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3 Observations: Herbert Lets Loose at Bolts OTA Practice


The Chargers have nearly put a bow on voluntary Organized Team Activity practices.

The Bolts held their eighth OTA session — and third open to reporters — on Wednesday. The final OTA practice is Friday before two days of mandatory minicamp Tuesday and Wednesday.

Here are three observations from today's OTA practice:

1. Herbert airs it out

Justin Herbert said Monday that he was looking forward to taking some 7-on-7 reps this week.

The Bolts quarterback took nearly all of them Wednesday as he threw in team drills for the first time in front of reporters this spring.

Herbert, who underwent surgery on his non-throwing shoulder earlier this offseason, was in for 20 of the 25 total reps in 7-on-7 drills.

And he let loose, too, airing it out all over the field to multiple receivers.

Herbert's first two passes fell incomplete before he hit Pokey Wilson for roughly a 50-yard touchdown on a beautiful deep pass while moving in the pocket.

Herbert later connected with Keenan Allen on a handful of completions, including his final one of the day for another long score.

With some wide receivers not practicing, it gave others a chance to step up with Herbert on the field. Wilson, Tre' McKitty, Terrell Bynum and Darrius Shepherd were among the pass catchers when Herbert let it rip.

2. Taylor thrives on defense

The defensive standout of the day was Ja'Sir Taylor, who notched a trio of pass breakups in 7-on-7 drills.

The second-year cornerback began his strong showing on the second rep on team drills, knocking away a deep Herbert pass attempt for Allen down the left sideline.

Taylor later had strong coverage on Wilson for another pass breakup, and capped off his solid day with a pass breakup in the end zone on Easton Stick.

Taylor, a 2022 sixth-round pick, has been working at both outside cornerback and at the Star position (nickel cornerback) on defense this offseason.

Rookie linebacker Daiyan Henley also provided a splash play on defense when he picked off a red-zone pass at the goal line and went the other way. It likely would have been around a 100-yard, pick-6 for the third-round pick from Washington State.

3. Plenty of special teams work

The Bolts once again emphasized special teams work Wednesday as multiple facets were on display.

The team worked on punt protection at one point, with punter JK Scott getting off numerous strong kicks down the field. A handful of returners — a group that included Allen — focused on tracking and catching the kicks in breezy conditions.

The Chargers also worked in field goals, but only Dustin Hopkins kicked Wednesday in team drills. He made five of six field goals with a long of 47 yards before his sixth and final try from 53 yards out went wide left.

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