Below are the top 10 quotes from May's rookie minicamp and the first week of OTAs.
1) "It feels great. I cherish every moment that I'm out there. It felt good to be back on the grass with my coaches and teammates once again. It felt amazing today."
-Safety Derwin James on returning to the field after being cleared for football activities last Saturday
2) "He looks great. He sounds great, as you know. One of his strengths as a football player is his leadership, and that energy that he gives everybody each and every day. You can see that he is a multiplayer out there. I mean, from the minute that I got hired — guys, I met this guy at my press conference and I felt better about our chances. When he's out there, our chances increase by a whole bunch. He's ready to play."
-Head coach Brandon Staley on James' return to the field
3) "I think it's big. Especially having a new coach, you want to start to gain trust, and you want to believe in somebody you can trust and feel like you're going to fight for. I think he's giving us that. The way he talks, it's just giving us the confidence that we can go out there and play for a coach who is going to lead us in the right direction."
-Wide receiver Keenan Allen on Staley's energy and presence
4) "Justin is a big part of the operation, in terms of his command in and out of the huddle. I feel like that's going to be a hallmark of how we play; a lot of groupings, our pace in and out of the huddle, applying pressure on the defense every snap. Certainly, he's at the front of that from a communications standpoint, making sure that he communicates the grouping, our snap count, the play-call, any alert or kill. I thought that he was really impressive."
-Staley on quarterback Justin Herbert after Monday's OTA
5) "It's great. It's so much better than being on Zoom. It's much harder, too, being on Zoom, especially when you hear a play. It's easy to call out what you have, but when you hear it in a huddle, you have to line up and line up in the right spot, so it's much different. It's going to help, though, being able to get out there and do it this early. I think it will help us."
- Allen on being back on the field
6) "I'm really excited about Vato. This guy has a lot of tools to work with. I think that he's just entering the beginning of his NFL career, in my mind. This guy has a lot of confidence. I feel like he has really been able to thrive in our DB environment. This guy can press. He can playoff. He can judge the ball deep. He can really run, as you guys know. Another factor that we've been really impressed with is the way that his brain works. This guy can think the game. He can see the game. A lot of it, when you're playing corner in this league, is playing that chess match against whoever you're facing, knowing that now all of these people that you're going against are the same. We're hoping to be partnered up with him for many years."
-Staley on cornerback Michael Davis
Check out the best photos from the first week of Chargers OTAs at Hoag Performance Center.
7) "I love it. I feel like it really plays to our strengths, especially as an offensive line, being the athletic group that we are. A lot of stuff gets us moving and the defense moving, so I feel like it plays to our strengths."
-Rookie offensive tackle Rashawn Slater on his impressions of the offense
8) "I just want to do what I do and just be myself. I'm not trying to be Derwin James, I'm not trying to be [Rams CB] Jalen Ramsey. I'm just trying to be Asante Samuel Jr. Whatever that is, that's what I'm going to do and just try to get one percent better every day."
-Cornerback Asante Samuel Jr. on his approach to rookie minicamp
9) "It made the transition easier, I would definitely say that. We're just two guys that love to go to work. The only way to get better is together. Iron sharpens iron. We're going to have a lot of reps of going on one-on-one when it gets closer to that time, but we're both just looking to grow as young players."
-Wide receiver Josh Palmer on reuniting with his high school teammate Samuel Jr.
10) "I feel like I'm smarter. As crazy as it sounds, I feel like I'm smarter. The game has slowed down a lot for me. I haven't been out there physically to show you all, but the game has slowed down a lot, and I'm very excited."
-James on how he's been able to process the game while being sidelined
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