LA Chargers News

Chargers’ safeties impressing early at camp

By Ryan Doyle
Jul 30, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers safety Adrian McDonald defends wide receiver Jamaal Jones (1) during training camp at Chargers Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 30, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers safety Adrian McDonald defends wide receiver Jamaal Jones (1) during training camp at Chargers Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
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The Chargers safety position was one that many fans thought needed an upgrade. A few undrafted free agents may be the answer.

As the starting safety positions seem to be locked up for now, the rest of the safety roster spots are wide open. Dexter McCoil, Adrian Phillips and Adrian McDonald are the trio vying for playing time and a chance to play for the San Diego Chargers.

Let’s quickly mention Darrell Stuckey, who will most likely make the roster due to his special teams play. He is a captain and it would be a shock if he didn’t make the team. This leaves, at most, two safety spots left for the three players.

The three have played well at camp so far and a serious position battle is brewing. At the first practice, Garrett Sisti of The Lightning Round Podcast was in attendance and reported the safety groupings at the first practice.

For those asking about the Safety groupings, so far it's:1: Addae/Lowery2: Stuckey/Phillips3: McCoil/McDonald

— Garrett Sisti (@GarrettSisti) July 30, 2016

Clearly, Phillips had the advantage at the start of camp and he deserves it. Phillips played brilliantly at minicamp and had multiple interceptions in the process. He had a pick on the first day of training camp too.

Phillips has been getting some extra work in, too. Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune posted a photo to his twitter account. He was seen running well after practice with fellow defensive back Craig Mager.

Practice ended about 30 minutes ago. Chargers DBs Adrian Phillips, Craig Mager get in extra work. Still running. pic.twitter.com/hhP5UkvBMG

— Michael Gehlken (@sdutGehlken) August 1, 2016

Gehlken also believes that Phillips will make the final 53. He has flip-flopped from the practice squad to the roster multiple times and it may be time for him to stay. Phillips also got some playing time in 2015, another advantage for him.

Next on the list is Dexter McCoil. McCoil was a CFL standout and has gotten his chance with the Chargers. He is a different type of safety compared to McDonald and Phillips because he can play in the box, which is similar to the role that Deone Bucannon plays for the Arizona Cardinals.

McCoil’s ability to play in the box is really special. He can steal some snaps from both starters with this unique skill. On the second day of camp, McCoil spent a lot of time with the first-team defense. That is a great sign for his chances to make the team.

It’s very early in camp and I don’t want to overvalue where a player is located on the depth chart only a few days in, but McCoil’s stock is sky-high.

Last on the list is Adrian McDonald. The University of Houston product may be the dark horse of the competition. Most fans are paying the most attention to McCoil and Phillips, but McDonald is making plenty of plays during camp. McDonald’s play warrants him consideration.

He has played especially well next to McCoil. The duo has made highlight plays throughout practices and seem to have some chemistry already. This bodes well for both players as that could be a major reason as to why the Chargers decide to keep either McCoil or McDonald.

Keep a close eye on these three players. All three are heading into practice every day like it’s their last one. Watching this battle is going to be a pleasure throughout all of training camp.

This position battle is definitely going to come down to how these three play during the preseason games. It’s a very close battle to call, but if someone plays great during the actual games, it will go a long way in determining who ends up with the final roster spots.

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