When it came to the outside linebackers, most talk among fans this offseason revolved around Melvin Ingram and Jerry Attaochu.
Kyle Emanuel has done his best to make sure he's part of the conversation.
The second-year linebacker has reclaimed his status as fan-favorite through training camp, and it's easy to see why. While his rookie season was a whirlwind, a calmer and more confident Emanuel is emerging in 2015.
"Last year was so overwhelming," he recalled. "I didn't even have place to live at this point and was just living in the hotel. Dealing with the pressure of being a draft pick and having those expectations; this year I'm more relaxed. I know the personnel and playbook better. I know what to expect from practice. All of those little things that come with experience just make it a little easier in the second year."
Still, you wouldn't have known his rookie year was a whirlwind by the way he performed last summer.
Emanuel was a training camp and preseason star, and continued high level of play once the regular season got underway. The OLB helped jumpstart the Chargers Week 1 comeback win with a sack and an interception against the Detroit Lions. However, he dealt with nagging shoulder injuries for the majority of the season after that, which kept him from performing up to his own high standards.
"Last year, to be honest, was very disappointing for me," he admitted. "Obviously from a team standpoint it was disappointing, but for me it was from a personal standpoint, I didn't think I performed the way I could. I don't want to make any excuses. If I was out there, I was healthy enough to play and I don't want to make any excuses about an injury. Obviously, they affect you mentally and your ability to prepare because you are thinking about it, but now it's in the past."
Fully healthy, Emanuel says he plans on stepping up and taking on a bigger role in 2016. He's focused on using his second training camp to prove he is on the same level as Ingram and Attaochu.
"I want to earn everything. I don't want to feel that anything is given to me, but at the same time I see myself as being at that level of Melvin and Jerry. I think I can play at that level. Improving every single day in all aspects; rushing the passer, coverages, the little things. Just mastering the playbook. There is always something new to learn every single day and every single week. That is my goal for training camp."
When all is said and done, there is one word Emanuel hopes is on the tip of everyone's tongue when they think of him.
"Relentless," he said. "For sure I want to be known as relentless. Just a hard-worker and a playmaker. I've said it before (that) I don't want to be out there just taking up space. I want to do my job for the team, go out there and make plays."