Top Ten Chargers of 2004
10. Otis Leverette - The 3-4 defense requires the strong-side end to be able to play the run. Leverette is taking over the sport left with Wiley in Dallas, and the Chargers need him to be able to take on double teams at the point of attack.
9. Adrian Dingle - The right defensive end is the primary pass rusher, and the Chargers have sorely needed QB pressure for years. Is Dingle the guy that can do it? If he can't, the opposition will be able to sit and wait until someone gets open.
8. Kassim Osgood - The San Diego State alum has the skills to be a big-time receiver, and he should be able to get on the field a lot to show he is worthy considering the Bolts' receiving corps.
7. Roman Oben - The left tackle is considered the linchpin of the entire offense because the position protects the quarterback's blind side. Oben will need to be a veteran leader on the line and in the huddle. Hopefully he will show his Super Bowl ring to his teammates for motivation.
6. Kwamie Lassiter - Lassiter had a less-than-impressive showing last year at strong safety. Hopefully moving back to free safety will produce the type of plays he made while with the Arizona Cardinals.
5. Reche Caldwell - It doesn't matter who the quarterback is if the receivers don't catch the ball, and Caldwell couldn't catch a cold the past two years. He desperately needs to step to make defenses respect the pass in order to take the pressure off L.T.
4. Mike Scifres - With Bennett in Minnesota, the matter of field position belongs to Scifres. The battle for field position is one of the keys to winning in the NFL, and San Diego hasn't won that battle very much recently.
3. Nick Hardwick - Until Jason Ball shows up, Hardwick is the starting center. After Ball shows up, Hardwick could stay the starting center or be a very valuable backup in either guard position. Any way you slice it, Hardwick needs to be solid.
2. Nate Kaeding - The inability to kick a field goal from beyond the 30-yard line has been absolutely devastating for San Diego. Kaeding might be the remedy to make Charger fans forget about letting John Carney go in 2001.
1. Eric Parker - He could be the No. 1 receiver on the team. He could be the No. 1 punt and kick returner on the team. He has flashed signs of brilliance, but injuries kept him from reaching his full potential last year. If he has a breakout season, the Charger offense could be dangerous.
If you are interested in submitting your top ten, email Denis Savage at Denis@SanDiegoSports.net. Please be sure to include your full name and be as detailed as possible. Entries that have merit will appear in a future edition of the Top Ten Chargers of 2004.