Jerry Tillery's career with the LA Chargers has not gone as planned. Taken with the 28th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, Tillery has not lived up to the expectations of being a first-round pick to the point that the Chargers did not even execute their fifth-year option on him.
Tillery's production has not been where it should be as he is a below-average pass-rusher while also being very poor against the run. That combination has resulted in fans not being too fond of the former first-round pick.
The former Notre Dame defensive lineman nearly gave Chargers fans the perfect reason to dislike him even more on day 2 of Chargers training camp. In head-to-head drills against the defense, Tillery supposedly made a really good play and actually got through the line of scrimmage.
However, Tillery seemed to be taking it a bit too seriously, as he nearly hit quarterback Justin Herbert before letting up at the end.
If Tillery would have mistakenly hit Herbert on this rep the crowd would have rained down a chorus of boos and Tillery would have absolutely gotten a very stern talking to. You don't hit the franchise quarterback on day 2 of training camp, even if Justin Herbert is the type to laugh it off with his teammate.
Maybe this can be a good sign for Jerry Tillery and the Chargers, though.
Reports from day 2 of training camp indicated that the defense got the best of the offense and Jerry Tillery was obviously part of that. While it would have been downright inexcusable if he were to hit Justin Herbert, perhaps this play could be a good omen for things to come this season.
The ship has sailed on Tillery being an all-around solid defensive lineman but with more help around him, there absolutely is a possibility that he sees increased production against the pass. He still should not be playing on early running downs as the Chargers have a lot of options now but he could become the team's best pass-rusher from the interior.
Of course, this is all wishful thinking as players do not typically reinvent their game in their fourth season in the league. That being said, if Tillery can produce against this Chargers offensive line during training camp then the team will have to like his chances in the regular season.
As long as Jerry Tillery doesn't actually hit Justin Herbert, this is a good thing that Chargers fans should hope continues.