On the morning of June 15, Chargers Head Coach Brandon Staley gathered the Bolts together for a team meeting at Hoag Performance Center.
The Chargers were set to begin a two-day minicamp, and Staley had a message to deliver to his squad.
"There's a lot that's being talked about with this group right now," Staley said. "They're going to use words like 'talent' and 'AFC West' and 'Super Bowl.'
"It actually should upset you when someone says you're a 'talented' team, or you're a 'talented' player," Staley continued. "We're not a talented team. We're a tough team.
"You're going to hear me talk a lot of about it in training camp — Toughness. Discipline. Physicality," Staley added. "We've got a football team. We're an organization. We're about something. It starts with your practice field, your weight room. If all of us in here have that mindset, then this team will be special."
The Chargers 2022 season kicks off in exactly one month with a home opener against the Raiders.
Over the next few weeks, Chargers.com will look at each of those themes Staley wants to represent his team, beginning with Physicality.
The second-year head coach explained on a macro level how he wants physicality to resonate within his team.
"It establishes a mindset of how you want to play the game. Physicality is the essence of football, especially at the point of attack," Staley said. "This is a contact game and there's a lot of different forms of that. Blocking and tackling are the essence of that.
"But when you're covering people or trying to get open, there's a physicality that needs to express itself for you to be as good as you need to be," Staley continued.
"You do it by bringing in physical players, but then creating a lot of confidence in their assignment and technique so they can truly play as physical as they can," Staley added. "It's a theme for us this year, but we really want to be able to see it. Not just talk about it, but see it."
The Bolts have seen that play out to fruition this summer during training camp practices.
But in order to see that in August, and once the regular season begins, you have to go back to March to discover how parts of this roster were built.
In the span of three days — from March 16 to 18 — the Bolts beefed up their defense.
On the first day of the New League Year, the Chargers acquired edge rusher Khalil Mack from the Bears for a 2022 second-round pick, plus a 2023 sixth-round selection.
The 2016 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, Mack has 76.5 career sacks and is also a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame's 2010s All-Decade Team that was announced in April 2020.
Mack is also one of the league's top run defenders on the edge and will be counted upon to help shore up a run defense that ranked 30th in the league in 2021.