Hoag Performance Center was buzzing on Monday as the Bolts kicked off Phase I of the offseason program.
It was also an opportunity to hear from Head Coach Anthony Lynn for the first time since the Spring League Meeting. Lynn addressed the media and discussed a wide variety of topics including his second year with the team, players' health updates, young quarterbacks on the team's roster and more.
Second Season as Bolts' Head Coach
This offseason is a lot easier for Lynn to navigate granted that he has one under his belt. While he admits it's good for everyone to ease their way back into work, he's excited for this next chapter of Chargers football:
"It's fun. To get everyone back in the building, knowing these guys, I've been around them for a year. It was fun (to) shake hands, hug and tell some good stories. We're just easing our way back into it…. We go through a lot of projects as a coaching staff, figure out what we can do better and how we can do that. We do our personnel evaluations, and we brought some new people in. We're excited about the team we have right now, and of course, we haven't even gone through the draft yet. We feel good about it."
Updates on Lamp, Verrett and Williams
Forrest Lamp, Jason Verrett and Mike Williams were all in attendance for Monday's session. While Williams has been healthy for quite some time, this will be his first official full-go offseason with the team. Lynn stressed how important that is along with updates on the status of Lamp and Verrett:
"That's huge (to have a full year in the offseason program). I feel like we have a first-round pick in Mike (being added) this year. Because of his injury, he wasn't able to do much last year. You look at Forrest, you look at Mike — those two guys I think are going to help our football team that we didn't have last year…. (Lamp and Verrett are) right on schedule. They're doing well right now. They're working with their teammates, but they're right on schedule. I wouldn't say (they can do) everything, but they're doing what they can."
Jones & Smith
If you're paying attention to any draft talk whatsoever, you'll read plenty of pundits talking about how this is the year the Chargers might draft Rivers' successor. But when you bring this up to Lynn, he'll remind you about the two young QBs already on the roster in Cardale Jones and Geno Smith. Lynn mentioned how this offseason will be crucial for Jones' development while adding what Smith brings to the team:
"(This offseason is) going to be huge for a guy like Cardale. Now that he knows the playbook, he can come in and go through a full offseason with his team. For Cardale, I think this is the first time he's been in the same offense two years in a row…. (Smith brings) competition. I was with Geno his first couple of years, when he had a couple of productive seasons. As a rookie, stepping in, I think he had five come-from-behind wins his rookie year. I know what he's capable of doing. I think he lost his focus there for a little while, but he's hit the reset button. He's re-focused. We're glad to have him."
Outlook for 2018
The Chargers ended the 2017 season on a hot streak winning nine of their final 12 games. However, despite that feat while also accruing their first winning season since 2014, sometimes momentum can take a backseat when a season ends. But while faces change, feelings stay the same. For Lynn and his team, he's hoping to rekindle that vibe while building his 2018 team.
"I loved the way we finished the season, but that was last year. I told the guys this morning, it's a completely different season. There's going to be a lot of turnover on our team. There's (already been) some turnover on our coaching staff. So we've got to go to work and we've got to get back to where we finished last year, for sure."
The Bolts return to Hoag Performance Center ready to work on the first day of the offseason program.