By Cody Strahm @CodyJStrahm on June 25, 2014
The San Diego Chargers are about a month away from the start of training camp. Here are five questions the franchise needs to ponder this summer.
A scary neck injury nearly ended wide receiver Malcom Floyd's career in 2013. Now that's he's been fully cleared, though, he appears poised to pick up where he left off before the injury. While not an elite receiver when healthy, Floyd is consistently productive. He should start opposite Keenan Allen with an impressive camp and preseason.
Outside linebacker Dwight Freeney only suited up for four games in 2013 before suffering a torn quad. If healthy and able to combat any decline at 34 years old, Freeney should be a big boost to a Chargers pass rush that only produced 35 sacks last season. A situational role is more likely than a starting spot, however.
With Antonio Gates away attending a personal matter, Ladarius Green soaked up the first-team reps at OTAs this spring. He's a breakout candidate in 2014 if he acquires enough targets behind Gates, who is 34 years old and has two years remaining on his contract. Green has enough potential to not only become San Diego's No. 1 tight end, but one of the game's best at the position.
The Chargers were wise to use their first-round pick on a cornerback after ranking 29th in the NFL against the pass in 2013. But can TCU product Jason Verrett make an impact as a rookie? A shoulder injury could limit his availability for the beginning of camp, but Verrett will likely be called upon as a nickel or boundary corner at some point this season. His development will be key to San Diego's chances of improving its pass defense.
Given the club's aforementioned struggles to defend the pass last year, the recent signing of cornerback Brandon Flowers could pay off in a big way this fall. Flowers disappointed in the Chiefs' press-man scheme last season, but was one of the game's best at the position prior. If he returns to form in San Diego, in a much better scheme fit, he could be the final piece to a drastically improved secondary.
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