Chargers may have found a pass-rusher in Chris McCain

Chris McCain had some moments for the Dolphins in 2014 and 2015 before getting bogged down by injuries. Charles Trainor Jr/Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire

COSTA MESA, Calif. -- Chris McCain has some junkyard dog in him.

Fighting for a roster spot as a defensive end for the Los Angeles Chargers, the California product has turned some head with his ability to rush the passer.

McCain finished with half a sack and three quarterback hurries on 38 defensive snaps during his first action last week in his team's preseason opener against the Seattle Seahawks.

McCain points to two Taylors -- Jason and Lawrence -- as players he tries to emulate in his journey to develop into an NFL pass-rusher.

McCain played with Jason Taylor in his first two NFL seasons for the Miami Dolphins, saying he has a similar body type to the University of Akron product, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this year.

And with LT, McCain says he just likes the electric pass-rusher's nasty disposition.

"I really like LT," McCain said. "Not just because he was a pass-rusher, but he was a dog. He didn't care about nobody who was not wearing the same colors, and I don't either. I might have some friends over there, but game day I don't care about that. We can dap up after the game. But before that, it's about me and these other guys wearing blue and white. I don't care about nobody else."

McCain's aggression was on display 10 days ago, when he got into a fight during a joint practice against the Los Angeles Rams and was asked by Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn to leave the field.

"We ain't going to talk about that," McCain said with a laugh. "But that's my mentality. I play with a lot of aggression, but I'm under control. The aggression is from LT. The control is from JT [Jason Taylor], I would say."

McCain, 25, spent the last six weeks of the 2016 season on the Chargers' practice squad after being released by the New Orleans Saints last year. McCain entered the league in 2014 as an undrafted rookie for the Dolphins, where he played in 18 games over two seasons, finishing with seven combined tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble.

McCain said he benefited from being on the practice squad last year in preparing to play this season. McCain also has learned from veteran players such as Brandon Mebane, Corey Liuget, Damion Square and Melvin Ingram.

"They tell me that I've got it and you can play with us," McCain said. "And that I've just go to keep grinding and never take a day off."

At 6-foot-5, 236 pounds with long arms, McCain has a unique body type for Chargers defensive coordinators Gus Bradley's pass-rush specialist LEO defensive end position.

"He's got really good get-off," Bradley said. "We talk about seeing guys run on the field. Every day you see him chase from behind and chase down the field 30 yards. He plays with great effort. But what's intriguing is we're excited with what we're seeing here; now we just need to see it on game day."