We are now making our way through the second week of training camp, and have a lot of work left to do before the regular season starts in September. We have seen a lot of excitement coming from fans attending the training camp and have allowed us to see how the Chargers are looking so far.
Again, it is hard to tell if it is just training camp or how they will translate to in real games, but there have been flashes of greatness by lots of players who are even fighting for a roster spot.
The special teams unit for the Chargers was a much-needed fix, as they have ranked near the bottom every year in recent history. The additions of JK Scott, DeAndre Carter, and more should help to fix some of the special teams mistakes. The team has made significant jumps and improvements, and we are going to look at a more general improvement than specific players.
The defense has seen the biggest improvement during Chargers training camp.
There isn't an easy way to put it, but the Chargers defense was their Achilles heel last season. Ranking 26th in the NFL in total DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average), including 30th in DVOA against the run, they clearly needed to make an adjustment if they want to be a contender.
There have been a lot of different names in this defense as well as existing Chargers players that have made a splash in training camp. Guys like J.C. Jackson and Khalil Mack have asserted themselves as still being two of the best in the business.
Let's not just focus on superstars, as we have 90 players fighting for a spot on the 53-man roster. Second-year defensive tackle Breiden Fehoko has caught the eye of coaches and fans and it seems like he will be in rotation with newcomers Austin Johnson and Sebastian Joseph-Day. A much-needed trio to help bring a bottom-five run stop defense to the other side of the stat sheet.
Going into the secondary, J.C. has not been the only impressive corner. Former Denver Bronco Bryce Callahan has been seen breaking up passes play after play. Veteran play from Callahan and Jackson will significantly help younger guys like Asante Samuel Jr. take that next step to make a lasting impact on this team.
Even with Derwin James' hold-in, the other safeties have looked very impressive as well. Seeing guys like JT Woods and Nasir Adderley play well bodes well to create depth in the secondary. They had flashes of incredible speed and quickness to stop anything in front of them. One place to look for improvement from the secondary is their ability to stop the deep ball.
Yes, I know, it is only training camp. The improvements made in the offseason have been looking great so far in camp, and are something to continue to monitor as we near the regular season. Chargers fans can only hope that these improvements pick up as the season goes on, but so far so good for Los Angeles.