The Chargers quarterback position is a deep group, with several players battling for a spot on the final 53-man roster. While Philip Rivers’ job is more than “safe,” several other players are jockeying for a roster spot where they can contribute to the team, while also learning from one of the best to ever play the game in Rivers.
While veteran Kellen Clemens has been with the team since 2014, he has yet to see any serious time on the field, and has a 54.7 career completion percentage. The offseason addition of Zach Mettenberger made several local headlines, however it was mainly due to the lack of football news. Many consider ex-Tennessee Titans quarterback Mettenberger the most capable out of the backup group with a 60.3 career completion percentage, but it seems as if the Chargers may have an undrafted rookie flying under the radar.
Southern California native Mike Bercovici has been turning heads this offseason, and have some wondering if he can be Rivers protégé. Bercovici is a bit undersized, standing at 6’0″, 204 pounds, but if you ask Doug Flutie and Drew Brees, size isn’t everything. Bercovici amassed 3,854 yards and 30 touchdowns in his senior season. The Arizona State University product shined this past Saturday during a scrimmage at the team’s annual FanFest.
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Bercovici is doing his best to be a part of the competition for the backup quarterback spot, and during the scrimmage, Bercovici drove the third unit down the field to set up a Josh Lambo field goal. Bercovici finished 4-of-6, compiling 45 yards, and would have had a touchdown if tight end Tim Semisch would have held onto a pass in the end zone from the young signal caller.
Growing up in Southern California, it has been a dream of Bercovici’s to play for the Chargers, a team he rooted for as a child, and play next to a quarterback he has grown up idolizing. This kind of fandom can bode well for the Chargers, they get a guy who is determined, and who is willing to give every effort to make the 53-man roster.
While Bercovici is doing a great job making an impression on coaches, fans, and teammates, he still has a long road to go. While speaking about Bercovici, coach Mike McCoy had this to say about the rookie:
“He’s a young player that is swimming at times, you can tell when he’s looking around that he really knows what he’s doing, he’s making the audibles and making the right calls.”
However, coach McCoy knows that there is a large learning curve for rookies and that it will take time to get acclimated to the playbook, and speed of the game. coach McCoy mentioned, “there are those plays where he looks like he doesn’t have this one figured out yet. But I’m pleased with his progress.”
Only time will tell if the young rookie has what it takes to turn this opportunity into a successful NFL career, however fans are excited to watch him perform in preseason games and see if this underdog can emerge out from under the crowded depth chart.