The end of the Chargers' mandatory mini camp also marks the culmination of the team's offseason program.
The past few months have been an eye opening experience for Gus Bradley, who is in his first season as the Bolts' defensive coordinator.
On Wednesday, Bradley fielded questions from the media as he opened up about who and what stood out. Here are a handful of highlights:
- Bosa is All Ball– Bradley did a lot of work on Joey Bosa coming out of college during his team with the Jacksonville Jaguars. However, the Bolts scooped him up one spot before the Jags were on the clock. So, what has stood out most to Bradley now that he gets to see Bosa up close and personal each day?
"He loves football. That's all he talks about. Football is extremely important to him. Just how he goes about taking care of his body, stretching before practice; what a great role model (he is) for a guy like Isaac (Rochell). A great work ethic on the field, and on top of it, he's pretty talented. When you come into a situation where you have a couple good rushers like that (it's special). In the NFL, it's all about precision. You want to disrupt and affect the QB, and to have guys like that is a good start."
- Raving on Rayshawn– The Bolts may have waited until the fourth round to select their first defensive player in the draft, but Rayshawn Jenkins has wasted no time catching Bradley's eye.
"Rayshawn has done a nice job, the safety we drafted out of Miami. To come in and play with poise, to be able to play fast with poise (is impressive). I think for him, sometimes you have to cover tight ends with safeties in this league, and the little bit we've seen from him doing that, he's a younger guy who has caught our eye…. We're trying to get more flexible with our safeties, but right now, he is more of a down safety for us. In OTAs, to see his ability to cover tight ends, and to play where things are happening behind him, sometimes that takes an adjustment, because it's really a LB type guy. He's jumped in nice with that."
- The Melvin Ingram Factor – This week marks the only practices Bradley will have with Melvin Ingram before training camp as the edge rusher inked a four-year deal on Monday. Still, the defensive coordinator has been a fan of number 54's game since scouting him heading into the 2012 NFL Draft. Looking at his speed and athleticism, Bradley believes Ingram is the ideal fit for the LEO position:
"Here's a guy that's going to have his hand in the ground. That'll be an adjustment. He'll be rushing a lot more than he was dropping in this system. He's got really good get-off. Good speed. Size, all those things. Those attributes you're looking for fit well at that position…. We liked him (in Seattle) coming out for the draft. It's kind of a projection a little bit. You can see enough when he does rush, some of the traits you're looking for in a LEO. How they win at the top. The bend, and things like that. Some of that skill set, he has. So now, it's just getting used to the system and getting used to the calls."
- Don't Count Out Davis– Head Coach Anthony Lynn didn't shy away from praising undrafted cornerback Michael Davis last week. Bradley offered his thoughts on the 6-2, 196-pound BYU product who also boasts sub-4.4 speed on Wednesday. While he is another fan of Davis, he noted he is still a work in progress with a long way to go:
"He's got length. That helps. And then he's very fast. He's got really good speed. Those two traits — obviously, there's others — but those two traits for him stand out. And he utilizes his length. Everybody's different. Everybody's not the same body type, build and it might look a little bit different when you watch it. But that's more what you're accustomed to seeing, some of that length used at the line of scrimmage… He's done (well). A little bit inconsistent. You see really good flashes, and then the next day he might get humbled a little bit. And then, the next day, he comes back. So the inconsistency (is there). But as coaches, this time of the year you're looking for skill sets, and those flashes. Let's build on that. I think training camp will be big, just to see how far he comes with it."
- 24/7 Mentality– Bradley is a football junkie with an intense work ethic. You never know what to expect when joining a new team, but the defensive coordinator explained learning his players share a similar mentality was reassuring. He's also been impressed by their understanding of the game:
"The way they go about it (has been great). There's been many times I've been in my office, and there are guys still in the building. They're around, they're studying film on their own, whatever, they're really into it. I think they really want to be good. You don't have to talk to them about that. It's very important to them. Usually, there's going to be mistakes on the field, but if you make the corrections, you rarely see that mistake repeated, and that's a good season. Sometimes you have to teach football 101, football 201. (But) you feel with these guys, it's a little bit higher; they've seen a lot of football."
The Bolts return to the practice field for Day Two of mini camp.