Three more days.
That’s all that’s left in the Chargers’ 2018 offseason program before the players head their separate ways for some rest and relaxation prior to the grind of training camp.
The Bolts first reported on April 16 to begin Phase I of the program. The team’s mandatory minicamp, which takes place Tuesday through Thursday, marks the culmination of an important two months that often goes overlooked.
Most consider training camp the start of the season, but truthfully, it’s the offseason program that plants the seeds for the upcoming year.
“It’s all about culture,” Russell Okung explained. “I know what I’m looking for out of myself as well as my other teammates. It’s the tenacity we bring to every day, and the amount of determination and focus we need to carry that out.”
“We’re a tight group and everyone has come together even more (this offseason),” added Casey Hayward. “Everyone knows how close we were last year to making the playoffs. Everyone has the ultimate goal of winning the division. That puts you in the playoffs, and you just go from there. Everyone knows how close we are. And we’re tighter than ever.”
The players consider this year’s program a rousing success, which is why they are determined to end it on a high note over the next three days.
“We’re preaching this mantra of competing in every moment of every day (in) every phase,” said Okung. “Minicamp is another opportunity to do that. I think we’ll get a good look at the young guys. Guys who are coming in to compete for jobs. That’s what it’s all about. Minicamp is going to be a really good test for us to see how we can finish this offseason. And I want to see how gritty of a team we are. Are we gritty? How important is it to us to compete day in and day out?”
The offseason program is like school, where at the end of it everyone goes their separate ways. However, unlike classes where students coast by the final few days with eyes toward the summer, the Bolts are approaching minicamp with steadfast determination.
“We’ve got to finish what we started this offseason,” Jahleel Addae said with authority. “Not even talking practice, but coming in from the start and getting prepared for what we want to accomplish. We’ve got to keep building. We’ve got to leave a sweet taste in our mouths before we head off for the next six weeks. So we feel good when we come back and rev up again.”
Take a look at the best catches, drills, and smiles on Day 9 of OTAs.