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.