Casey Hayward has been a San Diego Charger since March, but the cornerback said putting the pads on for the third day of training camp made the experience all the more genuine.
"It felt a little more real with getting the pads popping a little bit," he said. "It was a little bit more physical from everybody. This is how we're going to play and I love the atmosphere and the things we did today. I think we took a step towards Kansas City but we have a long way to go and a long time until that game."
Hayward said his offseason experience as a Charger has been going great so far. He attributes the camaraderie between the defensive backs to be one of the main reasons why he's fit in so well on defense.
"My first day here felt like I had been here for a while. All the guys welcomed me here right away. Inside the DB room, it's great. It's (a mix of) veterans and young guys. We have a lot of guys who have played a lot of football and I don't think our secondary will take a step back. I think we have a chance to be a really good secondary and a really good defense."
Part of what the defensive backs have been preaching this offseason is a selfless mentality. Each cornerback and safety has been working with one another to bring out the best in each other and work on their craft to help the unit as a whole. However, as Hayward puts it, the unselfishness doesn't make the team any less hungry to be the best. In fact, it strengthens them as an entire defense.
"Nobody can be selfish. We know there will be times where Jason (Verrett) will match up with certain guys, I will match up with certain guys and Brandon (Flowers) will match up with certain guys. We're going to go into the game with different matchups, but we'll be alright. The key thing is nobody cares who guards who. Nobody cares who the best corner is. Everybody wants to be the best."
For the most part, Hayward said transitioning from Green Bay to San Diego has been easy. The biggest adjustment? Not having to wear a parka this coming winter.
"The only adjustment was weather; it's a little better!" he jokingly said. "Just learning new people was an adjustment (but) it was a cool transition though. Moving was the hardest part but it's been really great. San Diego is one of my favorite cities to be in and I love it out here."