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3 Observations: Herbert Excels in Final Week of Bolts OTAs


The Chargers continued their final week of Organized Team Activities (OTAs) on Tuesday at Hoag Performance Center.

Tuesday's session was the seventh of 10 scheduled spring practices. The Bolts will hold a mandatory three-day minicamp next week.

Here are three observations from Tuesday's OTA practice:

1. Herbert sets the standard

News flash: Justin Herbert is still an elite quarterback.

And he proved that again Tuesday but putting on a show for the two-hour practice that included multiple dimes from the 26-year-old.

Herbert's best throw of the afternoon came on the first of his three touchdown passes in the red zone.

It was an absolute strike down the seam to Zach Heins.

The undrafted rookie tight end was headed toward the back of the end zone when Herbert zipped a throw past multiple defenders and right into the hands of Heins, who tapped two feet down for six points.

The pass showcased Herbert's elite arm strength as well as his pinpoint accuracy.

The Bolts franchise quarterback later found Isaiah Spiller and Stone Smartt for scores in the red zone, with the latter coming wide open in the back corner of the end zone.

Herbert later led a successful 2-minute drill by getting his group in position for points as Cameron Dicker knocked in a 31-yard field goal.

Overall, the practice was another reminder that the Chargers still have one of the league's best quarterbacks.

Finally, something of note, but the Chargers used the same group of offensive linemen — Rashawn Slater, Zion Johnson, Bradley Bozeman, Trey Pipkins III and Joe Alt — in front of Herbert for the entirety of Tuesday's session.

2. Plenty of situational football

The Bolts ended practice with the 2-minute drill listed above, and it was the offenses who shined through.

Each unit started at the defense's 40-yard line with 40 seconds left on the clock.

Easton Stick's group had the most success as the quarterback lofted a perfect pass to Simi Fehoko down the left sideline for a 28-yard touchdown with under 10 seconds remaining.

Herbert led the aforementioned scoring drive, with Max Duggan's group finding the same result as Dicker hit a 37-yard field goal with only seconds left on the clock.

The Bolts offense also worked on plenty of situational football inside both 5-yard lines, too.

When the unit was going into the end zone, running backs worked on getting down before the goal line in order to preserve a hypothetical lead and drain the clock.

The offense also worked near the opposing goal line, too, focusing picking up yardage while backed up against their own end zone.

The details matter to Chargers Head Coach Jim Harbaugh, who watched each drill with rapt attention and gave a handful of pointers along the way.

3. Continued special teams work

The Bolts once again used up a noticeable chunk of practice time on special teams, as that area continues to be an emphasis for Harbaugh and Chargers Special Teams Coordinator Ryan Ficken.

The Chargers spent time on the new kickoff format but didn't do a full-team drill, instead focusing on one half of the field before switching to the other side.

Derius Davis was the main returner in the drill and was joined by Jaret Patterson, Kimani Vidal and Jaelen Gill as returners.

Davis and Gill were also back deep in punting drills, as was rookie Ladd McConkey. Gunners in the drills included Ja'Sir Taylor, Deane Leonard, JT Woods, Chris Wilcox, AJ Finley, Cornelius Johnson and others.

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