It’s been exactly 78 days since Mike Pouncey officially joined the Chargers.
As a surprise cut by the Miami Dolphins, the Pro Bowl center immediately had numerous teams clamoring for his services.
Still, he knew right away that he wanted to be a Bolt, which is why he put pen-to-paper on a two-year deal on March 19.
“As soon as my agent called me and said the Chargers reached out, they went to the top of my list,” Pouncey said minutes after signing his deal.
He cited Philip Rivers and an explosive offense in addition to a ferocious defense led by Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram as major reasons why he badly wanted to come to L.A.
The center clearly had high expectations…and they’ve already been surpassed.
“I had high expectations for this football team, and they’ve definitely been exceeded,” he said enthusiastically. “To see the way our defense competes each and every day, it’s impressive. We know our offense is going to get it’s chances on the football field. To see our offense come together and be productive each and every day, it’s been awesome. A lot of times you go out there in practice, and you can’t really make certain plays. But to see us make big plays during our practice – the quarterback throwing the deep ball connecting with the wide receivers, the way we set the front each and every day – it gives us confidence.”
The most important thing to Pouncey heading into the offseason program was to immerse himself in the offense while fully digesting a new playbook.
Most importantly, that meant building a rapport with number 17.
The center-quarterback relationship is among the most important – if not the most important – bonds in the NFL.
To that end, Pouncey couldn’t be happier about the growth he’s had with Rivers.
“It’s been really good because when you have a quarterback like Philip, he’s really into the game,” he explained. “We’re trying to build something really special right now, and we’ve been gelling really well so far. We’re going out there together and getting the reps that we need. Seeing the different looks. Whenever we get into the games and see the real speed of it, that’s how we’ll really judge it. But it’s going well this offseason.”
Pouncey also made it a mission to ingrain himself into an offensive line that surrendered the fewest sacks a year ago in the NFL.
So far, so good.
“It’s going really well right now,” he said. “I’m just excited to see how far we can go when training camp gets here, we can put on the pads and get physical with it. It’s awesome to have the veterans and young guys on this line. The young guys, they feed off of us when we go out there and practice each and every day. We’ve got two really good young guys in there who can play really well in Dan Feeney and Forrest Lamp, who we are excited to get back in training camp.”
Pouncey’s also had a blast playing with the team’s stalwart left tackle.
“It’s been fun playing with Russell (Okung). He’s a vet. A Pro Bowler. He’s been doing it a long time, but to see how he goes out there and works it each and every day, you can tell why he’s such a good player.”
However, it’s more than just those in the locker room who’ve exceeded Pouncey’s highest hopes.
He couldn’t be more thrilled with the coaches who lead his new team.
“Coach (Anthony) Lynn is awesome,” he said. “He’s out there bringing energy to each practice. He gives us a hard time when we need it, which is a good thing, and I’m excited to have him. He’s a young coach that has a lot of fire in his (gut).”
Then there’s Offensive Coordinator Ken Whisenhunt and Offensive Line Coach Pat Meyer.
“Those guys are awesome, too! Coach Pat, it’s been exciting to work with him and learn some new techniques from him. I think he’ll take my game to another level. And Whiz, he also brings energy to our offense each and every day. He comes in with the right mindset.”