Rookie Crop Stands Out in San Diego Chargers’ Opening Preseason Tilt
Perhaps the most interesting thing to observe in the preseason for all 32 NFL teams is their group of incoming rookies. For the San Diego Chargers, that rookie crop seems ripe with potential as the team is set to start at least two of their picks from this past April when Week 1 arrives one month from now.
In their first taste of preseason action, perhaps the two players who stood out the most were the first two picks from April in tackle D.J. Fluker and linebacker Manti Te’o. Big things are expected from both guys who are penciled in as starters for the time being, and their auditions didn’t do much to deter that sentiment. Head coach Mike McCoy offered some praise for Fluker in particular as he told ESPN:
“Fluke did a nice job. He was in there with the ones and we took him out. He’s going to get his time but you love his attitude and his approach to the game everyday. He comes to work. The kid truly loves the game of football and that’s what you love about him. What you see is what you get everyday. He got out there tonight and he was like a little kid in a candy shop. He absolutely loves the game of football. So you love his attitude. But all the rookies have a long ways to go.”
And that is the main takeaway from the Bolts who were on the wrong end of a 31-10 final against the Seattle Seahawks. There is room for growth for every youngster on the roster, but that was to be expected in their first non-rehearsed football action since draft day.
While he may not have many expectations, quarterback Brad Sorensen impressed in his limited action going 7-for-10 for 84 yards and an impressive touchdown toss to tight end Ladarius Green. Given Charlie Whitehurst’s lackluster stat line of 7-for-15 with two interceptions and three times sacked, Sorensen may beat out the bearded one for the backup job as a rookie. Whitehurst just turned 31 years-old so going with some youth at the position might be a positive step toward the future.
At the end of the day it’s just one preseason game, and trying to deduct anything of real substance from the first 60 minutes of football would be a disservice to the long road ahead for this team. Hopefully McCoy can continue to have the young guys build on their performances from their debut and prove their worth in the team’s second preseason tilt August 15 on ESPN.