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Team checklist: San Diego Chargers

Norv Turner AP

Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune gave us a nice headstart for our post-lockout to do list the other day, so we’ll try to keep this short.

The Chargers have the best quarterback in the division (by far) a promising rookie class. A few smart free agent moves should have them in Super Bowl contention.

1. Bring back Eric Weddle.

The Chargers don’t seem that interested in making this happen, and we expect Weddle to leave.  That doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.  Weddle helped make the Chargers cornerbacks better than they are.  You need a safety that can cover and we’re not sure who will replace Weddle. Perhaps they’ll move rookie Marcus Gilchrist there.

2. Add a wideout.

Malcom Floyd and Legedu Naanee are expected to leave.  That’s more than 1,000 yards of production out of the window. We’re not sure Seji Ajirotutu, Patrick Crayton, or rookie Vincent Brown qualify as No. 2 receivers.

Trading for Steve Smith would be a lot of fun. While the Chargers don’t dip into the free agent pool much, they have traded for veteran wideouts before like Crayton and Chris Chambers.

3. Add a right tackle.

It sounds like the team wants to bring back Jeromy Clary, which should be easy enough to do.

4. Bring back Billy Volek.

Acee says the Chargers want Volek as their backup, and we doubt they’ll face huge competition for his services.

5. Sign inside linebacker depth.

The Chargers are expecting big things from rookie Jonas Mouton (more on that in a minute), but this group is still thin.  Acee indicates the team wants to bring back Kevin Burnett.  Perhaps they could do even better.

6. Get the rookies up to speed fast.

After years of questionable quality over quantity early in drafts, the Chargers had five of the top 89 picks of the draft.  They could be counting a lot on Mouton, Gilchrist, and first round pick Corey Liuget.  We like the draft haul a lot but it’s unrealistic to expect everyone to seamlessly step in as starters.

7. Convince the team it’s already November.

The whole slow start to the season trend is no longer cute.  Norv Turner and the Chargers are wasting Philip Rivers‘ prime with bad losses early in the year.  Avoiding a slow start this year will be tougher because the defense has to learn under a new coordinator — Greg Manusky.

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26 Responses to “Team checklist: San Diego Chargers”
  1. dawkinseffect says: Jun 30, 2011 8:14 PM

    you forgot

    8. Fire Norv Turner

  2. p4hbiz says: Jun 30, 2011 8:37 PM

    Eric Weddle is super soft go and ask DMC..

  3. msclemons67 says: Jun 30, 2011 8:45 PM

    And after 8. Fire Norv Turner you forgot: improve special teams.

    Special teams were truly “special” for the Chargers last year.

    I don’t think adapting to Greg Manusky will be difficult for the Charger’s D. Manusky came up in the Charger’s system and uses a very similar D.

  4. radrntn says: Jun 30, 2011 9:02 PM

    I hope they keep Norv for the next 40 years, but they could always hire Josh McDaniels to replace him. I am a huge Josh McDaniels fan after what he did in Denver.

  5. backindasaddle says: Jun 30, 2011 9:24 PM

    8. Replace Norv Turner. He’s a sucky coach. They continually start slow with way above average talent. By the time they get it going…it’s too late. The coach doesn’t get the team ready and up to speed until mid-season…and then it’s actually the players saying to themselves….”We best get our arss in gear!”

    Norv is a good guy, good Xs/Os, good coordinator…….sucky head coach.

  6. jonscoit says: Jun 30, 2011 9:38 PM

    With league average (rather than all-time horrible) special teams SD would have started 5-0. The team also started “slow” during Schottenheimer’s seasons, even in 2006 they were only 4-2 by week 6. But everyone assumes Norv is a milquetoast with his players…but yes, never let facts get in the way of a baseless opinion.

    Norv has been bad (but no worse than a lot of coaches) in 2-minute strategy. I doubt very much Rivers would be as good as he is today without Turner.

    What happens with Weddle depends on what offers he gets from other teams. I suspect Smith values him more highly than he is willing to let on. Weddle has played alongside 2-3 question marks since he began starting in 2008. With some league-average starters at SS and the other CB position he’d make many more plays.

  7. jonscoit says: Jun 30, 2011 9:45 PM

    Also–assuming there is a franchise tag in 2011, Vincent Jackson will be back. Behind Gates and VJ there just aren’t many touches; even Floyd only had 37 catches last year, and he started most of the season. Hopefully both players will land on teams that will utilize them more, but I don’t think SD will have problems replacing their production.

  8. lacharger2112 says: Jun 30, 2011 9:54 PM

    Keep Malcom Floyd.
    Surprise everybody and make a play for Nnamdi Asomugha if you let Weddle walk.

  9. dannymac17 says: Jun 30, 2011 10:18 PM

    As long as Rivers is at the helm, expect him to continue to make nobodys into somebodys.

  10. bolt4life says: Jun 30, 2011 10:28 PM

    9. Help Charger fans grow a brain and figure out that we’ve started slow since the Marty days of 2004 and on except in 2006. Maybe its more of a problem with the personel than coaching?

    10. Keep the offense and defense rolling, and producing even better with a little luck (less injuries). Fix the special teams.

    Don’t forget in 2004 we got McCardel. So Crayton, McCardel, and Chambers.

  11. joetoronto says: Jun 30, 2011 10:43 PM

    Team Checklist:

    1. Actually win something first and THEN start talking.

  12. schmitty2 says: Jun 30, 2011 10:53 PM

    8.Sign VJax
    9.Impove special teams
    10.Hope Gates and Matthews stay healthy

  13. bolt4life says: Jun 30, 2011 11:09 PM

    Oh yes Joe, a team and fans should never have confidence unless they win a Superbowl! Might as well go into hiding until then.

  14. randysavage4ever says: Jun 30, 2011 11:24 PM

    I have personally witnessed Darren McFadden run over the Chargers secondary on two occasions…

    MNF Opener 2010 – Over Steve Gregory

    Raiders @ Chargers 2011 – Over Eric Weddle…

    The Weddle hit was a collision at the goal line, you saw both making the angle and you just knew Darren McFadden was going to come with the boom!

  15. humb0lt says: Jun 30, 2011 11:30 PM

    Personal check list: Slap joetoronto around.

  16. drummer1279 says: Jun 30, 2011 11:38 PM

    How about they keep Marty on as head coach after what, a 14-2 season? Oh wait, nevermind. Maybe they should hire Norv, because he’s had a GREAT record as a head coach.

  17. fthrvic says: Jul 1, 2011 12:09 AM

    #1-A…Move to L.A.

  18. jmetzger5158 says: Jul 1, 2011 12:10 AM

    Serious need at corner weddle is an in the box safety at best. Go hit free agency or make a trade namdi would be a great fit. He would be expensive but the super bowl window isnt open very long make it happen

  19. jcdavey2011 says: Jul 1, 2011 1:36 AM

    norv actually has had a good record as a chargers head coach

    some of you mensas would probably be surprised to learn that norv would have to sink to 6-10 in 2011 just to be at the same record as the playoff pariah marty schottenheimer, when we fired him.

  20. SmurfJuice says: Jul 1, 2011 2:52 AM

    If only Jerry Richardson would accept “malcontents” on the Panthers… A Vincent Jackson+contract for Steve Smith+draft pick(s) trade would be great for the Panthers, and help the Chargers restock.

    But Vincent Jackson will never be in a Panthers uniform, just as Kenny Britt, Cedric Benson, and Terrell Owens won’t. Hell, I’m ‘shocked’ he got Shockey. (Sorry, extremely off-topic)

  21. sj39 says: Jul 1, 2011 8:33 AM

    here we go again with “the Chargers are the favorite to win the Super Bowl” and “Rivers is the greates QB of all time”. Can we wait untill that actually happens this time?

  22. jcdavey2011 says: Jul 1, 2011 1:03 PM

    no one is saying the chargers are the favorite to win the sb lol

    hell vegas has NEVER had my chargers as the favorite to win the sb, that crap just gets spewed by rival fans AFTER the sb….

  23. Dave H says: Jul 1, 2011 2:15 PM

    If the Chargers stay healthy, and fix the special teams, they will be a Superbowl contender. These two thing are correlated, as when you suffer a lot of injuries like last year, the special teams suffer. They have a new special teams coach as well. The O and D were statistically #1 last season, so they will still be pretty good no matter what personnel changes occur in this short free agency off-season. Rivers in unquestionably one of the best QBs in the league. He is a great leader and makes the players around him better. If RB Mathews can stay healthy, which is likely, that makes a great 1-2 punch with RB Tolbert. The coaches, including Turner, are fine. Plenty of coaches could not win the big one until they one the big one. Munusky should replace Rivera with little or no drop off. Expect SD to win the division, and have a chance to go far in the playoffs. With a little luck…

  24. bolt4life says: Jul 1, 2011 2:53 PM

    sj39, care pointing out who said that? Or as usual, are rival fans making stuff up?

  25. radrntn says: Jul 1, 2011 8:18 PM

    hey dumbolt i mean humbolt, you actually post stuff on your teams page…good to know…i really like your comments about your team needs. thanks for the insight.

  26. raiderfankirk says: Jul 18, 2011 10:38 AM

    How about not getting their azz’s kicked in their division. Rivers can’t do a thing flat on his back from Oakland’s pass rush.

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