Parts of practice 'not good enough'


SAN DIEGO -- During team drills San Diego's defense got the best of the offense for the most part on Monday, leading to some strong words from San Diego coach Mike McCoy for his entire team at the end of practice.

"It's got to be important to everyone to come out every day and get better as a football team," McCoy said. "And that's the most important thing I wanted to let everyone know today. We set a standard around here of what's acceptable and what's not. There's going to be certain things you like, and you don't like. Certain parts of practice were not good enough today."

Outside linebacker Jarrett Johnson flashed today. Johnson diagnosed a screen perfectly, just missing an interception for a touchdown, and bolting in for a sack on the next play. Fellow linebacker

Cordarro Law also made a nice deflection out in the flat on a pass intended for Vincent Brown.

Center Nick Hardwick said the competition is part of the daily give and take between both units during offseason work and training camp, and will only make the team better.

"You have to have a good balance on a team," Hardwick said. "If you're offense is smashing your defense every practice, you've got big issues. So there has to be a push and pull, it has to be very competitive. So some days they may win some periods, and we will win some periods. And we'll find ways to get better.

"You're only as good as your training partner."

Roll call: tight end Antonio Gates, offensive lineman Chad Rinehart and outside linebacker Dwight Freeney were the most notable absences at practice on Monday. Rinehart and Freeney were in attendance at the last OTA practice open to reporters last week.

Gates has not been at any practice available to reporters, but McCoy did say that the veteran tight end's presence has been accounted for by the team. Ladarius Green filled in for Gates at tight end.

With Rinehart gone, Johnnie Troutman played left guard with the first unit. And with Jeromey Clary still rehabbing from shoulder and hip surgery, Rich Ohrnberger and rookie Chris Watt shared time at right guard with the first unit. Watt also played center again on Monday.

Middle linebacker Jonas Mouton was visible at practice on Monday for the first time watching from the sidelines. Mouton spent last season on the injured reserve after tearing the ACL in his right knee last July.

Also, first round selection cornerback Jason Verrett got some work in during individual drills for the first time this offseason. Verrett still is rehabbing from shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum in March.