Trey Pipkins III has had quite the development since he first arrived with the Chargers.
The Bolts 2019 third-round pick spent his first three years in the NFL serving as a swing tackle, occasionally taking over at both tackle spots when needed. But in 2022, Pipkins got his breakthrough when he had his best season as a pro.
And when it came time for free agency, the Chargers re-signed Pipkins to continue holding down the right tackle spot.
Just how much did it mean to Pipkins to be back in the powder blue?
"Everything," Pipkins said.
"I definitely did not want to go anywhere else," Pipkins added. "I love the guys. I love the team, love the coaches, love everybody here. It was awesome to get the opportunity to come back."
The Bolts right tackle spoke to the media on Monday for the first time since re-signing with the team last month and mentioned how he knew where he wanted to be even before free agency began.
"There were a few other teams, but I had told [my agent] before everything started that this is where I wanted to be," Pipkins said. "Whatever he could do to make that work was priority No. 1. It all worked out."
After starting 10 games in his first three seasons, Pipkins won the starting right tackle job during training camp after a strong showing. He went on to play 898 total snaps (75.3 percent) in 2022.
Pipkins proved that he could be an NFL starter but he still believes he has areas to improve on and is still hungry to show how much more he has to offer.
"It's good for confidence, obviously, but I think that I still have a lot more to prove," Pipkins said. "I'm going to keep working and keep doing what I do, continue to try to prove that I earned this."
"I think that I still have a lot to prove," Pipkins added. "I think I have a lot to improve on and get better at, so I that think I can still improve from where I was at last year, for sure."
Pipkins started 14 games last season, missing three games due to a knee injury in Week 5 that would linger throughout the season. Still, he displayed toughness throughout the season and continued to play.
The knee injury is no longer bothering him though, as it has been fully healed and he has been able to work this offseason without a worry.
"Oh yeah. I don't even think about it anymore," Pipkins said with a laugh.
"It's been good to get it all rehabbed and fully healthy," Pipkins added. "It's been good that I don't have to worry about it anymore. For sure."
Check out some photos of the Chargers during the second week of the 2023 off-season program at Hoag Performance Center
The 2023 season will be Pipkins' second as a full-time starter as he continues to try and improve on what he did last year.
His offseason last year was a big step in his development as a player. Many people, including his fellow tackle on the opposite side Rashawn Slater, helped him hone in on specifics in the offseason — something he is doing once again this offseason.
"This year, it didn't change a whole lot from last year. I still went down to Dallas," Pipkins said. "Before that, I was just trying to figure out what really worked for me and I didn't really know.
"The help from Rashawn ... just telling me to head down to Duke [Manyweather] and really work with an O-line specific coach and things like that, it really helped me a ton," Pipkins added. "Continue to add and continue finding what works for me."
With Pipkins back on the offensive line, the Chargers have solidified their starting tackle spots and have high hopes for their offensive line in 2023.
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