Dec 22, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates (85) is defended by Oakland Raiders linebacker Nick Roach (53) during the first half at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Mathews, Dwight Freeney, Antonio Gates not in attendance for OTAs

Attendance in voluntary for this portion of OTAs and the team has a few vets missing from the first day of OTAs. Ryan Mathews, Antonio Gates and Dwight Freeney were all missing from the field in the first day of practice. Remember that this first portion of OTAs is “voluntary.” Fans and teams may want them on the field, but they really don’t have to be out there at this time. Some players may be finishing up their vacations and plan on returning in the middle of the OTA sessions. Vets may be looking to skip out on some of the work at the start of the season in order to get a little more rest.

Dwight Freeney had been working with his own trainers in the past and they may be what he is doing again this offseason. He also is recovering from a major injury and may need more rest before he gets back. It would be ideal to have all the players out there. The vets could help out the youngsters a little more and could give them guidance at this time. If they are out, they are out.

Interesting that Gates is out for OTAs. I usually think of him as someone who is there at the start with the rest of his teammates. Also interesting that Ryan Mathews is out at the start as well.

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  • Nick619chargers4life

    Ryan still needs to learn how to pass pro, I wonder what he is doing .

    • arnie

      Looking for next employer in 2015?

      • Nick619chargers4life

        Lol I know right !

        • MachoMenos

          Ryan isn’t going anywhere…this is known.

          • Nick619chargers4life

            2015 is coming in a hurry , who knows what’s going to happen.

  • navw21

    I have no problems at all about Gates and Freeney not being there. Their in the twilight of their careers, so they can come right in and be productive, plus any extra rest will save them for a long season. Ryan I would want to be there for the simple fact it is a contract year and it would show he is committed to the team. But Im not up in arms about it. Cant wait for the season. #BoltUp

    • Stefanie Smith

      Ok. I can buy that. They are sort of in the Tony Gonzalez phase of their career. Yeah, that makes sense.

  • Sergio Quintero

    If I remember reading Freeney was never much into minicamp, Gates lets be honest the end of the line is closer than we want to accept and if he wants to ease into it more power to him. Gates better be careful even more of a chance Green takes his spot and production, if allowed to be the principal TE, something to think about.

    Mathews no big deal until he starts missing mandatory stuff.

    • Ernie Padaon

      Green needs to be cutting into that time anyway. I wonder if he could be the starter by the end of the year. 0

      • Sergio Quintero

        Green has superstar potential, I want to see what he can do with starters snaps, in particular I think he can be huge help in improving the red zone troubles.

        Considering the chargers might be facing the top 2 secondaries in the NFL to starts the season (Arz,Sea), a difference maker in the inside might be their equalizer.

  • Marcel West-Bailey

    I’m happy Matthews wasn’t there. Less chance of him getting injured.

  • Stefanie Smith

    Gates has talked about it. He has passed on OTAs for awhile. He even did it when Norv was still coaching. But he did that when his foot with that plantar fascitis? was giving him a problem.
    Not to quote Peyton Manning, but when you get sick of the drudgery part. i.e. OTAs, practices, film watching, this voluntary stuff, it is time to call it a day.
    This is all part of it. Yes, it is voluntary, but if they want to be leaders, they should be there… even if only sitting on the bench and barking out ideas. With the exception of Freeney, who is working out with his trainers and continuing rehab, they should all be there.

    I would like to know why they don’t want to be there.

  • arnie

    You do realize it’s voluntary? Yeah we would like them to be there, and we think they should. The simple fact is they don’t have to be. That means this a great opportunity for the young players to get some extra time in. There are no coaches allowed on the field at this time, so it’s mostly Strength an Conditioning at this point.

    • Stefanie Smith

      Yes, everyone realizes it is voluntary. But people can still ask, why didn’t they voluntarily show up? Young players need to learn from the vets. This is their first time to work with the defense and the vets that show up.

      From the Chargers’ site: “OTAs mark the first time this offseason that the offense and defense can practice against each other. 11-on-11, 9-on-7, and 7-on-7 drills are permitted, but any form of live contact is not allowed. What makes the first week of OTAs particularly exciting is that it gives the first glimpse of the coaches’ plans for the upcoming season. For instance, it wasn’t until OTA’s last year that we found out Marcus Gilchrist was switching from cornerback to safety. Also, while the rookies had a taste of the NFL last weekend during rookie minicamp, they become fully ingrained in the team by practicing alongside the veterans.”

      If it was a waste of time, it would’t be a scheduled activity.

      • arnie

        It’s still voluntary.

  • RZ

    Coach knows why they’re not there, he’s not worried about,so WGAF.