Morning links: It's all about competition

Good morning. Mike Costa and Judson Richards of XTRA 1360 AM radio talk with San Diego Chargers defensive coordinator John Pagano in this audio link.

Pagano discusses the increased competition on the defensive side of the ball with the addition of draft picks Jason Verrett, Jeremiah Attaochu and Ryan Carrethers, along with undrafted rookie free agents and free-agent additions.

Pagano commended general manager Tom Telesco and his scouting department for improving the overall talent and depth on the roster defensively.

“Depth makes you a better football team,” Pagano said. “Depth at our linebacker spots and in our secondary gives you more guys. It brings out the best in guys. It brings out the competition in guys.

“Years that we’ve head 10 to 12 linebackers in training camp that you knew had a great shot to make it, it makes those guys not only practice better, but play and compete better. So you never go wrong in depth.”

Pagano also talked about the unique athleticism Attaocho brings to the defense.

“He has a very quick, explosive first step,” Pagano said. “And he’s such a great kid. A great man to be around down there, and how much he wants to learn. And you saw those things in our first couple OTAs, and in our rookie minicamp. He’s somebody that we want to come in here, and we want him going one direction, and that’s to the quarterback. That’s why we drafted him, and hopefully he’s someone who can change the game and get that quarterback off of the spot.”

ESPN NFL Insider Kevin Seifert reports that according to ESPN Stats & Information, the Chargers have about $2.5 million in salary-cap space, which ranks 30th in the NFL.

Tom Krasovic of U-T San Diego details how San Diego rookie receiver Tevin Reese is working to use his speed.

Kyle Posey of Bolts of the Blue reviews Keenan Allen’s rookie season.

Ricky Henne of Chargers.com talks to offensive lineman Chad Rinehart about his decision to stay in San Diego.

Darren Smith of The Mighty 1090 talks with Chargers cornerback Steve Williams in this audio link.