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2015 San Diego Chargers: What to Watch for in the Preseason

Football is back! Well, at least the preseason is. While the stars won't see much action, there is still plenty to take out of football in August.

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

DJ Fluker at Guard

After a handful of practices in a row of playing exclusively right guard, it's pretty clear that the Chargers are finally willing to admit that its time to move DJ Fluker inside. His skillset suggests he could be a dominant interior lineman, but there is still plenty of learning to do. He will still have to get used to pass protection, blocking assignments, and blitz pickup, and the preseason is a good place to start.

Defensive Line

One of the weaker spots on the team is defensive line. Tenny Palepoi figured to see a decent amount of snaps in the 2015 rotation, but already finds himself on IR. With Sean Lissemore missing a lot of recent practice time, that leaves more opportunity for someone buried on the depth chart to break through. Ryan Carrethers, Mitch Unrein, and rookie Darius Philon could all potentially show enough to get a chance for playing time come regular season.


A year after signing Donald Butler to a long-term extension and 2 years after trading up in the second round to draft Manti Te'o, the Bolts used another early pick on ILB Denzel Perryman. This means that Butler will have almost no time to turn his career in San Diego around. Regardless of the players' contracts, you want the best team on the field. If Perryman outplays Butler in the preseason and proves he is ready for the NFL, there is no reason for him to be behind Butler on the depth chart.

Moving on from Gates

Antonio Gates is due to miss the first four games of the 2015 season due to a suspension, which could lead to a reduced role for the rest of 2015 as he inches closer to retirement. Kyle Posey gave a great breakdown of what to expect from Ladarius Green, with trust being the major component. Gates has been Philip Rivers' crutch throughout his career, but it's time for Philip to start putting his trust in some other options. Figuring out how to use guys like Green and Stevie Johnson could be a solid task for the preseason. With an improved offensive line, addition of Stevie Johnson, and return of Danny Woodhead, there is no excuse for the Chargers' offense to be the best since Mike McCoy took over. Rivers needs to develop trust in this diverse group of receivers, and a great place to start is in the preseason.