Day 1 with Jim Harbaugh, and Chargers’ ‘physicals’ take a whole new meaning

New coach Jim Harbaugh is pointing toward more physical play for his Chargers. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

The Chargers are still more than five months away from playing the initial game of the Jim Harbaugh era.

But where the team is headed was evidently quite obvious during the first meeting on the first day of the first phase of Harbaugh’s first offseason program.

“We’re going to be physical,” new tight end Hayden Hurst said. “We’re going to come right at you. You see us pop up on the schedule, it’s going to be a long Sunday.”

Hurst signed with the Chargers last month after spending time with Baltimore, Atlanta, Cincinnati and Carolina. He was selected by the Ravens in the first round of the 2018 draft.

During his first two NFL seasons, Hurst played for Harbaugh’s brother, John. After spending just one day with Jim, Hurst said the two coaches share “the same sort of ideology” of how to best win games.

“We want to out-physical teams,” Hurst said. “We want teams to fear us. We want teams to end up giving up in the fourth quarter where we’re just hitting our stride.”

Read more: Jim Harbaugh: Chargers could get top non-quarterback in NFL draft

Harbaugh has conveyed a similar message since he day he was formally introduced as the Chargers’ new coach in early February. He is determined to toughen up a franchise not recognized historically for its physicality.

With that as the goal, Harbaugh brought with him from his previous job at Michigan an assistant named Ben Herbert, the Chargers’ new executive director of player performance.

Herbert is expected to play a significant role as the team attempts to fulfill Harbaugh’s rougher vision. Tuesday’s opening day included baseline testing to determine where each player is starting from physically.

From there, Herbert will begin building on what he calls the “key performance indicators,” with a particular focus on the neck, shoulders, hips, hamstrings and ankles.

“My first…

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Author : LA Times

Publish date : 2024-04-02 23:08:59

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