This summer, we thought we'd check in with a few Chargers players before the 2021 season kicks into gear.
Our third conversation features running back Joshua Kelley.
After an unprecedented rookie season filled with personal highs and lows, Kelley is entering year two with a new wisdom and is excited for what's to come.
Here's more from Kelley on his expectations for his second season, the challenges he overcame in year one, what he learned from Justin Herbert, and more.
How has the offseason program gone for you?
Joshua Kelley: It's been really good. It's been really a treat, to be honest, actually having OTAs and being able to go in (to the facility) and learn a whole new system. I'm taking every day as a gift. Football is awesome, and I get to play it every single day. I'm not taking it for granted. This offseason has been good, but I'm ready and excited to get back to the season. It's been too long.
I believe that. You mentioned it, this is your first real offseason, because last year you guys dealt with the impact of COVID protocols, but you're also learning something new – again. How beneficial is it to physically be on that field instead of last year with it being virtual?
Kelley: It makes a huge difference. It really does. Having to actually run the plays, walk through the plays, see your coaches, talk to them. Being able to go through things on the field with your teammates to get a good feel for what everyone's doing around you. It makes a huge difference. It's an advantage. Not having that last season was definitely a disadvantage for all the rookies who came in. But it is what it is and you can't really pout about it anymore. So just having the chance to do it this year makes a difference and slows the game down more.
Now that you've lived it for a year, just how much faster is the NFL than college?
Kelley: It's definitely faster. It's moving parts that you have to understand like on special teams and offense. I think what helped me was as the season progressed and I was studying and watching tape, it slows down. And definitely going into this year, I'm starting to see things slow down. Obviously, we're walking through plays, but just my mental process and knowing what I'm doing or what my assignment is, everything is slowing down.