“Chargers–Season of Unknowns”
They are in camp, hoping to play football, but not knowing what is ahead.
For the Chargers, there are so many unanswered questions.
They are opening up camp in one of the nation’s hot-spots, Los Angeles and Orange County with the looming question, can they keep the infection situation out of their Costa Mesa camp?
Like everyone else, they have had no minicamps, no OTA workouts, no coaching hands on work with their top draft pick, the QB of the future Justin Herbert of Oregon.
What will life be like without Philip Rivers 4,000-yard passing seasons?
Is Troy Taylor anything more than a .500 journeyman quarterback?
They must replace the former Pro Bowl LT-Russell Okung, but with who since there are just kids there?.
There is no more Melvin Gordon, departed to the bitter enemy Denver Broncos, so a reliable player must arrive to help Austin Ekeler .
They have overhauled the linebacking corps and need to find instant playmakers at the positions once manned by Thomas Davis, Jatavis Brown, Denzell Perryman?
Will they have enough wide receiver depth to compliment Keenan Allen and Mike Williams?
Does the 5-year extension worth 135M given to DE-Joey Bosa seal the defense as the strength of the francnhise?
Moving into the So Fi Stadium, owned by the Rams, what will it be like if fans are allowed into the games, and will they be Chargers fans, or will it be the same atmosphere as it was in Carson, lots of fans wearing other teams colors?
On top of all that is the Virus-Crisis.
Chargers GM-Tom Telesco addressed all that in his training camp meeting:
..The health protocols are strict and stringent
..I am optimistic…we can do this correctly.
..Accountability and responsibility to be safe are utmost
..We have been hit with the hard reality of Miami-Minnesota
..We have two opponents..the virus..and who we play on Sunday
..Biggest challenge as a GM..safety first-but things keep changing
..Joey Bosa contract status will be solved
..Bosa has a 1-year deal worth (14.6M)..now 5-year extension
..The salary cap-I always have an eye on the future years
..Colin Kaeperneck-We have 3-QBs we are comfortable with
..No plans to bring him in unless there is a need at the position
..This roster must follow the protocols to a “T”
..We are not going to eliminate the virus..want minimize the risk.
..No players have indicated they will opt out yet.
..Likely out of the box thinking dealing with rookies and practices
..Players arriving in camp-came from different levels fitness
..These players will not be in equal shape
..We will have to evaluate rookies differently this summer
..They may not get as many reps-but need to be ready with injuries
..This is not even like a college season..they had spring practices
..We might do some split squads to give rookies more reps
..Alot more virtual meetings..1-on-1 individual meetings
..Masks all the time except on the field..meetings-training-weight
..We are dealing with 80 players and 100-support staff in building
..We have 14-days of heavy practice end of August-go play
..Tyrod Taylor..He has great makeup-leadership..can be mentor
..Taylor-#1 job get ready to play…communicating-natural to him
..He prepares and interacts well..
..Our QB-room is very good
..Justin Herbert-this is not a normal calendar for him
..When I was in Carolina-Kerry Collins played early as rookie
..With Colts-Peyton Manning-Andrew Luck played from Day-1
..Developing a high draft pick QB..not ‘1-Size Fits All’ plan
..Will let Herbert grow at his own pace
..I am not looking at individual benchmarks..but team success.
..Learning camp critical-different style offense..tweaking defense
..We will cut players from 90-to-80 to 69-but those guys will likely get a chance to be brought back.
..I expect things to change daily in our camp.
And so it begins for the Bolts, just like all 32-teams. Four days of medical tests, possible positive tests for virus, players who might opt out. Then onto the field for strength and conditioning, and virtual learning classes. After that, helmets and shells walkthrus and more class work. Then the final 14-days of camp in full pads with hitting.
Opening day vs the Bengals seems a long way away. Telesco and his coaches don’t think it is.
But the Chargers are unlike so many other teams. They have lots of questions on this roster. The next 48-days will be worth watching.