The Chargers staged another media availability during organized team activities Tuesday. Their offseason program will conclude with a two-day mandatory minicamp starting next Tuesday.
Highlights from Costa Mesa:
Meet the new guy: When they signed Kyle Van Noy via free agency in early May, the Chargers added a linebacker with experience, versatility and presence.
Also two Super Bowl rings.
“I love winning,” Van Noy said. “I don’t care about stats. Most people do. That’s all fine and dandy. But at the end of the day, when you get to hold up the trophy, nobody can really say nothing. I want to be able to do that, and I want to bring that juice each and every day to practice and fuel the team. ”
At 31, Van Noy is entering his ninth season. He won his two Super Bowls with New England and also has played for Detroit and Miami.
Speaking with the local media for the first time since joining the Chargers, Van Noy said he won’t force any Super Bowl-winning wisdom on his new teammates.
“I think you’ll be able to pick your spots when you say stuff,” he explained. “But, at the end of the day, it comes with your work ethic and gaining the trust of coaches and players and just working.”
He later added: “I’m a big believer in practice what you preach. So you gotta do it first before you start preaching. ”
The Chargers have added three other NFL-champion defensive players this offseason: Sebastian Joseph-Day and Troy Reeder, who won the Super Bowl with the Rams in February, and JC Jackson, who won as a rookie with the 2018 Patriots.
Starts with Staley: Van Noy spent 4½ seasons with New England, starting 53 of the 67 games in which he played. Eleven of his 12 playoff games have come with the Patriots.
He cited “the foundation up top” as the first reason he was attracted to the Chargers, specifically mentioning how he has connected with coach Brandon Staley.
“I’ve been a fan of him for a while,” Van Noy said. “He’s a good person too. … It’s refreshing to have a young coach with his mindset to lead a team and to be around him and really, truly feed off that. ”
Staley represents a stark departure from Bill Belichick, the famously rigid 70-year-old, six-time Super Bowl-winning coach who has been with New England for 22 seasons.
“I like this environment,” Van Noy said. “I’m ready for it. It’s new and it’s refreshing, for sure. There’s a time and place from every environment. I think that was good for me when I was [early] in my career and needed those things. Where I’m at in my career now, this is where I’m supposed to be. ”
Plenty of motivation: Having played both inside and on the edge during his career, Van Noy offers the position flexibility Staley and defensive coordinator Renaldo Hill value.
He is coming off a season in which he had 66 tackles and five sacks. He played 81% of the Patriots’ defensive snaps.
Van Noy also knocked away 10 passes, forced two fumbles and scored the first touchdown of his career – on a 35-yard interception return.
“A lot of people can say whatever they want about me,” he said. “I can’t play in different schemes or yada, yada, yada. But I’m just so excited to prove the people wrong, the naysayers.
“But, honestly, I want to prove the people right – my family that believe in me each and every day, the coaches, the players that I’ve already gained the trust of. I hope to continue to gain their trust and play at a high level. ”
For the love of the game: Tight end Donald Parham Jr. pronounced himself 100% healthy, as he has re-joined teammates on the practice field.
He missed the final three games of last season following a frightening concussion suffered in a Thursday night game in mid-December against Kansas City.
“It’s the opportunity of a lifetime,” Parham said of restarting his career. “I’m just taking advantage of every moment that I have back. After everything that happened, it feels good to be back, for sure. ”
Parham lost movement for a time after hitting the back of his head on the SoFi Stadium turf. He remained hospitalized into the weekend as doctors continued to monitor the recovery of his motor skills.
Asked why he wanted to resume playing after such a scary incident, Parham was succinct.
“I love the game,” he said. “This team makes me feel a part of a family, and that’s where I wanted to be.”
New guy II: Defensive lineman Morgan Fox also met with the local media for his first time as a Charger. He signed as a free agent in mid-May. Fox spent four seasons with the Rams before playing with Carolina in 2021.
Two years ago, he had a career-best six sacks while Staley was coordinating the Rams’ defense.
“Coach Staley knows how to use everyone,” Fox said. He knows how to get the most out of guys. Being able to be a part of this scheme again and being able to move around and have the fun that we had is really exciting. ”
Staley has praised Fox’s ability to pressure quarterbacks from the inside, something the Chargers struggled to do with consistency last season.
Fox is part of a significant upgrade the Chargers believe they have made in the quality and depth throughout their defense as they attempt to reach the playoffs for the first time since after the 2018 season.
Similar to Van Noy, Fox possesses position flexibility.
“The more you can do in this business, in general, is super important,” he said. “Then, in a scheme like this, where you can be a threat at any point on the line or even off the ball, it helps a lot. Fortunately, we have a ton of guys who are very versatile and can play any position on the line or standing up, which is exciting. ”