Good morning. The second week of organized team activities begins for the San Diego Chargers on Monday. Reporters will be allowed to watch Monday morning’s workout, so here are a couple things I will be looking for during practice.
Who’s at right guard? Jeromey Clary was not in attendance at the only practice open to reporters last week. So I'd like to see if he will be there on Monday. Johnnie Troutman started at right guard with the first unit last week, and rookie third-round draft selection Chris Watt worked with the second unit at right guard.
Is Te’o healthy? Still recovering from offseason foot surgery, middle linebacker Manti Te’o worked with a trainer on a side field and was limited last week. I’m interested to see if will be allowed to get in more work with the team this week. This is a big year for Te’o, who says he’s fully healthy after limping through his rookie year with a broken foot. But Te’o knows John Pagano’s defense, so making sure he’s healthy for training camp should be the No. 1 priority right now.
Who starts at strong safety? Marcus Gilchrist started every game last season, finishing third on the team in tackles. But second-year pro Jahleel Addae came on late in his rookie season, and appears to be in excellent shape. Both of these guys should play and make an impact in 2014, but it will be interesting to see which player can earn the starting job.
Pushing the tempo: One thing I noticed last week is the change in offensive coordinator from Ken Whisenhunt to Frank Reich has not affected San Diego’s overall philosophy. The Chargers still want to play fast on offense, so expect to see Philip Rivers pushing the tempo again in 2014.
Roll call: Last week, veterans Ryan Mathews, Antonio Gates, Dwight Freeney, Jonas Mouton and Clary all were not in attendance on Monday. Mathews attended Wednesday’s practice. So we’ll be keeping an eye out for which players are missing on Monday.
Rookie spotlight: I’m interested to see what rookie draft selections or undrafted rookie free agents have a chance to earn some playing time in the upcoming season. Jeremiah Attaochu and Jason Verrett seem like the frontrunners, but there’s always an unexpected player that moves up the depth chart.
Do you have other things you’re interested in checking out? Let me know in the comments section.