Chargers’ DeAndre Carter and Joshua Palmer find role model in Keenan Allen – Orange County Register
COSTA MESA – Keenan Allen is entering his 10th season in the NFL, all with the Chargers. He is a five-time Pro Bowl draft pick as a wide receiver, including last season. He caught 730 passes for 8,535 yards, an average of 11.7 yards per reception and 48 touchdowns in 116 career games, including 111 starts.
So who better for two receivers hoping to land big roles this season to study on video and model themselves on the field than 30-year-old Allen? DeAndre Carter and Joshua Palmer each said they have Allen’s greatest hits on their iPads, available for viewing and review at their fingertips.
“I’m not going to lie, I’ve been stealing moves from Keenan for years,” Carter said Tuesday after practice at the Jack Hammett Sports Complex. “Or try, anyway.”
Sometimes Carter and Palmer even show Allen pieces of his past.
“I showed him a piece from 2018,” Palmer said. “I’m going to ask him about it. I ask about some versions and ask him what he thought. He is open to conversation. He’s probably tired of me right now. I’ll tackle something and then I’ll say, ‘Here, I can show you.'”
Chargers employees are only too happy to provide Carter and Palmer with clips of Allen. After 10 seasons, there are plenty of killer pass catches from Philip Rivers and, the last two seasons, Justin Herbert.
When asked how far back the highlights go, Palmer asked, “When was his rookie year?” Said it was 2013, Palmer said, “So.” Allen, as a University of California rookie, formed an instant connection with Rivers, catching 71 passes for 1,046 yards and eight touchdowns.
Carter, 29, signed as a free agent in the offseason, having played with Washington, Chicago, Houston and Philadelphia during his career. He was signed primarily as a returner after making 58 catches for 296 yards and three touchdowns in 60 of four games. seasons in the NFL.
So far, he’s made an impression in camp with the Chargers, and not just for his shot returns. He made several catches in an intrasquad scrimmage on Sunday, Herbert saying of him, “He’s very friendly with the quarterback. He finds a way to get the ball back and make things happen.
Carter’s coach Brandon Staley said after Sunday’s game, “Our guys like to throw at him. It’s been like that since spring. He fitted in perfectly. He’s an exceptional teammate, a versatile player and he plays in many places. Then in the rematch he was a stallion.
No one on the list is faster than Carter, making him No. 1 on the punt return and kick return depth chart almost by default.
“Most of my career I’ve been a returner, but as people can see, I can also play catcher,” Carter said. “That’s how I came to the league. … I like our offense. We have a lot of freedom. I’m just trying to get on the same page as Justin and the quarterbacks. Its been good.”
Palmer, the Chargers’ 2021 third-round pick, had 33 catches for 353 yards and four touchdowns as a rookie. After a season of learning on the job and with Allen and Mike Williams, among others, as role models, Palmer, 22, said he was finding his comfort zone in his second camp.
“Learning (the offensive pattern) the first time, you’re trying to learn all the positions,” he said. “Now I know what everyone is doing. Now it’s the little things like lineups or exact points on the pitch that I’m supposed to finish. For the most part, I pretty much know what everyone has (to do), which is one less thing to worry about.
Staley was absent from practice in order to be with his youngest son, Grant, who underwent surgery on a fractured foot. Defensive coordinator Renaldo Hill called defensive plays in Staley’s absence. “I didn’t feel like it was anything different,” Hill said. …
The Chargers signed offensive lineman Cameron Hunt and waived offensive lineman Andrew Trainer. …
There was no change in the status of safety Derwin James Jr., whose hold-in reached day 11 of camp pending a contract extension. …
Defensive back Ja’Sir Taylor intercepted an errant pass from Herbert and returned it for a touchdown during the 11-on-11 portion of practice.