Five Takeaways from Day 6 of Chargers Camp: Getting Ready for the Rams

Defensive tackle Justin Jones is the team's "most improved" player according to Pro Bowl center Mike Pouncey.
Defensive tackle Justin Jones is the team's "most improved" player according to Pro Bowl center Mike Pouncey.

Here are five takeaways from Day 6 of Chargers training camp at Jack Hammett Sports Complex:

Ready for the Rams – The Chargers are off Wednesday before welcoming the Rams to Jack Hammett Sports Complex for a 10 a.m. joint practice on Thursday.

Head coach Anthony Lynn called Tuesday’s shortened session “a good situational practice” that focused on four-minute offense and goal-line and short-yardage situations. Six days into camp, he said his team will benefit by practicing with their NFC neighbors later this week.

“It’s just good to bring in another team, just so you can break up camp,” Lynn said. “These guys, they’re tired of going against one another. You get some fresh meat in here, and some competition, and it’s just good for morale. And whenever you’ve got good morale, you usually get good production.”

“It’s gonna be fun, man,” said center Mike Pouncey. “Especially [the Rams’] defensive line, they’ve got a really good defensive line to give us a lot of good work in practice. So, we’re excited to go against these guys. This is time for us to get better.”

Visit chargers.com/camp to reserve your tickets for Thursday.

Lamp feeling “night and day” – After Tuesday’s practice, offensive lineman Forrest Lamp said the difference in the way he feels is “night and day” compared to this time last year.

Entering his third NFL season, Lamp logged just 17 snaps in two games in 2018. That’s expected to change drastically in ‘19.

“I think that we’re very pleased with how he has been working,” offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt said Monday. “It’s great to see him out there on the field. [One] of the things that shows up right now is his strength. One of the things that you really like about him on pulls, he can anchor down as a guard when he’s setting. Those are things you really like.

“The big thing is going to be to see him in the preseason games in live-action. He was a good player in college. It’s unfortunate that we haven’t had him to be able to play as much as we would like, but we’re really excited to have him back.”

Lamp said that he’s played both guard and tackle through the first six days of camp.

Take a look through the top photos as the Bolts continue the training camp grind.

Jones “most improved” on the Chargers – There’s been a notable difference in defensive tackle Justin Jones entering his second NFL season, both on and off the field.

Jones said on Monday’s episode of Chargers Weekly that he was 316 pounds at the start of organized team activities his rookie season. He reported to his second training camp at 295 pounds.

Jones attributed the change to an offseason diet that eliminates beef and pork, and increases his consumption of fruits and vegetables. After Tuesday’s practice, Pouncey called Jones a “totally different football player.”

“He’s a guy that’s probably our most improved football player from year one to year two, and you can tell,” Pouncey said. “He’s out here making plays every day, and if he can play like that the whole year, our defense is going to be really, really good.”

The former NC State standout has a new Wolfpack in Los Angeles. Jones said he’s made a concerted effort to tap into the experience in the defensive line room, which includes Pro Bowlers Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram, a Super Bowl champion in Brandon Mebane, and seven-year veteran Damion Square.

“There’s too much – too much – too much knowledge in the room not to take advantage of it,” Jones said. “And that’s the biggest thing, having guys like Square and Mebane and Melvin and guys like that in the room. They’ve played so much ball, [guys] who’ve seen so many different types of adversity and just handled it just like a vet would.

“I need all of that. I want to know all of that.”

“This guy’s a good person first of all,” Square said of Jones. “He’s a player that kind of takes in everything from the vets – a real respectable guy. I’m just really high on his future.”

Ekeler, Jackson do their best L.T. impression – The running backs had fun with a drill on Tuesday that showcased their leaping ability in short-yardage situations, something LaDainian Tomlinson made famous at the goal line.

Justin Jackson cleared the hurdle. So did Austin Ekeler – with ease.

Lynn explained that drill isn’t for fun.

“That’s where you find out which back you want in a fourth-and-one going over top to win the game,” he said. “I’ve done that drill with L.T., Fred Taylor, Chris Johnson. I’ve done that drill with a lot of guys and Austin Ekeler today, he did it as good as any today.”

Odds and ends – Cornerback Casey Hayward had a pair of interceptions on Tuesday – one in 7-on-7s, the other during the 11-on-11 period. … Tight end Virgil Green and safeties Nasir Adderley and Jaylen Watkins were among the players who did not practice Tuesday. … Quarterback Philip Rivers connected with wide receiver Keenan Allen for a long gain down the left sideline during 11-on-11s. Rivers capped the drive with a three-yard touchdown to tight end Sean Culkin.

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