Training Camp Battle Previews

Every year the Chargers have a handful of heated battles during training camp, and this year will be no exception. More battles could ensue depending on the health of Roman Oben and the availability of Donnie Edwards, but for now there are only three starting spots legitimately up for grabs. The following is a quick preview of each of the battles:

Terrence Kiel vs. Clinton Hart vs. Bhawoh Jue for Starting Strong Safety

This is the premier battle, and one with no clear favorite. Kiel is the best against the run, but has yet to show his playmaking potential against the pass.

Jue is a former cornerback who led the team in interceptions last year, but is inconsistent and coming off offseason surgeries on both his knee and shoulder.

Hart has less experience than Kiel and Jue, which also means he is the only one of the three not to bungle a starting opportunity.

Projected Winner: Terrence Kiel

Drayton Florence vs. Antonio Cromartie for Starting Cornerback

If these two could play as well as they talk the Chargers would have the league's best pass defense. Florence always seems to shine in camp, but then regresses during the season when he is frequently beaten for big plays.

Cromartie missed all of his senior season at Florida State with a knee injury, so he is sure to be rusty. He may have more natural talent than anyone else in the Chargers' secondary, but it's hard to believe that underwhelming secondary coach Brian Stewart can get him up to speed by opening day.

Projected Winner: Drayton Florence

Eric Parker vs. Vincent Jackson vs. Rashaun Woods for Starting Wide Receiver

Parker has been the starter for each of the last two seasons, but the team would prefer to use him as its third receiver, where he can show his explosiveness out of the slot and preserve his health in case he is needed to return punts.

Jackson was the team's second-round pick last season, and did little during his rookie campaign to justify it. He does, however, possess a rare combination of size, speed and body control, so he will be given every opportunity to succeed this year.

Woods was acquired via trade after a disappointing two-year stay in San Francisco, where he was plagued by injuries and a poor work ethic. He is healthy and working hard now, and appears primed to show the productivity that once made him a first-round pick.

Projected Winner: Eric Parker

Although picking all incumbents isn't the sexy way to go, it is precisely how things could unfold for the Chargers. Newcomers like Cromartie and Woods will get there chance to make an impact; they just may have to do so coming off the bench.

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