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After watching 'old guys,' Chargers' Joey Bosa excited to get on field

SAN DIEGO -- Since his arrival Sunday, defensive end Joey Bosa has been at Chargers Park all week participating in the team’s rookie development program.

Along with getting fitted for gear and participating in daily meetings to learn the playbook and culture of the franchise, the San Diego Chargers' top draft pick attended on-field workout sessions with the veterans -- “old guys,” as Bosa referred to them -- as an observer.

“It’s kind of a tease being out there watching them do all of the drills,” Bosa said about the veterans' offseason workouts. “I was over there with my tennis shoes on, and they just did a drill. And I went up to do it, and I slipped. So I was like, ‘All right, enough of that.’ But yeah, I was just eager to get out and work with the guys.”

Bosa finally got his opportunity Friday with the first day of San Diego’s rookie minicamp.

Looking every bit of the 6-foot-5 and 280 pounds he’s listed at on the Chargers’ roster, Bosa showed off some of the skills that made him an All-American at Ohio State.

His hand use during individual drills stood out. During team drills, Bosa defeated a tight end off the edge and tagged off on the quarterback for a sack.

As San Diego general manager Tom Telesco said he would after selecting Bosa No. 3 overall in this year’s draft, the 20-year-old lined up at defensive end in coordinator John Pagano’s 3-4 scheme during the 90-minute practice, and also played defensive end in a four-man front when the Chargers worked on the team’s nickel package.

“It was great getting to actually play some football, run some plays and fly around,” Bosa said. “I think it went really well, at least for a first day. There’s obviously some mistakes that I made, and we’ll correct them in film today.”

So what surprised Bosa?

“There were no real surprises,” Bosa said. “The defense wasn’t hard to pick up on. It’s a little different, but I was just here ready to work. Maybe that we weren’t out there doing drills, we were watching the guys doing it [all week]. I didn’t really know exactly what we were going to be doing, but no real surprises.”

Chargers head coach Mike McCoy was pleased to see his prized pupil on the field.

“It didn’t take long to figure out the guy we wanted to get,” McCoy said. “Any time you turned on Ohio State football and you were watching their defense, it didn’t matter if you were watching one of their players or an opponent on the offensive side of the football, he was on tape often wreaking havoc and making plays -- getting after the quarterback, running to the football and playing the way we want to play football here. So it’s great to have him on our football team.”

Easing the transition for Bosa is inside linebacker Joshua Perry, a former Ohio State teammate and San Diego's fourth-round selection, calling the defense during rookie minicamp.

“He’s a hard-working guy that makes plays,” Perry said of Bosa. “That’s his thing. He’s always going to go hard. He’s a big, strong kid. Athletically gifted, obviously, and somebody who gets after it with a big motor.

“That’s one thing we saw at Ohio State. The kid was getting triple-teamed and he was still causing problems for an offense, because it’s ingrained in you that you hustle every play.”

Some tidbits from practice:

  • Tight end Hunter Henry, the Chargers' second-round pick, stood out during team drills, shaking open and making several catches. The Arkansas product was smooth getting in and out of cuts and showed good acceleration after the catch.

  • Still about seven months out from ACL surgery, third-round selection Max Tuerk was limited in practice and did not take part in team drills.

  • Perry and fifth-round pick Jatavis Brown played alongside each other at inside linebacker, with Perry serving as the Mike linebacker and calling the plays.

  • Seventh-round selection Donavon Clark played right guard during his first practice.

  • Sixth-round selection fullback Derek Watt did a nice job catching the ball out of the backfield.