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Jerry Tillery not at Chargers’ OTAs, Brandon Staley says he needs to earn a role

Mike Florio and Chris Simms sift through Bill Belichick's ominous remarks about not naming a play-caller and explore what the Patriots' offensive strategy could look like without Josh McDaniels.

Chargers defensive lineman Jerry Tillery has been a disappointment since he was selected with the 28th overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft, and head coach Brandon Staley is looking for Tillery to prove he deserves a role on the defense this season.

Tillery, however, did not attend the start of voluntary Organized Team Activities, and Staley contrasted Tillery with players on the Chargers’ defense who have already proven themselves but are still showing up for voluntary work.

“He’s going to fit into that competition of guys that are going to have to earn a role,” Staley said when asked about Tillery. “During this springtime and during training camp, all of those guys are going to really have to duke it out to establish themselves. Sebastian [Joseph-Day] and Austin [Johnson] are proven NFL players. Khalil Mack is a proven NFL player. Derwin James is a proven NFL player. Then, there are a bunch of guys that are trying to prove themselves, to earn their way in the league. I would put him in that category.”

The Chargers didn’t pick up Tillery’s fifth-year option, so he’s heading into the final year of his rookie contract. He may need to impress this offseason to make the roster at all.