By Cameron Buford, Whatsgoodinsports.com

For what Southern California’s would call an unseasonably cool summer, the Los Angeles Chargers will say this is great weather, as I get there 2022 season underway at Jack Hammett Sports Complex in Costa Mesa, CA., for their fifth consecutive season. Similar to the first day of school, veterans and rookies alike take the field competing for spots on this which is -150 to make the playoffs, according to Draft Kings.  

The only big news from day one of Chargers camp was safety Derwin James was not suited up and not practicing with the team. Yet, don’t fret Charger fans, the better news is that it’s only a contract dispute, which Coach Staley feels confident will be rectified by the time the games count.

“We’re working through his contract situation,” Staley said nonchalantly. “Just making sure that that gets situated here. He’s out here doing all of the walk-throughs, he’s going to be working out, but he won’t be going full-speed until that gets situated.”

“Yes, he will be out there,” Staley added when asked if James would be out there if not for his contract dispute. 

By winning the Rookie of the Year award as a rookie, Herbert was named the AFC Pro Bowl Starter in his second season after setting numerous passing records in his second season in the NFL. With all that success Justin Herbert has had in his young career, I was curious if he felt any pressure to have team success and lead them to the 2022 NFL playoffs.

“There is no pressure on us,” Herbert said with confidence. “The only pressure that you make is what you put on yourself. I think, as a team, we have the pieces; we have the athletes and competitors.”

Herbert has been a class act since joining the Chargers after being picked with the sixth pick of the 2020 NFL draft. His polished persona shined once again when he took the podium after signing autographs for the fans in attendance and who chanted loudly and proudly M-V-P as he approached to sign autographs. When asked about how he felt about hearing the fans cheer for him, Herbert said with impeccable comedic timing, “They were cheering for Khalil Mack, actually.”

These practices were the first time the Chargers fans saw their new free-agent additions suited up. This season also marks the reunion of the six-time pro bowler and three-time all-pro edge rusher Khalil Mack and head coach Brandon Staley. Mack and Staley first connected when Mack got traded to the Chicago Bears, and as the Bear linebacker coach, at the time, Staley spent long hours preparing Mack for his Bear’s debut. 

The soft-spoken Mack, was signed to assist this Chargers’ defense to be “disruptive!” While giving them a legit force opposite of four-time pro bowler Joey Bosa. His propensity to cause takeaways will be a welcomed addition to the Chargers defense that ranked 18th with 21 takeaways last season.

“It starts with the habits, going after the ball and raking at the ball and punching at the ball,” Mack said about being on teams that consistently create turnovers. “It’s just little things that translate to the game then everybody ends up doing it during the game. That’s how you create those habits.” 

“Competing and iron sharpening iron, that’s what it’s all about during this process,” Mack adds while highlighting the benefits of having an all-decade team caliber player on the team. “So, when Sundays come, whoever they play against on the offensive side it should be easy.”

Get your game day tickets now if you haven’t already because this is the most anticipated season in the Chargers franchise history. They focused on improving the offensive line last season, and it will be fun to see how their off-season additions will factor into their season’s success. Let us know your thoughts by reaching out to me on Twitter @_voiceofthefans, or email me at voiceofthefans@outlook.com.