The Chargers are about a week away from their first practice of training camp. They will be heading into camp with a new head coach, so expect some wrinkles that weren’t seen with the previous coaching staff.
The offense has gone through some changes but will be led by quarterback Justin Herbert. There will be three offensive position battles that will take place during camp and will determine who starts in Washington week one.
Oday Aboushi vs. Brenden Jaimes
Aboushi is a former Detroit Lion who had a solid eight-game finish to the 2020 season. He is penciled in as the starter right now next to right tackle Bryan Bulaga. While Jaimes was drafted in the fifth round of this year’s draft. He was a leader at Nebraska and had a great collegiate career. Staley mentioned that he would be a guard for the team.
They are both talented players who will compete deep into camp. It shouldn’t come as a surprise if either player is selected to start.
One is a veteran that has been through this process before, while the other is a rookie going through it for the first time. Aboushi is like the big Iron Man suit Tony Stark used in Avengers Age of Ultron, while Jaimes is more of the Incredible Hulk of Mark Ruffalo. Both are big and aggressive, so there will be bodies flying around.
Larry Rountree vs. Justin Jackson vs. Joshua Kelley
This is going to be the premier matchup during camp. Each running back has questions coming into practice.
Can Justin Jackson stay healthy?
It has been challenging for Jackson to stay healthy during camp and even during the season. He is very talented and had three games of over 70 yards rushing, but in turn, only played in nine games. In some of them, he went out early. He needs to stay healthy with a new coaching staff if he is to make the final roster.
Has Josh Kelley rebounded from the mistakes he made his first year?
This will be the most interesting question to be answered. He started the first two games with over 200 yards of total offense. The following two games, he put the ball on the ground. Then he had some special teams blown blocks, but the past is the past. The new coaching staff and now he has an opportunity to be the number two back.
Can Larry Rountree get up to speed and make this a competition?
Rountree had a very good collegiate career, and it will be interesting to see how it translates to the NFL. He is a little bit of a bigger back with breakaway speed. The Chargers need a little bigger back to tire out opposing defenses. He also doesn’t go down easy.
As previously stated, the Chargers offense could copy the San Francisco 49ers blueprint for running the football, which is feeding the hot hand and changing the blocking scheme of the offensive line. Naturally, three to four backs make the team, but these guys want playing time and will be fighting for it.
Josh Palmer vs. Jalen Guyton vs. Tyron Johnson
That number three receiver spot is up for grabs. The Chargers need someone who will be dependable and make catches in crucial moments. Also, step up when Keenan Allen and Mike Williams are not able to get open.
Guyton was a playmaker who made numerous 50-yard catches during the season but had some drops as well. Johnson made a lot of noise in training camp and made numerous plays during the season. At the end of the year, he became more and more consistent.
Palmer is a rookie from the University of Tennessee who made many plays with subpar quarterback play. He could be another player that Justin Herbert can throw it up to, and he can come down with the ball.
All three players will be able to compete for this spot, but it will ultimately come down to who has the trust of Herbert and makes catches that move the chains.