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.