Rookie roster battles coming to a head

Derreck Robinson in camp

With cuts looming in the not-so-distant future, several players will have to put the punctuation mark on camp to make the Chargers. With that in mind, we give you the thoughts of several undrafted rookies as they head to Minnesota.

"It will give them a chance to step forward and show us the skills," head coach Marty Schottenheimer said of the increased playing time for rookies this week.

With the Chargers showing a tremendous amount of confidence in Nate Kaeding after missing three kicks against Green Bay, undrafted rookie free agent Derreck Robinson, another Iowa alumnus, is happy to be in San Diego.

"It gives me a little bit more confidence knowing that they like Iowa guys," Robinson said as he looks ahead to the cuts.

It helps that Robinson has looked good in practice and bust through the offensive line against St. Louis to record a safety.

The secondary has many potentials and though they may be playing against second and third team units, a good game on Friday could prove the difference between staying for another week and heading to the Arena League.

Among those players vying for a spot after the first four are Gabe Franklin and Abraham Elimimian.

Franklin has looked better in practice and Elimimian was a culprit on the long touchdown pass in the Rams game but tides can change quickly with a good game.

"I think I'm in the best situation I can be in," Franklin said after a solid showing in camp. "There have been guys who never even got this opportunity."

"I just wanted to come out here and learn and compete for a (roster) spot," Elimimian said. "There's another thing: I'm a really good special teams player."

On the offensive front, Ray Perkins has earned praise from the coaching staff but faces the most daunting task as a running back. The depth chart is stacked against him and he may end up playing for another team after showing some solid skills.

"I still have to make the team and I still gotta be hungry for it," Perkins said.

Among those basically assured of a spot is former Alabama star Wesley Britt. His camp has been nondescript but his future plans are exactly what San Diego is looking for.

"I am just trying to improve and be the best tackle I can be to help the Chargers win the Super Bowl," Britt said.

With X players in camp, there will be plenty of unhappy faces next week. Helping decide whether they are still smiling comes down to the game against Minnesota.

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