NFL Preseason, Chargers vs. Bears: Will Brad Sorensen create a QB controversy?

The San Diego Chargers have a lot of question marks heading into the 2013 regular season. Some are big, such as the effectiveness of the new-look offensive line, while some remain relatively insignificant, like the backup quarterback battle. 

Unless of course, you’re one of the players fighting for a spot on the roster, namely Brad Sorensen and Charlie Whitehurst

Backup quarterbacks are like old cars in the spare garage — you don’t want to use them unless you absolutely have to. Still, in a league where players are just one hit away from an injury that could sideline them for multiple games, it’s something worth paying attention to. The preseason is the time to do that, and the Bolts may have a mini-controversy on their hands as preseason Week 2 is set to begin on Thursday against the Chicago Bears. 

In Week 1 against the Seattle Seahawks, Sorensen throughly outplayed Whitehurst. The 2013 seventh-round pick out of Southern Utah completed 7-of-10 passes for 84 yards and one touchdown in limited duty late in the third and into the fourth quarter. Whitehurst didn’t do himself any favors by completing under 50 percent of his attempts (7-of-15) and turning the ball over twice with two interceptions. 

It’s well-documented that Philip Rivers and Whitehurst are close friends. Sorensen is just a rookie, but he’s picking things up from his Pro Bowl de facto mentor each day as camp wears on. 

“He’s incredible,” Sorenson told Sports Out West after practice in July. “To watch him play quarterback the way he he does is amazing. He’s so good at what he does, he knows exactly what he wants to do with the ball, with the protection and I can’t think of a better guy to sit behind and learn from.”

There’s plenty for him to watch, so what aspect of his own game is he working on from a personal standpoint?

“For me right now it’s the whole playbook. It’s a lot of new plays, a lot of new stuff I’ve never had to do before,” he added.  “So for me it’s trying to learn the protection, trying to get the guys in the right spot so I I’m blocked, protected OK so I can get the ball downfield.”

On Thursday night, we’re all going to see just how well he’s picked things up as he’ll have plenty of opportunity to show whether or not he’s developing quickly enough to warrant consideration as the primary backup. Preseason football may not provide much in terms of entertainment value, but Chargers fans should be locked in to this battle. 

Photo Credit: Kirby Lee / USA TODAY Sports

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Michael C. Jones is the managing editor and founder of Sports Out West and a Southern California-based sports journalist. His credits include Yahoo Sports and Bleacher Report, among others.


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