With training camp here, we're checking in with Chargers players ahead of the 2022 season:
Our series continues this week with Trey Pipkins III.
Now in his fourth NFL season, the 2019 third-round pick of the Bolts finds himself entrenched in earning the starting right tackle role.
Here's more from Pipkins on that competition, his offseason working out with Duke Manyweather, how he's grown as a player from Sioux Falls to now, and more.
Let's rewind to the offseason. How did it go?
Pipkins: It was really good. Rashawn [Slater] and [former Chargers guard] Oday [Aboushi] got me hooked up working with Duke Manyweather.
We were in the locker room the day after the season ended and we were talking about offseason plans. I said I didn't really have plans and was going to stay around here and work out for a while. And they were like you should try coming down to Duke. I had them explain what the programs were like and it sounded good so I gave it a shot. I learned a lot and got a lot of great workouts in. It's been really nice.
He's like the o-line specialist, right?
Pipkins: Yeah, he's kind of grown into that. He trains about 35-40 guys, offensive linemen, and has earned a lot of respect, rightfully, because he has a lot of good knowledge. Not just the strength and conditioning biomechanics side, but the offensive line stuff, so it was really cool.
It's early, but what has your fourth training camp been like so far?
Pipkins: It's always good to get back with the guys and get back on the field to see how your offseason has prepared you for the season.
How are you a different player than when you first came into the league?
Pipkins: Oh, so many ways! I obviously have put on a lot of strength which has helped me on the field, but I've just learned so much about the game.
Coming from a D-II school [Sioux Falls], all my coaches were great and I learned a lot there, but [the NFL is] just a different level. You learn about different things you never learned about in college. And all of that stuff helps slow the game down as you learn more and more.
I've just learned so much and gained so much knowledge along with all the physical things I've gained, that's probably the biggest way I've grown.
Piggybacking off of that, what's the biggest thing you've learned over the last few years?
Pipkins: That's tough! I think the biggest thing is reading a defense. Just reading how linebacker fits and safety rotations can affect d-line movement so you don't have to react every single time; you can be more proactive than reactive.
You can see how the safeties rotating or how linebackers are shifting over, and things like that, and you can predict what a defensive line is gonna do. That helps a ton post-snap.