The LA Chargers lost the first preseason game of the year against the LA Rams but it did not matter much. Brandon Staley and co. have been very cautious with playing the starters in preseason games and the loss to the Rams meant nothing with most of the key starters out.
Chargers fans did get to see some of the key starters in action against another NFL team on Wednesday as the Bolts had the first of two joint practices with the Dallas Cowboys. While the teams are obviously not going 100%, it is nice to see how the Chargers stack up at this point against another NFL team.
There certainly were some positives from the first day of joint practice, such as a bomb from Justin Herbert to Jalen Guyton when the two teams were running one-on-one drills. However, there were also some negative aspects of the joint practice and it is safe to say that the Chargers' offense got humbled in certain areas as a result.
These are similar issues that the LA Chargers faced last season.
Those in attendance for this practice probably felt like they had a case of deja vu as these are the exact problems that the Bolts had last season on offense. While the Chargers were a top-five offense in the league, these issues ultimately held the team back from being even better offensively.
Los Angeles led the league in drops last season and the right tackle play was extremely poor when the team needed it most. Storm Norton was absolutely abused against the Cowboys last year as well as Week 18 against the Las Vegas Raiders.
Today it was Trey Pipkins in there against the Cowboys and he did not fair much better against Micah Parsons and co. The Pipkins hype train is likely going to lose some steam after this practice as it is a reminder that he is a developmental tackle that still has holes in his game.
The drops are the most concerning issue and hopefully, it is just a case of the offense getting on the same page finally playing another team. If the issue continues into 2022 then we have to start looking at the bigger picture. As great as Justin Herbert is, there has to be some sort of underlying timing/throw velocity issue if every receiver is suffering drop problems.
We still have a long way to go before even having that discussion, though, and today's practice could be chalked up to it being the offense's first real reps with each other against a defense that it is not familiar facing.
Hopefully day two of joint practice can be better for the Chargers on the offensive end, especially with the drops and the right tackle position.