Will Dissly's ability to hit the ground running is why Chargers sought the tight end


A man famous for making memorable and often quirky first impressions, Jim Harbaugh had quite an introductory meeting with new Chargers tight end Will Dissly.

It wasn’t just Harbaugh, Dissly explained Thursday, but also the coach’s temporary digs.

“The most exciting part about that conversation was his rig,” Dissly said. “He’s parked an RV down by the beach. I go, ‘Man, I respect the heck out of that,’ because I looked at the rent prices and I’m not stoked.”

At his first news conference six weeks ago, Harbaugh said he was going to “Jim Rockford it” for the time being with the Chargers set to move from Costa Mesa to their new facility in El Segundo this summer.

Sure enough, Harbaugh is living along the coast in the equivalent of a trailer, not unlike the television character played by the late James Garner on the 1970s detective show, “The Rockford Files.”

“I don’t think I’m supposed to disclose where he’s parked,” Dissly joked, before adding, “I respect the RV game heavy.”

Harbaugh and the rest of the Chargers’ new leadership clearly respect Dissly’s game, as well, signing the veteran to a deal that guarantees him $10 million over two years and is worth up to $14 million over three.

Tight ends celebrated mostly as blockers aren’t always considered significant additions but Dissly is expected to provide the Chargers with something they’ve sorely missed in recent seasons.

At 6-foot-4, 265 pounds, he projects as a key piece for Harbaugh and offensive coordinator Greg Roman as they try to fulfill their joint promise to establish a forceful, bulldozing running game.

Along with Dissly, the Chargers signed Gus Edwards in free agency this week. Edwards is a 238-pound back known for, among other things, the strength to gain more yards than should be expected on running plays.

“I’m working for Gus,” Dissly, 27, said. “I’m not working for me. So it’s way easier for me to go out there and play at a hard level for someone else than it is just for personal gain.”

Last season, Dissly received his career-best run-blocking grade by Pro Football Focus. His mark of 77.2 was second among all tight ends.

Having started his college career at Washington as a defensive lineman, Dissly promised he’s not afraid of contact. Then he offered an observation that running-attack-starved Chargers fans will love to hear.

“I’m looking to hit people,” Dissly said. “That’s part of the game. That’s why seven-on-seven ain’t a thing and real football is real football.”

As a receiver, Dissly had 127 receptions for 1,421 yards and 13 touchdowns during six seasons with Seattle.

And he is familiar with Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert. During Herbert’s freshman year at Oregon in 2016, Dissly and Washington ended the Huskies’ 12-game losing streak to the Ducks with a 70-21 victory at Autzen Stadium.

“Probably one of my favorite days in my entire life…” Dissly said. “We hung 70 on them, so… Yeah, I’m not ashamed to say that … But now we’re teammates. So we’ll let college be in the past.”

Etc.

The Chargers are set to sign defensive tackle Poona Ford, according to NFL reporter Aaron Wilson. Ford, 28, is a six-year veteran with 64 starts, all of which came with Seattle during his first five seasons. He spent last year with Buffalo, appearing in eight games.



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