I don't exactly remember, but knowing my personality I'm willing to bet that at least one point during training camp last season I made a list of predictions. Things that would happen, BOOK IT. Then I probably forgot about them and half of them didn't come true.
This year, I intend on coming through with a little more follow-through. Every week or so I'll take the predictions I've made, update them with whether or not they've come true or not, and then add to them. Watch me begin to lose all credibility after the jump.At least 3 Chargers draft picks will be starters by Week 1
Ryan Mathews is already in, obviously. Darrell Stuckey is the favorite to win the SS job, but will have to show that he's a better option than Steve Gregory and C.J. Spillman. Cam Thomas was initially thought of as someone who could step right in to the starter's job, but after falling so far in the draft it has raised some vague concerns. He'll be battling Antonio Garay and BFTB-favorite Ogemdi Nwagbuo for the starting Nose Tackle position, but he has a shot.
Donald Butler is the one that interests me the most. As long as he doesn't fall off, I think Brandon Siler has one of the ILB spots locked up and will be there mostly as a run-stopper. The other spot is currently Stephen Cooper's, and he was a defensive captain last year and the play-caller of the D. Kevin Burnett is hanging around trying to get a shot at either spot. Butler is a bit of a long-shot between those 3 guys, but an injury or two could see him get on the field and I get the feeling he'll be rather impressive.
CBD will win the slot WR job, and impress a lot of people along the way
I'll say this for Buster Davis, he has his detractors because he's a "bust".....but he has always impressed me when he gets on the field. I don't think anyone has ever looked at his performance on the field and compared him to somebody like Darrius Heyward-Bey. CBD can play, but up until this point his body has failed to allow him to play regularly.
After what essentially amounts to a season off, but not a season spent rehabbing or sitting on his ass, I think CBD's body will be ready to absorb NFL-caliber hits and keep on ticking. Get ready for a whole bunch of gushing announcers, talking about the former first-rounder who is finally living up to his potential. It's coming, and it's going to make letting Malcom Floyd walk after this season a lot easier to swallow.
Vaughn Martin will be the starting RDE
This isn't as absurd as you might think initially.....but then think of the competitors. Travis Johnson, okay. Alfonso Boone, he was pretty good but he's the older D-lineman on the team. Ryon Bingham and Jacques Cesaire have never looked like anything but above-average backups to me.
If Martin shows up as the monster that he has the potential to be, how does he not win the spot? He won't make it to the practice squad, and giving him a lot of time in the preseason before unleashing him on the Chiefs, Jaguars, Seahawks, Cardinals, Raiders and Rams sounds like an excellent recipe for finally solidifying the spot for the first time since Igor Olshansky left. I know he's quite young (24), but that's what I'd do.
Jonathan Crompton will fumble at least one clipboard
It's a transition period at the 3rd QB spot. There will be some growing pains. It'll be okay though.
Punt Returning duties will be handed to either CBD or Antoine Cason
Any time it seems obvious that the fans know more than the coaching staff, it's the coaching staff being stubborn. I love Darren Sproles and I love his talent with the ball in his hands, but returning punts is about more than just when you have the ball in your hands. Lil' Lightning shows an inability to fair-catch the ball, and I can't count how many times he catches the ball inside his own 10 yard line (a big no-no).
Cason and CBD have experience returning punts, successfully, in college. They have the blazing speed and quick reflexes needed to play the part. Will we maybe lose a touchdown over the course of the season? It's possible, but we'll be significantly lowering our risk of fumbling on special teams and of our most dynamic player getting injuries. This move must be made by Week 1.
David Binn, Gary Banks and Legedu Naanee will throw some footballs and look like QBs
People will suggest we run the Wild Cat over and over again. Philip Rivers and Norv Turner will laugh.
The team will get through the entire Training Camp and Preseason without a single arrest or negative news story
Don't ask me how I know this. I just know this. I have faith. This year, it's going to happen.