Chris Hoke

Bosa6

 

Since selecting Joey Bosa with the third pick in the first round of this year’s draft, Chargers fans have been overly excited and overly anxious as well. Once it was announced that Bosa would be holding out due to contract issues with the organization, fans have become very critical of the youngster’s decision to not sign his rookie contract. This has sent this Chargers fan base into an outrage calling Bosa both selfish and money-hungry, among many other derogatory things.

I’m here to tell all of my fellow Chargers fans that while I love the fans’ passion for our team, everybody needs to chill.

No, really, just chill.

Bosa and his agent are upset over the off-set language in the contract, which the Chargers have come out and said every one of their contracts has some sort of off-set language in them.

While we would all like to have the Bosa contract signed and completed, there is absolutely nothing to be concerned about, yet.

The team is taking a much-needed respite prior to the beginning of training camp, which both rookies and veterans will be reporting to on July 29.

If this bleeds into training camp and, even worse, into preseason. then I will start worrying. Until that point, let’s try to remember, we are just fans who love our team; we treat this team like it’s our family; we win with this team and we lose with this team; we don’t just turn our fandom off. All of that being said, we are not the players who have worked our whole lives and sacrificed so much just to have an opportunity to play in the NFL.

Though we all hope Bosa is a long-time Charger, contract disputes happen all of the time in this game. Bosa has to get the contract that is best for him, his family and his future. Who are we as fans to call him out; especially when so many greats have done this same thing before him, including many San Diego Chargers.

The Spanos family is notorious for being cheap and tough negotiators. They already have enough issues with the stadium vote coming to the ballot in November, and they don’t need anymore negative press. After all, they picked Bosa not only because he was the best player available, but because he would bring a level of excitement and positive press which this team needs going into a possible boom-or-bust season.

My firm belief is the Bosa contract will be resolved days before training camp begins, avoiding negative press and showing us all that there was nothing to worry about.

So, go ahead and call Bosa selfish; it’s your right as a Chargers fan to have your own opinion. The organization has had selfish, money-hungry players in the past, including the lazy Jared Gaither.

That’s not Bosa, though. I genuinely believe he loves the game. He has been on record stating, “football is all he knows.” I’m sure he would love to be with the team learning and showing the team he’s here to work.

For now, all we can do is wait and let time do its thing. Fans must  just relax and hold off on your overreactions, seeing as when Bosa hits the field and starts wreaking havoc in opposing team’s backfields, you’ll forget all about this contractual nonsense.

 

Chris “Supercharged” Hoke

ChargerDefense

Over a month ago the San Diego Chargers drafted defensive end Joey Bosa with their third overall pick. Along with Bosa the Chargers drafted two more defensive players. One of them was Bosa’s running mate at Ohio State, Joshua Perry. These look to be great additions combined with the free agent signings of defensive tackle Brandon Mebane and safety Dwight Lowery.

Some Chargers fans are clamoring for the Chargers to switch defensive schemes. I’ll tell you why this can not and will not happen anytime soon. First, I’ll tell you the difference between the two schemes. For the purpose of this piece it will just be a base 3-4 scheme versus the base 4-3 scheme. After this I will give my opinion on why switching schemes wouldn’t be beneficial for the Bolts moving forward.

I’ve stated in a previous article (Bolt Up For Bosa) that the Chargers only run their base scheme about 50% of defensive snaps. It’s these 50% of snaps I will be focusing on. That being said what is a 3-4 defense? It has been used famously by Bum Phillips, the father of Wade Phillips.

Used by the Houston Oilers in the 70’s, it’s predicated on pressure by overwhelming the offensive line with multiple attacking defensive players. If used correctly this scheme can be virtually unstoppable. This was defensive scheme used most brilliantly by the Denver Broncos to defeat the Carolina Panthers in this past years’ Super Bowl.

The 3-4 was the staple of Dick LeBeau’s defense which helped drive multiple teams to Super Bowl appearances. Lebeaus’ defense has yielded two wins and four losses in the Super Bowl. In New England, the 3-4 has been the driving force behind the Patriots dynasty. Yes, Tom Brady has made his throws but its been the defense that’s given the Patriots four Super Bowl titles in 15 years.

Breaking it down the 3-4 consists of three down linemen and four linebackers. The four linebackers have endless possibilities on how they can be placed. There’s a multitude of packages to utilize. This makes the 3-4 a hard defense to plan against. With four linebackers you don’t know who is blitzing or who is dropping back in coverage. The point of a 3-4 defense is mismatches. It’s built to stop the run and apply endless amount of pressure on the opposing teams’ offensive line. In theory, the Chargers should be good at run-stopping although this has been the Achilles’ heel of the defense over the past several years.

 

Here’s a diagram of a basic 3-4 defense.

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So how will the Chargers look defensively? Let’s start with the defensive line. At left defensive end will be Corey Liuget. Anchoring the middle will be nose tackle Brandon Mebane. At right defensive end will be Joey Bosa. At weak side outside linebacker will be Jerry Attaochu. The inside linebacker will be Manti Te’o. The middle linebacker will be Denzel Perrymen. The strong side linebacker will be Melvin Ingram.

Anchoring the back end of the defense from left to right will be left cornerback Jason Verrett. At Free Safety will be Dwight Lowery. Next to him will be strong safety Jahleel Addae. The right cornerback will be Brandon Flowers. Keep in mind this is how it stands right now. A lot depends on training camp and if the Chargers sign other free agents.

So now know how the Chargers will run their basic 3-4 defense. What is a 4-3 defense? The base 4-3 first came to us under Tom Landry when he was the Giants defensive coordinator in the 1950’s. He then made it even more famous with the Dallas Cowboys and through their vaunted “Doomsday” defense. Ever since, there’s been multiple variations of the scheme from the Bill Parcells stack defense to the Wide-9 defense famously used by the Philadelphia Eagles.

On to the basis of the 4-3. It’s four down linemen and three linebackers. In its most basic form the four down linemen will always have their hands in the ground and be in pursuit of whomever has the ball. The three linebackers are in charge of coverage in this base defense although they may blitz in certain packages.
Here’s a diagram of a basic 4-3 defense.

base_4-3.jpg (600×387)

The Chargers run a variation of the 4-3 in a hybrid nickel package. The nickel package features Melvin Ingram and Jerry Attaochu with their hands in the dirt. The 3-4 defense has been implemented since 2001 when Marty Schottenheimer took  over as head coach. Since then the Chargers have had a few dominant defenses in ’06, ’07, ’09 and 2010. Its been proven very effective when the right pieces are in place. In 2016 this is such the case. My main reason for this belief is Joey Bosa and the signing of cornerback Casey Hayward. The Hayward addition was an amazing pick up.

It’s all about the anchor of the 3-4, the nose tackle. A viable anchor is something the Chargers have lacked for so long. Since the days of Jamal Williams its been a revolving door at this position. Brandon Mebane probably didn’t make headlines to the casual Chargers fan. I believe this is the most underrated pickup of the whole offseason. Mebane can garner double- and sometimes even triple-teams.

This defense, hell, this whole team is going too shock a lot of people. As I said earlier the 3-4 requires almost pure selflessness from its three down linemen. It starts with Mebane. I may call him Bane by seasons’ end. If you know Batman then you understand the reference. Its been five years in the making with this defense. Why change philosophies now when this defense is so close to grasping greatness? Its proven to be a dominant defense in the past. It can and will be for years to come.

Gordon

 

With the news about Melvin Gordon’s microfracture surgery, a recent article posted to this site had me thinking.

I hate to be the doom and gloom forecaster, but to quote Creedence Clearwater Revival, there could be a “bad moon rising” in San Diego.

With what we saw from Gordon last season, with his inability to find the right lane to run through, I still feel like even with newly drafted fullback Derek Watt, Gordon’s teammate at Wisconsin, this may not equate to success for him and the Chargers’ running game.

 

Gordon2

 

One of Gordon’s many weaknesses coming out of college seemed to be his lack of vision. When the offensive line wasn’t banged up and was actually opening holes for Gordon, he seemed to lack the ability that separates great running backs from average to below average ones. The former Badger doesn’t seem to see the whole field. He lacks that killer instinct as a runner.

Is this just a rookie being a rookie and adjusting to a complex offensive system? Only time will tell.
Another issue I have with the chemistry of Watt and Gordon is how many offensive snaps will we actually see a fullback on the field with Gordon?

Offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt isn’t exactly like Marty Schottenheimer; he doesn’t power it up in there all day long. Most of his offense runs off of multi-WR and TE sets. With the addition of Henry, the Bolts’ offense may be more likely to use those sets instead of Power-I formations.

Will we see those formations enough for that so-called chemistry to even make a difference? Again, only time will tell.
It isn’t just chemistry that makes a running back. Barry Sanders had little to no offensive line help pretty much his entire career. But when he retired he finished second in NFL history in total career rushing yards.

I’m not saying I expect Gordon to be Sanders. For years we give all these excuses for our stars; it’s almost as if we are scared to face the truth. Sometimes our players just don’t have what it takes.

Gordon’s fumbling, lack of vision and consistent knack for rushing to an outside line when there’s nothing there has handicapped a running attack that ranked 31st in the league last year.

Chemistry is great; it brings continuity to a running game that certainly could use it. Will it bring success and make Gordon an elite runner? Maybe.

Of all the physical attributes about Melvin Gordon his intangibles are highly lacking. He was a superstar runner in college. Was he just a one-year wonder behind a line that had multiple players drafted high? Or is there something I’ve yet to see from Gordon in a San Diego Chargers uniform?

The only thing we can do is be patient. Not everyone becomes Marshawn Lynch overnight. Liken Ryan Mathews to Gordon. When the line came together, Mathews flourished under Whisenhunt.

Patience, tons of patience, Chargers fans.

⚡️SuperCharged⚡️

 

Chris Hoke

bosa2

Since the end of free agency all the focus and attention has been who the San Diego Chargers were taking with the third pick of the 2016 NFL Draft. So many rumors and names were thrown around prior to the draft. Chargers Nation feared the worst. Ronnie Stanley was widely rumored to be the pick. Well thank God these couch GM’s aren’t actually making the picks. Chargers GM Tom Telesco made the pick and boy did he make a good one. With that third pick the GM chose:

Bosa1

Joey Bosa DE Ohio State
Virtually a unanimous number one pick before 2015 college football season his stock seemed to take plunge with worries about his first step. I even questioned his motor at times. That notwithstanding I love this pick! Telesco shows that defense needs to be the priority. With an aging Philip Rivers the defense needs to start setting the tone instead of the offense. Taking Bosa ensures a man with unmeasurable talent will be manning our front seven for years to come. Bosa is a phyiscal freak and his brute strength gives him power to bull rush opposing offensive linemen.
Where does he fit in our Scheme?
Truth be told the Chargers only run our base 3-4 defense 50% of the time. The other 50% is a 4-2-5 (4 Defensive linemen 2 linebackers 5 defensive backs). In this scheme Bosa can put his hands in the ground and do what he did at Ohio State and play defensive end. The Chargers said he will play defensive end in our 3-4 scheme as well. Bosa’s role will be similar to JJ Watt. Will we see the bolts move Bosa around as well like the Texans do with Watt? Time will only tell.
Will he be a game wrecker?
One thing the Chargers have lacked for years since the days of Merriman and Philips is a true game wrecker up front. Bosa has all the skills and ability to wreak havoc up front. With the addition of Mebane and a healthy Corey Liuget it may be hard to stop Bosa from busting through.  Add Melvin Ingram and Jerry Attaochu coming from the outside and this defense could be the best it’s been in years.

Biggest takeaway from the Bosa pick
Joey Bosa wants to be here. He comes to work. He eats drinks and sleeps football. “I don’t have many passions in my life” Bosa said in his interview. “One is football. I love football.” This kid comes from a winning pedigree at Ohio State where he helped lead the Buckeyes to a national title. Oh and who can forget he was rocking that bolo tie! What could be a better sign than that!

Seau21

Four years gone. Too many years too soon. Junior Seau passed away four years ago today on May 2, 2012. It was a devastating blow to Chargers Nation and the San Diego community. It’s hard to believe the time has passed so quickly.

Seau’s lasting legacy will never fade away in the hearts and minds of the Chargers Nation and the city of San Diego. His persona on and off the field exemplified passion, hard work and enthusiasm. Seau played the game of football like no other linebacker we may ever see before or after him.

He played the game of life in ways we all should strive to do. He treated everyone like he had known them there whole lives. He always made time for family, friends and fans. Seau was posthumously inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2015. It was a bittersweet ceremony. We all wish he could’ve been there to attend. Here’s to you buddy! You’re gone but will never be forgotten.

#55Forever

 

Chris Hoke

This gallery contains 2 photos.

 

Wentz

 

With 3rd pick in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft, the San Diego Chargers select…

A quarterback? Most likely not.

Who is this Carson Wentz, though? Why are some calling him the consensus “no-brainer” pick? A virtual unknown before his junior season at NDSU, he’s taken this draft class by storm.

Is he a can’t-miss pick? Could he be the next Andrew Luck, as some “draft experts” are claiming?

Let’s break it down!

Measurables:

Height – 6’5″

Weight – 237 lbs 

Arm Length – 33 1/4″

Hand Size – 10″

40-yard dash time – 4.77 seconds*

Vertical Jump – 30 1/2″

Broad Jump – 118 inches*

3-Cone Drill – 6.86 seconds*

* Wentz tied for second in the QB class in these three categories

 

STRENGTHS:

* NFL type arm

* Goes fluently through his progressions

* Escapability

* Handles blitz well

* High pocket presence

*Second best release in his class

* High football IQ

*Highest potential ceiling at QB

WEAKNESSES:

* Tendency to slouch in the pocket (not fully playing to his height)

* Small school prospect

* Tends to check it down too much.

* His accuracy could be an issue at the NFL level

* His footwork needs work

* Should probably sit one year

* Deep ball accuracy could be a problem

*Locks on to his main target at times

FINAL ASSESSMENT:

Though the Chargers most likely won’t draft Wentz, if I was a team looking for a franchise QB, he would be a fantastic pick. Having a veteran in front of him to learn from, allowing him to sit for at least a year, would be highly beneficial to his growth. The fact that he came from a small school shouldn’t be too much of a red flag; given NDSU ran a Pro-Style offense. Can he be the next Andrew Luck? I would say yes. But only if he is groomed correctly.

 

Chris Hoke

 

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