a playmaker, but it was on display on Sunday.

He had an interception and a fumble recovery.

“Mark has been a consistent playmaker for us,” Chargers head coach Brandon Staley explained. “As you guys know, he has flashed in his two years, but some injuries have kind of sidetracked his progress. He’s been really focused.”

Questions arose before camp on whether the team should sign a safety to add depth and because there is little experience besides Derwin James and Alohi Gilman. Webb and J.T. Woods, so far, have given the team hope that they can step up.

Tight end Tre’ McKitty

McKitty had a big catch in traffic during the Chargers two-minute drill. Herbert looked his way and found him for a catch that would set up the game-winning field goal attempt.

“We’re going to learn a lot more about him when it goes live here and preseason, but it’s a big camp for Tre’,” Staley said. “He has to prove himself. I think he’s improving, but there’s still a lot of work to do.”

His sophomore was pretty forgettable. McKitty would be the first to say he made numerous mistakes, like dropping a pass that could have been a touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers.

Staley said it best “There’s still a lot of work to do.” He is going to have to keep showing improvement.

Edge rusher Tuli Tuipulotu

During the scrimmage, there was a play where second-round pick Tuli Tuipulotu was about to engage the right tackle but ended up using a spin move to free himself up and get in the quarterback’s face.

That spin move would have made former Colts and Chargers pass rusher Dwight Freeney proud.

“As advertised,” Staley said. “He’s a professional. Physically, he’s ready to play in the National Football League.” 

He was consistently in the backfield on Sunday, and his veteran teammates have been raving about him.

Missing O-line

Left tackle Rashawn Slater was not at practice on Sunday, so Foster Sarell stepped in for him.

Other players like Jordan McFadden, Austin Pleasants and Brenden Jaimes got a chance to show what they got.

“That’s where your depth has to emerge, and you get a chance to evaluate other people,” Staley said. “That’s what scrimmages like this are for. This is a good evaluation for us.”

Concern over D-line?

Due to injury, the defensive line was without Sebastian Joseph-Day, Otito Ogbonnia, and Austin Johnson. 

Does being thin at the defensive line concern Staley?

“No, I think we’ve really been able to develop the depth in that room,” Staley explained. “You’ve seen, I think, that on display here, today and then throughout camp. We have a lot of young guys that are competing for spots.”

Morgan Fox got after it on Sunday, showing a lot of push and being able to wreak havoc in the backfield consistently.

It also allowed the coaches to watch Chris Hinton, Nick Williams, Terrance Lang, and others. Williams made some plays, while Lang had a nice tackle on running back Larry Rountree III.

The Chargers defensive line will be a focal point this year to stop the run, so they will need to be better and healthy in 2023.

Numerous star players miss scrimmage

The Chargers had some absences on Sunday evening. 

Cornerback J.C. Jackson left practice early last week and has missed the previous two practices.

“We’re just phasing him back in with the recommendation from the medical staff,” Staley said. “He’s going to have some good days, he’s going to have some tough days, and that’s part of coming back from an injury like that.”

Staley confirmed that defensive tackle Joseph-Day is dealing with a quad contusion. It was said on Saturday that he will “miss some time.”

Kicker Dustin Hopkins hasn’t taken a field goal since the first few days of camp. He has been dealing with something physical.

“He’s just working his way back into practice,” Staley said. “He’s been doing a lot of work on the side.”

Cameron Dicker has taken full advantage of that, going 5-for-5 on Sunday with his long of 43-yards.

There seems to be a sickness bug going around because Slater, Bosa, receiver Quentin Johnston, and tight end Gerald Everett missed the scrimmage due to illness.

“Just normal sickness going through a football team,” Staley said.

Slater and Everett have missed three practices, Bosa two, and Sunday was Johnston’s first practice missed.

Herbert plays Santa Clause in August

It is very apparent that the Chargers fan base loves their quarterback. They fill training camp to watch him. They scream for him after practice to come to sign autographs.

They even give him gifts like pictures that they drew or other things.

On the first day of camp, Herbert gave his cleats to two fans. Well, ever since then, fans have been asking and asking. After the scrimmage on Sunday, two young fans asked, and Herbert delivered.

“They were getting pretty sweaty, so I didn’t need them anymore,” Herbert said. “Usually, I go through them quicker than that. It kind of helps me out to be able to give them away.”

He also gave a wristband and his headband to fans.

Staley pays homage to Don Coryell

Over the weekend, former San Diego Chargers head coach Don Coryell was finally inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

He will forever have a place in Canton, Ohio.

After the scrimmage, Staley wanted to pay his respect to the former NFL head coach before answering questions from the media.

“To see the last couple of days, the imprint that he left on the National Football League, I think it’s been great to tell that story to our team, for them to understand the history of this club and how much Coach Coryell really meant for not only the Chargers but for the National Football League,” Staley said.

Coryell changed the game forever and was definitely ahead of his time. The tight end position and a high-paced offense that takes shots down the field are just two examples of what Coryell brought to the NFL.