Phase three of Chargers voluntary workouts kicked off Monday morning at Chargers Park. Even though we’re months away from the start of the season, it was still exciting to see the players actually play a little football. This was the first time the offense and defense shared the field since off season workouts started last month.
A standout out at Chargers Park today was rookie tight end Hunter Henry. The Bolts second round NFL draft pick out of Arkansas made quite an impression during rookie minicamp a few weeks ago. His ability to advance the running game is a huge bonus to the Chargers, but quarterback Philip Rivers says his mindset is equally impressive.
“Some guys have a demeanor, and I know it’s early and it’s OTA’s but, they have a demeanor like I’ve been around here for four or five years and he has that demeanor” Rivers said of Henry. “ Not in a cocky way, it’s just like, yeah I’m a pro football player and here’s how you’re supposed to act, and he kind of carries himself in that way.”
If this outing was any indicator, the Chargers will see changes when it comes to their offensive scheme. The majority of the snaps during Monday’s workout came from under center, which is a very different look from what the Chargers did last season when Rivers was usually waiting for the ball in the shotgun formation.
In that center position today was new veteran Matt Slauson. The former Chicago Bears offensive lineman joined the Chargers in early May. Rivers says he’s still getting to know Slauson but is impressed with what he’s seen on and off the field. “He seems like he’s played a lot more at center than the five games he played last year” says Rivers. “You’d think he’s been playing center his whole career. He’s got way more starts obviously at guard. He reminds me of a couple of the guys who have been here in the past: Clary, Hardwick and Dielman with his personality, just the little I’ve been around him and that part’s exciting.”
There’s still a lot of work to be done but the atmosphere on the field today was that of a team that’s ready to get to work. Chargers Head Coach Mike McCoy knows there’s a long road ahead saying, “This really is a time period for everyone to learn our system and each day try to find something to get better at. There are plenty of mistakes we’re going to learn from on film today, but this is the first step.” And just to add a little motivation the team had the Kansas City Chiefs tomahawk chop blaring from the speakers on the practice field. That’s one way to get in game day mode. The Bolts face the Chiefs in Kansas City in week one of the regular season. Chargers minicamp is set to being on June 14th at Chargers Park.