Below are three takeaways from Chargers Offensive Coordinator Kellen Moore, outside linebacker Joey Bosa and running back Austin Ekeler's media availability on Thursday:
Moore's early thoughts on the offense
The second day of Chargers Training Camp is in the books.
The nearly two-hour practice session in Costa Mesa was without pads once again, but the offense continued to show the tendency to go deep like they had done during the first day.
This has been Chargers Offensive Coordinator Kellen Moore's first chance to really see his offense and how it plays out on the field, and he has not shied away from airing it out early.
And although it might be just two days into his first training camp experience with the Bolts, he's already enjoyed a lot about it both on and off the field.
"First of all, I think it's an awesome set up," Moore said. "It's really, really cool.
"I love the environment," Moore added. "It's been a lot of fun, it's been good."
This training camp so far has been Moore's first chance to see the full arsenal of wide receivers, as Joshua Palmer missed spring practices.
But Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Palmer and Quentin Johnston have all made their big plays throughout the first couple of days that has created excitement for Moore and the potential of the group.
"Just such a fun group, a really deep group," Moore said. "A lot of really good players in that receiver room, guys that play different styles and different ways.
"Joshua Palmer, being that last guy to finally get on the field, it's been awesome," Moore added. "Really excited about him, he's done a tremendous job out here and all those other guys as well."
The excitement has stretched past just the pass catchers as well though.
Running back Austin Ekeler has noticed the energy offense throughout the first two days and is excited to continue the process over the rest of camp.
"Obviously, Kellen Moore has had a lot of success," Ekeler said. "He's attempting to bring that to us with our chemistry of who we have. We have some great players. I just talked to him after practice today and I was like, 'Man, I'm excited.' We were making plays, guys were flying around, we were having fun. Guys are healthy right now, so there's this energy feel to it.
"We're going in the right direction," Ekeler later added. "I feel so good about where we're going in the right direction. I feel so good about where we're going."
Moore will get to iron out the offense throughout the next couple of weeks as the team builds towards Week 1.
And once the pads come on next week, Moore believes he'll have an even better evaluation of where the offense stands overall, especially with the run game.
"I think it's a huge aspect," Moore said. "At the end of the day, that's how our game is played. The offseason is structured how it is, which is for the longevity of players and all of that sort of stuff, which makes total sense, but there is an element we've got to get into pads and go through that process."
Bosa talks improvement entering Year 8
Outside linebacker Joey Bosa is excited to put the work in during this year's training camp.
The four-time Pro Bowler spoke Thursday with exctiment about what's ahead, noting how much better he's felt physically this year compared to last year — something he's echoed during the offseason.
"I'm feeling as good. I'm feeling, I would say, much better this year," Bosa said. "I'm working through a few things, as always, but getting back into shape is never easy. I'm feeling good.
"Today was a little better than yesterday. I assume it's going to get better every single day. It's just great to be out here," Bosa added. "It's great to get away from the Florida heat, finally, and be in a manageable climate for once. I'm just feeling good. I'm excited. I'm excited to get the year rolling."
The longtime member of the Bolts is preparing for his eighth year in the NFL.
And even with the tons of success Bosa has experienced during his time as a pro, he spoke about the areas of his game he's tried to improve during the offseason up to this point.
Bosa pointed to his weight as an area he's changed entering this year's training camp, as he looked to get back to the weight he was at a couple of seasons ago. He believes that this help him in all facets of his game.
"I think you're always trying to improve on everything," Bosa said. "I specifically tried to really eat good and put some weight on this offseason, get back to my weight I was at a few years ago, where I could really use my power. Really handle guys in the run and be more effective in that part of the game."
"I was playing around 250 [pounds] last year. I'm probably 265," Bosa later added. "I mean, camp is rough. After a long day, I've probably lost some weight. I've been training around 265, close to 270 this offseason.
Bosa continued: "I just think I'll be a much more effective player and pass rush with my power, and be able to play the run a little more dirty. I kind of played at that weight for my first four or five years. Just recently with the outside linebacker stuff, have felt comfortable dropping, but I think it's a big part of my game to be able to be powerful and be strong. I think it was definitely a good change this offseason."
Check out the best photos from the first day of Training Camp 2023 at the Jack Hammett Sports Complex in Costa Mesa!
The Chargers run defense has been a point of emphasis and talking point throughout the offseason with the team looking to improve in that department. Bosa's absence last season also had something to do with the struggles given that that is one of the many areas he ranks among the league's best at his position.
But even then, Bosa believes that he has more room to grow and is looking for the run defense to improve in both the team and himself.
"I think the run game is a big focus on both sides of the ball this year," Bosa said. "[Head] Coach [Brandon] Staley has brought it up the last couple of meetings. Obviously, it's still only Day 2. Once we get the pads on, I'm sure we're going to be working that plenty.
"For me, specifically, I felt like my run defense has kind of gone down in the last couple of years," Bosa added. "I'm super focused, obviously, pass rushing is a big part of my game, but I'm super focused on having more of an impact in the run game. I hope that trickles down to everybody else. I think we just need to be a little more aggressive up front and stop just locking on the guys in doing our job. We need to really make plays, beat a guy, get off of them quick and make plays in the backfield, which is a big emphasis for us this year."
Check out some shots of the Bolt Fam pouring into the Jack Hammett Sports Complex for the opening of Chargers Training Camp 2023!
What does a 'free' Herbert look like?
It's been a noteworthy few days for the Bolts.
Not only did training camp kick off, but quarterback Justin Herbert signed a multi-year extension that keeps him in the powder blues for years to come.
The admiration for Herbert and his new deal has come from everywhere and the quarterback stated feels 'free' and he's now able to just play football following the extension.
What does a 'free' Justin Herbert look like under center?
Even his teammates aren't 100 percent sure — but they for sure are excited for it.
"It's great. This guy, I thought that he was playing fearless before," Ekeler said with a laugh. "He was going out there and slinging it around, having success. If he feels that way, that's great."
"Us, as football players, often times we have to mask our emotions," Ekeler later added. "If he is saying that that is going to take some weight off of his shoulders because he has some more dollars in the bank account, even better."
And Herbert has been slinging it so far throughout the first two days of camp.
The Bolts quarterback, wide receivers and offense as a whole has looked impressive and the unit can't help but feel excited for the direction they're going.
"I've been seeing a little glimpse of it out here," Ekeler said. "I don't know if you guys watched practice today, but balls are flying all over the place and getting caught. I'm like, 'Let's go.'
"That's what I told Kellen, I was like, 'I don't know about you, but we're looking good, man.' Excited for it," Ekeler added.
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