Below are three takeaways from the second day of Chargers Training Camp.
Bosa establishing early bond with Mack
Thursday marked the second day of Chargers Training Camp in Costa Mesa where the team hosted another 90-minute practice open to fans. Under the warm Southern California sunshine, the team went through individual drills and group drills, plus live 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills.
While OLB Joey Bosa is fully accustomed to life in the NFL heading into his seventh season with the Bolts, the veteran defender has a lot of new faces on defense to get used to at this year's camp.
This year's defense will likely feature multiple new starters on defense, but Bosa feels like the new group has been together a lot longer than just a few months.
"It's been great," Bosa said when talking about how the new look defense has performed so far at camp. "Just a lot of great personalities it feels like we've kind of been together for longer than we have."
Bosa focused in on his relationship with veteran OLB Khalil Mack and explained why he feels he's gelled so well with Mack since they got the chance to suit up together.
"Me and Khalil, I feel like we are definitely going to have a close bond by the end of this year," Bosa said. "We're kind of are together all practice talking football the whole time. We have complimentary styles, I think. We rush quite differently so we can both learn a lot from each other."
Bosa talked about how their different styles of getting after the quarterback can help not only the defense, but it's taught Bosa a lot as well.
"I think sometimes those are the best people you can learn from because it's a different feel and they see things that you don't see," Bosa said. "They use technique that maybe you haven't learned or haven't used before. At the end of the day we both do similar things here and there, but we definitely have different styles and we've just been practicing and learning from each other."
Position battles across the roster
While non-padded training camp practices have a lighter feel than practice during the season, the Chargers are still hard at work battling for roster spots. When it comes to the Bolts' offense, there's an ongoing battle for the starting right tackle spot between Trey Pipkins III and Storm Norton.
Offensive Coordinator Joe Lombardi gave some insight into what factors will help decide who wins the battle for the starting job.
"I think consistency," Lombardi said. "You know guys that you can count on play-in and play-out. I think Storm [Norton] is just going to get better and I think when Trey [Pipkins III], kind of like Joshua [Palmer] when Trey went in and played last year it built some confidence, I think in him and us having confidence in him. So, that's going to be a very important [position battle].
Head coach Brandon Staley explained on Wednesday that both Norton, who started 15 games at right tackle last season, and Pipkins will have equal reps at right tackle during the process of naming a starter. For Lombardi, the start of the preseason will be a crucial time to evaluate the two tackles.
"Right now we're out here in just helmets," he said. "So, we are not getting as much information as we'll start getting in a few days when we put the pads on and then the preseason games will be real important. I think we are going to end up being a lot better there regardless of who wins that position and I think we are going to feel real good about the depth as well."
Another position on offense that is under evaluation is the No. 2 running back on the depth chart behind Austin Ekeler. Lombardi explained that time will tell, but his hopes are one of the three young running backs will rise to the challenge and solidify themselves as the number two running back.
"I expect to see growth from Larry [Rountree III] again mentally, just being more reliable from that prospective," he said. "Be excited to see Isaiah [Spiller] get going, obviously we felt good about him as a prospect and see how he transitions and then Joshua [Kelley] we know a little bit more about and that's another guy we feel good [about]. That'll be very important to see who rises and wins that two spot."
Year 10 still feels like Year 1 for Keenan Allen
With 116 career games, over 8,500 receiving yards and nine NFL season under his belt, Keenan Allen said Year 10 feels just like his rookie season. Allen said he 'feels young' at practice on Thursday and talked about competing against the defense at this year's camp.
"It's been tough already. The defense is already looking like a 360 team. They kicked our [tails] today, which is a good thing. Hopefully, we can keep building on it."
Heading into his second year working with Lombardi and third season with quarterback Justin Herbert, Allen talked about the comfort he's gained within the system. As he prepares for his 10th season, Allen explained how his mindset has changed from when he first entered the league in 2013.
"Just understanding the game, understanding that I don't have to do too much, just try to get in shape," Allen said. "I don't have to do too much, just try not to get injured, try to last. They added (a 17th) game, so, hopefully, if we play this game the right way, we'll be in the playoffs. Definitely trying to be ready for that."
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