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Standing Room Only For Chargers First Workout

The Bolts had a massive turnout on Monday

By Derek Togerson
|  Monday, Apr 23, 2012  |  Updated 4:39 PM PDT
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Chargers 2011-2012 Season in Images

Dave Smith

Philip Rivers, Randy McMichael and Charlie Whitehurst were among nearly 60 Chargers to voluntarily work out Monday.

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The Chargers will have 53 men on their roster. If Monday's voluntary workout was any indication, the battle for positions has already begun.

Exactly men attended the off-season's first voluntary workout at the Chargers Murphy Canyon training facility.

"Which is unheard of for an off-season training program," said defensive end Luis Castillo, who's entering his 8th season in San Diego. "We've never seen those kinds of numbers."

As one of the rules of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, this week's workouts are considered "Phase 1." That means the head coach and main coordinators aren't allowed to be in attendance, and players can only be on the field to run or play catch.

The one exception is the Strength and Conditioning coach. Jeff Hurd planned a lower-body workout that was fairly medieval. The Bolts were rolling large rocks up hills, flipping tires, and throwing around a tackling dummy that had a few players putting a little extra emphasis on their WWE body slam technique.

"You know what, that thing's pretty heavy," said tight end Randy McMichael. "You pick it up the first time, it's good. But after, like, the eighth time, you get the point. I told Coach Hurd that was him and I was pretending I was body slamming him, so it got me through it."

And all that came after doing sets of squats, a notoriously leg-fatiguing exercise.

"I promise you, by 7:00, I'll feel all that," said McMichael.

The Chargers built their quadriceps, and their camaraderie. Several of their newly signed free agents came to get a good burn, and get to know their new team-mates.

"It's different. I kind of felt like a rookie," said linebacker Jarret Johnson, who spent the first nine years of his career with the Ravens. "I walked in and didn't really know anybody. You never know what guys are like, but everybody was really cool. They reached out to me, introduced themselves, were very welcoming. Everybody works really hard so it's going to be a good room."

The coaching staff will be able to join them in the first week of May. Then it's working out four days a week until mini-camps start in June.

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