San Diego Chargers 2011 Preseason Schedule: August Preview

Thomas ConroyCorrespondent IAugust 11, 2011

San Diego Chargers 2011 Preseason Schedule: August Preview

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    Are you ready for some football?!!

    Thursday night, the NFL preseason will kick off in grand style, as the San Diego Chargers will host the Seattle Seahawks. For head coaches, two weeks just isn’t enough time to evaluate new players added to the team. So, how they play in preseason games will become more of a determining factor in making a roster than ever before.

    Let’s preview the San Diego Chargers and their preseason schedule...

San Diego Chargers

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    Playing well in preseason will be the first step towards redemption for the San Diego Chargers, as they missed the playoffs last season. It wasn’t because of their offense or defense, because they were among league leaders.

    Philip Rivers and Co. outscored their opponents by a margin of 441-322. The Bolts rushing defense was tops in total yardage given up last season. The team’s biggest liability was the play of their special teams, and if there’s minimal improvement this season then the Chargers will be the clear-cut favorite to win the AFC West title. 

August 11: Seattle Seahawks

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    A lot of change has occurred up in the Northwest, as Pete Carroll allowed QB Matt Hasselbeck to leave via free agency and brought in Tarvaris Jackson to compete with former Charger Charlie Whitehurst for the starting QB position. The defending NFC West champs also signed WR Sidney Rice and TE Zach Miller to open up the passing game this season. 

August 21: at Dallas Cowboys

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    The Dallas Cowboys are going through their first training camp under head coach Jason Garrett, who took over for Wade Phillips, and the team finished 5-3 under him.

    His biggest goal is implement two rookies (G David Arkin and T Tyron Smith) on the offensive line, as the Cowboys need to revamp their pass-protection this season. The preseason will also bring a healthy competition between Felix Jones and Tashard Choice for the starting RB position.

    On the defense, the Cowboys could be looking to replace Keith Brookings and Brody James, as they will need more athletic LBs in new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan’s scheme.

August 27: at Arizona Cardinals

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    If the Arizona Cardinals are going to contend for the NFC West, the key will be QB play. When Kurt Warner was under center they were a Super Bowl team, but last season the Cardinals replaced him with a trio (Derek Anderson, John Skelton and Max Hall) that couldn’t even start in a flag football league.

    This season, head coach Ken Whisenhunt is committed to QB Kevin Kolb, and he will receive the majority of preseason snaps to gain consistency in the passing game with WR Larry Fitzgerald.

September 1: San Francisco 49ers

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    To call last season a disappointment for the San Francisco 49ers would be an understatement. They were everyone’s choice to win the NFC West, but the Niners offense was anemic and prone to making mistakes (15 turnovers in their first five games).

    Team management cleaned house and hired Jim Harbaugh as head coach, and he will give QB Alex Smith one more season to prove his worth. Last season, Smith did show some improvement on the field, as his completion rate improved to 60 percent. But, second-round draft choice QB Colin Kaepernick is patiently waiting for his turn behind him.