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What are the Biggest Adjustments for Chargers Rookies?

Excited fans rally together at Chargers Park as the rookies take on the field for Mini Camp.

Since joining the team in the spring, the Chargers rookies have been through a whirlwind of league experiences, including the draft, rookie minicamp, OTAs, veteran minicamp the Rookie Transition Program and much more.

While it has been a lot to take in, the newest Bolts have embraced each opportunity, believing the offseason has gotten their careers off to a great start.

"It's been a blast; it's a dream come true to be able to come out here and compete and be on a team with these guys," said second round draft pick Hunter Henry.  "We have a great group of guys here and it's a lot of fun to be able to come into it.  As the new guy, you have to come in and get a feel for everybody.  It's almost like you're the new kid in school again.  It's been a lot of fun getting to know guys that you've grown up watching."

"It's been going well," added inside linebacker Joshua Perry.  "Getting adjusted has been a little bit of a learning curve especially in terms of the playbook and everything.  But being out here has been awesome and the veterans have been great.  It's a great city and I'm just really enjoying my time right now."

While being a rookie can present many challenges, many say the biggest adjustment has been adapting to a new system with different terminology.  Perry said he knows his growth as a player is conducive to being "in my book studying."

"(A challenge) has been learning the scheme and the playbook," mentioned fullback Chris Swain.  "I played in a triple-option offense and this is a pro-offense where I'm learning two different positions and also special teams."

As an undrafted rookie free agent, Swain knows he can't take anything for granted and is doing whatever he can to become cerebral with the playbook.

"I've been spending a lot of time (learning it)," he said.  "For two weeks I was meeting for an extra hour or two with one of our assistant position coaches.  I met with him to try to get up to speed with everything to play fast on the field."

In addition, Henry added that adapting to an NFL team means becoming more detail-oriented, especially on the field.

"The complexities of everything (are different).  There are so many details you have to really tune into (especially) on blitzes, the defenses, in the huddle.  I did that in college but it's at another level having to lock in every single play and look at every little detail.  You have to be really detailed-oriented and that's something I've been trying to work on through the offseason."

Before they return for the start of training camp, many rookies set goals they hope to achieve personally and professionally.

"I hope to come back to training camp in the best shape physically and mentally I can be in to give myself the best chance I can to make the team," Swain mentioned.

"I want to get stronger," added Henry.  "I think that's going to be a big emphasis for me; just to get stronger and get my body right for this season.  My body has never really taken in a season as long and as physical as I'm about to embark on, but I'll be ready for it.  What I've been hearing from the vets is (the game) is a lot more mental so just keep your body healthy and ready to go every week."

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