Sprits were high throughout the day Friday. The atmosphere was relaxed and on more than one occasion a few veterans cracked smiles as they exchanged jokes. The practices were all-around solid, but lacked the intensity of recent days.
General Manager A.J. Smith has had an extremely busy offseason. The tally for Chargers free agent signings grew to 19 with the addition of QB Kevin O’Connell on Monday. While Smith’s hand may be cramping from inking contracts, many of the new faces including O’Connell will likely fall short of making the final 53-man roster. A few have the potential to make a significant impact.
SAN DIEGO — Much has been made about the subtractions from and additions to the San Diego Chargers’ receiving corps this offseason.
Last year’s nickel back isn’t on the current Chargers roster. Dante Hughes was not re-signed, leaving an opening in a formation used extensively by the team’s defense.
They came in their black and white stripes, whistles dangling over their necks, for the first time at Chargers training camp this week.
Growing up in tiny Beckville, Texas, he was raised by his mom, Veronica, and grandmother, Ellaweize Jones. An uncle, Dexter, was accidentally electrocuted and died when he was just four years old. Despite the long odds, Williams thrived in Beckville and by high school he had become a feared safety who hit anything that moved. Williams, however, was just 170 pounds and major college recruiters considered him too small to play the position at the next level. He instead enrolled at Cisco (Tex.) Junior College, but lasted there only two weeks when homesickness led him back to Beckville. A close friend helped him find a job back home, where he worked 12-hour days in the town’s oil fields. It was backbreaking work. That same friend, Jay Hightower, convinced Williams that he should give football one more try.
As a checkpoint to chart roster movement throughout training camp, Chargers beat writer Michael Gehlken and columnist Kevin Acee are compiling a weekly 53-man roster and depth chart.