SDBR's Preseason Blog: Aug. 27

The San Diego Chargers are weeks away from kicking off the 2010 season, and believe it or not, there are significant developments surrounding this team that don't involve either WR Vincent Jackson or LT Marcus McNeill. will take a look at a few of them in this preseason blog.

The Five Best

Aug. 27, 5:15 a.m.

OL Scott Mruczkowski
Stephen Dunn/Getty
With the Chargers forced to shuffle their offensive line this season, Norv Turner has leaned on an old-school mantra: "We want the five best players on the field."

Whether that's just coach speak will be determined next week, when Scott Mruczkowski returns from an ankle injury.

Mruczkowski underwent surgery last week to help remove scar tissue from the ankle, which he originally injured late last season.

The man known as "Mooch" shined last season, making 13 starts in place of the injured Nick Hardwick. If healthy, he is likely the fourth best offensive lineman behind Hardwick, Kris Dielman and Louis Vasquez.

The problem is that Mruczkowski is an interior offensive lineman and all three interior spots are filled by the players who sit on top of him on the "talent totem pole."

Mruczkowski has some experience working at right tackle, a spot currently manned by the underwhelming Jeromey Clary and a couple undrafted rookies. Mruczkowski could be pressed into action there if Clary struggles, but more likely, he'll be the top backup at every position except left tackle (that honor will go to Tyronne Green).

This scenario won't get San Diego's five best O-linemen onto the field. But it will give the Chargers some valuable depth that has been missing for most of the offseason.

Missed Connection

Aug. 26, 1:00 p.m.

WR Greg Camarillo
Wilfredo Lee/AP
A.J. Smith is well known for his stubborn nature. Hopefully, that is not the reason the Chargers missed a golden opportunity.

The Miami Dolphins on Wednesday traded receiver Greg Camarillo -- who entered the league with the Chargers -- to the Minnesota Vikings for cornerback Benny Sapp. Camarillo was made available when the Dolphins traded for Brandon Marshall, pushing Camarillo down to the No. 4 spot on the depth chart.

The Dolphins were seeking depth at cornerback, so the swap made sense for both teams. In fact, the deal for Camarillo would have made just as much sense for the Chargers.

The reason Camarillo never saw the field in his first stint in San Diego is there were no opportunities available. Now, given Vincent Jackson's holdout and Buster Davis' inability to stay healthy, Camarillo could have challenged for meaningful minutes.

Also, the Chargers have an abundance of cornerbacks and could have offered a veteran such as Nathan Vasher or Dante Hughes, neither of whom figures to play a significant role this season.

Camarillo has 105 catches for 1,165 yards over the last two seasons. But the odds were always against him returning to So Cal, which would have required A.J. Smith to admit he erred in letting Camarillo walk in the first place.

Talk about the upcoming season of Chargers football inside the message boards.

Michael Lombardo is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and a long-time contributor to the network. His analysis has been published by the NFL Network, Fox Sports and MySpace Sports. He has followed the Chargers for more than 15 years and covered the team since 2003. You can see more of his updates by following him on twitter.

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