COSTA MESA, Calif. -- Except for the first day of training camp and the joint practices against the New Orleans Saints, the crowds were not overwhelming for the Los Angeles Chargers at Jack Hammett Sports Complex in the team's first preseason in its new digs.
But overall, coach Anthony Lynn said the facility worked out well for his coaching staff and players in the team's first training camp in Orange County, including using the locker rooms and fields at Orange Coast College across the street.
The Chargers maxed out with just over 5,000 people in attendance for the opening day of camp, a figure they also hit during the joint practices against the Saints. On the other days, the Chargers averaged roughly 2,000 fans per day over the three weeks of training camp, according to the team. The Chargers broke camp Wednesday.
"It's been a productive camp," Lynn said. "Fan support has been outstanding. And the people here in Costa Mesa were great hosts. So it was a good camp."
Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers said it took some getting used to, but his first training camp away from Chargers Park in San Diego was a good experience overall.
"I thought it went about as smooth as it can go," Rivers said. "Obviously, it's not ideal in terms of shuttling and moving all over, but I thought the staff did a heck of a job of making it all work.
"Shoot, we appreciate the fans being out here, the support we've had since day one of camp. And the facilities were great."
Following is a roundup of the three weeks of training camp.
Highlight: Chargers WR Keenan Allen's takedown of Rams CB Nickell Robey-Coleman in one of three fights during the Chargers-Rams joint scrimmage at UC Irvine got his team going and was the most memorable moment in camp. The Chargers and Rams saw two more fights break out during the spirited workout.
Lowlight: Rookie Forrest Lamp suffered a season-ending ACL injury to his right knee on Day 5, which was the low point of camp. A second-round pick, Lamp was projected to compete with Kenny Wiggins for the starting right-guard job. Instead, Lamp faces an arduous rehab as he works to get healthy for the 2018 season.
Training camp superstar: You have to go with rookie safety Desmond King. The Iowa product has been impressive during camp and in preseason games with his ability to make plays all over the field, and he appears to have earned a role on this team.
Overrated storyline: The Chargers have not been decimated by injuries three weeks into camp. Yes, they did lose Lamp for the season and starting linebacker Denzel Perryman for at least two months. But other than that, the Chargers are experiencing the same bumps and bruises the 31 other NFL teams experience. The difference this year is that Lynn has been more transparent in providing information on those bumps and bruises for players who are sitting out and resting. As in every season, depth will be an overriding issue and a determining factor in how many games the Chargers win. But the Chargers are not a beat-up team heading into the regular season.
Underrated storyline: That said, depth remains an issue, which is something we've seen play out this preseason. When the starters are out there, the Chargers look as though they can play with anyone. But once the second and third units take the field, there's a significant dip in play and execution. It's one of the reasons Lynn said he wants to get a long look at the backups even in the team’s third preseason game, which usually serves as a dress rehearsal for the starters.
Boston a fan favorite: Every day, it seemed safety Tre Boston signed a ton of autographs after practice. And you could always spot him during warm-ups, dancing and having fun. The vocal Boston brought a new energy to the Chargers on defense, but he has to play to his potential on the field.
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Best offensive player: It's hard not to go with Rivers here. He has played only one series so far in exhibition play, and that was the opening drive against the Seattle Seahawks, marching the Chargers 75 yards on 13 plays for a touchdown. The offense looks much different without the 35-year-old in there. His pinpoint accuracy and command of the playbook makes the offense go. RB Melvin Gordon has also played well.
Best defensive player: A tie between Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. Both players were consistent pass-rushers and also played the run well. The Chargers' dynamic duo should be two of the most feared pass-rushers in the league.
Best special-teams player: Second-year punter Drew Kaser is No. 2 in the league through two preseason games, averaging 51.4 yards per punt, including two downed inside the 20-yard line. The Texas A&M product has been more consistent and is playing with more confidence.
Thumbs-up for joint practices: Several players lauded the use of joint practices as a changeup, instead of working only against each other. Specifically, Rivers liked the idea of getting extra reps against the Rams and Saints and hopes Lynn uses joint practices in future training camps.
"When you have some of those joint practices, it's almost like you had two extra preseason games," Rivers said. "Even though we didn't tackle to the ground, but we had a lot of snaps, a lot of work in those practices."