Here are five takeaways from Sunday’s Chargers training camp at Jack Hammett Sports Complex:
Defensive Standouts from LAC vs. AZ
Take a look at the top action photos from Chargers Camp practice on Sunday, August 11, 2019.
On Saturday, Chargers Head Coach Anthony Lynn discussed what players stood out to him from the team’s first preseason game. Specifically, he cited running back Justin Jackson, safety Roderic Teamer and defensive tackle Justin Jones.
On Sunday, Defensive Coordinator Gus Bradley was asked the same question and mentioned one of the same players Lynn singled out.
“Starting off with the first group, guys like Michael Davis, he’s showing off in practice and showing up,” Bradley said. “(On) the defensive line, Justin Jones really played well. He was in there for a limited amount of snaps, but the snaps he was in, kind of what we saw in practice showed up on game tape.”
“Sky’s the Limit” for Justin Jones
A lot has been made of what’s to come for Justin Jones in year two after a rookie season where he notched 26 total tackles, three QB hits and a sack that came in the team’s Wild Card playoff win against the Baltimore Ravens.
The DT has also taken a proactive approach by dropping weight due to changing his diet and taking up boxing.
While his coaches have been taking notice, so too have his teammates, including Melvin Ingram who spoke about Jones on Sunday.
“Sky’s the limit on what he can be,” Ingram mentioned about Jones. “You’ve seen him do moves at times and the way he practices, you (think that) he has a chance to be really special. I think as camp goes on and as the season progresses, I think he’s going to show the world he’s one of the top players in this league.”
Jerry Tillery Showing "Flashes"
Chargers first-round pick Jerry Tillery participated in his first full-contact padded practice just one week after being worked back into team drills.
While Tillery admitted practice went well, his defensive coordinator believes while they’ve known Tillery has the tools, Sunday was a good indicator of what’s on the horizon for No. 99 in the coming season.
“I mean, the way he works and the way he’s been in meetings and walk-through — he’s very detailed,” Bradley explained. “He’s a very prideful person, so it’s good. I think today was the first day — because he was involved more — where he stood out in a team situation. We saw flashes of it. You’re like, ‘Oh, okay! We just saw a flash of Jerry Tillery.’ I think as he gets more and more reps — he’s mentally (strong). I think he just needs the physical part of it now. You know, the lining up, the block-reaction and things like that.”
Tillery missed the offseason program due to recovering from shoulder surgery but detailed what the hardest part of returning has been since he’s been in camp.
“Fitness hasn’t been the issue,” Tillery said. “That’s why we train and workout. It’s just the technique, fundamentals. What we work on every day is what the challenge is. I hadn’t played in a game since [against] Clemson, I think. It’ll be a lot of fun getting back to it.”
Consistency Coming from Tranquill
Rookie Drue Tranquill had a pretty memorable game Thursday night in the desert.
Afterall, he notched four total tackles, one pass defense and one interception.
But now that he’s had game action, what does Bradley think of Tranquill as a player?
Let’s just say the linebacker has parlayed his training camp performance into preseason play.
“He lines up, takes care of the defense, runs the defense and you don’t see many mental errors from him,” his defensive coordinator said. “Like the interception he had, I think he’s got a really good football IQ; really good instincts.”
Additionally, No. 49 is building on that IQ each and every day.
“Just like the play he made, it was exactly what he needed to do, and he made a play. I think we’re starting to learn that he’s a pretty consistent player.”
Thomas Davis Sr.'s arrival in March brought a new sense of leadership to the defense.
Ask anyone, from players to coaches, and they’ll tell you the same thing.
“Where do you start?” Bradley questioned. “(Davis is) such a tremendous leader and he didn’t wait. It wasn’t like, ‘OK, I’ll just kind of learn the defense and understand what they’re asking of me and maybe I’ll turn on the part in training camp.’ It was from day one. He’s extremely respected, challenges players (and) holds players accountable and the team is welcoming it with open arms. When you can have that from a player, it makes it that much stronger.”
Though he’s 36 and has dealt with three ACL injuries in the past, Bradley said you can’t even tell he’s been through such a physical grind.
Additionally, he feels the scheme the Bolts are running is right in Davis’ wheelhouse.