"On the go! On the color! Get set! Blue, go!
"That's fine—good uncoil, arched body, head up!
"Bring the elbow high, form a wedge in there.
"Don't wind up, Shea! If you wind up, you transmit power on a curved line. We want power on a what, Pat? On a straight line!"
Poor rookies, I thought throughout the practice. Joe's probably got them scared to death. They'll learn soon that Joe doesn't really hate anybody.
When practice ended, a lot of the veterans got together to work on their particular phases of the game. Henry Schmidt and Ron Nery were working with Sam Gruneisen and Ernie Wright on pass rush and pass protection; Dave Kocourek and Don Norton were running pass patterns for Tobin Rote; Dick Harris and Bud Whitehead were working against Dave and Don; Sherman Plunkett was doing wind sprints in an attempt to trim down from his reporting weight of 324 pounds. The field was as busy as it had been during the regular practice session.
Practice started out on a pleasant note today. On my way to the field Bob Bur-dick, our publicity man, told me that he would need Earl Faison and myself for some pictures. We spent the next five minutes posing with Miss San Diego Charger of 1963. I casually let her know that I was single, and she bluntly let me know that she had only recently graduated from high school.
Earl and I jogged back to practice. We reached the group just in time for the one blocking and tackling drill that players check the workout schedule for every day—hoping it isn't there. One-on-one it is called by the coaches; the players call it the pit drill, and this is a more fitting name. A defensive man and an offensive man line up opposite each other within the confines of two blocking bags that are spaced about two yards apart. Behind them is a back who must carry the ball within the same confines. Surrounding all of them is the rest of the team, rooting for its respective group.
It is tough enough blocking those big defensive mooses when they don't know whether to expect a run, pass or draw, but in the pit drill they know it is going to be a run and they know what count it is coming on.