By DJ Siddiqi @DJSiddiqi on May 24, 2014
As the San Diego Chargers enter OTAs, they will look to improve upon a surprising 2013 season which saw the team clinch their first playoff berth in four seasons, en route to advancing to the Divisional Playoff round. The Chargers did not have an eventful offseason, but they will return all 11 of their starters on offense in 2014. Here are the five biggest rumors surrounding the Chargers entering OTAs.
Keenan Allen is one of the game's top receivers, but he can't carry the load by himself. The Chargers will look toward Vincent Brown, Malcom Floyd and seventh-round draft pick Tevin Reese to fill the No. 2 role opposite of Allen. In 2013, Brown was the Chargers' second-best wide receiver, hauling in just 41 passes for 472 yards and a touchdown. If the Chargers' offense is to continue to excel in 2014, a legit No. 2 option needs to emerge at WR.
Donald Brown was signed to a three-year, $ 10.4 million deal in free agency. The move was a bit questionable considering the team had bigger needs to address. One can argue that the Brown signing was the Chargers' biggest free agent signing. Starting running back Ryan Matthews had a solid season in 2013, rushing for over 1,200 yards on 285 carries. With the signing of Brown, does this mean Matthews will split carries with the former Colts RB?
The Chargers did not address a lot of their key issues on defense through free agency, but they did so in the first round with the selection of TCU CB Jason Verrett. The question is, is Verrett the right man to solve the Chargers' woes in the defensive backfield? Verrett is coming off of shoulder surgery for a torn labrum. He won't be back in action until August, which means he might not make his NFL debut until a few weeks into the season.
Philip Rivers re-emerged as an elite quarterback in 2013 after a rough two-season stretch which saw him throw 35 combined interceptions. Rivers' re-emergence was the biggest reason for the Chargers' playoff season. He ranked in the top five in all major passing categories. However, his offensive coordinator from 2013, Ken Whisenhunt, left the team to coach the Tennessee Titans. How will this affect Rivers' play in 2014?
As odd of a question as it may seem considering the Denver Broncos seem like far and away the best team in the entire AFC, can the Chargers match up with the Broncos for AFC West supremacy? Remember, the Chargers split the regular season series with the Broncos in 2013. In the Divisional Playoff loss to the Broncos, the Chargers were close to pulling off a comeback victory. Expect San Diego to compete well with the Broncos head-to-head.
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