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Three Takeaways: Justin Herbert Leading 'Clean Operation' for Offense in Training Camp


Below are three takeaways from podium sessions on the 10th day of Chargers Training Camp:

'Clean operation' during Sunday's scrimmage

The Chargers changed things up for their 10th practice of training camp by hosting an intrasquad scrimmage Sunday evening. The Bolts scrimmage featured a lot of action as the starting offense faced the starting defense during the roughly 90-minute scrimmage. The second and third-team units also got a large number of reps with the full practice running over two hours.

Following Sunday's practice, Chargers Head Coach Brandon Staley recapped the session and gave his thoughts on what he saw out on the practice field.

"I thought that it was a clean operation," Staley said. "We got a lot of work in today as a football team in all three phases, and that's what we were shooting for, is for all three phases to get a lot of work.

"I think everybody around the Chargers did a really good job making this clean for our fans,' Staley added. "I love the transitions and the flow of the scrimmage. We came out of it really healthy and we came out of it a better football team, for sure."

When it comes to running a clean operation, Staley explained how important quarterback Justin Herbert's role is to the team operation at a high level.

"Your quarterback is going to define how you play in and out of the huddle, in and out of personnel groupings, the tempo that you play, the menu that you can activate," Staley said. "The more plays that you can activate, the better."

Herbert got the chance to take the field for five team periods that focused on moving the ball, the red zone and then a 2-minute drill. With Herbert taking a high number of reps at practice by Herbert, Staley had a lot to analyze.

"[Herbert] threw the ball at a really high-level tonight," Staley said. "He operated the two-minute drill, used his legs. He's had of quality camp.

"His teammates, he's really elevating his teammates, too, and his teammates are elevating him," Staley added. "That's what you want to see; want to see an offense that's playing together. I think that's what you're seeing."

Herbert felt the offense 'moved the ball well' and converted on 3rd downs

One of the main messages Herbert has talked about at the podium throughout camp has been his comfortability within the offensive scheme. Herbert continued that message on Sunday and spoke about how he felt the scrimmage went from his perspective.

"I thought there were a lot of good things," Herbert said. "There's always room for improvement and things that we can fix. I thought, overall as an offense, we moved the ball well, the we converted well on third downs and that's what is important to us."

While the Bolts are ramping up the intensity, it's nearly impossible to simulate game speed and tackling to ensure the safety of the players. Herbert explained his mindset when it comes to getting the feel for game speed on the practice field.

"I think if you treat every [practice] rep like it's a game-like situation, that you can handle that. That's what we do here," Herbert said. "We might not be live, as quarterbacks, but we treat it as if we were live and get the ball out quickly. If there's a free rusher, you try and find your check-down or do anything you can to avoid the sack."

One of the bright spots from training camp has been wide receiver DeAndre Carter, who has continued to show that he's much more than a return specialist. He made plays all over the field Sunday, including arguably the play of the evening as he hauled in a 35-yard deep ball from Herbert that set up a touchdown a few plays later.

Herbert talked about what has allowed Carter to shine at camp as he establishes a connection with all three quarterbacks on the Bolts.

"He's been very patient with his routes," Herbert said. "I think that's one of those things that is able to kind of separate him from the defender. He knows when to attack leverage and when not to. He's just a very smooth route-runner.

"He's comfortable and easy to throw to," Herbert added. "He's very friendly to the quarterback and he makes plays. Like you saw today, he finds a way to get the ball and make something special happen."

Bosa: 'These are the best two weeks I've had in any of my years'

As outside linebacker Joey Bosa approaches his seventh year in the NFL, he explained Sunday why the past two weeks have been the best he's felt on and off the field in his career.

"I felt pretty good out there," Bosa said. "I think these are the best two weeks I've had in any of my years, so far, coming into camp. My moves are coming nice and naturally.

"My body is feeling good-ish, good enough. I am dealing with things in Year 7, but I feel much better than I did last year," Bosa added. "I think as a defense, we've got to get some guys back out there, dealing with some injuries and stuff. I think it's good. It's still only the second week. We're so early in the process that it's definitely not time to worry or anything. We just have to keep coming out here and working."

Since the first practice, Bosa's chemistry has grown with Khalil Mack each day. While the scrimmage gave a little more of a glimpse of what Mack and Bosa will look like on gameday, Bosa talked about the veteran presence Mack has added to the OLB room and how beneficial Mack has been to Bosa personally.

"I just love to have a guy like that to lean on, ask questions, whether it's about football or just life in general," Bosa said. "It's great. He's just a great guy and I feel like we've been talking for the last two weeks every single day.

"We're always taking a knee next to each other, laughing, talking. It's just a huge benefit and like you said, the competition, having an elite guy like that to look at and be like — just keep you on your toes," Bosa added. "It's like every day in the offseason, I have to be ready to train when I'm training with [my brother] Nick. So, it's just great to have that guy to compete with and lean on."

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