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Training Camp Notebook: Sam Tevi Embraces Switch to Left Tackle

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Earlier this offseason, Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn informed Sam Tevi that a position change was coming.

"This year he told me to get ready for left tackle," said Tevi, who started 14 games on the right side in 2019.

Free-agent acquisition Bryan Bulaga has made a living at right tackle for nine NFL seasons, so that job is going to the former Packer. Tevi has the inside track to protect the quarterback's blind side in Week 1 at Cincinnati, with last year's third-round pick Trey Pipkins right behind him.

"I think the only difference from left to right is just changing up your feet," Tevi said to reporters on Friday. "There's not much more of a difference there. You see the defense the same."

Tevi was the Chargers' sixth-round pick in 2017 from Utah. He's appeared in 44 games, including 30 starts for Los Angeles. His experience is a plus, but his offseason work may be equally as important.

Tevi built a gym before the pandemic, so he had a place to work out every day. Between lifting and running at a 100-yard field across the street from home, he said he was "a lot stronger" and improved his conditioning entering camp.

Without preseason games, Tevi said it's tough for certain players to make an impression with such limited opportunities. For him, whose roster spot is more solidified, getting reps against top-notch pass rushers is the best way to prepare for September.

"… I mean, these practices right now I get to go against I think two of the most dominant pass rushers in this league: Melvin Ingram [and] Joey Bosa. We also got [Justin] Jones. You got Linval Joseph, who lines up outside at times. So, it's great to go against the whole D-line and more."

Tevi said offensive line coach James Campen is "getting me right" from a fundamental and technique standpoint. He also noted his excitement level to learn from a coach who was also a former NFL player.

Ultimately, Tevi wants to do what's best for the team. And right now, it's to start at one of the most important positions on the field.

"I'll play where the coach wants me to play," Tevi said. "Center, long snapper, left tackle, tight end. He wants me to play, I'll play it."

Check out some photos from Friday, August 21st's session of Chargers Training Camp 2020, presented by SoFi.

Odds and Ends

-Several players this week have described defensive tackle Linval Joseph's strength, size and overall dominance in creative ways. On Friday, it was Tevi's turn. "He's just a walking refrigerator or a running Coke machine, or something like that," he said. "That guy is a powerful guy and you have to account for him."

-Linebacker Drue Tranquill on rookie Kenneth Murray: "His legs are so massive, but I was telling [Derwin James], I was like, 'This guy looks like he can be a body builder with these legs, huh?' … These things are massive, like redwood trees. I mean, the kid's big. He's got a good voice, a leader. Physical. And so, I think he's gonna be a great addition to our defense; seems to love the game from what I can tell and we'll see what he can do on the field. I think watching some of his highlights from Oklahoma, I think that speaks for itself. But, just a really good kid. A kid that's eager to learn and, yeah, looks strong as an ox, man."

-Tranquill on the defense's improvement from 2019 to now: "I think we're faster. I think we're stronger. I think guys are playing confidently. I think we've added more depth, which is gonna be great this year in particular with all the protocols in place. If a guy's out or a guy goes down, we've got depth. I think teams that have great depth are gonna fare well as we go down the road here."

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