Mini camp wrapped up at Chargers Park on Thursday. With a month off before the start of training camp, many players head to their hometowns to relax or hang out with family and friends. Many use the time to study the playbook and schemes, especially with a new head coach in place.
It’s different for offensive guard
It may be Rinehart’s first season with the San Diego Chargers, but he already knows the schemes. He studied them for three years in Buffalo when Chargers offensive line coach Joe D’Alessandris held the same position there during Rinehart’s first three seasons in the NFL.
“Just coming in, having an advantage, knowing the techniques are expected and just the way Joe D. (D’Alessandris) expects the whole practice to go, it’s a lot different than a lot of the coaches,” Rinehart said.
Most players in his position would simply relax during their time off. Not Rinehart.
“I’m getting ready to fly back to Iowa,” he said. “(I) still live in my college town. I’ll just train with the college team. Do that, then on the weekends, relax a little bit. Just go back and work.”
With familiarity of the schemes and how Coach D’Alessandris operates, Rinehart is more than willing to share his knowledge with his teammates.
“Basically just told the guys, as far as practice goes, just be ready to work,” he said. “He kind of expects it one way and I’ve been around him long enough to know that he’s one of the coaches that if he tells you to do something, it’s because he believes it works, not just because that’s how he’s always done it. He’s open to change if stuff’s not working. He has a mindset that you do what’s expected of you, and then if you do that, you’re going to succeed.”
Yet, in the end, Rinehart is still a new Charger and adjusting to new teammates. The OTA’s and mini camps have gone a long way toward helping him get familiar with his fellow Chargers.
“It’s been pretty good,” Rinehart said. “Obviously, the first couple of days, you’re just trying to learn how to set up and get pointed in the right direction. Now we’re starting to work into the details, make adjustments and communicate as one offensive line, and adjust to the plays and all work together.”
“The key thing up front is to have five guys communicating together,” McCoy said. “When five guys up front are all on the same page and can speak the same language, that’s the key. The center directs a lot of traffic. Certain players make certain calls. And obviously, Chad was with Joe (D’Alessandris) and (assistant offensive line coach) Andrew (Dees) in Buffalo, so he was a step ahead of the game. It was easy for him to come in there and communicate with the offensive linemen of some adjustments or maybe be able to converge some things, ‘Hey, this is what you guys called before, this is why we call this,’ so he’s been a huge addition to this football team.”
For Rinehart, it’s all about the team. His goals are simple.
“Be one of the starters and contribute positively to the team and contribute to the wins, and mainly just do everything the coaches expect of me,” Rinehart said.