No other player on the San Diego Chargers has been more impressive this training camp and preseason than Ladarius Green. After catching just four passes all last season, Green has shown much improvement this offseason and is well on his way to making a much bigger impact this season for the Bolts.
U-T San Diego recently named Green their training camp MVP. This offseason, the athletic, pass-catching tight end, who runs a 4.53 40 time, has shown the ability to run past defenders and make plays, but more importantly has improved his blocking. Green bulked up this offseason, adding nine pounds to his frame to improve his overall strength and blocking ability.
His success in training camp has translated to success on the field in preseason. Through three preseason games, Green has caught eight passes for 161 yards and 2 touchdowns and has been the most impressive offensive weapon for the Bolts. Though he’s done most of his work against second and third-stringers in preseason, Green has gotten some work in with Philip Rivers in training camp, which could help him become a top weapon for him this upcoming season.
Green, who stands 6-foot-6, could become that big, tall target for Rivers who the Chargers have missed since the departure of Vincent Jackson. Danario Alexander was that for the Bolts last season and could’ve continued that role this season if not for his season-ending knee injury. The Bolts’ other tall receiver Malcom Floyd is recovering from a knee injury of his own and will slowly be worked back into the lineup.
Though Antonio Gates is the obvious starter at tight end, the Chargers could utilize a lot of two tight end sets with Gates and John Phillips. Gates, however, has had a difficult time staying healthy over the past few seasons, which could force Green into the starting lineup at some point during the season. Even if Gates remains healthy, the Chargers may need to figure out ways to put Green onto the field to utilize his size and athletic ability.
With all the injuries to the receiving core this offseason, San Diego needs someone to step up in the passing game and make plays for this team. If Green continues to progress, he has a real chance to become that player for the Chargers.