The Los Angeles Chargers open training camp on July 28th at Jack Hammett Sports Complex in Costa Mesa. Here's a look at the Chargers camp, which wraps up August 20th in a joint practice with the San Francisco 49ers.
Top storyline: All eyes will be on the new head coach of the Chargers, Brandon Staley, and his coaching staff. There is a lot of youth and inexperience on the coaching staff, but there is a lot of creativity. There have been numerous examples that Staley listens to his players and takes their advice under consideration. That happened during OTAs and mini-camp where most players were in helmets around the league and going 11-on-11, but the Chargers players didn't use helmets and had 7-on-7 at half speed. What wrinkles will he add during training camp? That is the real question.
Position battle to watch: The backup running back role is one to keep an eye on because Austin Ekeler will be moving around the field. As of right now, it will be a Larry Rountree versus Joshua Kelley matchup because Justin Jackson tested positive for COVID-19 and will be out for some time. What will happen at right guard between veteran Oday Aboushi and rookie Brenden Jaimes? Both will be competing for that spot starting Wednesday and will be a closely monitored matchup.
Veterans to watch: Derwin James plain and straightforward. The last two training camps have been a disaster. He has sustained an injury that has only let him play in five games out of 32 possible. James will be counted on as a leader and possibly the signal-caller. He will be counted on in Staley's new defense. Before the break before camp, James stated that he was 100 percent and expects a full workload.
Rookie to watch: Rashawn Slater. The rookie left tackle signed his contract on Tuesday morning, and now he enters his first training camp as a pro. All eyes will be on him, especially with the team's problems at left tackle since the departure of Marcus McNeill in 2011. The expectation is that he will protect Justin Herbert's blindside for the next 10-15 years.
Bubble watch: Justin Jackson. He has been the player with the most question marks because of his injury history and lack of production at times. He is starting training camp on the COVID list, so he will miss numerous practices. He will need to come back on fire to try to make the squad. When Jackson plays, the production is there, but since his rookie season, he tends to miss games, and the team needs availability and production.