Team needs: San Diego Chargers

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Chargers president Dean Spanos didn’t pull the plug on head coach Norv Turner and General Manager A.J. Smith despite a monumentally disappointing season. Having missed the playoffs in back-to-back years, San Diego enters the draft coming off an aggressive free-agency period.

Outside linebacker: The Chargers landed edge-setting run defender Jarret Johnson for an affordable rate, and he’ll be an upgrade across from Shaun Phillips. San Diego still lacks the natural edge-rushing ‘backer Smith mistakenly believed he found in Larry English three years ago. Antwan Barnes is a situational player. The Bolts could probably get by with a rotation at the position, but Johnson, Phillips, and Travis LaBoy are all on the wrong side of 30 and only Phillips has been a consistent double-digit sack threat.

Safety: The strong safety position has been a revolving door in San Diego since Rodney Harrison left in 2003. Terrence Kiel, Clinton Hart, Bob Sanders, Kevin Ellison, and Darrell Stuckey have flopped. Like Harrison did so many years ago, Steve Gregory has left for New England. The Chargers’ G.M. is known to be a “huge fan” of Notre Dame strong safety Harrison Smith, who could be available in the draft’s second round.

Defensive line: Incumbent nose tackle Antonio Garay was pushed around far too often last season and is going on age 33. Cam Thomas has teased in limited snaps as a 2010 fifth-round pick, but seems unlikely to take over the nose position full time. Defensive end Corey Liuget is San Diego’s lone legitimate pass-rushing threat on the line, and he tallied just one sack in 15 appearances last year.

Running back: Ryan Mathews has only shown flashes of the player Smith anticipated he’d be when San Diego traded up to the 12th overall pick in 2010. Le’Ron McClain can pound it in short yardage and lead block in a pinch, but isn’t a viable candidate for the No. 2 back role. Mike Tolbert was a big loss because he was so effective in the receiving game. Smith probably won’t draft a running back until the middle rounds, but he needs another one.

37 responses to “Team needs: San Diego Chargers

  1. Everyone seems to forget about Antwan Barnes. How can Shaun Phillips be the Chargers’ only serious threat for double digit sacks, when Barnes had 11 last year?

  2. Bengals hold pick 17 and it came from Oakland. Perhaps you should look at the draft order again.

  3. I would imagine they will draft on defense first 2 picks, then O-Line in 3rd round with a running back at some point later. Antwan Barnes is actually a very good pass rusher in passing situations. I have not given up on Larry English quite yet, he has had ongoing foot problems & that can really limit a pass rusher, or any football player for that matter. I hope his foot feels better because he has not had an extended period of play where he could get that experience & confidence. If he gets that, he may be a candidate for comeback player of the year:)

  4. The soon to be LA Chargers do not have one impact player on D – not even one who is close.

    They could use new players at about 8 or 9 of the positions – and that includes moving the aging CB – Quentin Jammer – over to Safety – which should have been done last year.

  5. joetoronto says: Apr 18, 2012 5:43 PM
    1. Fanbase
    2. GM
    3. HC
    4. Moving van

    Do you have a job?

  6. we they need to do is beat them donkeys and reclaim the afc west which i think they will do.

  7. I have them winning 3 games, losing 6 and 6 a tossup. So if they split the tossups – my crystal ball says they go 7 and 9, again miss the playoffs and AJ somehow kisses up to De-Anna Spanos , the country club queen – and saves his job by axing Norbert.

  8. Ooops: Typo. Winning 4 outright – and half the tossups – to go 7 and 9. They could surprise and go 8 and 8, or even 9 and 7, but they ain’t built to win on the road in Dec – so who cares?

  9. Turner and Smith are not going anywhere and the Chargers are not moving to LA. Period.

    “Ryan Mathews has only shown flashes of the player Smith anticipated he’d be when San Diego traded up to the 12th overall pick in 2010. ” While dealing with nagging injuries throughout the season, Mathews stilled managed to break the century mark and average a highly respectable 4.9 yards a carry on the ground. The only RB’s that manage to post better was Reggie Bush’s 5.0 and Matt Forte’s 4.9. He also was a threat in the passing games, accumulating 455 yards and a 9.1 yards per. Considering that was behind a makeshift line, I believe I will take those numbers.

    I do believe we need to sellout to the defense in the draft, specifically the aforementioned positions. Harrison would be a stud at SS alongside Weddle. I think what people forget is that when English was taken in the ’09 draft, there was a much higher ranked LB on the board, Rey Maualuga. What I think is that the Bolt’s brass needs to do is simplify things and not try to be smarter than the system.

  10. As a Raider fan SD had a nice window with Rivers ….

    but his window is closing especially with no V-Jax, Older hobbled Gates and his best o-line members gone and a struggling defense and a coach that seems to get flat responses out of players when they need him the most.

    Rivers is a great QB, dislike him completely but a great player … diminishing himself along with the overall talent on the team.

  11. A personality transplant for A.J. would be a good start. And a head coach with a pulse. It’s a shame for Chargers fans that they fired Shotty when they did- they were on the cusp.

  12. Harrison Smith with the 18th pick. Belichick is seeing to that with the bs he is putting out getting people to think he will take him with his second 1st round pick. they will reach because of that even though there will be better choices on the board.

  13. The Chargers are trash. I cant wait for everyone to throw the Chargers name in the hat and say their “Super Bowl?” contenders for the 20th year in a row just for them to choke in the Playoffs…….again!!!

  14. schmitty2 says:
    Apr 18, 2012 6:30 PM
    joetoronto says: Apr 18, 2012 5:43 PM
    1. Fanbase
    2. GM
    3. HC
    4. Moving van

    Do you have a job?


    Yea, its called being a troll. He gets paid in mythical currency. I believe they call them Dollhairs.

  15. Gotta laugh at the “Chargers move to LA” crowd. What you simpleton’s don’t know is that the current mayor of SD is working on a financial plan to build a stadium downtown. Election year move for him? Nope. He’s termed out in November so he’s got nothing to gain here.

    Another little tidbit: the Chargers really ticked off those planning to build a stadium in LA. Said they don’t believe ground will be broken on a new stadium there this year.

    Lastly, as for the team itself, they traded size for speed at WR. They were not about give Jackson a $55.5 million deal. He isn’t worth that much. On defense, adding Johnson to the LB core was brilliant. Two large question marks remain: their CB’s stunk last year and they have a new DC.

  16. Owner
    Coaching Staff
    Equipment Managers
    Strength Coaches
    Physical Therapists
    Maintenance Team
    Water Boy
    Locker room reporters

    Once these people are replaced with less fail people…. then the chargers will have a chance at the SB…

  17. Remember, San Diego is the only city where fans can justify their poor attendance at Charger games because it’s always ‘so much to do’ there. There’s nothing else going on other than football in the other 30 NFL cities except San Diego, or that’s what Charger fans want you to believe. Oh wait, Miami fans uses that tiresome excuse too, so you’re not alone.

  18. “Remember, San Diego is the only city where fans can justify their poor attendance at Charger games because it’s always ‘so much to do’ there.”

    You forgot that it’s a transplant/military town. But I don’t expect you to understand the dynamics.

  19. Former season ticket holders such as myself can justify not going to Charger games as we have a total arse – who revels in being a prick – for a GM -(Yes the Lord of NO Rings) – and a country club/trust baby managing owner – De-Anna Spanos. Oh – on top of that – a totally uninspiring coach – Norbert the Dull.


  20. carrlsbad fan: If you believe our “Strong Mayor” – a former flatfoot – can pull a financial miracle out of the hat for new stadium financing – then you better stop sniffing the glue.

    LA already has completed the EIR – and that would take at least 5 years here, maybe longer.

  21. BTW: All-Pro WR Vincent Jackson could still get down the field – especially after the catch- and we have to oft injured – 3rd receivers at best – who have never drawn double coverage before,.

    Stick to surfing up there, Carlsbad.

  22. I agree with Carlsbad, VJ was too high of a price when we have other needs and have done well without him (2010 season). Spend the money elsewhere. Also agree a little with tomsd1, our other recievers are suspect with dirability issues. I wonder what kind of season Floyd can have if he played all 16 games for once in his life. Gates is another foot injury away from missing half a season. VBrown is unproven. Meachem has never been a #1 and Royal had his one good season when playing with Marshall. I like adding speed I just hope everyone can stay healthy.

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