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What to watch for: San Diego Chargers at Seattle Seahawks (preseason)

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What players, and coaches, should fans of the San Diego Chargers be keeping a close watch on when the team takes on the Seattle Seahawks in the 2014 NFL Preseason?

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Johnnie Troutman and Chris Watt

I've said all along that I don't think San Diego Chargers RG Jeromey Clary will be ready by Week 1 of the NFL regular season. Now that we're heading into the second preseason game and he hasn't even begun working out on his own during practice, I think it's a safe bet that either Troutman or Watt will be the starter against the Arizona Cardinals in that first Monday night game.

Watt probably has the inside track here, someone that was selected by the current braintrust and possibly a better overall fit for Coach D's zone blocking system, but a head/neck injury kept him out of the first game and Troutman looked good against the Cowboys.

Troutman is expected to play with the first-stringers, with Watt taking over Guard and Center duties on the second the third-string offense. Obviously, the team wants them to both play well, but Troutman may need to do something special to hold off Watt another couple of weeks.

Philip Rivers and Frank Reich

From everything we've heard, Frank Reich's offense is a faster and slightly more complicated version of last year's Chargers offense. Philip Rivers will be given two (or three) plays in the huddle and will make the call at the line, and he'll occasionally be asked to run a no-huddle offense without the assistance of Reich.

What better time to test the new system than in the middle of a deafening stadium against a Super Bowl-caliber defense? Let's see how Rivers makes the calls at the line when nobody can hear him. Let's find out how he runs the no-huddle against a great, and versatile, defense.

Brandon Flowers

There's been no official word yet on if the prize of the Chargers free agent class (kind of) will play tonight, but after a few good days of practice at Training Camp, I'd say it's likely.

Flowers himself has said that he's a bit behind where he'd like to be in his fitness and training, and it's important for him to get comfortable in John Pagano's defense before the games actually start to mean something. I expect him to play at least a series or two tonight.

While this may be a simplifying things a little too far, this is almost the exact same team the Chargers had in 2013. The only real defense is at the CB spot, which was atrocious last season. Brandon Flowers is expected to be the #1 CB that Derek Cox couldn't be in 2013, and his performance this year could do a lot to elevate the entire defense around him. I'll be interested to see if he can do that in his first preseason game in blue and gold.

Antonio Gates

Gates is getting old and his body is breaking down on him. It would be nice to see him show up and look spry in a preseason game before the regular season begins.

Defensive Line

Don't count on Corey Liuget playing in this one either, which means more opportunities at NT for second-year player Kwame Geathers. Keep an eye on how that Kendall Reyes / Geathers / Sean Lissemore performs, because we may be seeing a lot of it this year.

As I said the other night on Gennaroly Speaking, tonight's game against the Seattle Seahawks will show us (and the world) the flaws of the 2014 San Diego Chargers. Then the coaching staff can get to work trying to fix them.