5 Improvements San Diego Chargers Must Make To Continue Success In 2014

5 Improvements The Chargers Must Make To Continue Success In 2014

San Diego Chargers Philip Rivers
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The San Diego Chargers have their share of improvements that they need to make going into the 2014 NFL season. Here are five areas that need to be addressed for San Diego to continue the success they had last season.

Grant Waller is a San Diego Chargers' writer for RanySports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Grant_J_Waller and "Like" him on Facebook.

5. The Return Game: Punt & Kickoff

San Diego Chargers Keenan Allen
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5. The Return Game: Punt & Kickoff

San Diego Chargers Keenan Allen
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The return game has been a big hole on the Chargers' roster for a few years. Last season San Diego ranked 23rd in kickoff return yard average (22.1) and 25th in punt return yard average (7.5). Keenan Allen took over punt return duties last year, but the Chargers can't put their number one receiver in that position. San Diego signed several undrafted free agents who could fill these positions and one or two of them need to step up.

4. Younger Players Taking Next Step In Their Development

San Diego Chargers Melvin Ingram
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4. Younger Players Taking Next Step In Their Development

San Diego Chargers Melvin Ingram
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The Chargers need their younger players to take the next step in their development and provide more of an impact this year. On defense Melvin Ingram (3rd year), Manti Te'o (2nd) and Steve Williams (2nd) have to improve their play to give this defense a boost. On offense Vincent Brown (4th) and Ladarius Green (3rd) both need to step up for Philip Rivers to take pressure off Keenan Allen and Antonio Gates.

3. Pressuring The QB

San Diego Chargers Kendall Reyes
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3. Pressuring The QB

San Diego Chargers Kendall Reyes
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San Diego ranked tied for 23rd with 35 sacks last season which resulted in them drafting Jeremiah Attaochu in the second round of the draft. With Attaochu added to a healthy Dwight Freeney and Melvin Ingram, along with the two young ends up front (Kendall Reyes and Corey Liuget), this group should improve their sack numbers. Getting pressure on opposing QBs will also tremendously help their secondary.

2. Avoiding The Injury Bug

San Diego Chargers Dwight Freeney
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2. Avoiding The Injury Bug

San Diego Chargers Dwight Freeney
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Injuries play a big part on every NFL team, but last year the Chargers' defense was hit with a lot. This hurt their overall play and continuity. San Diego had three players on defense (Butler, Te'o and Johnson) who missed at least three games and two other players (Freeney, Ingram and Williams) missed the majority of the season. If everyone can stay healthy, this defense could make huge strides from their poor play last year.

1. Better Red-Zone Offense

San Diego Chargers Philip Rivers
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1. Better Red-Zone Offense

San Diego Chargers Philip Rivers
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The Chargers' red-zone offense was terrible last season and they ranked 23rd in the NFL. Despite this ranking Rivers had the third best QB-rating (109.0) inside the 20 yard line. This means the Chargers were too conservative and relied on their running game a lot. They must keep the ball in Rivers' hands and let the offense be dictated through him. With such a tough schedule their red-zone offense will be crucial in every game.