SAN DIEGO -- With Los Angeles Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn telling reporters at the NFL owners meeting last week that he wanted to add a young quarterback to the position group, veteran signal-caller Philip Rivers said he wasn’t totally opposed to the idea.
The Chargers held private workouts with QB draft prospects Patrick Mahomes from Texas Tech and Josh Dobbs from Tennessee. Team representatives also have attended the pro days of Pittsburgh's Nathan Peterman and Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer.
“We’re going to at some point,” Rivers said. “I’m not going to be here forever. And part of this business if you look around the league -- in New England they’ve drafted a handful of guys the last few years, and they’ve got one of the best to ever play. And it looks like he’s still got a lot left in the tank.
“That’s just one example, and there’s been many. I think that’s just part of it. I certainly don’t fear that day when that comes, whatsoever. But I don’t take it as my role, ‘Oh we draft a young guy so get him ready.’ But at the same time, I enjoy sharing things I’ve learned and letting a young guy see how I’ve done things. And at the same time, shoot, I’m always going to compete.”
With the Chargers starting the team’s offseason program this week, Rivers said it didn’t feel odd for the team to still be practicing at Chargers Park in San Diego, even though the franchise will move to Los Angeles in a few months.
Rivers said that other than his house, he hasn’t been anywhere else more than Chargers Park. The team will conduct all offseason work, including the mandatory minicamp in mid-June, at Chargers Park before packing up and holding training camp at the end of July in Costa Mesa.
“I think the tail end of this program will be somewhat emotional in the sense of how many hours and how many times you’ve practiced on this field, and how many balls you’ve thrown,” Rivers said. “But once you get into it, I think it’s just how we’re wired. Once you get into the meeting and the weight room, it’s football. It’s what we do.”
Once the Chargers are in Los Angeles for good, Rivers understands the focus will be on wooing new fans in a new market.
“It’s easy to say we’ve got to go up there and win -- that’s the way to do it,” he said. “And that’s the obvious answer. But I think controlling what we can control, being a team that competes and fights every play and that plays with passion can make a community proud to have us up there.”
New strength coach John Lott led players through a unique way of performing agility drills on the field -- barefoot. Lott told players he wanted to build strength from the ground up by focusing them on using their foot muscles.
“I put my shoes on because I couldn’t run bare foot,” defensive tackle Brandon Mebane said. “But I did the ladders for the first time barefoot. It was different, but I think the thing it kept you doing is it kept you stepping in the holes right, because if you didn’t step in the hole, you step on the blue part of the ladder. And there’s a round plastic piece, so if you step on it, it would hurt the top of your foot.”
Reporters were only allowed to watch players on the defensive side of the ball work out during the period open to media Monday. Players not visible during that portion of practice included defensive ends Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram, along with cornerbacks Casey Hayward and Jason Verrett.
Workouts are voluntary and players are not required to attend. Ingram has not signed his franchise tag tender, and Bosa reportedly attended a full-team meeting earlier on Monday where Lynn addressed the team for the first time.
“He has high expectations for us and we have high expectations for ourselves,” Mebane said about Lynn’s talk. “He was just firm, and everything he said we’re just like, ‘We believe it, and he believes in us.’”