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San Diego Chargers training camp battles: a rundown on defense

Here are the camp battles to look forward to on defense.

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

After taking a look at the camp battles on offense yesterday, today we look at the battles on defense. Let's dive right in.

Defensive line

Joey Bosa, Corey Liuget, Brandon Mebane, Ryan Carrethers, and Darius Philon are who I consider locks at this point on the DL. I maintain that Sean Lissemore is probably going to be the "surprise" veteran that gets cut at the end of camp, but I see the argument for keeping him and wouldn't be upset if he stays. That leaves Damion Square, Tenny Palepoi, Chuka Ndulue, and Carlos Wray to battle for the remaining spots. I would think that there are probably spots for at least 3 of the 4, especially if the team does release Lissemore.

Outside linebackers

We will split up the inside and outside linebackers. Jerry Attaochu, Melvin Ingram, Kyle (ba)Emanuel, Tourek Williams, and Jatavius Brown at this point are locks. Which probably won't leave any room for more OLBs on the active roster. The other 4 OLBs that are currently on the roster are all practice squad eligible, however. Which means Ben Gardner, along with rookies Chris Landrum, Tyler Marcordes, and Shaq Petteway will be battling for a chance to join the PS.

Inside linebackers

The starters on the inside are set as well, Manti Te'o and Denzel Perryman are locked in. With Jatavius Brown and Dexter McCoil (who I'll get too later with the safeties) likely to be playing at a few different positions, the Chargers might only need to keep one extra TRUE ILB on the roster. So it should be an interesting battle between 4th round pick Joshua Perry and Nick Dzubnar. Dzubnar made the team last pre-season by showing some skill on special teams and not sucking against other 2's and 3's. Even though he was on the roster for all 16 games last season, Dzubnar is still eligible for one of 2 PS spots.


The active roster is pretty well set here too, barring injury of course. Jason Verrett, Brandon Flowers, Casey Hayward, Craig Mager, and Steve Williams have the first five spots. I predicted the team keeps 6 CBs on the active roster, so there is at least one spot, plus I would say another on the PS. Battling for those two spots are Greg Ducre and Richard Crawford (both of whom have spent time on both the PS and active roster for the Chargers) along with three rookies, Terrell Chestnut, Larry Scott, and Trevor Williams. With how much the team has been hyping up the performance of the secondary in practices thus far, both the CB and S competitions could wind up being fun to watch.


This will be another interesting position to watch, mostly because there are no "stars" in the group right now. Every one of them has a good chance at playing time. Jahleel Addae and Dwight Lowery are penciled in as the starters. However, Darrel Stuckey will get playing time both at S and on special teams where he excels. Dexter McCoil will get playing time all over the defense. The final spot is going to be a battle of the Adrians. Adrian Phillips and rookie Adrian McDonald will be a fun battle to watch. Both have been making plays in practice so far, including Monday when Phillips had 1 INT while McDonald pulled down 2 INTs and a PD.