Position Battles Update V.1

May 11, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers defensive coordinator John Pagano (left) and linebacker Melvin Ingram (54) at rookie minicamp at Chargers Park. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

With the season looming now is a  perfect time to actually set the stage for players who might win starting  jobs or make the roster.

Training Camp is almost over, that said, can we please separate the boys from the men?

  • Nate Kaeding vs. Nick Novak – Battle for Kicker. Novak kicked his way to a 27 of 34 season, while Kaeding was out with an ACL tear. Novak filled in well for the starter so much so, the preseason will decide who stays and who goes. As of right now Kaeding still has the inside track to the job. As he did when training camp started. It doesn’t help that Novak missed his only attempt on last Thursday’s preseason opener. Kaeding would have to do an atrocious job from now until the end of preseason in order to lose.
  • Randy McMichael vs. Dante Rosario – Back up Tight End. Randy McMichael had some solid playing time for us last year, especially when Antonio Gates was missing in action (hopefully there isn’t too much of that this season). But if there is, I feel really good about everyone behind the big man. The Chargers may have the best depth at the position in the league. Dante Rosario was picked up in free agency and will duke it out for the second spot on the tight end depth chart. I honestly feel that McMichael has the inside track baring some type of injury. Though, the roster may carry four tight ends for the first time in recent history.
  • Dog fight at Wide Receiver – A battle of our top three receivers to see who will be our number one. Robert Meachem has the upper hand but don’t count out any of the other candidates. Malcom Floyd is solid piece in the San Diego offense, and is one of Philip Rivers favorite targets his 6’5 frame gives him a big advantage over our other receivers. Last, Vincent Brown, solid receiver and can line up in any of the receiver slots. He’s been productive and probably could work his way up the depth charts rapidly.
  • Mario Henderson vs. Michael Harris – Mike Harris went undrafted and has shown up to Chargers training camp ready for war. After getting good quality starters minutes in the preseason opener, the rookie still looks good, he may be a back up tackle on our 2012 squad. Mario hasn’t been so impressive however, I do not see a scenario where he gets cut (only for the sake of depth).
  • Gamble vs. English – Battle for Outside Linebacker. While Gamble impressed last year around this time, it’s little bit of a different situation this year. The team drafted a premiere pass-rusher, so the need for the kind of player that Gamble is scarce. With English and Gamble both vying for playing time, both can not make the 53-man roster. Because there is so much invested in English and the potential is there, more leeway has been given to the former first rounder. Gamble is a solid player, but the boom potential for English is still there and the team would rather reap the benefits than see him go. Though, if he slips during the next few weeks and Gamble has an outstanding remainder of a preseason we could be looking at #53 during the regular season.
  • Marcus Gilchrist vs. Shareece Wright – Battle for nickel/slot Cornerback. In the time that Marcus Gilchrist has missed, Shareece Wright has taken full advantage of it. Wright is shooting for a job to get him more time on the field this season. Gilchrist might have to take a back seating to the surging Wright, because he has impressed in every second that he has been given to show what he’s got. This could play out all the up until the season opener, the one not chosen as the nickel corner will become a reserve for the two starters. It’s a scary thought heading into the season with only four corners on your depth chart. Only time will tell who ends up at the line as the nickel.
  • Lastly, Cam Thomas vs. Antonio Garay vs. Aubrayo Franklin – Battle for starting Nose Tackle. Now this situation is a good one to have. There are so many possibilities of how this battle could play out while giving a productive defensive line up. If Cam takes the job, Aubrayo could become the back up and the team could move Garay to Defensive End in certain situations. I like the first scenario more than any of the others because Garay could  actually play that position for us. In all the other scenarios Cam or Antonio become either the starter or the back up and Franklin moves to the bubble. Which in my opinion doesn’t give a lot of  versatility to the group which ever way this pans out I am sure Coach Pags will handle it well.

Topics: Coach Pagano, Cuts, Position Battles, Rosters

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  • davacho

    great article- well thought out. so hungry for football right now!

  • http://twitter.com/BoogaP #TheBoltFather

    Good read Nat.
    Gamble won’t make the 53, imo.
    As much as I like Wright he was out of position mulitple times on D vs. GB. He had a great ST performance but if Gilchrist is healthy there will be no battle.
    Wright is the only player I’ve ever interviewed and I’m not hating at all.
    Novak started strong but went 11-17 to finish the season. Kaeding gets the job.
    Welcome aboard man. Looking forward to reading more of your articles.

    • http://twitter.com/hash_tag_nat Herman Bundy

      Yeah I like Gamble but odds are.. he doesn’t make the final roster.
      and as for Wright, in the end, we might not have a choice going into the season with four corners is risky business. I’m not a huge fan of Gilchrist, It’s hard when you don’t have depth. Hopefully one of them makes a leap this season.

      • http://twitter.com/BoogaP #TheBoltFather

        Wright stays for sure. I just don’t see him over taking Gilchrist. Him being hurt right now does not help though.
        I wish we had a fifth CB but I have no idea who I would cut to bring one in. Plus, I can’t think of even one FA CB that I like at all. We’ll see if one comes available after teams start having to make major cuts.

        • http://twitter.com/hash_tag_nat Herman Bundy

          Al Harris is on the market.. Aaron Berry and Phillip Buchanon are the only options in FA

          • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

            we definitely need to have 5 corners on the roster. we are going to play the saints and only have those 4 guys, that is going to suck

          • http://twitter.com/hash_tag_nat Herman Bundy

            @epadaon:disqus Gatson is in camp and so is Pressley. Not sure what they’ll do about it. But, The Giants made they’re title run with a patchwork secondary.. and a good d-line..

          • http://twitter.com/hash_tag_nat Herman Bundy

            @epadaon:disqus not sure but i think Dallas still wants Mike Jenkins gone. Not sure who else is on the block. But we have til week 6 i guess. It would be hard but with a good pass rush the corners only need to cover for 4-5 secs.

          • http://twitter.com/BoogaP #TheBoltFather

            Al “284 yrs old” Harris? No thx. lol. Berry got kicked to the curb from Detroit. Meaning, if they don’t want him because he is too much trouble A.J. certainly won’t either. Haven’t liked Buchanon since he was at the U.

          • http://twitter.com/hash_tag_nat Herman Bundy

            @twitter-528091066:disqus Not much left in FA at ALL! lol.

          • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

            Yea… its bare like my fridge! Hoping someone gets released or we make a trade

  • Joey Nicks

    Nate, Randy, Mario, Gamble, Shareece, Garay/Cam combo wins Brown and Meach start with Royal in the slot. Love the article! Great read!

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