With two weeks of football activities in the books, it is safe to say that Chargers training camp has been smooth thus far. There have been some hiccups, with key players suffering not-so-serious injuries, but the buzz out of camp has been overwhelmingly positive thus far.
The Chargers held a padded inter-squad scrimmage for the first time on Sunday in front of a bustling group of fans that showed up in the Santa Ana sunshine to get a taste of what 2023 will look like. And the takeaway from this scrimmage was very simple: the defense dominated.
All of the hype has been around Kellen Moore's offense but Brandon Staley's defense looked like a hungry unit that was ready to be one of the best in the sport in 2023. Moore's offense at least had an excuse, though. Several starters, including Rashawn Slater, were out of action due to an illness.
But in the process of getting dominated defensively it became clear that the Chargers have a need that should probably be addressed in free agency.
Chargers training camp scrimmage showcased the team's need for a viable swing tackle
If the Chargers have to play without Slater or Trey Pipkins for an extended amount of time in 2023 then it is going to be an issue. Foster Sarell hasn't looked great in his looks and Jordan McFadden, who is a rookie guard remember, is not taking to left tackle as easily as Jamaree Salyer did last season.
It goes beyond this scrimmage as well. Slater has been out for multiple practices due to his illness and Trey Pipkins missed a handful of practices with a leg injury. In those practices, fans got to see how the depth looks at tackle and it is not a pretty sight.
The Chargers did not address the swing tackle position at all in the offseason and the options are now limited. The market is filled with veterans like Taylor Lewan, Jesse Davis and Marcus Cannon who are past their prime, but at least bring experience to the offensive line and could probably produce at a higher level than Sarell.
Regardless, the front office can't watch what happened in that scrimmage and not take the proper precautions. Sure, it looked great for the pass rush, but the Chargers will really regret not making any signings when Slater or Pipkins inevitably miss a game or two and Justin Herbert is under duress.