Chargers Training Camp is on the horizon. The Bolts will host 10 open practices as they welcome fans back to Jack Hammett Sports Complex in Costa Mesa.
The Bolts are looking for a repeat appearance in the postseason as they enter Year 3 under Chargers Head Coach Brandon Staley, and have a roster filled with talent and work ethic.
Chargers.com will take a look at each position group leading up to training camp, beginning with the quarterbacks.
Who's on the roster?
Justin Herbert (4th NFL season; 4th with Chargers), Easton Stick (5;5) and Max Duggan (1;1).
Take a look at some of the best shots of Justin Herbert's 2023 offseason
Herbert returns for Year 4 with the Bolts and could be primed for his best season yet.
He appears to at full health from rib and shoulder injuries he dealt with in 2022, the latter of which limited him for part of the voluntary offseason program.
But once Herbert dove into team drills this spring, he looked perhaps better than he did at any point last season by showing off his arm strength, accuracy and decision making.
The pairing of Herbert and new Chargers Offensive Coordinator Kellen Moore is expected to bring a boost to a Bolts offense that was solid a year ago but could be even better in 2023.
"He's just really detailed, really diligent with his work," Moore said of Herbert. "He really has just been awesome to kind of collaborate and make sure, as we go through this process, that we don't lose anything as we go through a transition.
"I think that's one big part of this thing, is that there's been a lot of success," Moore added. "Justin has had a lot of success his first few years. We want to make sure we build off of that and not start from scratch."
Herbert let it loose this spring by zipping passes all over (and down) the field in 7-on-7 drills.
The hope is that trend continues in training camp and the regular season.
The Bolts also have Stick and Duggan on the roster, with the former set to be the backup quarterback this season.
"Just to make plays. [Moore has] kind of talked about it, 'Go do your job. You know exactly what you're doing. Go through your reads.' He's going to do his best to put us in a position to win. That's my job as a quarterback, as well, to be the best teammate, the best quarterback that I can be." — Herbert on his mindset in 2023.
Player to watch: Easton Stick
Herbert would be the easy answer here, and all eyes are certainly going to be on him.
But we're also interested to see if Stick can build off a solid spring as he gets ready to be the No. 2 QB for the first time in his career.
The 2019 fifth-round pick has impressed coaches and teammates behind the scenes over the past four seasons, including being a sounding board for Herbert in the meeting room and on the sidelines.
That was enough for the Chargers to bring him back this offseason and give him a chance to have a bigger role as Herbert's backup.
The Bolts will obviously go as far as Herbert takes them this season, but don't discount the role Stick could play along the way.
Key question: Can Herbert have his best year yet?
Ask anyone around the league and their eyes light up when describing Herbert.
The 25-year-old seemingly has it all when it comes to the quarterback position, whether that's his build, athleticism, quick processing or leadership skills.
Yet it also feels as if Herbert still has room to take his game (and the Chargers offense) to another level going forward.
Getting more explosive plays through the air should help both this season.
"This is going on Justin's fourth season in the NFL, so I think he knows who he is as a player," Staley said. "He's improved so much. These guys around them, you will be aggressive when you have the type of weapons that we have."
Herbert said last month that he came away from the offseason program in a great spot with his relationship with Moore and with his knowledge of the new offense.
He, too, mentioned the hope for more a more aggressive aerial attack.
"Yeah, I'd like to think so. I think that's always the goal for an offense, is having those explosive plays, whether that's through the run game or the pass game," Herbert said. "Kellen, he has a great mind.
"He's done such a great job of kind of interpreting exactly what he wants for this offense," Herbert added. "It's a clear message for us as an offensive unit of what he's trying to accomplish."
Herbert was once again among the league's best quarterbacks in 2022, helping will the Bolts to the playoffs even as he battled numerous injuries along the way.
The stage is now set for the Chargers franchise quarterback to potentially reach new heights — something that won't be easy in a loaded AFC — as he stakes his claim as one of the game's best players at his position.
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