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The Top Five Matchups of Chargers Training Camp

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Training camp allows fans the rare opportunity to see their favorite Chargers go head-to-head against one another. Here's five that it would be wise to keep an eye on down at Chargers Park.

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

One of the more unique aspects of training camp is the opportunity to see firsthand how different Chargers fare against their teammates.

Running backs squaring off against linebackers, offensive linemen going toe-to-toe with defensive linemen, and receivers taking on defensive backs one-on-one are staple practice drills of any football team.

They're also the source of a good bit of trash talk and bragging rights as players get to face off with one another on multiple occasions. It;s one of the high points of these practices. Here's a look at five matchups that should be among the best at Chargers Park.

Stevie Johnson vs. Jason Verrett

Verrett has been the toast of the offseason with seemingly everyone - from local and national media to people whose opinions actually matter - hyping him up as a potential lockdown corner.

So it’ll be interesting to see how Verrett - who is a quick, agile, and instinctive athlete - fares against one of the league’s more unique route runners in Johnson.

Chances are Johnson will show Verrett some moves he has yet to see through six career games. How he handles the veteran receiver will help demonstrate how much Verrett has grown from year one to year two, and just how deep his skill set is.

Johnson's coming off a letdown season while the former TCU defensive back is surrounded by hype - so both have something to prove. Add in that both of these guys play with a little bit of swagger and you've got a recipe for a premier training camp battle.


Chris Watt
vs. Ryan Carrethers

A battle between 2014 draft classmates, neither Watt nor Carrethers have a ton of experience at their respective positions. Watt played the majority of his rookie season at guard, but has been anointed as the center of the future seemingly since he was drafted. Carrethers, meanwhile, flashed at times at nose tackle, before his season ended early due to an elbow injury.

This type of matchup should be mutually beneficial for the pair as they settle into their respective roles, with Watt officially taking over Nick Hardwick and Carrethers a candidate to grab the nose tackle job.

Jerry Attaochu vs. D.J. Fluker

The Chargers are expecting a lot out of each player as Attaochu moves into the starting lineup at outside linebacker while Fluker enters camp after a disappointing sophomore campaign.

It’s no secret that Fluker has had his fair of struggles with speed rushers to this point in his career while Attaochu possesses the athleticism and quickness that can give him trouble.

On the flip side, the former Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket was raw in his rookie season so it'll be intriguing to see how far his skills set has come when he goes against a veteran tackle in Fluker.


Keenan Allen
vs. Nickel CBs

With Eddie Royal now out of town, both Johnson and Allen are candidates to play the slot. Allen did so brilliantly in his time at Cal, and should kick inside at times this season.

He figures to give whoever lines up across from him - be it Patrick Robinson, Steve Williams, Chris Davis, or Jimmy Wilson - a handful with his quickness and adept route running.

It could be that whoever handles Allen the best of the quartet becomes the favorite to land the vacant nickel corner job.


Melvin Gordon
vs. Donald Butler

Gordon will be making far and away the most anticipated debut of any player when camp opens to the public on Thursday. Fans are no doubt anxious to see what the Chargers have in the 15th overall pick of this year’s draft.

While most of the attention on Gordon will largely focus on his ability to carry the ball, one-on-one drills should reveal some insight into two of the bigger question marks surrounding him since he entered the league: Can he catch the ball out of the backfield and how far is he along in pass protection?

Not too far behind Gordon on the list of "What Exactly Do the Chargers Have?" is Butler, who struggled mightily in virtually every phase of the game in 2014.

While it’s not a given that the two will square off against one another too much, Butler should get a chance to cover the rookie when he releases into the flat team drills, and it might be the former Husky who Gordon will have to pickup on certain blitz packages.