I'll have a chance to study the practice film later, but just wanted to give an idea of what I observed live from Monday's practice with the Chargers:
One positive thing from a scouting perspective is when you work with another team live, you can walk all over the field and scout their players up close.
Head scout Tom Ciskowski and pro personnel assistant Will McClay were noticeably working from drill to drill checking out these Chargers players. Remember this was the team they got Laurent Robinson from last year. From my scouting eye, the position that the Chargers look a little long at is tight end.
It looks like they will probably have to carry four on the roster, but if they don't, rookie Ladarius Green and fourth-year man Kory Sperry might be worth a serious look. Green is a very smooth athlete that catches the ball well. Sperry is not as fluid but has sure hands.
Guard Nate Livings was back in the lineup at left guard and was splitting reps with Derrick Dockery, who played much better in the game Saturday night. Livings was moving around well and did a nice job in the inside run and blitz period working with Tyron Smith and David Arkin. When it came to the group stuff he was fine, but where you could see some rust was in the one-on-one pass rush period. I thought there were more bad reps here than in any of the other drills for him.
At right guard, I thought that Mackenzy Bernadeau had one of his better days, but I will again look at the tape and dig into that a little more.
Receiver Kevin Ogletree continues to put better practices together back to back trying to take this job away from Andre Holmes, who has been dealing with back issues the last several days and has now been diagnosed with a lower back strain. Rookie Danny Coale was back at practice full-go and made a really nice grab of an out route in the blitz pick period.
Dwayne Harris continues his quest for a spot on this roster, making two nice adjusting catches on the move. Harris also showed up on the special teams tape the other night, with a solid return, but also some feistiness as a blocker in the return game. I'm liking his chances more every day to take one of these spots at receiver.
Thrown For A Loop
Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers had a much better day throwing the ball than he did on Saturday night and from field level, I loved the way he spins it. It's a challenge to play against a quarterback like Rivers because he gets rid of the football so quickly. Where he was attacking the Cowboys defense was underneath and in the middle of the field with his running backs and tight ends. It was not a great day of coverage for the linebackers, who had their struggles matching up. In my view, the best cover linebacker on the squad is Sean Lee, but Ronnie Brown beat him badly on an explosive route up the middle between the two hashes.
I was walking with Lee to the team buses after practice and he still was upset on the result of the play, explaining it to me as if he had just been beaten for a game-winning touchdown. Later in the drill, Bruce Carter was beaten on a similar route by Le'Ron McClain, catching the ball going away. Overall, the Cowboys linebackers have done a nice job of playing techniques in the games and practices, but Monday they were attacked by one of the better quarterbacks in this league.