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Chargers Position Battle Review (Post-Cowboys Preseason Game)

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Little known fact: Mario Henderson is a demon.
Little known fact: Mario Henderson is a demon.

Let's work backwards from the usual order this week, just because I feel like it.

(Temporary) Back-Up Running Back

Curtis Brinkley vs. Jackie Battle

What I said:

(Look out for) fumbles. There were a lot of them in game one and preseason games are littered with them, but that doesn't mean that they won't still piss off the coaches the same way they do in the regular season. Battle could also use something more than 3 yards and a cloud of dust.

So much for preseason games being littered with fumbles, the only one for the Chargers' offense was off a botched second-half snap. Brinkley had a ho hum game (4 rush yds on 4 carries) and Battle wasn't much better (10 rush yds, 1 rush TD on 4 carried) but he showed some fun leaping ability at the goal line.

This battle (no pun intended) seems like it'll be determined more by Ronnie Brown than anything that these guy do. If Brown can handle the bulk of the carries, then Brinkley fills the role as 3rd down back. If Brown has two more games like he had against the Cowboys, maybe he stays as the 3rd down back and 1st-2nd down carries are split between Battle and Le'Ron McClain.

Back-Up Tackle

Mike Harris vs. Mario Henderson vs. Anthony Davis

What I said:

At this point I'm more intrigued by the Anthony Davis vs. Mario Henderson battle than anything else, but we should of course watch Harris to make sure he can handle the first-stringers he'll be going up against.

Harris has a few people scared after being beaten badly on a first-quarter sack of Philip Rivers, but he makes the team without question. I don't doubt that the team would keep a second Tackle, but neither Davis nor Henderson has stood out as being particularly bad or good. This one might come down to politics and payroll.


Nate Kaeding vs. Nick Novak

What I said:

I'm always nervous about Kaeding's injury being a leg injury. Who knows if he has the same accuracy he once did?

Gosh, I really hope these guys get a chance to kick Field Goals before the preseason is over. So far Kaeding is 0/0 and Novak is 0/1. I don't expect Novak to win the job, but neither one of them getting a chance to do anything is just frustrating.

Back-Up Tight End

Randy McMichael vs. Dante Rosario vs. Ladarius Green

What I said:

Green needs one of those really impressive preseason games where he dominates 2nd and/or 3rd stringers. McMichael could use a catch or two himself, since Rosario has appeared to be the better receiver thusfar.

Rosario and McMichael each had one target and one catch. Green had one target and no catches. Very annoying. The only thing that changed is that McMichael made a big play (his catch being for 28 yards) and got his name called for the first time, in what has been an excellent preseason for Rosario.

Nose Tackle

Antonio Garay vs. Aubrayo Franklin vs. Cam Thomas

What I said:

I don't think Garay is going to suit up against the Cowboys, so we should get an extended look at Franklin (who should be up to speed on the playbook by now).

Garay didn't play and Franklin looked.....let's say lost. He looked lost. Or weak. "Not good" might be the best phrase for it. Cam Thomas only looked slightly better.

All three of these guys are talented NFL players, but it's going to be difficult for the team to justify keeping all three of them when none of them have any experience playing DE.

Strong Safety

Atari Bigby vs. Brandon Taylor

What I said:

The Cowboys throw a lot, but their offensive line has issues. Expect to see both of these guys blitzing a bit and also playing some man-coverage.

Both guys looked good against the Cowboys (they actually finished the game with the exact same stat line), but you can really tell that Bigby is gelling with the rest of the defense and could be a real playmaker if he's able to stay healthy. If the Chargers can get 13 games out of him at SS, A.J. Smith will look like a genius.