<
>

Scout's take: Can Chargers solve pass-rush woes?

We continue our examination of the San Diego Chargers' areas of weakness this week with ESPN NFL Insider Matt Williamson by looking at the team's issues generating a pass rush.

Williamson believes the Chargers have the talent in place with players like Melvin Ingram and Jeremiah Attaochu to solve their pass-rush problems. However, those players still have to prove it on the field.

"If you look at it as the glass is half-full, they both have a lot of ability," Williamson said. "They were first and second-round picks. I liked Attaochu a lot coming out of school. I just thought he was kind of raw and his first year would be kind of a redshirt, and then hopefully he really develops. And that could happen.

"But if you look at it half-empty, you haven't seen a lot of quality snaps out of these two. Ingram's never healthy. They don't really have a third option. So it's a really volatile situation. The ceiling for those two, and the outside linebacker position, is quite high. But the floor is really low."

Because of that volatility, Williamson said he would not be surprised if San Diego added a veteran pass-rusher at the end of training camp.

"I would think so," he said. "A couple weeks into training camp it might not be a bad idea to give Jarret Johnson or Dwight Freeney a call and see if they want to come back. At least you get a veteran presence, and you know what you're going to get.

"Also, when you look at Ingram and Attaochu, can they set the edge for 60 snaps and be effective in the run game? They're really good athletes, but if you run at them all day can they be effective?"

Along with Ingram and Attaochu, Williamson said defensive lineman Corey Liuget has to step up after receiving a lucrative contract extension this offseason which included more than $30 million in guaranteed money.

"Of course he's not [J.J] Watt," Williamson said. "He's not that body type -- the long, 6-5/290 typical defensive end-type body.

"Honestly, I think they gave him too much money based on what we've seen to date. But he's a very important piece to the puzzle. He certainly a step-up candidate, and by that I mean he needs to step up and be a Pro Bowler."