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The sign at Chargers Park in Murphy Canyon reads "Back To Football." However, Monday's first practice was more like going back to school.
Veterans don't hit the field until Thursday, so the first three days of camp are for the rookies, and they have an awful lot to learn. With nearly a month off between mini-camp and the real deal, the new guys had better have spent a lot of time breaking down their playbooks.
"I spent a lot of time in the playbook," said linebacker Melvin Ingram, the Bolts' number 1 draft pick. "I look at both the outside linebacker and defensive end positions. I'm looking at, and trying to learn concepts."
Head coach Norv Turner says the retention level of the rookies was impressive, and it should be. These guys need to hit the ground running.
"If you're one of the 11 guys on the field, you need to know what you're doing," said Turner. "There's no asterisk to say 'Well, he's a young guy.'"
To help their development, the coaching staff is quick to point out what they're doing right or (more often) wrong.
"This is usually the time when people tell me I'm yelling more often than I did last year," says Turner, "so I'm used to it."
The rookies will get two more days before the established players arrive, and the intensity gets ratched up even more.