Chargers Training Camp Lessons Help Build Trust

  Chargers running back Troymaine Pope returns a punt 81 yards for a touchdown against the Saints.    (Kelvin Kuo / Associated Press)
Chargers running back Troymaine Pope returns a punt 81 yards for a touchdown against the Saints. (Kelvin Kuo / Associated Press)

By Cameron Buford

The mark of any good and successful endeavor are those that force us to learn from our experiences. The same would be true for any team dynamic and their growth. This is no different for the Los Angeles Chargers. Learning for their past and implementing those shared learning experiences into game action leads to trust, playing time and big plays.

Evidence of this became visible for the Los Angeles Chargers as the combination of veteran Quarterback Philip Rivers and 2nd-year reserve running back Troymaine Pope connected on the Chargers go-ahead score, on the road, against the winless Miami Dolphins. Though it was only a 13-yard TD pass, the play required that the two be on the same page, to even execute the play.

When asked about this particular TD pass, en route to his 400th TD which would place him sixth in league annals, Rivers mentioned, “those are the plays I made in the backyard. Those are the ones I always dreamed of making. But you know they aren’t as realistic when this level, when they’re all (defenders) bigger, faster, stronger and make you feel very uncomfortable out there in the open. I was surprised; I was really going to throw it away and I was surprised he came off him… I was wondering if he’s going to continue to block him here or is, he going to say, let me go be available. I was happy we were on the same page.”

During the open locker room session for the Chargers, I was able to ask Pope about this touchdown play and hear his vantage point of this of his first career touchdown in the NFL. “one time we were in camp and he got ready to scramble. I turned around and blocked because I thought he was going to run, he (Philip) came up to me and said ‘look for the ball next time.’ It didn’t happen again in camp, but it happened in this last game we played and so I kind of just remembered from there.”

This is the continuity a good team needs to become great! The Chargers’ ability to identify quality talent and have them mesh with their established veterans on their team is a great sign for a deep playoffs push. Though Pope’s playing time will likely be suppressed with the return of star Running Back Melvin Gordon, they know they someone who is prepared and ready to fill provided they need to call on him.

Welcoming in the Denver Broncos into the Dignity Health Sports Park this weekend, the Chargers will be facing another hungry winless team this week. They must remain alert, hungry and aggressive themselves to get over .500 for the season. I expect them to win this game fairly handily with a score of 31-17. Please share your thoughts on this week’s matchup for the Chargers and share your predictions for the Chargers by commenting in the comment section of this article on or by following me on Twitter at “Voice of the Fans” for immediate engagement. Additionally, subscribe to our weekly “Voice of the Fans Podcast” which is available for you on Apple and Google Podcasts including Spotify, TunedIn, and iHeart Radio. As always, we certainly appreciate you for making our voice your choice!