Chargers linemen Pipkins, Norton nonetheless pushing to start out


COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) — Brandon Staley acknowledged the Los Angeles Chargers nonetheless have loads of work to do earlier than shifting their focus to the common season.

“We’re going to have to make some decisions here next week,” Staley mentioned. “That’s why these next three practices, for us, we’re going to really try and take advantage of them, that way, we can make the decisions next week that we need to make.”

Choosing between Storm Norton or Trey Pipkins III to start out at proper sort out may be essentially the most notable query nonetheless going through Staley going into his second season as head coach.

“I think that we’re getting close to being able to make a decision on that,” Staley mentioned. “It’s been a really good competition. No matter how it shakes out, it’s going to be good for our football team.”

The utilization of Norton and Pipkins within the second preseason recreation, a 32-18 loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday, appeared to have offered some hints.

Norton, an undrafted free agent initially signed by the Detroit Lions in 2017 who additionally hung out with the Arizona Cardinals and Minnesota Vikings earlier than becoming a member of Los Angeles in 2020, acquired the beginning, with he and Pipkins every enjoying 20 snaps.

But it was Pipkins, a third-round draft pick of the University of Sioux Falls in 2019, working with the starters in follow Monday. He additionally acquired the primary reps in particular person and crew drills when the Chargers and Cowboys held two days of joint practices final week.

Staley mentioned it was necessary for each Norton and Pipkins to proceed to get as a lot work as doable given their relative inexperience. Norton began 15 video games final season after veteran Bryan Bulaga sustained a season-ending core muscle damage within the opener at Washington, whereas Pipkins has began 10 video games throughout his first three seasons within the NFL.

“They’re both at similar junctures in their career,” Staley mentioned. “I think it would be different if you had a rookie or a second-year player with a fifth-year player and you said, ‘Hey, maybe there is that true gap where you feel like a guy can maybe achieve something because he hasn’t experienced as much football.’

“But I think with these two guys, we’re going to be able to make an accurate decision. Then, I think, we’re going to be able to know that that person earned it. All we want is that person to be able to go out there and play to his full potential, get with the other four guys that he’s going to be with and really establish that strong chemistry.”

Staley likes the progress Norton and Pipkins have made all through the offseason, one thing he mentioned was particularly obvious working in opposition to Cowboys edge rusher DeMarcus Lawrence and linebacker Micah Parsons.

“My evaluation is that they are both much better football players than they were last season. That is a fact,” Staley mentioned.

However, Staley dominated out a rotation between the 2.

“Whoever wins this race is going to be the guy out there,” he mentioned. “I want to make sure that everyone knows that. We’ll let you know when that happens.”

NOTES: CB J.C. Jackson didn’t follow Monday due to an undisclosed damage. … WR Joshua Palmer is in concussion protocol. … Rookie RB Isaiah Spiller is week to week and will miss the season opener in opposition to the Las Vegas Raiders on Sept. 11 after spraining his ankle on Saturday. Spiller, a fourth-round draft choose from Texas A&M, was a part of the competitors to again up Austin Ekeler.


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