Getting to know your roster depth: The backfield


With injuries piling up at a record pace this season, the San Diego Chargers are pleased their starting backfield has remained intact all year. Even if the unimaginable did occur, the Chargers coaching staff has full confidence in their backups, as each is patiently waiting for their turn on the field.

Having experience on the sidelines is a luxury, as each player has been in the NFL long enough to know that when you’re not starting, you better be working on your game preparation during the week. Eventually, your number will be called upon to enter the contest. Just stay ready and prepared.

Here in the final edition to getting to know your roster depth, we’ll take a look at the backfield:

Kellen Clemens

Every NFL franchise longs to have a quality backup quarterback, but in reality, if they’re playing then you have probably received bad news earlier in the day. Coaches are looking for a player that can lead the offense, protect the football and make the right reads in the passing game.

Kellen Clemens is a very serviceable signal-caller, who is the classic game-manager that won’t throw the football spectacularly, but can keep the Chargers in a game if they can establish an effective rushing attack. Clemens has all the attributes that you want from a backup, as he fully understands the team’s offensive philosophy and can execute the gameplan on the field if given the opportunity.

He is more athletic than given credit, which comes in handy when the pocket collapses around him. Obviously, Philip Rivers is a very important piece to the offensive puzzle, and the Chargers would have a hard time winning consistently without him under center for any length of time. However, Clemens isn’t here to strictly hold a clipboard, as he can win games when called upon.

Donald Brown

Donald Brown has only been active for two games this season, but he is more than ready to make a contribution to the offense, especially after the Chargers lost Braden Oliver to a season-ending toe injury. The coaching staff understands what Brown brings to the table, as he has a high football IQ and offers a tremendous amount of professionalism inside the lockerroom. Brown will serve as the primary backup to Melvin Gordon and Danny Woodhead because of his versatility to catch and run with the football. He is just one injury away from seeing significant playing time on the field, but his familiarity with the offense will make for a smooth transition when called upon, and make no mistake about it, Chargers head Mike McCoy will not be hesitant to insert Brown into the lineup.