If you watched the second episode of HBO's "Hard Knocks", you know how deeply of a position battle that Orson Charles and John Conner are in. Unfortunately for Charles, the episode didn't paint the most promising picture for his future with the club, given the lack of praise from position coach Hue Jackson and him getting yanked early against the Falcons. Conner has been pleasing coaches with his physicality and knowledge of the position, but the upside of Charles can't be ignored.
Earlier this week, Josh Kirkendall expanded on the idea of the team keeping both Conner and Charles, and in truth, we see that scenario playing out when the names for the final roster come calling. Still, there is a chance that one player gets cut and/or is knocked down the depth chart. The reality is that Saturday's game against the Tennessee Titans is huge for both Charles and Conner, in regards to their future with this club.
With Conner, two aspects must be monitored. Obviously, Conner is a stout run blocker and has earned praise in that aspect from both coaches and players. Though he had one reception last week, Conner will need to prove that he can be a reliable target in the passing game, if needed. Beyond that, he will need to stay healthy throughout camp to have a chance. As he himself mentioned in that second episode of "Hard Knocks", Conner lost his previous job with the Jets due to an unfortunate injury.
Charles will need to improve in most aspects on Saturday. Though he had moments of showing some blocking prowess, he needs to gain consistency in that area. He was targeted once in the game but an errant throw didn't allow him the chance to showcase that ability. The hope is that Charles will get more playing time to show that he can help the offense in both of these areas.
Both players are talented and both have a solid shot at making this final roster. In the last episode of "Hard Knocks", we saw an awesome glimpse into what this offense can be with Conner and Charles in the offensive formation together at the same time with Giovani Bernard's goal line touchdown run against the Falcons. Don't be surprised if we see that formation again on Saturday against the Titans, and don't be surprised if both Conner and Charles bring their "A Game".