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Peter King Optimistic About Chargers 2022 Season


Peter King's annual training camp tour stopped in Costa Mesa this week.

King, who pens a weekly 'Football Morning in America' column for NBC Sports, was in town for both joint practices between the Chargers and Cowboys. caught up with the longtime NFL scribe to get his thoughts on the Bolts, who made headlines Wednesday by signing Derwin James, Jr. to a multi-year contract.

Count King as a big fan of the move.

"Derwin James being here accomplishes a lot of things for the Chargers," King said. "No. 1, he's a really good player all over the defense. And he's also, personally for them, just a really important figure, meaning he does so many things in the community, he's a good person. He's really important to all aspects of the building.

"When a guy signs, and you see everyone in the organization go up to him after practice and is hugging him, he touches all parts of the organization. There's a value to that," King added.

As for the team itself, King spoke with players, coaches and front-office personnel over two days to get a pulse on where the Chargers are at as camp winds down.

"I think they're very confident. I think they're a little tired of people telling them how great they are. [Chargers General Manager] Tom Telesco is," King said. "I just think they figure they have to just go out and do it.

"They're in a position right now where they feel like they're going to be good — and they might be really good — but they're tired of talking about it," King added. "They're a positive team and they embody the attitude of their coach [Brandon Staley], who is a power-of-positive-thinking guy. I sense they're really optimistic after a painful end to last year."

Speaking of Staley, King noted that he doesn't expect the Chargers head coach to alter his approach or mindset entering Year 2 in charge.

"I think some coaches might be a little bit shaken about their strategic and personal beliefs after the way the season ended," King said. "But I think he didn't want to overreact to that, with the fourth-and-1 call [against the Raiders in Week 18]. And I don't think he will overreact to that.

"Anyone who watched the Chargers late in the year knows they needed help with their run defense," King added. "They did something about it. Sebastian Joseph-Day is a huge piece of this team. Run defense isn't sexy, but it's a huge piece for them. They're better, but now they have to go do it."

King, who chatted with Khalil Mack and Justin Herbert during his time at Jack Hammett Sports Complex, offered some final thoughts on the Chargers young quarterback.

The Bolts potential in 2022 and beyond, King said, is sky high.

"He is one of the 10 or 12 quarterbacks in football who could get on a roll and win a Super Bowl any year," King said. "The Chargers understand that, and I think that's one of the reasons they moved so aggressively to sign Mike Williams.

"They know they have the firepower to play a really, really good season on offense," King added. "Anytime you have a quarterback that good, you want to make sure you don't waste a year. I don't think the Chargers are going to waste this year."

Check out the best photos from the Bolts hosting the Dallas Cowboys on the sixteenth day of Training Camp 2022 at the Jack Hammett Sports Complex in Costa Mesa!

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