COSTA MESA, Calif. -- The Los Angeles Chargers open training camp on July 30 at the Jack Hammett Sports Complex in Costa Mesa, California. Here’s a closer look at the Chargers camp:
Anthony Lynn’s no-nonsense approach: Described as matter-of-fact and blunt by his players, new Chargers coach Anthony Lynn, a disciple of former crusty NFL head coach Bill Parcells, will try to turn things around for this organization that has won just nine games the past two seasons. While the move from San Diego to Los Angeles could be a distraction, Lynn is not using relocation as an excuse. He believes the Chargers have the talent, led by franchise quarterback Philip Rivers, to win now. According to ESPN Stats & Statistics, each of the team’s previous two head coaches reached the playoffs in his first season at the helm (Norv Turner in 2007, Mike McCoy in 2013). The Chargers missed the playoffs in six of the last seven seasons after reaching the postseason each year from 2006-09.
How is Mike Williams’ back? Diagnosed with a lower-back disc herniation that kept him out of offseason work, first-round receiver Mike Williams probably will begin training camp on the physically unable to perform list. With good depth at the position, the Chargers can take a cautious approach to getting the rookie receiver out on the field. However, Williams was selected No. 7 overall for a reason, and the Chargers could use his playmaking ability on third down and near the goal line.
QB depth chart: Rivers hasn’t missed a start since taking over as the team’s starting quarterback in 2006, so the Chargers are good here. Rivers says he’s feels the healthiest he has felt in a few years coming into training camp. Kellen Clemens is a capable backup, offering an experienced hand for Rivers on the sideline and in the film room, while Mike Bercovici has a chance to stick as a young, developmental prospect after missing the 53-man roster as an undrafted rookie out of Arizona State last season.
Bubble watch: Safety Darrell Stuckey has an uphill climb to make the roster and needs to prove he’s still one of the best special-teams players in the NFL, while incumbent kicker Josh Lambo will have competition from undrafted rookie Younghoe Koo out of Georgia Southern. A third-round selection by the Chargers in the 2015 draft, Craig Mager will have to compete for a job at a deep cornerback position group.
That rookie could start: With Williams probably not practicing, the spotlight will shift to second-round offensive lineman Forrest Lamp. The Chargers selected Lamp and third-round offensive lineman Dan Feeney to infuse young talent up front, along with releasing tackle King Dunlap and guards Orlando Franklin and D.J. Fluker. Lamp has looked the part so far during offseason work and will compete for the starting right-guard job with Kenny Wiggins. The additions of Lamp and Feeney, along with the free-agent signing of Russell Okung, should give the Chargers a better offensive line in 2017.
Keenan Allen due for a breakout season: He has played just nine games the past two seasons due to injury, but Allen looks healthy and ready to solidify his status as one of the top receivers in the league. Allen suffered an ACL knee injury during last year’s season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs in which he caught six passes for 63 yards in the opening half. Allen looked quick and explosive during offseason work, and if he can finally stay on the field the Cal product should put up monster numbers in 2017.
For daily updates at training camp, check out the Los Angeles Chargers clubhouse page.