After Vincent Jackson left the Chargers for the Buccaneers, San Diego needed a new “Z” receiver.
In the Chargers’ system, the “Z” lines up next to tight end Antonio Gates, with the goal of forcing defenses to choose one for extra focus — giving the other a little more room to operate.
Newcomer Robert Meachem had been the “Z” receiver in place of Jackson. But now it’s Malcom Floyd.
“I’ve been moving around, but I’m comfortable playing that position. It’s becoming fluid now, but I understood ‘Z’ responsibilities after watching VJ and Meachem do it,” Floyd tells Scott Bair of U-T San Diego. “With Antonio and I lining up next to each other, we put a strain on whatever side we’re on.”
Meanwhile, Meachem has been sent to the bench, with Danario Alexander filling Floyd’s former spot.
The fact that the Chargers signed Meachem to do a job that one of their holdovers could have done — and is now doing — becomes another piece of evidence for the “fire A.J. Smith” column on owner Dean Spanos’ legal pad. But if the Chargers win more games with Floyd as the “Z” wideout, maybe the “keep A.J. Smith” column eventually will include the words “made it to the playoffs . . . somehow.”