It’s week 4 of the preseason and the roster is all but set. Which defensive player will you have your eyes on tonight?
Isaac Gutierrez: It is Kyzir White. Up to this point it seems he has outplayed Jatavis Brown for the starting spot they are currently battling for. One more impressive game could put an end to the debate and win him the week one starting job.
Cole Thompson: Kyzir White. He’s still learning who to transition from strong safety to weakside linebacker but has shown improvement following the last two preseason outings. Similar to Jatavis Brown, both are solid against the run but have the ability to play in coverage against running backs and tight ends out of the backfield. A strong game from the rookie could send Brown down the depth chart.
Jamie Hoyle: I must be a glutton for punishment because I think I’ll be most focused on Jatavis Brown on defense. He hasn’t responded well to the training camp battle and has typically looked like the worst and least reliable linebacker on the roster this preseason. I’d hoping we’ll see more confident reads, more precise angles and, god willing, dramatically better tackling. I think the writing is on the wall for Kyzir White to open the season as the starting WILL, so now I just want Jatavis to show some pride and put his best foot forward as a backup. I know this much: he’d be hard pressed to be any worse than he was last week.
Michael Peterson: I will be watching Jatavis Brown and Hayes Pullard. Both are heading in opposite directions than most people expected. Pullard looks much improved while Brown seems unable to put it back together. At the end of the day, we gotta trust that the staff will make the right decisions on the last few position battles still being fought for.
Matthew Stanley: I’ll be watching 3rd round pick Justin Jones. He hasn’t played yet and interior DL has been a massive concern so far this preseason. The Chargers need to know what they have in the rookie, even against backups. I don’t want him to do poorly overall, but I’m almost hoping its a rough showing for him to give the team a little urgency to sign Johnathan Hankins, who they have already met with.
Richard Wade: I’ll be keeping a close eye on Jatavis Brown. He showed so much promise during his rookie season, but at this point, he’s actually in danger of being on the bubble for the first round of cuts. It will be very interesting to see how he responds to that pressure.
Louis Gorini: I want to see Justin Jones. The Chargers have yet to solve the middle of their defense in my opinion and maybe Jones can be part of that solution. Depending on how raw he looks, could open up the door for a Johnathan Hankins signing, which I’m all for.
Garrett Sisti: Anthony Lynn said the WILL spot is still up for grabs so Jatavis Brown is going to have to have a strong showing to make it a real competition. Justin Jones is another guy we haven’t seen this preseason so he’s a guy I’ll be watching closely too.
Jamie Sewell: I’m looking at Jatavis Brown. I don’t think he’s necessarily on the roster bubble, but if he wants to be anything more than a Special Teams contributor this year, he needs to rebound in a big way from last week.
Ruben J. Gonzalez: I will be looking to see if Justin Jones has the chops to hold his own and can contribute this year. Brandon Mebane is clearly not the Mebane from two years ago when he first came to the Chargers, so if Jones can be the person that can be trusted to start taking his snaps away, that will relieve a lot of worry. They say there is talk about Johnathan Hankins possibly signing with the Chargers. A great showing tonight could send that notion away to bed.
Which defensive player will you be focused on tonight?