Chargers Position Battles Part Three

Los Angeles Chargers Training Camp 2021. Photo Credit: Ryan Dyrud | LAFB Network
Los Angeles Chargers Training Camp 2021. Photo Credit: Ryan Dyrud | LAFB Network

Chargers Position Battles Part Three

The NFL regular season is almost here, finally! Previously, we discussed some of the most notable position battles for the Los Angeles Chargers. Some of them have worked themselves out, and some are still up in the air (ie. the kicker spot).

Nonetheless, Brandon Staley and the Chargers staff have one last preseason game to figure out who they want to keep in which role. The final preseason matchup is on Saturday against the Seattle Seahawks. With it, the Chargers have some burning questions that need to be answered still.

Let’s examine some of the remaining Chargers’ position battles.

Backup Quarterback

This is a surprising one. Why is it surprising?

Well, the Chargers signed Chase Daniel to a one-year deal during the offseason, essentially replacing Tyrod Taylor with him as the backup to young sensation Justin HerbertThen they have Easton Stick, the 2019 5th round pick out of North Dakota State.

Throughout camp and practices, it appeared as though this was Daniel’s job to lose. After all, why sign a veteran quarterback to a free agent contract if he wasn’t going to be the backup?

Daniel has yet to throw a touchdown pass in either of his preseason outings. Against the San Francisco 49ers, he went 14-21 for 60 yards with a very bad interception and went 15-24 for 104 against the Los Angeles Rams.

However, he has the veteran presence that the Chargers QB room needs. In the Chargers scrimmage at SoFi, Daniel even showed off his legs a bit. 

And, of course, the Joe Lombardi connection is there. The Chargers’ new offensive coordinator was with Daniel during both stints with the New Orleans Saints, and that certainly bodes well for his chances. Daniel Popper wrote about a quote that Lombardi had this week that definitely stands out for this battle.

Then there’s Stick, a player that Chargers fans have been waiting to see for quite some time. Unfortunately, Stick just has never lived up to the hype.

On the other hand, Stick went a perfect 7-7- against the Rams, throwing for 63 yards, and followed that up by going 10-14 for 85 yards and a touchdown strike against the 49ers.

And yeah, Stick showed off his arm strength as well as his ability to scramble.

Here’s his touchdown pass, one that will surely have Lombardi and company thinking twice about who takes the job.

So, Stick certainly was impressive against the 49ers. According to Daniel Popper of The Athletic, this battle will likely go down until the final day, and nobody knows who has the upper hand.

“…the positive parts of his skill set are really intriguing. He is an excellent scrambler and can make plays in off-platform situations. Stick showed that Sunday with his touchdown pass to Joshua Palmer in the first half.  Staley said Sunday that the Chargers are going to allow this competition to play out all the way to final cuts on Aug. 31.”

As Popper also mentions, Danel’s experience gives him the edge, but if Stick performs well against the Seahawks, the Chargers might have to think twice.

Kyler Fackrell vs Uchenna Nwosu

Seriously, this is a tough one. A few months back, if you would have said that Nwosu could be in danger of losing this job, it would have been a surprise. But, the former USC standout might actually be the backup to Fackrell.

Fackrell has had an excellent preseason slate. At the time of the signing, it was a depth signing, one that made a ton of sense for both the Chargers and Fackrell. But, as Popper reports, it appears that Fackrell has gained an edge over Nwosu.

“Since the start of training camp, though, Fackrell has challenged Nwosu for the starting edge rusher spot opposite Bosa. And now, I see him ahead of Nwosu for that starting role. He has simply been the more consistent player. Fackrell had two pressures and a sack in Sunday’s game.”

This would be shocking, but Staley doesn’t play favorites. Rather, he plays the guy who performs better.

Nwosu had a ton of hype, and for good reason, but Fackrell has certainly been surprising. Fackrell improved that with a nice game on Sunday, and you can ask the 49ers about that.

Albeit, this could be a moot point. While the starting job is important and something every player wants to take, Staley said that both players will play major roles.

Needless to say that Nwosu and Fackrell will be playing their hearts out against the Seahawks on Saturday night. Nwosu, of course, was expected to take the job after the departure of Melvin Ingram.

Will that be the case? If not, the signing of Fackrell could be a tremendous steal for Tom Telesco.

These are, in short, the most important of the Chargers’ position battles this week.