SAN DIEGO - Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers thought Manti Te'o had a decent first interaction with San Diego's veterans.
"It didn't seem like he was lost or anything he didn't stand out, which was a good thing," Rivers said after the first practice of organized team activities - meaning helmets, jerseys and shorts, with no pads.
Te'o did get matched up with star tight end Antonio Gates a few times, which was "a quick welcome, Day 1," Rivers said.
Manti Te‘o stands with teammate Melvin Ingram during the San Diego Chargers’ first practice of organized team activities on Monday.
"Today was a good first day," said inside linebacker Donald Butler, who will be paired with Te'o in the Chargers' 3-4 defense.
The only person who didn't get to talk about the Punahou School graduate was Te'o himself - the team kept the rookie out of Notre Dame away from a large media contingent.
The Chargers have taken unusual steps to limit Te'o's time in front of the microphones. They refused to let reporters do customary one-on-ones with him after his introductory news conference during the draft, and have continued to refuse to set up interviews with him. Te'o, who was part of a girlfriend hoax that drew national headlines earlier this year, did speak after the first practice of rookie minicamp on Friday but was the only player off-limits Monday.
As Te'o walked off the field, an assistant coach put an arm around his shoulders and said he had to get to a meeting.
"We make decisions that we think are best for the organization," rookie head coach Mike McCoy said. "Like every other player, we've got a plan and we move forward with it. He addressed everyone the other day. We have a schedule for him and we're going to follow it. We have a belief in what we're doing and the way we're going to take care of our players."
Te'o, drafted in the second round last month, practiced with the first-team defense.
"He's done a nice job," McCoy said. "It was a good start for him this weekend. We have big expecta-tions for him coming in here and stepping in and playing for us. He's in there with the ones right now and we're going to see how much he can pick up."
Said Butler: "Obviously, we have high expectations for him coming in and playing and hopefully he can get our system down and come in and be productive."