With nearly two decades of coaching experience in the NFL, Anthony Lynn finally got his taste of his first mandatory mini camp as a head coach.
Did it go how he expected?
"Sometimes you have to be careful what you ask for," Lynn slyly said. "But this is something I've been asking for, for a long time. I'm excited to be a head coach, to lead a group of coaches and young men and be the face of this organization."
After a rough start to the week, which Lynn deemed "sluggish", he departed the field on Thursday pleased with how mini camp unfolded and how the offseason has gone thus far.
"I thought that was a productive offseason. First of all, I thought these guys did a heck of a job of doing some team building. Learning the system, competing well on the field against each other (and) taking care of one another. Just a highly productive offseason."
Despite the production, it can be hard to evaluate a team when players are only working in shells. Lynn and his staff look at all aspects of players' games but know that the real test will be what happens when the pads come on. However, this period of time is essentially invaluable to a player's development.
"You look at it from the communication standpoint, the execution standpoint; technique, fundamentals that the guys are picking up. That's kind of how we evaluate them now. But when we get the pads on (and) we play real football, that's a different story. But right now, you have to get to that point. These phases are teaching phases and some guys have caught on really fast."
Lynn explained how he breaks the offseason down into three phases. With OTAs and mini camp now things of the past, the Chargers are about to enter the second phase: six weeks of time off before training camp. This period of time gives players and coaches a final break before the craziness of camp kicks in.
The head coach himself is excited for this period. After all, it'll be the first time he can truly decompress after putting in extra work over the years.
"I'm probably going to get more time to relax. When you're an assistant (coach), these next six weeks are the only time to get ready to be a head coach. You spend all your time prepping to do something that you're not even doing yet. So yeah, I'm going to go relax."
While it's a lot of R&R, Lynn cites this off period as what he views is the biggest challenge. Frankly, he doesn't want to lose anything he's built so far and additionally, not have the group get caught up in off-field distractions.
However, if one thing is for certain, it's that Lynn has full confidence his group will be successful.
"(The challenge is) making sure everyone comes back in decent shape. We're going to get you in football shape when we get you in training camp, but we need to make sure we don't lose phase one and phase two…. We have a lot of high-character guys and smart football players. I think they understand that how to stay away and avoid those distractions. That's a plus."
The Chargers take the practice field as mini camp comes to an end.