The Chargers offensive line has been a hot topic of conversation over the past two weeks – and for good reason.
Forrest Lamp made his return to practice last Monday, and new center Mike Pouncey has two games with the Bolts now under his belt.
On Tuesday, Offensive Coordinator Ken Whisenhunt gave an update on those two players and their contributions to the offensive line.
When Pouncey joined the Chargers in April, he didn't just bring his Pro Bowl career with him, but veteran leadership as well. It's something that Whiz says has been invaluable from day one, but even more so as the regular season inches closer.
"That line, that group of guys, there's a chemistry with them," Whisenhunt said. "The really good ones have a strong chemistry, and Mike really contributes a lot to that. Russell (Okung) did a great job with that. We've got (Dan) Feeney who's coming on as a young guy. (Michael) Schofield played for us last year and then Joe (Barksdale's) a part of that. Then we've got some guys who have been here and who have played for us in (Sam) Tevi and Spencer (Pulley). When you add a guy like Mike, who's been very good in this league and has a good reputation, he's the first one in the building, he works hard, he never wants to miss practice and always has a great attitude. It really helps forge that chemistry for the group and it helps us. We've been truly excited with Mike and everything he's done."
Along with his leadership comes athleticism, and according to Whisenhunt, Pouncey has it in droves. It was on display last week against the Seahawks. Not only was he able to help spring Melvin Gordon, but he also stood tall against some of Seattle's defensive linemen.
"His ability to even pull from the center position, which isn't easy to do, and be effective doing that can help us," he added. "There's no question his mobility helps us. But, he has good strength in the pocket and good technique, and that's something that's important. A lot of times, you'll get a guy who has really good mobility, but he can't hold up to the big nose (tackle) or the big three-technique, and Mike's done a good job with that."
While Pouncey has made his Chargers debut, one lineman waiting in the wings is Lamp. The second-year player returned to team reps on Monday. Whisenhunt credits Lamp's work ethic and dedication to his rehab to getting him back on track.
"I give him a lot of credit because he's been there every day, even in the offseason. It's never easy when you have an injury like that, and you're not practicing and you're not working out with the guys to get into that room with them because it's uncomfortable. But he's really been there every day (and) been committed. It's nice to see him get back on the field and do some things."
With that said, Whiz and the coaching staff are taking it one step at a time with Lamp. After all, there's still so much they need to figure out before he gets back into game-action; however, it's clear his future is bright.
"We really are excited about Forrest, but we don't really know a lot about Forrest because we haven't seen him do a lot on the field yet," Whiz explained. But everything we've seen from the short time he's been back working and what he's done, we're really excited about him."
Check out some of the best moments from camp, as the Bolts prep for joint practices with the Saints.