Sep 9, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers linebacker Dwight Freeney (93) waits at the line during the first half against the Houston Texans at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

San Diego Chargers Roster Battles To Watch

The playoffs were a great start for the San Diego Chargers last season.  Now they need to get their roster straight for a deeper run.

Right Guard:  Jeromey Clary vs. Chris Watt

Interior blocking was one of the primary problems for the San Diego Chargers throughout most of 2013 despite their offensive success under Ken Whisenhunt.  Improving it was a priority and that meant adding competition at the guard spots.  Perhaps the most interesting battle taking shape is at right guard.  There longtime starter Jeromey Clary turns 31 this year and didn’t have his best season last year.  Meanwhile the team added Chris Watt out of Notre Dame from the 3rd round of the draft, a big, strong phone booth blocker with good upside.  He comes from a proven program with experience and given the fact Clary was a no-show at OTAs has a great chance to get a head start on seizing the initiative for that right guard spot.

Nose Tackle:  Sean Lissemore vs. Ryan Carrethers

Most of the issues for the Chargers rested in their secondary but there were problems up front as well.  One such area was nose tackle.  The hope is that former reserve and recent free agent from Dallas, Sean Lissemore can step in as the new starter.  This despite the fact he’s only started eight games in his career.  He will have plenty of company in vying for the job with rookie Ryan Carrethers entering the fray.  The 5th round pick was a late riser in the draft and had a very solid pre-draft workout including a great showing at the scouting combine.  He has the necessary requirements for a 3-4 nose tackle.  The question is can he overcome his obvious lack of experience?  That will be the deciding factor against Lissemore.

Outside Linebacker:  Dwight Freeney vs. Jeremiah Attaochu

There are always multiple ways to help a secondary improve.  One is more talent but the other is a better pass rush.  That is something the San Diego Chargers aim to improve in 2014.  Dwight Freeney, the ageless veteran from Indianapolis claims he’s much more prepared to play outside linebacker than he was a year ago when he came in as a career 4-3 defensive end.  If true the Bolts will be better for it, but at age 34 it’s hard to accept that happening.  At the same time, the team added a high potential rookie in Jeremiah Attaochu who is a perfect fit for their scheme.  Harnessing his talent and showing his ability to learn quickly might just be the ticket to trotting Freeney to the backup position where he would become a situational pass rusher.  It’s not the only scenario, but it would be an ideal one for San Diego.

Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Chris Watt Dwight Freeney Jeremiah Attaochu Ryan Carrethers San Diego Chargers

  • navw21

    Chris Watt was working with the 3rd team at RG, while Johnny Troutman was working with the 1st string at RG over the weekend. So Watt wasn’t really getting all that much of a head start.

    • Erik Lambert

      Maybe not but a lot can happen in a couple months. The kid has talent. He just needs time to acclimate.

  • philiprules

    You mean the blunder because he only played against 2nd rate players (your words not mine) Carrethers is a battle to watch? Who woulda guessed?

    • Erik Lambert

      I’m not going based on my own feelings, philip. I’m going based on word of mouth from multiple sources.

  • Jose Aguilar

    Chris is where he needs to be until otherwise. A battle for the position is worth the wait!

    • Erik Lambert

      Why shouldn’t the kid start if he proves he’s ready by the preseason?

  • Bolty

    Lissemore can play anywhere on the DL. It should be Lissemore vs. Reyes actually. And Geathers vs. Carrethers with rotation.. And Not Freeney vs. Attaochu, as they both should be on the field AT THE SAME TIME with Ingram replacing Butler as ILB either blitzing or dropping back with Teo in obvious passing situations. Get it?!? Think outside the friggin’ box! Get the picture? In passing situations, it’s Attaochu, Reyes/Lissemore, Luiget, Freeney with Teo and Ingram as ILB. In running situations, it could be Ingram, Lissemore, Carrethers/Geathers, Luiget, Johnson with Teo/Kaval sp? and Butler. Some packages like that.

    • BlueBoltFan

      They have Lissemore as the starting NT. It’s the position he played last season when Cam Thomas lost his starting job. And Telesco joked in an press conference that Lissemore wouldn’t be happy if they took a NT early in the draft.

      • BlueBoltFan

        And I’m not as big a fan of moving Ingram to ILB on passing downs as some people. I don’t dislike it, but the guy has played roughly a season worth of football and it’s like he HAS to be moved because he’s not Von Miller. Move him around sometimes, sure. But we also need to be patient and give the guy time to develop. What he is now isn’t all he can be. Besides, I would need to see that rookie Attaochu is a better pass rusher than Ingram before I start moving guys around.