With the first day of Training Camp in San Diego having been completed, I would like to address some competitions I find interesting that will take place as well as a few players I am looking forward to watching grow.
The biggest position battle on defense, and maybe for our entire team, is who will be placed next to Eric Weddle at strong safety. As an undrafted rookie, Jahleel Addae was more than respectable. He brought the type of aggression San Diego has been looking for since Rodney Harrison and could get from Bob Sanders. His competition is Marcus Gilchrist, who obviously has been in the league longer than Addae but does not have that much more experience at safety than Jahleel. Gilchrist was moved to safety last season to fill a hole in the defense. But as the season went on Addae was able to find himself some playing time as well. I favor Addae to win this due to him being able to better defend the run and would also give Marcus the opportunity to serve as not only a backup safety, but depth at the cornerback position which can come in handy in sub packages.
Another battle I look forward to is the WR corps, particularly the #2 receiver. Malcom Floyd was the hot topic of spring training as it is reported that he looks like his old self, he will be “duke it out” with Vincent Brown who was disappointingly quiet in a year where he was supposed to be the go to guy with Floyd and Danario Alexander out and a rookie WR as the only other viable wideout. With Keenan Allen locked in as #1 and Eddie Royal almost certainly our slot losing this battle could prove costly for one of these receivers, throw in a rising TE in Ladarius Green and I do not see many targets for the odd man out in this situation.
I, as well as most Charger fans, am always excited to see how our incoming rookies will fare in training camp and beyond, and while I am very fond to see what Jerry Attaochu can bring, I will talk about some other players that I cannot wait to see.
Manti Te’o is a guy I expect to make leaps and bounds this year as he will have the opportunity to come into OTAs healthy and no distractions. While he struggled to get on the field (whether it was from his foot sprain that kept him out from Week 2 of the preseason to week 4 of the regular season, or just his number not being called) he managed to get accustomed to the NFL game and has something to build on for this year.
Lastly, another Charger primed for production is Ladarius Green, with Antonio Gates getting up there in age, nobody can argue San Diego preparing themselves and looking for his successor and Green is the guy. He showed what he is capable of last year but I will stave off calling it breaking out because I believe that was only a sampling of the type of things he will do for us in San Diego. Green has the build of the new era of TEs such as Jordan Cameron and Jordan Reed, that combine speed and catching ability with their strength.
This all goes to say, I am ready for another Chargers Training Camp and thoroughly excited to see what player(s) develops in the process.