San Diego Chargers 1st round pick Melvin Ingram is an easy choice as a "winner" from preseason game 1. (Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE)
The first preseason came and went mostly as planned. The players with assured starting roles did not spend a lot of time on the playing field, the team was very cautious with any of their core guys that had training camp injuries and the 2nd and 3rd string got a lot of reps. When analyzing the winners and losers of a game like that, the players in focus are going to be those 2nd and 3rd stringers. Some are veterans fighting for a role, some are young high draft picks trying to impress for future considerations and some are undrafted rookies trying to make those big impressions that will get them an NFL job.
- Kevin O'Connell - The SDSU alum didn't even get a snap during the game. Charlie Whitehurst is rumored to be getting closer to being able to practice and Jarrett Lee is the offense favorite toy project right now. It is expected that we'll learn soon that O'Connell has been cut so that the team can use his roster spot for something else.
- Robert Meachem - Failed to impress. In his defense, Philip Rivers didn't complete one pass to any of his WRs. However everyone knows what to expect out of Malcom Floyd whereas with Meachem people are anxious to see him do something. The only time his name was called was when his route got jumped for an interception.
Mike Hayes - With Ryan Mathews injured after one running play and Ronnie Brown getting limited reps, Hayes got a couple early carries. His first one went for a gain of two. The second one he fumbled. If the opening for him got bigger after Mathews' bad break, then it certainly got a lot smaller after the turnover. He got a four more carries later picking up a total of 4 yards on them for a final tally of 6 carries 10 yards.
- Ronnie Brown - He's already been impressing people in practices and now it looks like he's the de facto starter for week one. The Chargers protected him in this first game as he only played in three series. That seems to show that he's not fighting for a spot, it is his new role until Mathews returns.
Jarrett Lee - Even if he never takes a regular season snap for the Chargers, this game was huge for Lee. Three quarters and some change for a NFL undrafted rookie in one of the most respected offenses in the NFL is a huge win for him.
- Vincent Brown - Seemingly everyone's pick for a breakout candidate showed everyone why they might be right. He looked good on the deep balls and the run after the catch. Nice routes, good ball skills and a little shake and bake.
- Melvin Ingram - Seemed to terrorize the overwhelmed Green Bay offensive line. You can compare it a little to Darryl Gamble last year. Except Gamble would come up big at times and get lost at others, Ingram was a threat on every snap.
- The Chargers! - They won the game, duh. Bolts Up, Foes Down.