Below are three takeaways from podium sessions on the seventh day of Chargers Training Camp:
Brandon Staley sees confidence, 'larger menu of plays' from Bolts offense
Wednesday's practice was a shorter one, with the Chargers not [racticing in full pads and only going for an hour or so. Even so, there was still plenty of intensity and competition.
Chargers Head Coach Brandon Staley said after practice that the intensity is exactly "where it should be" at this point in camp, and emphasized the importance of building a foundation on the practice field. With seven practices in the books, Staley also gave his evaluation of how the Bolts' offense has looked so far.
"They have very good operation and chemistry. It starts up front, the confidence that that group has playing together," Staley said. "They're playing physical up front, a clean operation, and they're blocking good players. I can really see how they're playing together.
"I think the skill players are very sure of who they're playing with," Staley added. "I think we're able to call a much larger menu of plays for these guys, specifically for these guys."
Some new faces have made an impact early on, as wide receiver DeAndre Carter had a pair of touchdown catches Wednesday. Tight end Gerald Everett has also looked solid, and second-year wide receiver Joshua Palmer is more comfortable in his sophomore season.
Staley explained why there's even more to be excited about at this point at camp:
"They're a tough cover. I knew that last year in camp," Staley said. "Each and every day, I was like, 'Hey, this is a tough cover.' But, now, it's so much tougher because they know have an ever further command of the system.
"Now, they're able to play even more confidently," Staley added. "Really excited about where they're at, and they have to continue to improve."
Everett's versatility showing at practice
During Everett's introductory press conference back in April, he explained how he views himself as more of an athlete and playmaker rather than a 'traditional tight end'. On the seventh day of camp, No. 7 continued to show flashes of his playmaking ability within the Bolts offense.
Everett has displayed that versatility in his career, whether it's picking up yards after the catch, lining up in the backfield or even getting handoffs on jet sweeps.
Everett talked about his ability to execute those kinds of plays and what type of assets he looks to be on gamedays.
"If I can contribute to the offense or the team, if I'm able to do it, then I think that it should be incorporated," Everett said of his ability to execute jet sweeps and screens. "I'd be happy to equip the offense with those types of things, whether it be jet sweep and screens or pass protection, it doesn't really matter. Just one of the few things I want to add to the dimensions they already have."
Everett, who has set a new high in receiving yards each year of his career, also talked about what goals he has for himself in 2022.
"I want to do better than I did last year," Everett said. "I think that should be a key component as you progress in this league, really with anything in life. You should try to eclipse yourself in the previous year and previous term. I want to show that I'm more of a complete player than last year."
Everett is teaming up up with fellow tight end Donald Parham, Jr., who has made big plays of his own at camp. Everett talked about their growing relationship and which athlete Parham's 6-foot-8 frame reminds him of.
"He's huge [laughter]. He's like LeBron [James] playing tight end. I definitely want to complement him and [TE] Tre' [McKitty]. We're going to have a great unit," Everett said.
Joseph-Day talks complexity of the defensive scheme, facing Chargers O-line
Another one of the Chargers new offseason additions also spoke after Wednesday's practice.
Defensive tackle Sebastian Joseph-Day opened up about how his familiarity with the defensive scheme has allowed him to fit right in with the Bolts new-look defense at camp.
"I would say it's complex," Joseph-Day said of Staley's scheme. "I would say it adapts. It adapts to whoever we play, and I think that's what makes Coach Staley such a great coach, what makes his defense such a complex defense.
"He's able to adapt to whoever we're playing, at least with my time and past experience with him. We were able to play multiple things, we do multiple coverages and stuff like that," Joseph-Day added. "So, it's pretty cool. I think we're very adaptable, and it's very cool to see."
The offensive and defensive lines engaged in 1-on-1 battles at Monday and Tuesday's practice. Joseph-Day on Wednesday talked about what he's seen from the Bolts' O-line group so far, and why teammate Corey Linsley is one of the best centers in the league.
"Corey Linsley, I believe, is the best center in the league. He's the best center I've faced, by far," Joseph-Day said. "I remember in 2020 when we were the number one defense facing him at Green Bay. He's by far the best center I've faced.
"Then you've got [Matt] Feiler, eight-year vet, very good, stout. A lot more athletic than people think. I feel like for a guy that size, being able to move the way he does is really impressive," Joseph-Day continued. "And then [Rashawn] Slater, obviously, a great anchor, real athletic, can move, as well, strong.
"Then, obviously, with the rookie, Zion [Johnson], I think he has a lot of tangibles that are really good," Joseph-Day added. "Good lower half, strong hands, smart, obviously, because you see him out here running plays and I'll see him — it doesn't look like he messes up very often, so that's what you want in an O-lineman."
The Bolts have a scheduled off day from practice on Thursday. On Friday the team will return to practice for the eighth practice of camp, with practice open to the public again starting at 8 a.m.
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