Head Coach Mike McCoy had a secret that he kept all day Sunday.
Going through pregame warmups in Minnesota, he found out that the Chargers were closing in on a deal with Joey Bosa. He coached the entire game and held his postgame press conference without divulging that number 99 would soon be on his way to Chargers Park.
"I was kind of in a unique situation because I was told pregame that something probably was going to get done," McCoy said with a laugh. "I was sitting there by myself on the sideline and had to keep it to myself for a while…so it was kind of an interesting game for myself. We are so excited to have him here, he is a great player that is going to help us and that is all he wants to do is help us win. We loved the way he worked when he was here in the offseason program, so I am just so happy for the team and the organization and for him to put this aside now and just focus on football."
After arriving yesterday morning, Bosa will take the field for the Bolts' walkthrough practice this afternoon. The Chargers message to the defensive end is a simple one, and best summed up by four-time team captain Darrell Stuckey.
"I think it's always a great day when you can get the team together as one," the former Pro Bowler said. "I think it's a great opportunity for him to come out here, get ready to go, get back in rhythm and build himself back up to be with the team….At the end of the day, as a team we believe he's supposed to be here, and he's here now. Now that that's over we can be a team. I think the biggest thing for him is to just stay calm, ease into it, don't be overzealous and try to do too much too early. At the end of the day, he has some catching up to do, but he doesn't have to do it all in one day."
Bosa and the Bolts each mentioned Monday how there is a noticeable difference between being in shape and being in football shape. As such, the defensive end will use the next two weeks to get his body ready to hopefully play in the Week 1 opener at Kansas City.
While that will in the end be a coach's decision, everyone is confident Bosa will put in the necessary work to give himself a shot to suit up. For instance, when Chargers Chairman went to greet the Ohio State product and officially welcome him into the Chargers family, Bosa was in the gym at the squat rack already working.
Ultimately it's Bosa's passion for the game that his coaches and fellow teammates believe will play a large part in getting him up to speed.
"He loves to play the game of football," McCoy said. "I can't say that enough about him. I talked to you guys after we drafted him. The conversation we had at the combine, then when we brought him in here and how excited he was and how we thought he was going to help our team. We have the exact same opinion right now about what he is going to do. So as a coach, once you get players, you start coaching them, regardless of who they are, where they have come from, how you got them – they are yours. And so we were really excited."