Chargers training camp: Keep an eye on...

Will you be able to keep an eye on Darren Sproles as he cuts through crevices and hides behind his shields? Will the trainers' table be free of wide receivers? Is Jerry Wilson still on the team? Will the real Candy Man stand up?

Kick returner Darren Sproles: The Chargers are in need of a return man after letting Tim Dwight go in the offseason. After the minicamps, it seems Sproles has the inside track of winning this battle.

But first the undersized Sproles has to prove he can survive the training camp and the preseason games to show the Chargers he has the right stuff.

Wide receiver Reche Caldwell: The Chargers are eager for a wide receiver to emerge as a No. 1 threat, and they would be thrilled if it turned out to be Caldwell.

The Chargers have been patient with Caldwell, a second-round pick in 2001. But like so many receivers coming out of the University of Florida, Caldwell's numbers don't transfer well to the NFL.

Leading up to last year, he was inconsistent on routes and his practice habits. But he seemed to mature and started the 2004 season as if the light had finally come on.

He was averaging more than 17 yards a catch and had three touchdown catches. The three scoring receptions matched what he had done in his previous two up-and-down years with the club.

But then when fighting for yards in a game against the Falcons on Oct. 17, Caldwell was tackled in an awkward way and his knee caught on the artificial turf. He blew it out, and then had to blow off the rest of the season while residing on injured reserve.

"We would like to be able to get into this preseason, play effectively, try and get the units playing together, try to stay injury free and get ourselves off to a good start," explained Marty Schottenheimer off the thought process heading into camp.

Can Caldwell recapture his form? He's been running well in offseason workouts, but the jury is still out if he can do it in contact drills.

Free safety Jerry Wilson: He will be looking to hold on to his job as a starter. Wilson is a steady pro, but the Chargers might be looking for some more production. Wilson had 75 tackles and three interceptions as the lone veteran in a secondary that was picked on with regularity.

The Chargers did little in the free-agent market, but they did bring in Bhawoh Jue and could have him battle Wilson for his spot. Others in the mix could be Clinton Hart and Hanik Milligan.

Most of Hart's playing time last year came in the dime package; Milligan was mostly a special teams player.

Cornerback Sammy Davis: He has to prove he's as good as -- or better -- than Drayton Florence.

Davis was a first-round pick in 2003, but has seldom looked comfortable wrestling with NFL receivers. At one point last year, he lost his job to Florence. Then Davis broke his leg, and that allowed Florence to put his clamps around the position even more.

Davis did return late last year, but hardly looked like the player the Chargers once thought so highly of. Florence isn't without blemishes as well, but the feeling is Davis needs a big camp to knock Florence from his old post.

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