It is King Dunlap whose name tops the depth chart.

It is King Dunlap who's taken the bulk of starter reps throughout training camp.

The Chargers say their left tackle job is an open competition one that won't be settled until later this month. That is fine and may even be true but there is no doubt it's Dunlap who is the clubhouse leader entering the preseason opener.

Max Starks now looks to swing that.

A major upset would be required if the 10th-year veteran is to overtake Dunlap in the Chargers' most prominent position battle and Starks says he's game. He'll have the chance to push for the spot Thursday night against the Seahawks.

"I don't let kids win at 21 the basketball game" Starks said. "If we're playing Candyland or Chutes and Ladders I'd still want to win. I don't lose at boardgames. That's how competitive I am."

The 6-foot-9 Dunlap has not been a pushover.

His athleticism and consistency have impressed while working with the starters nearly all of camp. The only exception came last week while spending a few days recovering from a minor hip injury. On Monday afternoon he took every first-team left tackle rep as Starks worked on the second team. Hours earlier the Chargers announced their first preseason depth chart: Dunlap No. 1; Starks No. 2.

The Chargers care about chemistry on their offensive line.

That they'd give Dunlap every opportunity to jell in practice alongside left guard Chad Rinehart is telling.