NFL training camp doesn't kick off for over a month, but players continue to work back toward some sense of normalcy in the interim. This week, Los Angeles Chargers tight end Hunter Henry posted a photo of his workouts with new teammate Justin Herbert.
A first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, Herbert arrives in Los Angeles as the Chargers' quarterback of the future if not their present. Head coach Anthony Lynn and general manager Tom Telesco has tried to manage expectations for his rookie season, stating that veteran Tyrod Taylor currently sits "in the driver's seat" to start in Week 1. Herbert requires some time to adjust from the pistol-heavy offensive system run at Oregon to the one run by Lynn and offensive coordinator Shane Steichen which features more plays from under center.
But while Henry can expect to work more extensively with Taylor in 2020, he has plenty of reasons to build chemistry and rapport with Herbert. Though Henry's contract ties him to the Chargers only through the 2020 season, he has expressed the desire to stay with the franchise well into the future. Should that happen -- the two sides have until July 15 to work out a long-term extension -- it stands to reason that he will regularly catch passes from Herbert, who expects to take over as the starting quarterback at some point early in his career.
For Herbert, spending time with one of the Chargers' offensive leaders and top pass catchers makes plenty of sense. Should the signal-caller see the field as a rookie, he will need to rely on Henry to help protect him in play-action -- a tactic Los Angeles figures to use more frequently in 2020 -- as well as create separation in the passing game. In either case, the two need to develop trust in one another.
Workouts in June can't build that relationship along, but it can provide a foundation upon which it can flourish.
-- Jason B. Hirschhorn is an award-winning sports journalist and Pro Football Writers of America member. Follow him on Twitter: @by_JBH