Below are 10 quick-hitting insights from the Chargers' coaching staff during the team's offseason program:
1) Because of the way the Chargers laid out OTAs, head coach Brandon Staley said players received three to four times the full speed reps that they would normally receive in an offseason program: "Most OTAs, if you look back historically at the other places we've been, you get full speed and a guy may get 15, 20 reps, and it's just not that many plays," he said. "We were able to get 65, 75 plays, so we were able to get a lot more, literally, rep'd. We felt like we could push it from an installation standpoint."
2) Staley said that over 90 percent of the new defense has been installed to this point, adding that the remaining 10 percent is "a little more designer" or game-plan specific. He acknowledged he wanted to "push it" from an install standpoint and that the coaches have done a nice job of teaching it.
3) Offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi was complementary of wide receiver Mike Williams earlier this month, saying, "there's no reason why he cannot be majorly productive." Lombardi added that in this offense, the ball tends to find the "X" receiver, which is Williams. "If I were a betting man, I'd bet on nice numbers coming from him on the stat sheet, that's for sure," Lombardi said. Over the last three seasons, Williams has 41 catches of 20 yards or more and 12 catches of 40 yards or more.
4) Lombardi said he's excited to "explore" the potential of 6-foot-8 tight end Donald Parham Jr., who was efficient with his touches last season. Three of his ten receptions went for touchdowns. "I saw the same reps that you did," Lombardi said. "They were limited, but they were impressive. You get in the same room with him and you go, 'Oh my gosh.' You don't see many guys that look like him, with his height and length."
5) Defensive coordinator Renaldo Hill said it's easy to tell that rookie cornerback Asante Samuel Jr. has been coached up properly at the collegiate and high school level. Hill praised Samuel Jr.'s instincts and his ability to understand matchups. "I think he's going to excel because we're going to allow him to see in this scheme, but he's everything you want from a guy stepping in from day one," Hill said.
6) Hill has also been impressed with safety Nasir Adderley and his approach in the classroom. After missing most of his rookie season, Adderley started 14 games last season. He totaled 69 tackles and had an interception. "We're happy where Nas is at right now and we're going to continue to put him in spots where he can express those things so that he can develop those things as we move forward," he said.
7) When asked about the rookie class, special teams coordinator Derius Swinton II said "all of the rookie class, they've really been good at absorbing the things that we've been putting in. I think that they can all contribute at some point." Swinton II acknowledged outside linebacker Chris Rumph II and linebacker Nick Niemann as players who have been able to pick things up quickly due to their collegiate experiences at Duke and Iowa, respectively.
8) Secondary coach Derrick Ansley had first-hand knowledge of his projected starting safeties before being hired by the Chargers. As the secondary coach at University of Alabama (2016-17) and the Oakland Raiders (2018), Ansley competed against Derwin James when he played for Florida State and Los Angeles. Ansley also coached Adderley at the Senior Bowl in 2019.
9) Quarterbacks coach Shane Day said the opportunity to work with Justin Herbert in Los Angeles was a "big part" of why this job appealed to him. Day, who was the quarterbacks coach in San Francisco the last two seasons, said he had met Herbert at the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine. The other part was the chance to work with Staley. "Just knowing him for a while, he has a really good perspective on things," Day said of Staley. "I really like his energy and his juice and how he looks at the game. When I got the opportunity to talk with him for a while about this job, in particular, I was really, really excited about it."
10) Prior to the Chargers, run game coordinator/offensive line coach Frank Smith spent the last three seasons as tight end coach for the Raiders. Before that, he had a three-year stint as tight ends coach for the Chicago Bears on a staff that included Staley in 2017. Smith, though, said he received a "Ph.D. in football" as an assistant offensive line coach with the New Orleans Saints. In addition to learning from head coach Sean Payton, Smith worked alongside Lombardi.
As a player, Smith blocked for Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger at Miami (Ohio) University. Big Ben and Pittsburgh travel to Los Angeles in Week 11 for "Sunday Night Football."
Check out the best photos from the second and final day of Chargers Minicamp at the Hoag Performance Center
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