Brandon Staley is building a team culture at the Los Angeles Chargers that, along with the team's free agency moves, has excited the players and coaching staff about the season ahead, according to offensive co-ordinator Joe Lombardi.
Staley, 14/1 to be named Coach of the Year, stepped up from the defensive co-ordinator position in 2021 and led the Chargers to a 9-8 record in his first season in charge.
Expectations have grown as a result of their flirtation with the play-offs and the Chargers' assault on the free agent market suggests they mean business about contending in arguably the most competitive division in football this coming year - the AFC West.
Flashy additions like pass rusher Khalil Mack, cornerback J.C. Jackson and linebacker Kyle Van Noy garner the headlines, but Lombardi believes great work is being done behind the scenes to build a winning culture.
"I think that Brandon has done a really good job of building that team culture here," Lombardi said, via chargers.com.
"It's a good group of guys. It was last year, too, but adding those veterans that have a lot of pelts on the wall, we're very excited about it. You can feel the energy from the defense with some of those additions. It's going to be a fun training camp, for sure."
Veterans such as pass rusher Joey Bosa, who has skipped the team's summer organised team activities in past seasons as he typically prefers to work out on his own, were in attendance during Wednesday's practice open to the media.
And wide receiver Keenan Allen agrees with Lombardi's sentiment about the growing culture, saying: "You can tell with all the free agents that we signed that they like it.
"Hopefully they can bring that fire and bring that energy. Van Noy is a Super Bowl winner. J.C. is a Super Bowl winner. We need all of that energy to come show us how to do it."