The San Diego Chargers broke training camp on Thursday, with two exhibition games still to play and at least one position battle to be decided.
Breaking camp doesn't mean a change of scenery as it does for other teams. The Chargers hold their summer workouts at their regular-season headquarters. They went back to their regular-season mode on Thursday, which means practice was closed to the media.
Kynan Forney continues to battle rookie Louis Vasquez at right guard.
"It's a very, very competitive spot," coach Norv Turner said. "That decision probably won't be made until we get ready to play the opening game."
Turner also said he likes the addition of free agent Kevin Burnett at inside linebacker, where the Chargers are expected to have a rotation that will include Stephen Cooper and Tim Dobbins.
"I'm just excited what Kevin has brought to our defensive group," Turner said. "He complements Coop awfully well. He's a high-energy guy. He's very good in coverage. He's been impressive in our situations we've created. Playing the run, he runs sideline to sideline extremely well."
Clinton Hart said he believes he's held onto his starting job at strong safety, where he was competing against Steve Gregory.
"I've done everything I could do, proved that I'm ready to play," Hart said. "I got myself healthy, I made some plays. I handled camp pretty good. It's just getting back comfortable with things. I feel good about what I've done. It's up to them what they decide, but I'm willing to do whatever. I believe I'm the strong safety. That's the way I look at it."
Hart also likes the addition of Burnett.
"Having a linebacker that can run like a defensive back and cover tight ends and cover a slew of receivers, that's definitely a big help," Hart said.
Turner said he was pleased with the players' approach to training camp.
"We've always, I think, been very aggressive in what we've tried to get done in training camp," he said. "But I think our players have a greater understanding of what we want to accomplish and I like the way they're responding to it."
Turner said this is a mature, focused group.
"They've been together, they've been through a lot of different things in the last three to four years," Turner said. "Hopefully you're stronger because of it and you grow because of it."
The Chargers won their third straight AFC West title last year, thanks in large part to Denver's historic collapse. They finished the regular season 8-8, beat Indianapolis in the wild-card round before losing to eventual Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh.
The Chargers talked openly the last two summers about getting to the Super Bowl. While that remains their goal, the chatter has subsided.
"That's one thing I think where we have matured is we've kind of quit with all that talk," quarterback Philip Rivers said. "Honestly, that's everybody's goal. It's a little more businesslike."
Rivers said the Chargers need "to stay focused for hopefully 20 weeks. That's the plan. We've been through a lot together and should be able to weather anything that comes along."
Rivers signed a six-year contract extension Monday worth $93 million, with $38 million guaranteed.