Battle lines drawn for Chargers camp

It likely won't be on par with George Foreman vs. Joe Frazier and probably won't be as bloody as Mike Tyson vs. Evander Holyfield but don't discount the battle between San Diego Chargers corneracks Drayton Florence and Sammy Davis.

That battle highlights the start of training camp and figures to be a full ten round melee with each getting their time in the ring to land a jab. Who gives the knockout blow will end up the victor but this fracas figures to end up a decision – made by the coach.

"Right cornerback is going to be a very interesting competition between Drayton and Sammy," Marty Schottenheimer announced. "That spot will draw a lot of attention.

"Put them in the fire. Give them a chance to compete and let's see what happens."

Drayton Florence wrestled the starting spot away from Sammy Davis last year and what was an honest fisticuffs turned into a grappling match with Florence on the offensive.

Florence showed a tenacity to attack the ball and led the team with four interceptions. Davis is considered the technician but has been hurt over his two years in San Diego and the Bolts await the promise that made the prizefighter a first round pick.

Schottenheimer calls it a competition, as he does every spot on the football field, but the early word is Florence has the advantage, a one round lead based on the way he ended last year.

"I was always being told that the other guy was going to be the starter," Schottenheimer said of his playing days. "I don't think that is the way the thing goes. Everyone has the right to compete."

And so they shall.

Some of the lesser-known battles will happen on the offensive line where young veterans Leander Jordan and Courtney Van Buren look to fend off the attack from the rookies while looking to make a sneak attack on the starters.

It is no surprise that Schottenheimer mentioned both – a challenge perhaps for promise unfulfilled?

"I am anxious to see how some of the younger guys like Leander Jordan who is showing some promise, Courtney Van Buren has shown promise – when you look at that there is competition there."

No position seemed safe in the words of the coach, although there are some positions that are set – even if the coach won't say it.

Schottenheimer did offer this nugget:

"Tailback, quarterback, one of the spots at defensive line – those guys are going to be hard to displace."

Does that mean Philip Rivers has no shot at starting for the San Diego Çhargers in 2005?

"There will be competition there."

The caveat, as the coach explains, "Drew Brees has established himself as a winning quarterback in this league."


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