Troy Reeder pinpoints super similarities between Chargers and old team, champion Rams
Determined to improve their chances, the Chargers added plenty in the offseason, including four Super Bowl champions.
On Tuesday, Reeder said that when he looks at the 2022 Chargers he can detect a bit of the 2021 Rams.
“I was blessed to be around a group that did do it the right way every day,” he said about last season with the Rams. “I see so many similarities in that here. I think this team has what it takes. We just have to put it all together.”
Asked for specifics, Reeder mentioned the leadership of both teams. He also talked about having a quarterback who can “put up any number of points in any given game” and a defense that “can potentially shut out any team.”
Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson received a only six-game suspension from a disciplinary officer for violating the NFL personal conduct policy.
Justin Herbert made the Pro Bowl in his second year quarterbacking an offense that finished in the top five NFL-wide in points and total yards.
The Chargers then rebuilt their defense, adding talent and depth throughout, moves that helped lead to a significant increase in expectations for a franchise that hasn’t made the playoffs since the 2018 season.
“The pieces are there,” Reeder said. “It’s about doing it week in and week out and staying healthy and peaking at the right time. Those are things that, some are out of your control, some are in your control.”
Along with acquiring the two former Rams in free agency, the Chargers also signed linebacker Kyle Van Noy and cornerback J.C. Jackson. They were on the 2018 New England team that won the Super Bowl. Van Noy won another title with the 2016 Patriots.
After those four, the Chargers have no other players with Super Bowl rings. Tight end Gerald Everett (with the 2018 Rams) and long snapper Josh Harris (with the 2016 Atlanta Falcons) have lost Super Bowls.
Defensive lineman Morgan Fox also was a member of the 2018 Rams but missed the season because of injury.
Coach Brandon Staley has talked often about the importance of having players with championship experience on a roster that’s trying to build toward its own title.
“You know week in and week out in the NFL it’s not just about that last game,” Staley said. “It’s about the entire journey to get there. Those guys know about the journey to get there, what it takes on a day-to-day basis, and that mindset that you need to have every single day. … It’s not any one thing. It’s a lot of little things that happen all of the time. I’m really glad that they’re here because they’re going to help us in a big way.”
The Chargers have gone 21-28 overall while missing the playoffs in each of the last three seasons. The franchise has made it to one Super Bowl, losing to San Francisco in 1995.
“That really starts right now, and it seems kind of crazy being that it just turned into August,” Reeder said. “The habits that we’re creating right now are stuff that is going to drive us all the way through September, October, November, and then hopefully into mid-February.”
Are Chargers on shaky ground with only Austin Ekeler to count on? They’ve drafted running backs three years in a row hoping to find an alternative. They better find an answer.
The Chargers had their longest practice of camp to date Tuesday, going more than two hours. Some highlights:
- In the first 11-on-11 period, Joshua Kelley had a strong run up the middle as he battles for the No. 2 running back spot. Herbert followed with a sizable completion over the middle to Keenan Allen. Defensively, linebacker Damon Lloyd continued his strong play with a sack and a stop of Larry Rountree III in short yardage. Defensive lineman Andrew Brown cut through to wreck a running play.
- The offense then went into a two-minute period meant to simulate the end of the first half. Herbert, flushed from the pocket, hooked up with Jalen Guyton for a long catch and run. After linebacker Nick Niemann sacked Herbert to thwart the drive, Dustin Hopkins missed a field-goal attempt from about 50 yards. Easton Stick then led the second-team offense into field-goal territory, where rookie James McCourt made a 45-yarder.
- During the next 11-on-11 session, the Chargers opened by running Everett on a sweep. The veteran tight end is expected to be employed several ways this season. Everett was the recipient of a screen pass earlier in camp. On back-to-back plays later in the possession, Herbert was sacked by Joey Bosa and hit tight end Donald Parham Jr. in the seam for a long gain. Rookie defensive back Ja’Sir Taylor ended the session with a nifty third-down pass breakup.
- The final 11-on-11 period included safety Nasir Adderley picking off Herbert on a pass over the middle. It was Herbert’s second interception of training camp. Adderley has one career interception in 34 regular-season games.
The Chargers practiced in pads for the first time in training camp, and coach Brandon Staley liked what he saw. Plus, the revamped defense steps up again.
Not money on kicks
Hopkins had a tough day, finishing five for nine overall. He signed a three-year contract worth up to $9 million with $3.52 million guaranteed at signing in March. McCourt is a rookie free agent out of Illinois.
Safety Derwin James Jr. (contract negotiation), linebacker Drue Tranquill (groin), tight end Tre’ McKitty (undisclosed) and wide receiver Jason Moore Jr. (undisclosed) did not practice. … Van Noy was down briefly after a collision with wide receiver DeAndre Carter but was able to remain on the field.
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