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Verrett shows grit, Flowers flashes

7/24/2014

SAN DIEGO -- No position group will receive more scrutiny at the San Diego Chargers' training camp than cornerback.

The Chargers got off to a good start in improving a weak area with the anticipated debuts of first-round draft pick Jason Verrett and free agent signee Brandon Flowers.

Flowers worked with the first unit at left cornerback, with last season's starting right cornerback Shareece Wright on the opposite side. While Verrett worked with the second unit at right cornerback, with last year's starter at left cornerback, Richard Marshall, opposite the rookie.

San Diego coach Mike McCoy said he's not concerned about the depth chart at cornerback at this point in camp, and that everyone will get a chance to earn playing time.

"They're all competing," McCoy said. "Right now there's a depth chart, but that's the starting point for the season. [Flowers] lined up with the first group today. But we'll play the best guys."

A full participant in 11-on-11 drills for the first time since returning from offseason shoulder surgery in March to repair a torn labrum, Verrett showed elite quickness, the ability to play physical press coverage and tenacity during 1-on-1 drills.

Verrett had his first chance to cover a big receiver like Malcom Floyd in the NFL -- guys he watched on TV growing up in Oakland.

"I'm just trying to get better," Verrett said. "I've got to be a lot more aggressive because preseason is going to be here right around the corner. So these next, 14 days are going to be crucial. So I definitely want to stay on top of my game with my rehab, and just keeping my body healthy."

Flowers said he was impressed with how Verrett performed in his first practice.

"He's a competitor," Flowers said about Verrett. "He's very physical at the point of attack in the jam. He had to sit out OTAs and minicamp like I did, so he's picking up everything pretty good. I think he's going to be one heck of a player."

Flowers said a balky knee that gave him problems last season is fully healthy, and that's still learning John Pagano's defensive system and getting into football shape.

"My knee feels good," Flowers said. "The football shape is going to come, and is going to keep getting better. This is my first time being out there in competition mode. So it wasn't bad at all, but I want to be in the best, tip top shape. So I'm my worst critic."

Flowers saw time with the first-unit defense at left cornerback, the same place he played at Kansas City.

"They'll probably move me all around at training camp to see where I feel most comfortable at in this scheme," Flowers said. "But for the first day I started at left [cornerback]. There's going to be a lot of changes all throughout training camp, so I'll get adjusted."

While Verrett and Flowers had their moments, Marshall was the most consistent corner on Thursday, breaking up several passes during 7-on-7 and team drills.