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Volume 7, Issue 1 8/07/12 - старонка 23


CB:

 Cortland Finnegan, Janoris Jenkins, Bradley Fletcher, Trumaine Johnson, Josh Gordy, Jerome Murphy, Kendric Burney

S:

 Quintin Mikell (SS), Darian Stewart (FS), Craig Dahl (FS), Rodney McLeod (FS),Matt Daniels (SS), Quinton Pointer (FS)


San Diego Chargers



QB:

Philip Rivers had a down year in 2011, and it’s possible that he has peaked. He has shown good accuracy and velocity in the first week of training camp, however, and is optimistic about his array of new targets. If he bounces back with a 100+ passer rating this season, it will be his fourth in five years. Backup QB Charlie Whitehurst struggled with accuracy early in training camp before suffering a knee injury that will keep him out of action for 2-3 weeks. The Chargers view Whitehurst as the clear #2 QB this season, however, so when they sought to replace him with another camp arm, the open position was for a 2-3 week stint, not a true chance to compete for a regular-season roster spot. That’s why Billy Volek turned down the opportunity and Kyle Boller left the team (retired) after a single practice. The Chargers ended up signing former San Diego State quarterback Kevin O’Connell to join undrafted rookie Jarrett Lee as the backups until Whitehurst returns. The Chargers are expected to carry only two quarterbacks this season, so neither Lee nor O’Connell is expected to make the final cut.

RB:

With Mike Tolbert having moved on to Carolina, Ryan Mathews is expected to receive a significantly bigger workload this season. He showed up to camp in much better shape than last year, and has been working this offseason on carrying the ball higher and in tighter to his body to prevent fumbles. He was in a car accident early in training camp and went to the emergency room to treat minor injuries. After missing one day of practice, however, he was back on the field and looked fast. It’s worth noting that Mathews has been working with the second unit in the two-minute drill, with Ronnie Brown getting the first-team reps. Brown, a terrific receiver out of the backfield, is one of three free agent RBs to sign with the Chargers this year, along with Jackie Battle and fullback Le’Ron McClain. In addition to being the lead back in the two-minute offense, Brown may also get substantial playing time on third downs, and he has been taking snaps in the Chargers’ version of the wildcat offense as well. With Mathews and Brown as the clear #1 and #2 at halfback, there is fierce competition for the #3 spot. Jackie Battle probably has the edge over Curtis Brinkley, with rookies Edwin Baker and Michael Hayes also in the mix. Le’Ron McClain will start at fullback, and is also a capable ball carrier who could get a share of the carries if Ryan Mathews were to miss time. Backup FB Jacob Hester is likely to make the team for his special teams prowess.

WR:

There are a lot of new faces at wide receiver. Vincent Jackson is gone, but the team has added Robert Meachem, Eddie Royal, Roscoe Parrish, and Michael Spurlock. Meachem is expected to start along with Malcom Floyd on the outside, with Eddie Royal working out of the slot. Norv Turner likes Meachem’s speed as a deep threat, but Meachem’s chemistry with QB Philip Rivers is currently a work in progress. After missing a couple of days with soreness in his knee, Meachem returned with no ill effects and is becoming more comfortable in the offense, but training camp observers have commented that he is being targeted less often so far than Floyd or Royal. Floyd, like Meachem, is primarily a deep threat. He is a big target with sure hands who adjusts very well to the ball in the air, but he has had trouble staying healthy throughout his career. Based on his history, Floyd is unlikely to play a full 16-game season, which means that second-year pro Vincent Brown may get a few starts. Brown can play outside or in the slot, and is the primary backup to each of the top three receivers. Brown was impressive when called upon last season, and has looked very good in this year’s camp practices so far, but will have trouble getting more than about 30 snaps a game unless there is an injury ahead of him. Eddie Royal has been catching a lot of balls in training camp, and there is speculation that he could end up with 70+ receptions this season. (He had 91 as a rookie in Denver four years ago, but hasn’t come close to matching that number since then.) After the top four receivers, who makes the team will be determined in part by special teams value. Michael Spurlock, Richard Goodman, and Roscoe Parrish are the primary contenders for the remaining 1-2 roster spots.

TE:

Some of the best news out of Chargers training camp this year is how well Antonio Gates is running. Slowed by a foot injury for the past couple years, he dropped five pounds this offseason to take some of the load off of that foot. (He says he lost five pounds, but others say it looks more like twenty.) He is running and cutting at full speed. He looks fast, feels healthy, and has been burning cornerbacks in practice. He has made a few phenomenal one-handed grabs, and has also looked good running after the catch. With Vincent Jackson no longer on the team, Gates could be the primary weapon once again in the Chargers’ passing offense. Behind Gates, there is an intense training camp battle brewing between Randy McMichael and Dante Rosario. McMichael has been the Chargers’ #2 TE for the past two seasons. He is a capable blocker, but is on the downside of his career. Rosario is younger and more athletic, but he will have to perform well during the preseason to surpass the incumbent. Rookie Ladarius Green has excellent long-term potential, but he is too skinny and too inexperienced to make an impact this season. He will very likely make the final 53-man roster (since the Chargers would be unable to sneak him onto their practice squad without being poached), but will probably be inactive on game days unless there are injuries to the tight ends in front of him.

Defense:

The Chargers are deep on the defensive line, and expect to rotate players at each position. Cam Thomas is the favorite to start at nose tackle, and Aubrayo Franklin should make the roster there as well. Antonio Garay can play either on the nose or at end, and will see time at both spots. Vaughn Martin and Corey Liuget will start at defensive end, but the Chargers are also very high on rookie Kendall Reyes. He should be part of the rotation immediately. At outside linebacker, Shaun Phillips and Jarrett Johnson are expected to start. Johnson is primarily a run defender, so rookie first-round pick Melvin Ingram could take his place on passing downs. Antwan Barnes is another situational pass-rusher. Larry English has been plagued by injuries his whole career; this is his last chance to catch on with the Chargers. He looks good when he’s healthy, but his inability to stay on the field has put him on the roster bubble. At inside linebacker, Donald Butler and Takeo Spikes will start, and Demorrio Williams will likely replace Spikes on passing downs. Quentin Jammer and Antoine Cason will start at corner, and Marcus Gilchrist has the nickel pretty well locked up. Eric Weddle will start at free safety, looking to build on his excellent 2011 season. Free agent acquisition Atari Bigby is expected to start at strong safety, but rookie Brandon Taylor could end up pushing him for a share of the snaps.

Special Teams:

Kickers Nate Kaeding and Nick Novak are both off to a good start in camp. Kaeding is hoping to bounce back from a year lost to a torn ACL, “There has been a lot of emotional times in the past 11 months. “But I’ve gotten through it and I’m ready to go show everyone that I am back.” Novak is looking to keep his resurrected NFL career going, “From what we are told, this is an open competition and we are getting equal reps and everything is equal across the board as far as the opportunities that we are given.”

Chargers Depth Chart

QB:

 Philip Rivers, Charlie Whitehurst, Kevin O'Connell, Jarrett Lee

RB:

 Ryan Mathews, Ronnie Brown, Jackie Battle, Curtis Brinkley, Edwin Baker,Michael Hayes

FB:

 Le\'Ron McClain, Jacob Hester

WR:

 Robert Meachem, Malcom Floyd, Eddie Royal (PR), Vincent Brown, Roscoe Parrish (PR), Micheal Spurlock (KR), Richard Goodman (KR)

TE:

 Antonio Gates, Randy McMichael, Dante Rosario, Ladarius Green, Kory Sperry, Brad Taylor

LT:

 Jared Gaither, Brandyn Dombrowski

LG:

 Tyronne Green, Steve Schilling

C:

 Nick Hardwick, David Molk, Colin Baxter

RG:

 Louis Vasquez, Rex Hadnot

RT:

 Jeromey Clary, Mario Henderson

K:

 Nate Kaeding, Nick Novak

NT:

 Cam Thomas, Aubrayo Franklin, Antonio Garay, Charlie Bryant

DE:

 Corey Liuget, Vaughn Martin, Kendall Reyes, Jacques Cesaire, Damik Scafe, Garrett Brown

ILB:

 Takeo Spikes, Donald Butler, Jonas Mouton, Demorrio Williams, Andrew Gachkar

OLB:

 Shaun Phillips, Jarret Johnson, Melvin Ingram, Antwan Barnes, Larry English, Ricky Elmore, Darryl Gamble, Bront Bird 2010-07-19 18:44 Читать похожую статью
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