During the offseason, coaches always say that they truly can’t evaluate players until they get the pads on and start hitting. Monday was the first day of pads for the Chargers and they took full advantage of it. One player that has stood out during mini-camp and now training camp is the fourth-round draft pick, linebacker Kyzir White.
“It’s hard for me to talk about Kyzir because I get real excited,” said head coach Anthony Lynn. “I don’t want to jump the gun on him. I want to get him in some games and watch him play, but just watching him run around here and some of the things he did in the offseason, I get real excited talking about him. His speed. His attitude. His explosiveness. He just has great instincts as a football player. We had a hammer on him (in the draft).”
Now, Coach Lynn isn’t one to boast about a player if it isn’t warranted. White played safety at the University of West Virginia, but he said he noticed during the draft process that many teams asked him if he felt comfortable to switch to linebacker when drafted. At first, he was hesitant, but then embraced the idea.
“I like to get thrown in the fire because it shows what I can do,” White said about working with the starters during training camp.
It wasn’t a very hard transition because the 220-pound, 6-foot-2-inch linebacker played safety near the line of scrimmage at West Virginia. White said he would help against the run, cover tight ends or slots receivers, which he said so far the Chargers are having him do.
“I feel I can use my speed and my athleticism,” said White, “I am not the biggest linebacker out there, but I can use my skills to my advantage.”
Chargers Defensive Coordinator Gus Bradley is known to play his linebackers at each WILL, MIKE, and SAM position just in case an injury happens they can be plugged in right away. White said Bradley is great because he feeds off of his energy.
“He really loves football,” said White, “Having a coach that is amped up just rubs off you and you get excited.”
White has an older brother, Chicago Bears receiver Kevin White, who he leaned on tremendously when he knew he was headed to the NFL.
“He says control what you can, remember to always give 110 percent, and everything will take care of itself,” said White.
The linebacker said he has deleted all social media because he wants to focus on being a great football player and not being focused on what is happening in virtual reality.
White said while he appreciates the love Lynn has showed him that he has to prove it on Sunday’s when it truly matters because to him winning is everything.
NUTS AND BOLTS
Chargers worked on field goals for the first time in training camp. The battle for the team’s kicker is between Caleb Sturgis, who went 4-6 with two misses coming from inside 40 yards, and Robert Aguayo, who finished 5-6 with a miss from inside 40 yards.
The kicking game was the biggest problem for the Bolts last season so that battle will be one to monitor closely as training camp continues.