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News » San Diego Chargers Strategy and Personnel 2008-08-25


San Diego Chargers Strategy and Personnel 2008-08-25


San Diego Chargers Strategy and Personnel 2008-08-25
--ILB Derek Smith is starting to run with the first unit more as the season opener approaches. Smith will fill in for the first four games while Stephen Cooper serves his suspension.


--FB Mike Tolbert, an undrafted rookie, has all but earned a roster spot. He's played well and the team is still not sure when FB Andrew Pinnock will be a full-go.

--CB Antoine Cason, the team's top pick, is holding down the role as the nickel back.

--RT Jeromey Clary needs to finish strong -- he's had an uneven camp and is being pushed by L.J. Shelton.

--C Nick Hardwick is making progress in rehabbing his foot, but he still seems to be a long-shot to be ready for the Sept. 7 opener.

BATTLE OF THE WEEK: Ryon Bingham vs. Brandon McKinney for backup DT -- It's going to happen, sooner rather than later, that the team will be without Pro Bowl DT Jamal Williams. In fact, that day has already come to a degree as the team has to monitor Williams' sore knees on a daily basis. That means more time for someone in a backup role, and so far Bingham is filling in on a regular basis. Bingham has the edge on McKinney, although the beefier McKinney is seeing action on short-yardage situations. But Bingham will get the first call when the Chargers want to give Williams a blow.

OTHER BATTLE FRONTS: Tim Dobbins vs. Brandon Siler for backup ILB -- Dobbins got an extended look early last season and the results weren't good. But he's come to camp this season more in tuned to what the Chargers are asking of him, which allows him to be the physical player he is without having to think too much. Siler was expected to push him more for the responsibility of backing up Matt Wilhelm. But to date, Siler is falling a bit short. ... Derek Smith vs. Anthony Waters for backup ILB -- The competition to play behind Stephen Cooper -- and start the first four games when the suspended Cooper is out -- hasn't been as crisp as the team hoped. It knew what it was getting in the veteran Smith, and so far he has played as advertised. It was hoping Waters could give Smith a run, but Waters' knee hasn't cooperated. He had to have it cleaned out on the eve of training camp and he is just now getting back into the groove; he has played in both preseason games. But it appears Smith has the edge.

INJURY REPORT:

--LT Marcus McNeill is still bothered by a stinger in his neck; he hopes to return to practice this week.

--FB Andrew Pinnock is getting back into game-mode -- finally -- after offseason microfracture knee surgery.

--WR Vincent Jackson is back working after skipping a significant number of practices with a tender hamstring. The team has said it is merely being cautious with its No. 2 wide receiver.

--OL Scott Mruczkowski has returned to practice after suffering a foot injury. He is a critical backup on a line that has been hit by the injury bug.



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: August 25, 2008

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