Chargers Head Coach Anthony Lynn has been steadfast in his message to the newest members of the roster:
Stay in your playbook.
Los Angeles is in its final days of organized team activities (OTAs) before next week’s mandatory minicamp. On Monday, Lynn explained time is of the essence for the team’s youngest players to retain and implement the information they’ve been taught in a short period of time.
“I told them, ‘You’re here to learn football right now,’ and they’re so far behind,” Lynn said. “If you’re going to leave an impression on myself or [a] coach or anybody in this organization, you have to know what you’re doing.
“I just believe when you have that knowledge, you can play with more confidence. You play with more confidence, you can play faster and you can make plays – and that’s what we need to see as soon as possible.”
Time is precious when players and coaches come together during the offseason, especially for the rookies. Right now, they’re playing from behind.
As if moving to a new city and starting a new profession weren’t enough, the start of rookie minicamp came 25 days after veterans had already been working out at Hoag Performance Center. At that time – May 10 – Lynn said “every minute” should be dedicated to the playbook.
The early fruits of their labor were on display Monday.
“The younger players moved around a lot faster today,” Lynn said. “It just tells me they studied over the weekend. They’re getting more familiar with what we’re doing and I thought it showed up, especially those young defensive backs.”
Safety Nasir Adderley didn’t participate in Monday’s OTA, but the rookie has garnered praise from Lynn and Defensive Coordinator Gus Bradley in his short time in Costa Mesa. At the start of OTAs, Bradley said Adderley was “picking things up at a fast pace.”
June isn’t exactly the best time to judge, though. Whether it’s Adderley or another newcomer, safety Adrian Phillips thinks he’ll learn a lot more about his rookie teammates in late July and August.
“At OTAs, it's kind of hard,” Phillips said. “You just kind of see if they're fluid or not, but when we get to training camp, we really are going to see what they're about. We expect them to do the same thing that they've done here. Nas was picking the ball off in college, it's what we expect here.”
Part of being a pro is taking initiative. Lynn said he’ll continue to stress the importance of studying, even though the great ones don’t need reminders.
“I just got to meet some of these kids, but if you want to be the best, you have that passion and you're driven already,” Lynn said. “You're going to be doing those things without someone telling you.”
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Get an up-close look as the Bolts get back on the Monday grind for OTAs.