Now that the team has completed its final practice of Training Camp let's touch on some important points that these collection of practices has shown us so far. A lot of players have displayed great promise while some players have had very underwhelming showings. Let's address the highlights and lowlights of San Diego Chargers 2015 Training Camp:
Breakout Star - CB Jason Verrett
Jason Verrett has looked like a shutdown corner, not just like a top corner in this league but a guy who can shutdown his entire side. In multiple practices this year Jason Verrett finished out an entire day without giving up a single catch. His closing speed looks a step quicker than last year and his confidence looks like it's through the roof.
Every catch Verrett has given up in camp has been a tough catch for these Chargers Wide Receivers. He's made plays on balls that look like they should be easy pitch and catches and when he breaks on the ball even the receivers are surprised he got there that quick. Jason Verrett is primed for a big year.
Biggest Leap - C Chris Watt
The hard work and praise of his teammates are valid; Chris Watt has made the biggest leap from last year to this year among the Chargers players. Evidence of how he played last Thursday against the Cowboys, Watt looks like a mauler from the Center position with high football acumen. The former Offensive Guard has shown a good grasp of the new position and has taken control of it in practice.
Watt put on some muscle this offseason especially in his upper body and he's used that to his advantage getting good drive on oncoming defenders but what might be most important is the fact that he looks more comfortable in this system with a year under his belt and that's allowing him to go out and play to the best of his ability.
Best Newcomer - WR Stevie Johnson
Both Orlando Franklin or Patrick Robinson could easily be considered the best acquisition this offseason but during Training Camp Stevie Johnson looks like a Wide Receiver that can get open whenever he wants to. Johnson had the most highlights during practice with what seemed to be a diving catch every day.
The chemistry between Rivers and Johnson has grown since Day 1 of camp and there have been recent play designs with Stevie in the slot that looks unguardable between Philip Rivers timing and Stevie Johnson's route running. Besides good hands, Stevie Johnson has displayed some dance moves during stretches that could rival teammate Jacoby Jones making him not only fun to watch on the field but on the sideline as well.
Quietest Camp - TE Ladarius Green
With Antonio Gates missing the first four games of the season it was everyone's assumption that Ladarius Green would be on full display in Training Camp finally having his breakout year. It may be setup that way but Green has shown close to nothing in terms of results on the practice field. During FanFest, the Offense made a concerted effort to feed the Green Machine but it still resulted in a lackluster performance for the day.
While it could be a testament to how well Inside Linebacker Manti Te'o is playing in coverage, Green just hasn't had his name called much during Training Camp, here's to hoping that changes when the season starts.
Most Disappointing Camp - WR Dontrelle Inman
Dontrelle Inman had a strong back half of the season last year when filling in at the starting Wide Receiver spot collecting 12 receptions with 158 yards. Inman showed good route running, strong break back to the ball and also exhibited poise coming up with key receptions on multiple Chargers drives late in games.
With another year under his belt Inman had the potential pointing in the right direction but hasn't really gotten going in camp. Inman has been plagued by drops and has been caught running the wrong routes. In one of the most comical sequences in camp (or not, if you'r Inman) with Kellen Clemens at quarterback, Dontrelle Inman broke his route inside but Clemens throw went outside. Inman turned and looked at Clemens with his hands up in the air claiming it was his fault and all four quarterbacks watching Philip Rivers, Kellen Clemens, Brad Sorensen and Chase Rettig all simultaneously pointed to the out route all proving Inman was in the wrong.
While it hasn't been all bad for Inman, he has a close competition for that fifth Wide Receiver spot behind Keenan Allen, Malcom Floyd, Stevie Johnson and Jacoby Jones so his margin for error is slim going forward.
Best Rookie - OLB Kyle Emanuel
The far and away biggest surprise of Chargers Training Camp has been the meteoric rise of the fifth round pick Kyle Emanuel. While his success isn't a surprise to some, how fast it came has really forced this team's coaching staff to take notice.
When Emanuel first stepped foot onto Chargers Park his pass rushing arsenal turned heads, so much so that he's now currently being mixed in with the first team defense. He showed not only that he was a star in practice but during the first preseason game he showed he can do it at real game speed too, racking up one sack, one QB Hit, one Tackle For Loss and helped force a fumble on Special Teams. The small school product is always going at top speed, consistently outworks his man and is improving each and every day; it's that blue collar mentality that makes Emanuel not only a good player but also makes him a new fan favorite.