Chargers hope to begin offseason workout with momentum from last season’s finish
When the Chargers report to camp Monday for the beginning of their formal offseason workout schedule, the plans they’ve put into place since the end of last season will begin to take root.
Sitting out the biggest names in free agency, avoiding getting entangled in trade rumors and largely going under the radar, the Chargers’ plans are well-defined, albeit a little boring.
The team is striving for a sense of continuity, trying to keep the momentum from a 9-3 finish over the final 12 weeks headed into a new season.
It’s an admirable goal – one virtually everyone in the Chargers’ organization knows is a fool’s errand.
Each football season is its own thing, general manager Tom Telesco and coach Anthony Lynn have said. Momentum ends with the final snap of the year – one that came with the Chargers a hair outside of a postseason appearance.
“Now, we need to get everyone to buy in again,” Lynn said at the NFL’s owner meetings in Orlando, Fla., earlier this offseason.
If there’s reason to be optimistic in the Chargers’ plan, it’s because of how chaotic things were just a year ago.
When players gathered for the first time before the 2017 season, they were still working out in San Diego at Chargers Park. The new coaching staff was in temporary housing while using off days – “L.A. days,” they called them – to drive north to look for places to live.
Speaking of new staff, players had to adjust to new strength and conditioning coach John Lott and his methods, which included having players work out on the field barefoot.
The exercises were intended to cut down on injuries by strengthening players’ feet and ankles. It was just one of a handful of changes intended to help keep the Chargers healthier in 2017 – and along with some good luck, it worked.
When the team begins the first phase of their offseason Monday, it’ll serve as a good check-in with the few Chargers that were injured last season.
Last year’s first two draft picks, Mike Williams and Forrest Lamp, both missed serious time with injuries, with Lamp missing the entire season after suffering a knee injury in training camp.
Williams is expected to be at full health, and Lamp hasn’t had any setbacks in his recovery. Cornerback Jason Verrett, who also is returning from knee surgery, is also on track.
Tight end Hunter Henry, who suffered a lacerated kidney late in the season, isn’t expected to be slowed.
There’s no real rush at this point in the offseason – the next two weeks are strictly for strength and conditioning work.
But while the Chargers won’t have the flashy additions with them Monday in Costa Mesa at the facility they’ve called home for nearly a year, they’ll have some stability and some consistency.
And, the team is banking on that being a big enough change.
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