San Diego Chargers 2010 Training Camp: Q's to Be Answered in Preseason
The Chargers will start their quest for a Super Bowl Saturday, in a preseason game against the Chicago Bears.
There are many questions that the Chargers are going to have to answer before they get ready for regular season play; here are some of them...
How Will the New Backfield Look?
The Chargers backfield will look dramatically different this year. Without LT, and Norv Turner's desire to run the ball more in the upcoming season, there will be around 500 carries that will have to be split amongst the backs.
Rookie Ryan Mathews should get the bulk of those carries, but look for the Chargers to experiment with new packages for Darren Sproles, and a couple of two fullback sets with Jacob Hester and Mike Tolbert.
Who Will Replace the Holdouts?
Vincent Jackson, Marcus McNeill, and Shawne Merriman will not be playing on Saturday. They will need to be replaced should their holdouts continue into the regular season.
Jackson will have to be replaced by Malcom Floyd, leaving a spot open as the number two receiver.
Newly acquired Josh Reed should get the first look, followed by the four-year veteran Legedu Naanee, and 2007 first-round draft pick Buster Davis. Jackson's absence will also give undrafted rookie Seyi Ajirotutu, and former practice squad player Gary Banks a chance to get some snaps.
Marcus McNeill's left tackle spot will be filled by Brandyn Dombroski. Tra Thomas will get a shot to take the left tackle spot as well.
Last year's first round pick, Larry English, will try to fill the void in the starting lineup left by Merriman. James Holt spent most of the season on the practice squad last season, but expect him to make some plays at outside linebacker this preseason. Antwan Applewhite will also get some additional playing time.
Who Will Play Nose Tackle?
Jamal Williams signed with the Denver Broncos this offseason. The Chargers will have to find a replacement not only for 2010, but for the future as well.
Ryon Bingham missed all of last season with a hurt arm, but looked impressive last year in camp before his injury. The Chargers also still have Travis Johnson and Ogemdi Nwagbuo who got a significant amount of snaps last year.
As for the future, Cam Thomas, the fourth-round pick out of North Carolina, is the Chargers' long term answer. The Chargers will try to work him in in the preseason, to see how long it will take him to grasp the NFL game.
Vaughn Martin is a project. He is entering his second year and the Chargers hope that he will eventually become a solid starter in the future, and will be able to challenge Thomas for the starting spot.
Who Will Fill in the Holes in the Secondary?
Antonio Cromartie was sent to New York, and Kevin Ellison was sent packing.
Cromartie's spot on the corner will be taken by last year's nickelback, Antoine Cason. Cason will be challenged by free agents Nathan Vasher and Donald Strickland from the Bears and the Jets respectively. Both started two games for their previous squads, and have the experience that Cason lacks. After the preseason the Chargers will find out who is ready to take on the starting spot.
At safety the Chargers' options are Steven Gregory and rookie Darnell Stuckey. Gregory will get the start because he has been with the team longer, but Stuckey will get a fair chance to start this preseason.