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San Diego Chargers: 2014 NFL season key additions

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 12: Eric Weddle #32 and Donald Butler #56 of the San Diego Chargers take the field prior to the AFC Divisional Playoff Game against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 12, 2014 in Denver, Colorado.
DENVER, CO - JANUARY 12: Eric Weddle #32 and Donald Butler #56 of the San Diego Chargers take the field prior to the AFC Divisional Playoff Game against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 12, 2014 in Denver, Colorado.Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

San Diego Chargers had a bounce back year in 2013 and made the playoffs after falling short the year before. First year head coach Mike McCoy brought a new attitude and direction to San Diego and his team responded by challenging for the AFC West division title and securing a Wild Card spot in the 2013 playoffs. Quarterback Phillip Rivers should have been in the running for NFL Comeback Player of the Year with his performance after a down 2012 season. Over the last several years, Rivers and the offense have lost key components because of free agency or injuries such as: Vincent Jackson, Marcus McNeil, and Darren Sproles. Rivers did not have a full supporting cast and his play suffered. The addition of 2013 NFL Draftees right tackle D.J. Fluker and wide receiver Keenan Allen along with free agent running back Danny Woodhead helped Rivers have one of his best season in his career.

The defense was hit by injuries especially to pass rushers Dwight Freeney and Melvin Ingram who were suppose to be the driving force of the pass defense. Without them and a suspect secondary that lacked a true shut down corner the defense had a tough year. The defensive line has two building blocks they can grow with in Corey Liuget and Kendall Reyes. The secondary is led by free safety Eric Weddle, but needs an upgrade of talent within the overall unit. Look below at players who could help the Chargers improve upon last year.

Jason Verrett - cornerback
Jason Verrett - cornerback Cooper Neill/Getty Images

Jason Verrett - cornerback

Jason Verrett was drafted by the Chargers in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He may lack the size and length of today's bigger corners in the NFL, but he plays with confidence and good instincts. Verrett is fluid in his back pedal and can flip his hips quickly to mirror any receiver. If not for his height and overall size, he would have been my top ranked cornerback in the 2014 NFL Draft. The Chargers seem to have a steal and a player who can help immediately in a secondary that needs an infusion of play makers.

Brandon Flowers - cornerback
Brandon Flowers - cornerback Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Brandon Flowers - cornerback

Brandon Flowers was released by the Kansas City Chiefs this summer. You may have heard the saying, "someone else's troubles is someone else's treasure." Flowers may have had a down year in 2013, but he became the best corner in San Diego's secondary soon as he stepped on the field. He brings a physical style of play that was needed. The Chargers lacked star power and a potential shut down corner in their secondary. Flowers gives them both and someone who can help mentor Jason Verrett.

Jeremiah Attaochu - linebacker
Jeremiah Attaochu - linebacker Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Jeremiah Attaochu - linebacker

Jeremiah Attaochu was selected in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He brings athleticism and scheme versatility to the front seven of the defense. At Georegia Tech he lined up at outside linebacker, inside linebacker, and defensive end. The Chargers use a 3-4 defense which probably is best suited for Attaochu. He has the length, foot quickness, and burst to be effective coming off the edges to pressure the quarterback. He will need time to develop his techniques, but having a mentor like Dwight Freeney should help speed up the process.

Donald Brown -running back
Donald Brown -running back Donald Miralle/Getty Images

Donald Brown -running back

Donald Brown was brought in from the Indianapolis Colts to add depth to the running back position. He is a good backup option to spell starter Ryan Matthews in case of injury. He can run well in between the tackles and occasionally can bounce it outside with his decent speed. This was a nice pickup by the Chargers.