SAN DIEGO -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of San Diego Chargers training camp:
About 18,000 people attended the Chargers’ annual FanFest at Qualcomm Stadium, nearly double the amount of folks who attended the event last season. Even an unusual summer drizzle did not deter fans from showing up and cheering on favorite players such as Eric Weddle, Philip Rivers, Donald Butler and Malcom Floyd. San Diego coach Mike McCoy was pleased with the turnout. “The fans did a great job that last month of the season, playing at home and finishing the season the way we did,” McCoy said. “So there’s reason to be excited. Now we have to go out there and execute as a football team, give them a reason to come out here on Sundays and be a loud crowd. That’s what we need.” Floyd also noted that the festive crowd signals something else – high expectations for the 2014 season after the Chargers reached the playoffs last year. “We’ve got a lot of older veterans who love that chip on their shoulder,” Floyd said. “I want to get there (the Super Bowl) for Philip and (Antonio) Gates. They definitely need one before we leave. So why not go all out.”
Speaking of Floyd, he was one of the stars of San Diego’s controlled scrimmage, scoring a touchdown on a skinny post and making a couple other nice grabs while working with the first-team offense. Floyd hadn’t played on the grass turf of Qualcomm Stadium since finishing with a one reception for 47 yards in a season-opening loss to Houston on Sept. 9, 2013. Floyd suffered a season-ending neck injury a week later at Philadelphia. Floyd said playing at Qualcomm is just another step in the process of ultimately returning to the field in a regular-season game. “Even though it’s been 11 straight years, it was good to be out here,” Floyd said. “It was good to be out here on this grass. It’s so fast, and it felt so good. “I’ve been practicing since April, but this is just another step. I feel good. I pretty much feel better than ever. But this is just another step to get to where we need to go.”
Most of the veterans who sat out on Friday for a rest day returned to the field on Saturday, except for center Nick Hardwick. Cornerback Brandon Flowers also sat out a third straight day. Defensive lineman Corey Liuget watched practice for a second straight day with a walking boot on his right foot. Receiver Vincent Brown and cornerback Marcus Cromartie remain out as well. Guard Jeromey Clary remains on the physically unable to perform list. Jason Verrett wore a red jersey for a second straight day, but fully participated in the scrimmage.
Defensively, the Chargers continued to create turnovers, including an interception returned for a score by Butler, and an interception by Reggie Walker. “Without a doubt that’s the key,” McCoy said. “We want to fly around on defense and get to the ball, and create some turnovers.” Offensively, Keenan Allen played well during the two-minute drill, making a couple sure-handed catches. Young receivers Dontrelle Inman and Javontee Herndon also made their presences felt. Inman scored a touchdown on a slant route, and Herndon hauled in a nice grab on a deep ball. Rookie running back Marion Grice showed some elusiveness running between the tackles.
Up next: The Chargers have Sunday off, but return to the practice field on Monday at 5:50 p.m. ET. The practice is open to the public.