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From The Podium | Chargers Embracing Elements of Week 1 Unknowns

FTP 09.08

Below are three takeaways from podium sessions before Thursday's practice:

Chargers talk 'unknowns' heading into season opener

Less than 72 hours remain before the Bolts open up their regular season against the Raiders. With a new-look staff, it remains to be seen what the Chargers see from Las Vegas on both offense and defense.

Besides having a new head coach in Josh McDaniels, the Raiders also feature new coordinators, including defensive coordinator Patrick Graham. Chargers Offensive Coordinator Joe Lombardi talked about the unknowns of what Graham and the Raiders defense will unveil heading into Week 1.

"It adds a little bit of stress, but any first game is a little bit like that," Lombardi said. "We want to go out, play sound, be ready to make any adjustments that need to be made as you're looking at what they're doing.

"I think you have an idea of what their structure is, their front structure. Any good coach is going to adjust to the players they have. I know Patrick Graham is a good coach," Lombardi added.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Chargers will now have to face a new offensive attack with McDaniels and wide receiver in Davante Adams.

Chargers Defensive Coordinator Renaldo Hill talked about what they can do to prepare for it, as well as what they can do during the game.

"Our approach is that you try to visualize it, you try to cover all of those bases of where guys could potentially line up," Hill said. "At the end of the day, we have to be able to go out and play our scheme and be able to make adjustments on the fly.

"We have to make sure we do a good job of trying to move the down around, and once the game is taking place, we have to be able to make early adjustments," Hill later added.

Come game time there will be a lot of moving parts and adjustments that will have to be made. Tight end Gerald Everett said it would be a constant thing throughout the game, but nonetheless remains excited to see the team trot out on the field.

"It's drive-by-drive rather than quarter-by-quarter," Everett said. "Getting some of that rust off, getting some drives going and getting into that rhythm of the type of offense we'll have.

"Just excited to come out and see the potential we have and what kind of team we've got," Everett added.

Lombardi: Chargers have 'work cut out for them' versus pass rush

The Chargers offensive line faced some of the best pass rushers in the league all throughout the offseason in Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack. That work will come in handy on Sunday, as the Raiders will trot out some premiere pass rushers of their own.

With Chandler Jones and Maxx Crosby rushing the passer, Lombardi is aware that the Bolts will have their hands full.

"It's definitely a challenge," Lombardi said. "Something that you have to be aware of those guys every single play. It's a lot easier if they only have one really good edge player, but they have two elite guys, and so we'll have our work cut out for them, for sure."

Last season, Crosby often lined up over the right tackle. But, with a new defensive coordinator, Lombardi remains open to whatever may come his offenses' way.

"We think, probably, [Crosby] is more comfortable [lining up over the right tackle]," Lombardi said. "When you're in this structure, if they are in base defense, they certainly can switch.

"That's part of the first game jitters trying to figure out exactly what they're doing. We'll find out soon enough," he added.

Hill prepares to see Carr-Adams duo once again

Sunday will not be Hill's first time seeing new Raiders duo of Derek Carr and Adams up close. Following his playing career, Hill got his coaching start as a graduate assistant at the University of Wyoming in 2012 before moving up to cornerbacks coach in 2013. Spending two years with the university, Hill got to see many Mountain West Conference foes, including Fresno State — the school both Carr and Adams went to.

Asked about the connection between the two, Hill has no doubts about their chemistry.

"I know it because I was in that movie," said a laughing Hill. "I was at Wyoming during that time. I saw the chemistry live and up front. I don't think that's going to be a problem with them two meshing because they were dynamic then and I'm sure that they are much more experienced now. They are going to be ready.

"You wanted to close your eyes at times. That's what you wanted to do, but you just saw an unstoppable force. They had other weapons, as well, with that receiving core. They maximized what they had," added Hill about those Fresno State teams.

Many years have passed, but Hill still remembers what he witnessed with Wyoming. Still, he knows that it is much different now and is ready to go out and play their game.

"Like I said, that's a movie that I saw. I wanted to close my eyes. But this is a different group that we have, as well, and I'm confident in the guys we have. We just have to go out and play our game," Hill added.

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