Dec 1, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) throws a touchdown pass during the first half against the Cincinnati Bengals at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

San Diego Chargers: Things to watch in training camp


 

I don’t care that the football season is forever away right now. I just don’t care. I can’t help but thing about training camp and the regular season. I can’t help but think about all the question marks on the roster and all the things I will be looking forward to.

Here is a quick list of things that I am looking forward to seeing during the training camp. There are a number of questions I will need answered:

Malcom Floyd

How will he look on the field? Will he play tentative or will he get out there and ball out like we know that he can. We will also have to wonder how long he will last during the year. He has never been the most durable player and now he is coming back from a major injury.

Floyd would be a huge upgrade for the offense if he is able to stay on the field. We just need him to stay healthy and I am sure that the coaching staff is looking to get him in a rotation so that they don’t wear him down during the year.

Kick Return Game

There is no stand out for this role on the roster. That is a good thing and a bad thing. There is nobody on the roster that stands out from the rest of the guys, but there will be some good competition for that spot during training camp and during the preseason.

We need some help big time in the role. It would be nice to start some drives past the 20 yard line from time to time.

Pass Rush

We tried to bring in help here during the offseason. We brought in Cordarro Law and we brought in Jeremiah Attaochu. Dwight Freeney will be returning from injury and the team will have Melvin Ingram back for a whole season. How will the team rotate all these players into the lineup? The young guys have to get their reps. Freeney needs to get in the mix as well. He is the only proven pass rusher on the roster.

Jason Verrett

I can’t wait to see this kid on the field and how he will react to the receivers in the NFL. He will get plenty of practice against tall receivers with Keenan Allen and Malcom Floyd on the roster. They will meet a lot in the practice field and I am sure Philip Rivers will do his best to pick on him during those practices. It is all part of getting the kid up to speed. I want to see the little man succeed against these monster receivers.

Offense under Frank Reich

We have a new offensive coordinator for the offense this season and he will put his own spin on the offense. I will be interested to see what that spin is. Will he be looking to bring more no huddle to the offense and will he incorporate a play action pass from time to time? More no huddle in the offense definitely could be coming. Reich ran that type offense in Buffalo with Jim Kelly and could look to run that offense with Philip Rivers here. Rivers has the skills to be successful in that type of setting. I think it would give the team more punch on offense.

 

 

Tags: San Diego Chargers

  • Marcel West-Bailey

    I’m just hoping everyone that we need doesn’t get injured.

    • Stefanie Smith

      Exactly.

  • Sergio Quintero

    Excellent article Ernie, have to agree on all points, a few extras for me:
    1) The WR’s not named Floyd, Allen & Royal, Brown you have a lot to prove, what do they have in Inman & Reese.
    2) Steve Williams & Chris Davis: 2 small corners with productive college careers that can really improve the talent level of the secondary.
    3) The use of Ladarius Green: how many snaps, how much is the offense designed around him. Definitely a point of interest in preseason games.
    4) The fight for the last spots at OLB: Is Law the next Cameron Wake, anything close and he makes the roster, can we finally say goodbye to English.
    5) Is there any OT among the UDFA’s worth keeping that makes cutting Clary a more realistic possibility. Clary is the 4th OT on the roster as well, as Harris is the only backup OT with playing experience.
    6) How will the playing time be set for SS & NT

    • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

      there definitely were things i forgot… the use of Green is a big one. I want to see him get used a ton. I also want to see Addae and if he is able to take that top spot at safety

      • Sergio Quintero

        Gilchrist might become the wasted man, he might lose the SS spot to Addae and the plan seems to be that Williams play nickel (they might play Verrett at Nickel and move Williams outside on nickel sets), he and V.Brown need to show something in preseason or they might be inactive on sundays.

        • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

          I can see Gilchrist winning that nickel job out of training camp though. He was decent there and Williams still has a lot to prove. I like that we have that many players competing, but it also means we have a lot of unknowns.

          • Sergio Quintero

            Decent doesn’t mean the spot isn’t open to competition with Williams, I would be really surprised if Addae isn’t the SS.

          • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

            Get ready to be surprised.

      • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

        Gilchrist will start at SS, most likely, if I had to guess. Had Cox not broke down, he would have probably finished the season as the starter.

    • Marcel West-Bailey

      Sergio do you know how many OLB’s they’re going to have when they set the official 53?

      • Sergio Quintero

        5-6, 4 are locks (Freeney, JJ, Ingram & Attaochu) so the remaining 4 are fighting for 1 spot at best 2.

        For me its time to cut bait on English & Keiser, and see who is better from Law & Williams. Can Keiser avoid a suspension the video was bad.

        • Marcel West-Bailey

          Ok. I’m thinking Law. He’s proven (Telesco’s got a sports boner from those types of players as we all know) and he was a final cut for the hawks which the way I see it he’s good enough for us

          • Sergio Quintero

            Its kind of weird to say but I feel like the chargers have 10 picks, the 6 from this year, the 2 Canadian guys, Steve Williams who basically redshirted, and Chris Davis who I thought was a 4th round at worst a 5th round guy.

            Those 10 guys are very curious to see what they bring to the team.

          • Marcel West-Bailey

            That makes sense. If Taylor makes the roster he could be our other pseudo pick. I can’t think why he wouldn’t but I’m not sure about Inman making the roster. Behind Allen, Floyd, Brown, Tutu, and Royal I don’t know if they will have another receiver on the roster. But I agree with you about Davis. Maybe it’s special teams this year and he obviously has to prove himself behind the group of corners we have now.

    • Nick in PB

      All good points Sergio! I’m excited to see Law in action. I hope he doesn’t disappoint. If Royal can stay healthy, I think he’ll have a really great season in the slot. He missed too much practice time through the season to be a go to guy for Philip. Maybe that kid from Nebraska, the swing tackle, could show enough to make the roster or the practice squad. If anyone steps up, Clary could be gone.

  • Why O Why

    Rivers running the no huddle offense will be huge. We have enough talent on our offense to really wear down a defense. Depending on what defense is out there Rivers can run it down their throat, throw it deep or anything in between. 2 tight end sets + the no huddle should be a beautiful thing to watch.

    • Sergio Quintero

      The offense became a little to run first for my taste late in the season, I thought Whisenhunt fell in love with the running game and handcuffed Rivers in the playoffs, I’m curious to see if Reich can move this offense in a more no-huddle, throw heavy to get a lead and then run the ball with the lead. You have a franchise QB let him be one, with a lead, then run ball control.

      • Why O Why

        If we run the no huddle Rivers should be able to shred any defense. Our WR and TE group should keep safeties honest and our running game should keep the pass rush honest. Rivers will be making the calls in a no huddle. He will audible to cause mismatches (poor linebackers) if nothing is there then he will either dump it to his safety valve or maybe that is when he calls for a run play.

        • C.Steele

          Frank Reich “The Reich Choice” (LOL! Couldn’t help it. Old habits die hard, been a fan since his days in Buffalo) is the most interesting and crucial change on the team this year. I would love to see him unleash Phil a little more via a no huddle. Also, I hope he isn’t so slow to make changes like Ken was last year, ex, waiting to the last 1/3 of the season to begin running Matthews more in the Red Zone and get Green more touches. Our knew OC will go along way in determining how our season goes. Been a fan since I was kid! Don’t fail me now! #GoBolts!

          • Why O Why

            The no huddle will be fun to watch this year. Rivers must be excited with the possibilities.

      • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

        the run game did help the defense look better though… teams couldn’t run up and down the field when they couldn’t get the ball.

  • TheReturnOfMrBlanks

    I have 1 quick point : Keep S. Wright away from everyone until the season starts lol

    • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

      hahahah… right. he might get someone hurt out there.

    • Sergio Quintero

      But why couldn’t he turn his bad mojo on some opposing WR, it only seemed to work on the local variety.

    • tubbs45

      And Jaleel Addae too…

      • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

        Addae just hurts himself.. Wright hurts his own players in practice, and only himself on the field.. unless you count his poor coverage. That hurts the team… lol.

        • Nick in PB

          Good point Mr. Blanks and Peter! Wright was kind of a magnet for team injuries last year. Maybe he can figure out how to transfer those skills to be used on opposing players!

          • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

            Hopefully, but I doubt it. He showed moments of being a serviceable CB at times last season. However, his contract is up in 2015. Even if he survives free agency, I don’t see them re-signing him to another contract to be the 2nd CB. Possibly as a back up, but with guys like Verrett, Marshall, Ghee, Williams, and possibly even Gilchrist (because of his versatility at dual positions) in the mix.. the best I see for him is a back up spot at around a million dollars, unless he over-performs this season… which would be awesome!!!! But, I’m not holding my breath. Plus, that BS comment he made about how he did he would love it if the Chargers moved L.A. made me sick. He isn’t good enough to be saying stiff like that. Just sayin.

    • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

      Thank you for saying it. He is accident prone… to other people!

  • diomar espinal

    Sounds bad but i hope Reese makes the team over VB. He might not be able to handle press coverage but with that type of speed if teams leave him one on one consistently how they did VB then he will deff make them pay alot more often then VB did. 2. i hope that these pass rushers bring something to the team. Alot of the good defeses in the NFL have a steady rotation of pass rushers they can throw at offenses which directly improves the secondary. Im praying our guys mainly Ingram and Attaochu have that same effect.

    • Sergio Quintero

      Brown can’t beat the press either, but in no way equals the threat that Reese is with his speed, Brown better refind his pre-ankle injury form or he is looking at a whole of inactive sundays, or possibly even be cut.

      • Julien Bélair

        Brown is a joker for the surprise cut of the year award

    • Jacob911

      More likely to cut a 6th rounder than a third

      • diomar espinal

        Egh we can agree to disagree then. VB was from thr old regime and from what i saw all last season theres no way he makes the team over these athletic guys.Not only that but i purchased NFL rewind and went back and looked at the tape and he was even worse the second time around as hard as that sounds lol The guy was just completely blanketed everytime he was on the field and if he was blanketed it was because the defense was in zone. But yea overall from what i saw i rather take the chance on Reese moving forward

        • Julien Bélair

          I couldn’t agree more

  • Jacob911

    I wonder what it’d be like with green spread on the outside

    • Sergio Quintero

      Time to study the Saints offense, and they better integrate him quickly as the chargers might face the 2 best secondaries in football the first 2 weeks, Green might be X-factor to beat the great corners of both those teams.

      • Julien Bélair

        Green has to have 70%-80% of the snaps IMO

        • Stefanie Smith

          Yep.

    • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

      i just want to see him on the field a ton getting looks all the time

  • Julien Bélair

    It will be very good for Verrett to match up against Allen

    • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

      most definitely. he will need that experience from practice

  • jcrisp

    Im really hopin vincent brown can come thru. That rookie season wasnt a fluke, this year is his make or break year. I still believe in the kid.

    • Julien Bélair

      well he wasn’t that good in his rookie season

      • jcrisp

        Numbers wise no but he did show promise and im sure you were raving about some his catches like the most of us his rookie year. Im just really hoping the best for him.

        • Julien Bélair

          Of course! but I don’t think we can call it a fluke. Don’t get me wrong I do wish he steps up this year… I just doubt it will happen

          • jcrisp

            I feel you, last years dissappointment does make me have doubts but I still believe in the kid. I think he should make the team because its not like he is taking up huge cap space like clary.

          • Julien Bélair

            Well he is taking a roster spot ! He has to beat out Inman and Reece… I look forward to see what happens !

          • jcrisp

            Its gonna be real exciting I cant wait :D

        • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

          he showed potential and some of us believed that he could step in and be a playmaker for the team when he returned. I was one of them that believed.

          • jcrisp

            True that he truly did dissappoint last year. Im hoping it was just because of the new system or comimg back from injury, Im just trying to be an optimistic although I can understand doubting him because of last years bitter dissappointment.

          • Sergio Quintero

            Pressure is on, Floyd is the starter, and the players behind him all have more speed than him, so preseason games will tell if he’s going to be a factor, or that guy that gets to be inactive every sunday.

          • Julien Bélair

            I would say that Allen is the clear #1 receiver but after that no job guaranteed. Floyd will make the team of course but will he be the starter ?? well Brown Inman and Reece will have something to say about that. I think Floyd will win the job but there will be a good competition

          • Sergio Quintero

            Yeah he’s the starter day one, if he’s the same player he was pre-injury, and there is no reason he shouldn’t be, neck injuries have zero effect on speed and hands.

          • Julien Bélair

            I agree that he will be but I think he will have to prove himself first

          • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

            Floyd is the #1 receiver, until McCoy and Telesco say he isn’t, for sure. The job was his the minute V-Jax went to Tampa.

          • Stefanie Smith

            Keenan Allen, while good, doesn’t have enough experience to be the #1 WR on anything. He can learn a little humility also. Malcom has already paid his dues. As long as Malcom can play, no, Keenan is not better than Malcom. One good season, does not make a great player. He does have the makings of a great player, but I am sure he has tons to learn.

            Both should get plenty of opportunities to play.

            Not to change the subject, but I find it interesting that the common statement from the rookies at their minicamp or whatever it is called now… is “It’s really fast.” or “The game is fast.”

          • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

            Thank you, thank you, thank you. The #1 slot is Malcom’s. It was his before he got injured, and it’s his today.

          • jcrisp

            Indeed pressure is on, thats a real good thing for him. Lets see how he responds, it should be fun to watch how training camp and preseason work out.

          • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

            if anything… hope it was because of the injury.. the system is not changing and he didnt show any improvement as the season went on. he needs to step up big time this offseason

          • Julien Bélair

            Yep I don’t put it on the scheme either

          • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

            So you don’t believe in him anymore?

  • Tazzster

    This is killing me! HOW LONG TIL’ CAMP?

    LETS PLAY FOOTBALL ALREADY!

    • Sergio Quintero

      The offseason has truly begun, 2 offseasons day after super bowl till combine, then the true offseason nothing to talk about day after draft till opening of camps in august. 3 months of basically nothing, and the Padres offense is there to turn my hair gray.

      • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

        the padres offense is offensive

        • Sergio Quintero

          There is one thing I am envious of my soccer loving brethren down here, the soccer offseason is about 3 weeks to a month.

          If they had to go 3 months without their soccer they would look like crackheads in search of a fix.

          • Nick in PB

            World Cup Sergio! It’s just around the corner!

  • Robert Fairbanks

    I believe Feeney is toast. Ingram may never live up to a first round draft pick based solely on his MAJOR injury.
    Floyd should retire to save his life from further injury, even though he probably needs the money. Verrett has not played one down yet, if he lives up to the hype he should be solid for years to come.
    The new offense: This is not the consistency that everyone preaches about – but a new scheme may fool the opposition, we may not know until the Sea Hawks game. The Chargers need to come out blasting and make a bold statement in their first five games. This is a new season and losing to the likes of the Texans and those turkey Raiders, then finishing at 9-7 (a gift) will not happen this season. The Bolts will be improved this year but still finish at 7-9, and look dynamic doing it.

    * Who ever suggested the Chargers trade Gates for a draft choice while he is still ambulatory, and start Greene, was right on the money.

    • Derek

      I think freeny has more in the tank than ware. Ingram will show significant improvement now that he isn’t the only frormidable passrusher on th roster. I agree this season will be tough due to our conference and schedule. But I think 7-9 will be the chiefs we have more playmakers. I see how trading gates makes sense but based solely on who he is and how he came to be I only want to see him in our uniform. His name should be synonymous with chargers.

      • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

        God made tough schedules to train the faithful.

        • Derek

          Best thing I heard all day

  • Marcel West-Bailey

    EVERYONE! EVERYONE! ESPN IS ABOUT TO TALK ABOUT US!!! ON NATIONAL TELEVISION!!!

    • Derek

      50$ says we are underestimated again due to flashy splurges by broncos chiefs drafting players with best pr team, and raiders finally drafting decently after a decade of leaving their decisions up to a roulette table. Way I see it chiefs drafted according to nfl scouting report which basically grades players by their highlight footage and combine. Broncos did well since they addressed most of their needs via free agency except mlb. Radiers draft is graded high because it’s so surprising it didn’t suck

      • Marcel West-Bailey

        I think we’re predicted to win 8 games and Mark Schlereth thinks we’ll win more than that

      • Tazzster

        It will be interesting to see how it plays out in our division. Trying to make predictions on that depends on how you viewed last season. For me, looking at last season… The Raiders sucked. The Chiefs over-achieved. (They faced 3 teams the week after they lost their starting QB… luck?). The Broncos dominated. The Chargers struggled, while showing flashes of brilliance – they looked like a team with young players and a new coaching staff.

        So, for next year…
        Will the Raiders continue to suck. They upgraded some talent, but they had a long ways to go. maybe they will be improved, but I don’t have faith in their organization to bring it all together in one year.

        Will the Chiefs continue to overachieve. Not likely. Reasons for me…. Andy Reid and Alex Smith. I could be totally wrong on this one, but I expect the Chiefs to not do as well this year.

        Will the Broncos continue to dominate. Most of the Broncos domination was against some of teh worst defenses in the NFL. I don’t think they faced a top ten defense except cincinatti and Seattle…. and we saw what happened with Seattle.

        Will teh Chargers continue to struggle. The coaching should be more solid with the transition year behind us. I thought the chargers did well to address their needs. I think the secondary will still be a weekness. I expect the LB group to play much better, which should free up Weddle. With more consistancy I expect them to improve.

        In addition I think the Chargers were really a 12 win team last year. There were 3 games we left on the field. Houston, Tennesee, Washington. We really should have won all of those.

  • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

    I think Royal is our stand out kick returner, isn’t he?

    • Julien Bélair

      haha funny

      • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

        Im not joking. No matter what you or I think, Royal is listed as a KR on the roster right now.. I think he’s the only one too. Who else did we bring in that has great hands, blazing speed, a lot of kick returning experience, and doesn’t weigh 98 lbs? Most importantly, would they replace Reese, or Royal? Basically, it’s Grice, Reese, or one of the CB’s, IF they make the roster… Or, we go with what we had last season.

        • Julien Bélair

          I feel like Grice will have the job.

          I think they don’t want Royal to be the returner anymore because he is too injury prone.

  • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

    I keep seeing all this “Vincent Brown will be cut” talk. Probably wishful thinking. I don’t see it happening, but maybe I’m mistaken? I’ve been wrong before.

    In this order, the wide receiver depth chart will probably be this, barring an unforeseen injury:

    #1 Floyd
    #2 Allen
    #3 Royal
    #4 Brown
    #5 Ajirotutu
    #6 Reese

    Based on what I have seen from the new staff, it would take a lot for someone to unseat Brown, and I fully expect him to be on this roster for the duration of his contract… probably at the same position on the depth chart. They didn’t even let Tutu unseat him, after that amazing game winning catch in KC. Reese will also make the roster.. not sure why people think it’s “one, or the other”. ???

    The only change I could see to this depth chart would be if one of the above got hurt in camp (which after losing Alexander in preseason, we know that is a real possibility). THEN they might go get a free agent, or one of the other undrafted signings (Dontrelle Inman, Torrence Allen, Brelan Chancellor, Micah Hatfield, Javontee Herndon) would need to have left a MAJOR impression on the coaching staff.

    I have a hard time believing that they would cut Brown, even if someone left a great impression in camp. I think they would PS Reese, or cut Tutu first… I don’t think any of the undrafted players are talented enough to replace a receiver who the Chargers kept at the 4th position on the depth chart (or better) for the entire duration of the 2013 season, even when he wasn’t playing great.

    They will probably keep a couple of the “other” WR’s on the practice squad, or stash them on IR with “season ending injuries”, like they did to DePalma & Willie last season, just in case.. although, neither of those two were retained, despite people saying what a “genius move” it was. I never understood why people thought there was some secret plan to keep those two around for later, except for using DePalma as a “Wes Welker clone” for practice.. lol.. they were probably just hurt.

    Some of these guys will get a shot at returning kicks/punts, and be fodder for Clemens and Sorenson… but, I wouldn’t expect much upheaval on the WR depth chart. Looks like they are comfortable with what they have… or they would have drafted a receiver earlier… which they didn’t, as I expected.

  • MachoMenos

    Great article. The only thing I would add is how well Kendall Reyes will do? While I fully expect Corey Luiget to be the monster he was before he tore his labrum and Lissemore, Geathers and Carrethers to do yeoman’s duties at NT I’m not so sure about Reyes. Will he be as good at the tail end of 2012 and, if not, will we be seeing more of Lawrence Guy? It seems like this is flying under the radar.