With 2017's Chargers Camp in the books, Offensive Coordinator Ken Whisenhunt and the coaches are at that final evaluation phase before the 53-man roster cuts come on Saturday, Sept. 2.
Whiz spoke with the media and discussed what he hopes to see from the run game, if players surprised him during camp and why the 90-53-man roster cut is a good thing for those on the bubble.
Getting rid of the 75-man roster cut down means that 37 players will be cut on Saturday, Sept. 2. Whisenhunt sees it as a positive change, giving those players on the bubble an extra opportunity to show what they can do and why they are worthy of making the 53:
"It's a great opportunity for guys who maybe would have been cut to get one more opportunity to show what they can do. It's good. In the last game, you're not going to play your starters a lot, so by having the extra guys, it gives them an opportunity. As far as development of these guys, as far as getting more tape on them, as far as even evaluating other teams' players who are in that spot, I think it's a really good thing."
Return to the Run Game
The Bolts have averaged 2.7 yards per carry through the first two weeks of the preseason. Acknowledging the offensive starters have really only played one full series together, Whiz knows the ground game needs to improve. While he attributes the lack of success thus far to not game planning for other teams' schemes, he hopes his unit can turn it around this week when they face the Los Angeles Rams. After all, the Chargers have had two practices against their cross-town rival already:
"It's always tough when you play a team like we did last week that does a lot of pressures. Really what happens in these games is you're going to have some plays that aren't good. But really what you should be able to do at times is have some creases where you get some big gains. We just had some mistakes that didn't allow us to do that. We were close a couple of times. It's always going to be a little bit hit and miss but yeah…we were (more) efficient running the ball in the first game and we'd like to be back to that…. But when you don't plan…. A lot of times when you go against a team that gives you multiple fronts, how you work those things when you don't get a chance to practice makes it a little more difficult."
Training Camp can make or break players. While sometimes it can be hard to evaluate guys in shells, the work that they put into camp should hopefully translate to game-action. For Whisenhunt, he said he's been pleased with how certain players have popped during camp. The only thing they have to do is keep their play consistent, especially this week once the starters exit Saturday's game:
"There have been a few guys who have done that. We've had a pretty good feel of who will start for us…. But some of the young guys have stood out, they've made some plays. As with anything, some of them will have a good week, then a bad week and then they'll start to have a good week. You've kind of got to work your way through that. This week's a big week for some of those guys because they get a chance to really show you what they can do."
Advice for Jones
Despite getting a full half of game play on Sunday, Cardale Jones is still a pretty raw product in the Bolts' system. Whiz detailed what was good about Jones' performance and what needs to improve throughout the rest of the preseason:
"He did some good things in that game. Obviously, he's a big guy, he's calm in the pocket. Where he needs to grow is (in) some of the details of the assignments. He made some throws in that game that I'm sure he'd like to have back. You'd like to see him be a bit more careful with the ball or more accurate with the ball. For what he's done in camp, I've been very impressed with that."