Welcome to the inaugural edition of the “Bolt Bag” or to “Charge Cards” or to “Write Back” or to whatever moderately clever pun we think of.
The goal here is a simple one: You ask questions and I’ll do my best to answer them.
This past week, the Chargers wrapped up their off-season workout program — at least the formal portion — with a trio of on-field workouts. They were open to the media, as were a handful of the team’s OTAs, and the big takeaway was that it’d be foolish to have any big takeaways from these kind of workouts.
As Chargers Coach Anthony Lynn is fond of saying, anyone can look good in a pair of shorts (hear that, all you dads), and it’d be tough to make any major decisions or judgments before the pads get put on during training camp.
Still, we did learn some things, and here’s what you wanted to know:
“What was the Chargers’ plan when drafting Mike Williams?”
-- Lanjoith (via email)
Well, I can tell you what the plan wasn’t — to take a guy who would be sidelined the entire summer with a lower back injury.
The emailer went on to point out the Chargers’ depth at receiver — which would’ve been a strength even without picking Williams.
I think the plan here was simply to try and get the offense, namely Philip Rivers, weapons that can make an immediate impact, and Williams’ ability to win in vertical spaces gives the offense a weapon they didn’t have.
He’ll have to fight for balls with Keenan Allen, Hunter Henry and the rest of the pass-catchers, but Williams is talented enough to make an impact despite the crowds.
The biggest thing, it seems, is Lynn has stepped right in and asserted himself as a powerful presence.
By revamping the strength staff, Lynn had the team working harder on its long-distance conditioning, a plan that players grumbled about at the time. But by the end of minicamp, players said they definitely felt the benefits.
Things like that help build trust and respect, and Lynn, a former player, demands respect. Whether with the press or with his team, his straight-forward approach lets everyone know what’s on his mind.
He’s holding players to a higher accountability (he ripped their performance last Tuesday), and so far his team has responded.
Early this summer, Lynn mentioned the Chargers’ fourth-round pick, Jenkins, as a prime example of the difficulty rookies can expect coming into professional football for the first time.
The schemes are more complicated, the margins for error are much slimmer and the expectations are way higher. All of it, according to Lynn, had Jenkins’ head spinning.
But by the time camp wrapped, Jenkins had turned everything around, so much so that defensive coordinator Gus Bradley signaled him out as someone who really impressed him.
Jenkins ability to cover tight ends in passing situations could be the key to getting him on the field sooner than later.
On the way back to Los Angeles from the Chargers’ final day of organized football in San Diego, I popped by the team’s future home in Costa Mesa.
The landscaping around the facility was being planted, the grass on the newly constructed practice fields was green and being watered. The offices were still being worked on – the structure itself is complete and the lower level is getting the finishing touches, per a Chargers spokesperson.
More on Bradley and the Chargers defense later this summer.