Here are five takeaways from Day 5 of Chargers training camp at Jack Hammett Sports Complex:
Competition Heating Up in “One of a Kind” Receiver Group
Browse through the top photos from Chargers Camp as the Bolts continue to prep for the 2019 season.
Fortunately for the Chargers, there’s a familiarity there with certain guys include Andre Patton and Artavis Scott. While they’ve been competing these last five days, Chargers Offensive Coordinator Ken Whisenhunt said they’ll find out more about them once the first preseason game rolls around on Aug. 8.
“I think the big thing is seeing them produce in the preseason,” Whisenhunt mentioned. “I think that’s what this is all about. With Tyrell (Williams) leaving, we want to find somebody who can do some different things for us. It’s a great opportunity for these guys to compete.”
One of the newest Chargers, Tyrod Taylor, has been spending a lot of time working with that group – and let’s just say, he’s been impressed.
“There’s a bunch of talent, a bunch of depth at the position,” Taylor reflected. “Each and every day, those guys bring their best game and compete. You can tell those guys love getting after it, and we need that out of them each and every day…. When it comes to competition, that receiver group is definitely one of a kind.”
Talkin’ Reps with Tyrod
With Philip Rivers on a veteran rest day, Taylor got the lion’s share of the reps during Monday’s practice.
Afterall, the experience leading the team on Monday will likely bode well for Taylor as Head Coach Anthony Lynn said earlier this offseason that he may limit the amount of reps his starters get in preseason games.
According to Whisenhunt, he feels Taylor’s been fitting in well thus far with the Bolts.
“He’s done well acclimating to our system,” Whisenhunt said. “I think he’s been in some systems before that are kind of similar to ours. Obviously, getting the work in the offseason and in OTAs helped. He’s done a good job. He’s made a couple of good throws and we’re excited to have him.”
Whiz mentioned how the quarterback room is a good one with the mix of experience among the four QBs in it. Additionally, he said it’s even more of a plus having a guy like Rivers in the room given his savvy knowledge of the game and being around it for so long.
That knowledge is something Taylor has been trying to absorb since he arrived at Hoag Performance Center. It’s something that he feels benefits both players in the long run.
“With a guy who’s played as many games as he has and been in the league as long as he has…of course you want to be able to pick his brain and that’s what I’ve been able to do and I’m going to continue to keep doing that,” Taylor mentioned. “It keeps him sharp, but it also allows me to grow as a player as well, too.”
…And About that Hoodie
If you’ve come to one of the Chargers’ training camp practices, you’ve probably noticed they've been quite warm.
And if you’ve been watching Taylor practice, you’ve probably also noticed he rocks a full, long-sleeved hoodie under his jersey. Yep. Even when it’s in the high 80s or 90s, count on No. 5 to keep the hoodie game strong.
On Monday, Taylor shared some thoughts on his attire and also…the weather.
“It’s not hot!” he said. “This is not hot at all. It’s either a hoodie or a long sleeve. I sweat a bunch, and not to get into detail, but, (I’d rather) it not just run on my hands so I try to trap the sweat. It’s not hot though! This time of year, it’s pretty warm in all places. The first couple of days were hot, but it was overcast for most of practice (today) and it feels good.”
The Return* of Hunter Henry
I add the asterisk because Hunter Henry did return for the team’s Divisional Round playoff game against the New England Patriots.
However, this marks the tight end’s first full training camp since 2017.
Back and healthy as ever, how’s Henry been looking?
“He looks really good, it’s great to have Hunter back,” said Whisenhunt. “(He’s) explosive, fast, obviously. He does a lot of things for us, whether it’s lining up outside or inside as a blocker. Even some of the stuff in the backfield. He’s one of those unique guys who’s a good combination of size and speed. He’s got great hands, good feel in the run game.”
As great as it is to have Henry back in the offense for the coaches and other members of the unit, No. 86 feels the same way.
Like Joey Bosa mentioned yesterday, Henry explained how overcoming the injury he endured last year changed his outlook on the game. Additionally, he credits leaning on teammates like Keenan Allen, Melvin Ingram and others for helping him get through it and ultimately, is happy to be back on the field.
“Any time you’re playing football pain-free, there’s a little bit more extra fun,” Henry admitted. “It’s always fun. When you’re going through an injury, and you’re kind of grinding through some pain, sometimes football is it a little bit more of a grind. But anytime you can get out there and feel good, you’ll have fun playing. Last year gave me a big-time appreciation for the game, just being away from it. That’s the biggest thing. You don’t realize what you have until it’s taken away from you.”
Mikes Making Plays
Michael Davis and Williams made a couple of standout plays in one-on-ones on Monday. Williams had a one-handed snare for a TD and Davis went up for a pick in the end zone.