Anthony Lynn stood under the sun at Chargers Park with his team, able to coach them as a group on the football field for the first time as the Los Angeles Chargers’ coach.
“They’re gaining a lot more than they know,” Lynn said of the players in attendance for the voluntary workouts.
But three high-profile absences overshadowed players on the field Tuesday as the team began the second phase of off-season workouts.
Quarterback Philip Rivers missed Tuesday’s session because of a family commitment. He’s expected back on campus later this week.
Edge rusher Melvin Ingram, who the team put the franchise tag on earlier this off-season, also hasn’t been at workouts, but since he hasn’t signed his franchise tag, he’s technically not under contract.
And then there’s defensive end Joey Bosa, who simply has decided that “voluntary workouts”means exactly what you’d think.
Lynn said his focus is only on the players in San Diego working out, but he said he wasn’t exactly sure why Bosa has decided not to attend. Bosa’s agent, Todd France, has not responded to inquiries from The Times.
“Your guess is as good as mine,” Lynn said. “Joey and I talked the first day, and he’s training with his guy somewhere. But, like I said, I’m only focused on the guys who are here and trying to build a team.”
Bosa missed most of training camp last year after a dispute over language in his rookie contract and his signing bonus. Following a hamstring injury that cost him the first four games of the year, Bosa proved the time away didn’t limit his productivity. He cemented himself as the best rookie defender in the NFL, recording 10½ sacks in the last 12 games of the season.
He’s not required to be a part of the team’s offseason program until mandatory minicamp in June.
Still, Lynn made it clear that his preference would be for Bosa to be in San Diego with his new coaching staff and teammates.
“Ideally, yeah, you’d like everyone here. We’re a team,” Lynn said. “The ones that are not here, they’re not here.”
Lynn trying to keep centered
When members of the media got their first look at Lynn standing on the field, he was virtually alone, observing the drills occurring all around him on the field.
For a longtime running backs coach, it had to be an uneasy feeling, and maybe that’s why at one point he started to drift toward Melvin Gordon and the rest of the running backs.
“You saw that, huh?” Lynn said with a grin.
It’s something he’s thought a lot about in his transition to head coaching after a career of being assigned to a single positional group.
“I thought that through before I came out on the field,” Lynn said. “I made sure that I was watching the big picture, looking at everybody, spending the same amount of time with the defense as the offense. I’m sure it’ll become more natural as we go.”
Cornerback Jason Verrett’s recovery from an ACL injury that cost him most of last season is moving ahead, Lynn said. “He’s working hard. He’s looking good,” Lynn said. “I hate to put a timetable on it, because I just want him to get right, but he’s on track.” …The Chargers draft night event for season ticket holders at the ESPN Zone is at capacity. Season ticket holders can still claim free tickets to Disneyland for that evening.
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