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Chargers' Dan Feeney still in the mix for starting right guard job

COSTA MESA, Calif. -- One of the reasons the Los Angeles Chargers have third-round pick Dan Feeney play both center and guard right now is to speed up his learning process of the offense.

And through three weeks of training camp, Feeney has handled playing both positions well.

“It’s really helping download the information so I can process it and soak it up,” Feeney said about playing center this year. “So when I watch it in the film room, it helps out a lot.”

Feeney went on to say playing center helps slow things down on the field when he goes back to guard.

The Indiana product will get another test on Sunday, when the Chargers host the New Orleans Saints at the StubHub Center in the team’s second preseason game.

Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn said Feeney remains in competition with Kenny Wiggins for the starting right guard job. Feeney has been getting a handful of reps each practice with the starters. Lynn said he likes what he’s seen so far from the rookie.

“Dan’s getting better, and he’s not out of the race for the starting job as well,” Lynn said.

Feeney is part of a larger plan for Lynn to see more consistency overall from the offensive line as the Chargers work to get ready for the team’s regular-season opener on the road against the Denver Broncos on Monday Night Football on Sept. 11.

“I’m really pleased with the chemistry up front with the first group,” Lynn said. “I think they’re starting to come together. And with the second group, I think it’s still a work in progress.”

Lynn said the starters could play a couple series against the Saints, depending on how many plays they go in the first series.

Along with more consistent offensive line play, here are five things to watch when the Chargers face the Saints:

Limit turnovers:The Chargers turned the ball over four times against the Seattle Seahawks last week, leading to 17 points. Lynn would like to see his offense curb those mistakes. “That’s been the emphasis all along and that’s not going to change -- taking care of the football,” Lynn said.

Play with energy: Defensive coordinator Gus Bradley mentioned that his defense did not play with enough juice last week, particularly after they made a big play. So that will be a focal point of the defense on Sunday, playing with more passion and energy.

Run the football effectively: The Chargers totaled 72 rushing yards last week, averaging just 3.3 yards per carry. They need to be more efficient running the football on Sunday.

Make tackles in space: On defense, the Chargers gave up nine plays of 20 yards or more against the Seahawks. That’s way too many explosive plays. The Chargers have to do a better job of rallying to the football and tackling in space. Cornerback Jason Verrett could see his first preseason action against the Saints.

Get off the field healthy: With guard Forrest Lamp (knee) already out for the year and linebacker Denzel Perryman (ankle) out at least two months, Lynn needs to make sure he keeps some of the front-line players healthy so they are ready for the regular season in three weeks.