Why Joey Bosa is at Chargers OTAs and 8 other takeaways from opening practice (2023)

COSTA MESA, Calif. — The Chargers held their opening organized team activity of the offseason Monday at the team facility.

It was the first of 10 voluntary OTAs the Chargers will hold over the next three weeks. The offseason program culminates June 13 and 14 with a two-day mandatory minicamp. Players break from the team for the next month and a half before reconvening for the start of training camp in late July.


Here are my notes, takeaways and observations from the Chargers’ first OTA of 2023.

1. Overall, attendance was excellent. Of the 90 players on the roster, only two non-injured players did not make an appearance on the field: receiver Mike Williams and running back Austin Ekeler. Defensive lineman Otito Ogbonnia and cornerback J.C. Jackson were the only other two players who did not appear on the field, but they are both still rehabbing from significant knee injuries, so not a huge surprise. Jackson and Ogbonnia had been on the field during earlier phases of the offseason program, working off to the side with trainers.

Williams was with the team earlier this spring, coach Brandon Staley said. Williams also missed the opening day of OTAs last offseason. He was back on the field for the second week. “He’s been doing a really good job for us,” Staley said Monday.

Ekeler prefers to work out on his own during the offseason. He missed all of OTAs last year before joining the team for mandatory minicamp. So his absence is not necessarily related to his current contract situation. The Chargers granted Ekeler permission to seek a trade partner earlier this offseason after the two sides remained far apart on extension negotiations. Ekeler is in the final year of his deal. Staley said he expects Ekeler to be in attendance for mandatory minicamp. Ekeler would risk being fined if he does not report for the mandatory practices.

OTAs pic.twitter.com/Tk0yAmFWnI

(Video) Joey Bosa On OTAs & Training With Nick | LA Chargers

— Daniel Popper (@danielrpopper) May 22, 2023

2. One noteworthy player who attended Monday’s opening OTA: edge rusher Joey Bosa. In recent years, Bosa has missed at least the first week of OTAs while he worked out with his brother, 49ers edge rusher Nick Bosa, in Florida. Bosa arrived in SoCal for the second week of OTAs last year. In 2021, Staley’s first season as head coach, Bosa did not report to the team until mandatory minicamp.

When asked Monday about his motivation for attending the opening of OTAs, Bosa responded rather dryly: “The coaches telling me.”

“It’s no problem, it’s just I am in a pretty strict routine down in Florida training with my brother, so it’s just a few moving pieces, obviously, with that other than just myself,” Bosa said. “But my dad’s manning the helm back in Florida with my brother. He’s handling his training for the next few weeks.”

Chargers edge rushers coach Giff Smith has been with the organization since 2016, the year Bosa was drafted. Bosa said Smith has often encouraged him to attend OTAs. But Bosa typically prefers his regimented routine with Nick. This year, Bosa said multiple coaches reached out to him about showing up for the start of OTAs.

“Your culture is your best players and the example that they set, and certainly Khalil Mack sets a high standard, Derwin (James),” Staley said. “And I think Joey is a part of that. So for Joey to be here, I think it shows all these young players what it takes to be successful. You have to be here with your team to improve. And we know that Joey’s got such a specific routine with his brother in Florida, so for him to be here day one, really excited about that.”

Bosa said Mack was “definitely part of the reason” he came to the opening day of OTAs this year. The two have grown close, even though they did not get much time on the field together after Bosa tore his groin in Week 3 last season.

“I feel obligated to do my stuff when I have him watching me, have him counting on me,” Bosa said of Mack. “It’s nice to have that.”

(Video) Why Joey Bosa Is "JBBigBear"

Bosa said he is looking forward to potentially grabbing dinner with the defensive players over Memorial Day weekend.

“It’s going to be great being out here with all the guys,” he said.

The Chargers have an OTA on Thursday and do not return to the field until May 31.


3. Quarterback Justin Herbert participated in the early portion of practice, throwing routes against air to his receivers. He did not participate in the seven-on-seven portion of practice. Easton Stick took the first reps at quarterback, followed by rookie Max Duggan.

Justin Herbert threw passes against air at the Chargers’ first OTA session as he recovers from surgery to his non-throwing shoulder. (Isaiah J. Downing / USA Today)

(Video) Mic’d Up: Joey Bosa Quotes SpongeBob At Training Camp | LA Chargers

Herbert is still working his way back from January labrum surgery on his non-throwing shoulder. Staley said Herbert remains “on track” and “on pace.”

“He’s been able to throw more and more and he’s on that throwing progression,” Staley said. “He’s working himself for training camp.”

GO DEEPERJustin Herbert: Shoulder 'getting closer to 75 percent'

4. A few other players sat out some or most of Monday’s practice: receiver Joshua Palmer, center Corey Linsley, guard Jamaree Salyer, receiver Derius Davis, defensive lineman Austin Johnson, linebackers Nick Niemann and Amen Agbongbemiga and receiver Jalen Guyton. Johnson and Guyton were not in uniform and are still rehabbing knee injuries from last season. As for the other injured players, Staley said, “Anybody that’s not out there, we’re trying to get these guys ready to play for training camp and the regular season. So if they’re not out there, it’s probably something minor in nature.”

5. The Chargers defense won the day in seven-on-seven drills against Stick. Michael Davis had an excellent pass breakup defending a double move from Keelan Doss on the outside down the sideline. Asante Samuel Jr., also on the outside, jumped a Keenan Allen in-breaking route and nearly picked off Stick. James forced an Allen drop in the middle of the field. Deane Leonard, playing outside, had two deep-field pass breakups against Stick. Both those passes were intended for John Hightower.

6. With Jackson’s still rehabbing his knee, Davis and Samuel manned their same positions as last season on the outside. Ja’Sir Taylor took a majority of the reps inside at slot corner, or star. James, as he has done throughout the past two seasons under Staley, rotated down to star in certain packages. James will also play the money position — which is a safety-linebacker hybrid role in six defensive back packages.

Alohi Gilman started seven-on-seven next to James at safety. When James rotated to star, 2022 third-round pick JT Woods came on at safety next to Gilman.


James’ playing more at star could be one way the Chargers create additional depth at that position, with Bryce Callahan’s remaining a free agent. Samuel has cross-trained there but seems penciled into a starting outside spot until Jackson is cleared to return to action. James played 224 snaps at slot corner in 2021, according to Pro Football Focus. That number dropped for 154 snaps last season.

(Video) Derwin James taking pass rush lessons from Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack at #Chargers training camp

“It’s an advantage for sure,” Staley said of James’ playing star. “I think that’s one of the things he does best, is play close to the ball, and he can play star or money. And so that gives us a lot of flexibility in how we want to play because he’s got a lot of those hybrid characteristics of a defensive back or a linebacker. So we feel like we’ve got a good group to coach at that position, but certainly having his ability to play there is a weapon for us.”

Derwin James’ positional flexibility is always a key to unlocking the best out of the Chargers’ defense. (Marc Lebryk / USA Today)

7. One undrafted player to watch over the spring and summer: defensive lineman Jerrod Clark. He was working on the first-team field during the walk-throughs after practice. Of the 18 undrafted free agents the Chargers signed, Clark might have the best shot of cracking the 53-man roster. He has the type of size and length Staley likes on the interior. We will see how he performs when the pads come on in July.

8. The Chargers will host joint practices with the Saints ahead of their Aug. 20 preseason game, Staley said. Staley said he expects those practices to be Thursday, Aug. 17, and Friday, Aug. 18. Saturday, Aug. 19, would be an off day before the game.

9. Over the weekend, the Chargers signed defensive lineman Nick Williams. They have one open roster spot remaining. Staley crossed paths with Williams in 2018 with the Bears. Chargers defensive line coach Jay Rodgers coached Williams in Chicago in 2018 and 2019.

“He just gives us a lot of interior defensive line versatility. He’s played any of the middle three. Been on a lot of really good fronts,” Staley said. “He’s going to make that group deeper going into training camp.”

(Top photo: Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)

(Video) Mack & Bosa Top Plays | LA Chargers


What is Joey Bosa known for? ›

Hall of Fame linebacker Junior Seau and Bosa are the only Chargers defensive players selected to four Pro Bowls over the first five seasons of a career. He was ranked 30th by his fellow players on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2022 list.

Where does Joey Bosa play football? ›

Joey became one of the highest-paid defensive players in the NFL in 2020 when he signed a five-year, $135-million contract extension with the Chargers.

How old is Joey Bosa? ›

How much does Joey Bosa make a year? ›

The Chargers put edge rusher Joey Bosa at the top of the non-quarterback pay scale in 2020 with a five-year, $135 million extension, averaging $27 million per year, when he was entering his contract year of a $14.36 million fifth-year option.

How much does Joey Bosa make per year? ›


Are linebackers offense or defense? ›

They are typically the second line of defense in most defensive structures, deeper than the defensive line, but closer than the safeties. Typically standing anywhere from 3-5 yards behind the defensive line, linebackers are sometimes some of the most athletic defenders on the field.

Who is number 99 on the Chargers? ›

Jerry Tillery now dons the number 99 and fans are hoping that he too can be an impact pass-rusher because his rookie season was pretty disappointing for the Chargers.

How much does Nick Bosa make? ›

Nick Bosa signed a 4 year, $33,551,865 contract with the San Francisco 49ers, including a $22,421,356 signing bonus, $33,551,865 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $8,387,966. In 2023, Bosa will earn a base salary of $17,859,000, while carrying a cap hit of $17,859,000 and a dead cap value of $17,859,000.

Who has the most sacks in the NFL? ›

Bruce Smith

Who leads the NFL in sacks? ›

Bruce Smith has the most sacks in NFL history.

Did Joey Bosa wear 99? ›

While Bosa has been very effective while wearing No. 99, the change has to do more with his family. His father, John, wore the number for three seasons in the league and the NFL's newest Bosa, Nick, will wear it for the San Francisco 49ers after being selected No. 2 overall in the 2019 NFL Draft a month ago.

What is the lowest paid NFL player? ›

While Tyrone Swoopes was the lowest paid player in the NFL in 2021, looking at the low end of league earners in 2022 isn't as transparent.

Who is the highest paid D line in the NFL? ›

Who Is the Highest-Paid Defensive Tackle in the NFL? Aaron Donald is the best defensive tackle in the NFL and one of the greatest defensive players in league history, so it's only fitting that he's the highest-paid interior defender in terms of AAV at $31.67 million.

Who is the highest paid D end in the NFL? ›

The Chargers employ the two highest-paid defensive players in terms of total value. Khalil Mack's $141 million deal is the most expensive defensive contract in the NFL while Joey Bosa checks in just $6 million behind. Eight of the 10 defensive stars on this list are in the $100 million club.

How much will Tom Brady make at Fox? ›

Tom Brady explains why he won't start FOX broadcasting job until 2024. The 45-year-old quarterback agreed to a 10-year, $375 million contract with FOX Sports in May 2022 to be the network's lead NFL analyst "immediately following his playing career."

What is Tony Romo salary as a broadcaster? ›

According to the New York Post, Tony Romo's salary with CBS is roughly $17 million per season. The former Cowboys quarterback signed an extension following the 2020 season for at least five seasons. With the deal exceeding $100 million, it's believed Romo is the highest-paid NFL analyst in TV history.

What is Pat Mahomes salary? ›

Salary plus endorsements

Mahomes thus rakes in some $45 million per year as Chiefs quarterback. However, this is not his only source of income as he has also landed substantial endorsement deals, including those he inked with Subway and State Farm.

What is the hardest position to play in football? ›

Cornerback is the hardest position in football, and it's one of the toughest jobs in all of sports. Corners are some of the smallest men on the field, but they're typically the most athletic. Exceptional speed, quickness, and agility are prerequisites for the position.

Who is the best linebacker in the NFL? ›

Best Linebackers in the NFL 2023: Fred Warner Tops List, Matt Milano and Shaquille Leonard Get Their Due. Capable linebackers are becoming a rarity in the modern NFL, which is why the best LBs in the league provide even more value than they did before.

What is the weak side in football? ›

What Is the Weak Side in Football? The weak side in football is the side of the field opposite the side that the tight end (TE), a player on the offense, lines up on. The weak side is used by defensive coordinators when designing plays and by players when aligning themselves on the field.

Will the Chargers stay in LA? ›

The Chargers are in an agreement to stay at SoFi Stadium until 2040, which instantly makes things tough. New ownership could probably negate that agreement or work out some sort of buyout clause, but that would be just one of many hurdles.

Who is 69 on the Chargers? ›

Sebastian Joseph-Day (born March 21, 1995) is an American football defensive end for the Los Angeles Chargers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Rutgers. He has previously played in the NFL for the Los Angeles Rams, with whom he won Super Bowl LVI.

Who is 73 on the Chargers? ›

Foster Sarell73OT
Easton Stick2QB
Mike Williams81WR
Pokey WilsonWR
55 more rows

Is Nick Bosa better than Micah Parsons? ›

Micah Parsons is ranked over Nick Bosa in PFF's top 101 list.

What is Aaron Rodgers NFL salary? ›

Current Contract

Aaron Rodgers signed a 3 year, $150,815,000 contract with the Green Bay Packers, including a $40,800,000 signing bonus, $150,815,000 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $50,271,667.

How much is Joe Burrow salary? ›

Current Contract

In 2023, Burrow will earn a base salary of $1,010,000 and a roster bonus of $4,535,018, while carrying a cap hit of $11,515,043 and a dead cap value of $11,515,044. Contract Notes: Projected to 4 years, $36.19M. Fully Guaranteed.

Who has the most QB sacks ever? ›

1Fran Tarkenton+572
2Tom Brady565
3Ben Roethlisberger554
4Aaron Rodgers530
96 more rows

What QB has been sacked the most? ›

Tom Brady has gotten sacked the most career by a quarterback, with 565 sacks.
Tom Brady335565
Ben Roethlisberger249554
Aaron Rodgers230530
Brett Favre302525
46 more rows

Who has the most NFL touchdowns in history? ›

Jerry Rice

What QB has the most interceptions? ›

Brett Favre has the most career interceptions by a quarterback, with 336 interceptions.

Who has the most interceptions in NFL history? ›

NFL History - Leaders
1Paul Krause81
2Emlen Tunnell79
3Rod Woodson71
17 more rows

Who are the top 5 defenses in the NFL? ›

The San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys, New York Jets and Miami Dolphins have the best defenses in the NFL based on our 2023 NFL defense rankings.

How much can Joey Bosa squat? ›

Unlike a lot of big sack guys, though, who get their sacks through sheer speed, Bosa's power and strength are notable. He benched as much as 440 pounds and squatted 500 while in high school -- and he also runs in the 4.7s in the 40.

Why does Bosa wear that helmet? ›

This added protection gives the Bosa's a little extra cushion when clashing against the offensive line. The Vicis Zero2 Trench is tuned for low-velocity impacts and out-performs the competitors.

What does Joey Bosa wear on his wrist? ›

Joey Bosa wears DonJoy Wrist Braces on both wrists. They're all black. DonJon Wrist Braces have become very popular for both offensive and defensive lineman in the NFL. These braces give lineman a little bit more wrist support which is helpful when they're battling in the trenches.

What is Nick and Joey Bosa relationship? ›

Is Nick Bosa related to Joey Bosa? A. Yes, Nick Bosa is the younger brother of Joey Bosa, who is also an NFL player. Both Nick and Joey are highly talented defensive ends.

Did Nick and Joey Bosa play together? ›

The two were on the same team before, when Nick was a freshman and Joey was a senior at St. Thomas Aquinas in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Why do quarterbacks wear wrist tape? ›

How is The Wristband Utilized? By numbering each play listed on the quarterback's wristband, the coach can call out a number from the sideline to instruct the quarterback on which play to call next. This drastically helps limit any confusion that might come with memorizing hundreds of plays.

What is on the helmets at training camp? ›

Wondering what's up with the funky bubble helmets players are wearing during training camp? That's the NFL's new safety measure and they're called Guardian Caps. The premise is simple.

Why do Bosas wear 97? ›

While Bosa has been very effective while wearing No. 99, the change has to do more with his family. His father, John, wore the number for three seasons in the league and the NFL's newest Bosa, Nick, will wear it for the San Francisco 49ers after being selected No.

Where is the Bosa family from? ›

Keene, New Hampshire, U.S. John was selected by the Dolphins in the first round (16th overall) of the 1987 NFL Draft. His elder son, Joey Bosa, played college football at Ohio State University and was selected third overall in the 2016 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers.

Did Nick Bosa lose weight? ›

Bosa said he's dropped to around 9 percent body fat, one of the lowest on the team.

Is Nick Bosa smart? ›

"I think Nick's one of the smarter players I've ever been around," head coach Kyle Shanahan said. "He's extremely talented... He really is breaking down the game inside and out, the pass rush, the coverage, all this stuff tied together.

Who has more sacks Nick Bosa or Joey Bosa? ›

If either Bosa brother records at least half a sack, the Bosa family will have 100 career sacks among them. Currently the Bosas have 99.5 sacks, with Joey having 59.5, Nick having 33 and their father, John Bosa, who played for the Dolphins from 1987 to 1989, having seven career sacks.

Why did Joey Bosa leave the game? ›

“There was a lot going on in my head that day. It was rough.” Chargers defensive stars Joey Bosa, left, and Khalil Mack talk before their game against the Rams. Bosa revealed he was dealing with food poisoning going into the game.

How many sets of brothers play in the NFL? ›

Football is truly a family business. In 2016, the Pro Football Hall of Fame published a list of brothers who have played professional football. There are 377 sets of brothers on the list, more than 750 names total on the NFL siblings list.


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