The third preseason game is usually a team's most important. It most closely mirrors the regular season as far as preparation and game planning in the week before. It is also the game where the starters see the most playing time. For that reason here is who I will be watching on Sunday.
The Chargers first round pick is finally expected to be ready to make his on-field debut. Because of the fact that it is a tough position to transition to the NFL, it is usually too much to ask for a rookie cornerback to come in and make a big impact right away. However, the Chargers will be doing just that with the former Horned Frog. As much optimism as there is for Shareece Wright and Brandon Flowers, neither is a sure thing to be a solid starter. The coaching staff has kept Verrett protected with the red non-contact jersey in practice until this week, but now it's time to see what he can do.
I'll have to admit, I was one of Reyes' biggest fans after his rookie season. Once he saw an increase in his snap count, we saw him unleash his pass-rushing potential. Now, it is time to start getting worried about the third-year player. His second season could be seen as a "sophomore slump", but that would be an understatement. He was regularly washed out in the run game and failed to show the penetration as a pass rusher he showed as a rookie. He has also shown poorly in the team's two preseason games, so this will be a good time for Reyes to gain some confidence heading into the regular season.
To quote Peter King from his recent trip to San Diego, the Chargers have "big plans" for number 89. This will be the best chance that Charger fans will have to see how Green and Antonio Gates together. Gates really looked like he slowed down last year. While he is still the master of the 6 yard "jerk" route, he has almost no elusiveness to make a guy miss. Hopefully we can see a showcasing of Green against a strong defense on national television.
The rookie played in his first action last Friday against the Seahawks, and faired pretty well. In a hostile environment in Seattle, he showed awareness and the ability to pick up blitzes, something that Johnnie Troutman has struggled with throughout his short career. If Watt can have another strong outing, he could really push for the starting RG job. It is also worth noting that Watt is a draftee of Tom Telesco while Troutman is not. That is obvious, but it often factors in heavily.
The Receiving Corps
After Keenan Allen, Malcom Floyd, and Eddie Royal, this group of receivers is full of question marks. Vincent Brown has missed a lot of time in training camp, and hasn't done enough in his career to guarantee a spot on the roster. He started plenty of games last year, but with little separation or run after the catch ability he doesn't add much to the offense. I would love to see Dontrelle Inman, Seyi Ajirotutu, Tevin Reese, and Javontee Herndon compete and force the front office to make a decision on whether or not Vincent Brown deserves a spot on the roster.