Below are three takeaways from Gerald Everett's and DeAndre Carter's introductory press conferences on Monday.
Carter's journey back to his home state
On Monday, Chargers new wide receiver/return specialist DeAndre Carter spoke to members of the media during his introductory press conference. He talked about why he chose to join the Bolts in free agency and how he's looking to 'bring some excitement' to the Bolts special teams unit and 'make plays' for the 2022 season.
Carter, who spent last season with Washington, scored his first NFL touchdown on a 101-yard kickoff return, earning him NFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors for Week 4. He also hauled in a receiving touchdown in Week 8 against the Denver Broncos. Carter talked about the impact special teams can have in his eyes.
"It brings a lot of energy to the team," Carter said of a team's special teams unit. "If you make a big play, even if it's not a touchdown — a long return — there's a lot of momentum in the game that flips. The offense can thrive on it and the defense can thrive on it. If you have a good special teams unit, it's definitely going to go a long way into your team's success."
To say Carter had to overcome obstacles to make it to where he is now, would be an understatement to say the least. The Bolts are the ninth NFL roster for the 29-year-old receiver, but the opportunity to join the Chargers and return to the West Coast was an opportunity he couldn't pass up.
"I wanted to stay home, stay on the West Coast," Carter said. "I've heard that it's a great organization. I'm looking forward to what we have going here; getting an opportunity to play with [QB] Justin [Herbert] and with all of the pieces that we have here. Just trying to go do what we have to do to win a championship."
Carter went undrafted out of Sacramento State and signed with the Baltimore Ravens in 2015. In 2016, he spent a year out of the NFL working as a substitute teacher in Hayward, Calif. before making it back into the league. As his new journey begins with the Chargers, he shared what he thinks about when reflecting on his NFL journey.
"Every day that I get to wake up and come into a building, it's a blessing."
Everett sees himself as an 'athlete' and 'playmaker'
After four seasons with the Los Angeles Rams and one season with the Seattle Seahawks, Chargers tight end Gerald Everett talked about the top three things that went into why signing with the Bolts was the right move for his career.
"No. 1, interest," he said. "No. 2, the terms. No. 3, the potential — the type of team that they had last year and the caliber that we could have this year, as you guys saw with the offseason moves. I think that we'll do pretty well this year."
While Everett has lined up as a tight end over his five-year career, he views himself as more than just a player at that position. Everett, who is fresh off the best statistical season of his career - setting career highs in yards, touchdowns and receptions in Seattle - brings a veteran presence to the tight end room and knack for gaining yards after the catch.
"I really don't see myself traditionally as a tight end," he said. "So it's hard to say because in this league, everybody is kind of transforming to the pass-catching tight ends — the [49ers TE] George Kittles or the [Chiefs TE] Travis Kelces. Each team has some pretty good tight ends. For us, we want to spread the ball around and throw it. I think that it will be down-the-field vertically."
As for what Everett views himself as?
"An athlete. A play-maker and a team player."
Teaming up with Justin Herbert and the Chargers weapons
Last season, the Chargers put together a top-five offense in the NFL, led by quarterback Justin Herbert, and helped wide receiver Mike Williams and running back Austin Ekeler put together career years. Carter and Everett talked about the potential the Bolts offense has in 2022.
While Carter hasn't been teammates with any current Chargers players, he has spent time working out with wide receiver Keenan Allen in SoCal each offseason going back to his rookie year. Carter talked about how believes Allen is the 'top route-runner' in the NFL and his excitement towards joining the wide receiver room.
"I pull up his target tape and watch it all the way through," Carter said. "In my opinion, he's the top route-runner in the league. I'm excited to be able to watch him work on a day-to-day basis. Mike Williams, a big body guy, a jump-ball guy that makes all of the plays. I'm happy for him with the contract that he just got. Justin's arguably one of the top quarterbacks in the league. Being so young, he has a great future ahead of him. I can't wait to play with all of them."
Everett talked about the potential of the Chargers offense in 2022 and the possibility of putting together another career year, this time, with Herbert as his quarterback.
"I think you have to have that mindset every year," Everett said. "No matter where you are or who is at quarterback. Remaining optimistic and having a pretty broad perspective on the game and on life, trying to do the best you can for your family, your teammates and the organization. I think we'll be pretty productive. With Justin being the great quarterback that he is, and having a surrounding cast in Mike [Williams] and Keenan [Allen], I think that we'll do pretty good. I think that it'll be a great year for us."
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