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January 2017 was a massive shock for me. The Chargers announced in the most impersonal manner that they were moving to Los Angeles. I wrote an article the week prior saying how they were going to stay in San Diego for x, y, and z reasons. This is the reason I chose to switch teams, even though both Los Angeles and San Diego are only five to six hours away from me.

The way the move was announced, I was hurt by it. There are no two ways around it. The immaturity of just making a social media post to say goodbye to a city you have resided for over 50 years is overbearing. I was a Chargers fan for around 15 years, ever since I was a young boy and I noticed a Chargers koozie in the convenience store across the street from Miguel’s Mexican restaurant near Shelter Island. It’s hard following a team that did not even have the class to issue a proper goodbye in person and decided to just hide behind a computer screen.

My saying goodbye has nothing to do with the players or fans, but the front office and the men and women in corporate. The players of a sports team are only on the front end. If someone really wants to know how a team treats their fans, look at their PR department.

So where do I go from here? Should I go full Lebron James and message teams to see who will take me? No thanks. I have decided that I need to do what is best for me and go to a franchise that respects and even honors it’s fans rather than just seeing them as dollar signs.

That is why I have decided to become an Arizona Cardinals fan.

It will be difficult the first few years to garner the love that I had for the San Diego Chargers but I’ll have to muddle through it.

Inman

Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Dontrelle Inman recently had surgery to repair a core muscle. According to multiple reports including ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Inman is expected to miss six weeks while he recovers and rehabs. Based on that timeline, he will miss OTA’s and mini camps but would be back in time for full squad training camp in July.

The ex-CFL star had a breakout season in San Diego last season, his second year on the team. Inman started all 16 games and compiled 58 receptions for 810 yards and four touchdowns. A month ago, he signed a one-year, $2.7 million restricted free agent tender. Next offseason Inman will be an unrestricted free agent.

The wide receivers room is the most crowded as it has been in an extremely long time. With first-round draft pick Mike Williams in the fold and Travis Benjamin and Keenan Allen returning from injury among others, it is important Inman gets as much field time as possible. His team security and financial security depend on it.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery!

 

Bolt Up!!

 

The Greg One

 

#RingFor17

Garrett

The Cleveland Browns just got a little bit, if not a lot, better. On Friday, the Browns announced the signing of their number one overall draft pick in Texas A&M defensive lineman Myles Garrett. Per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the deal is for four years and $30.4 million. The deal includes a $20.25 million signing bonus.

The defensive end was largely considered the best player in the draft and the Browns will be looking for him to make an immediate impact on the field. Garrett is a shredded physical specimen at 6″4′-inches, 272-pounds. At the NFL Combine he recorded 33 reps of the 225-pound bench press, 41-inch vertical jump, a 10″8′-inch broad jump and ran the 40-yard dash in 4.64-seconds. At the Texas A&M Pro Day, he improved his 40 time to 4.57-seconds.

The Browns tweeted out the moment Garrett signed on the dotted line while “Kiss From A Rose” by Seal played in the background.

Bolting for the NFL after his junior year at Texas A&M, Garrett amassed 141 tackles (81 solo), 47 tackles for loss, 31 sacks, five passes defensed and one interception. Those numbers would have been even more substantial had it not been for an ankle injury that limited his production last season.

Below is a look at the beast the Browns will be unleashing this season:

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Business is certainly booming around Chargers Park these days. In the final weeks before the team moves up the I-5 to their new digs in Carson, GM Tom Telesco is bunkered in and hammering out contracts. On Wednesday, the Chargers announced the signing of a four-year deal for fourth-round draft pick Rayshawn Jenkins. Jenkins played safety at the University of Miami. Heading into training camp the popular opinion is he will be groomed for that position.

Jenkins is listed at six-foot-one, 214-pounds. At the NFL Combine he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.51 seconds and vertical jumped 37 inches. Add in 19 reps on the bench press and you have a combination of size, speed and power that makes coaches drool. Coming into Chargers camp, Jenkins will have a willing mentor in former teammate and Chargers starting linebacker Denzel Perryman.

Below is a highlight reel from Jenkins’ senior season with the Hurricanes. What jumps out right away are his instincts, speed to the ball, ability to tackle in the open field and his ferocity when tackling as he’s not one to shy away from contact. Jenkins seems to seek out contact.

The Chargers weren’t finished there. Undrafted free agent punter Toby Baker was also signed on Wednesday. Baker was a tryout participant during rookie mini camp and impressed enough to be signed. He will battle incumbent Drew Kaser as part of the 90-man roster.

The 6″3′-inch, 215-pound Baker played his college ball at Arkansas and averaged 43-yards per punt over his 27 games with the Razorbacks. His 44.4 average in his senior season was good for fourth in the SEC and 13th in the country. Per the Razorbacks’ team website, Baker had 27 punts of 50 yards with a career-best of 60 yards. In his junior and senior seasons he dropped 45 punts inside the 20-yard line with only five total touchbacks.

Not a stranger to making a team as a walk-on, he made the team in Arkansas the same way. Baker won his spot and a scholarship after the 2015 season through a tryout. Baker will also be meeting a familiar face in camp as he follows in the footsteps of former teammate Hunter Henry.

 

Bolt Up!!

 

The Greg One

 

#CampBattles2017

 

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Former New England Patriots running back Legarrette Blount has signed a one-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles on Wednesday. With incentives, the deal can reach $2.8 million. A little over a week ago, the Patriots issued a veteran free agent tender on Blount, limiting his time frame to sign with s new team by July 22. After that date, he could only play for the Patriots. The end result now is New England will receive a compensatory draft pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

Blount led the NFL with 18 touchdowns last season, mostly of the short-range, goal line variety. At 6-feet, 250-pounds, Blount is a human bowling ball who has made a name for himself as a steamroller no one wants to tackle.

Philadelphia is looking to feature Blount as their lead running back and use their smaller backs such as Darren Sproles and Wendell Smallwood as complimentary pieces around him. The Eagles also spent a fourth-round pick on NCAA record-breaking San Diego State star running back Donnell Pumphrey.

Per Over The Cap, the Eagles are cash-strapped with only $1.2 million in cap space. Multiple local and national reports indicate the odd man out looks to be running back Ryan Mathews, who missed the final games of the 2016 season on IR with a neck injury. Cutting Mathews will free $4 million in cap space.

This is a great get for Philadelphia as Blount is as close to automatic as you can get in third- and fourth-and-short situations. He’s done well for himself as he’s collected two Super Bowl rings in his three seasons in New England. As everyone outside of Boston is likely to agree, one less weapon for Tom Brady and the Patriots is definitely a good thing.

 

 

RiversAllen

The sun finally seems to be shining brighter on the Los Angeles Chargers these days. Pro Bowl offensive tackle Russell Okung signed with the team in March. The Chargers had a grade-A draft in Philadelphia, littering their lineup with potential day one starters. Veteran safety on-the-rise Tre Boston picked L.A. over the Buffalo Bills and the Pittsburgh Steelers just a few days ago.

Now the news was released Tuesday that star wide receiver Keenan Allen participated in OTA (offseason training activities) workouts. Allen was lost for the season in the first regular season game last September to a torn ACL in his right knee. His injury spearheaded a domino effect in which the Chargers lost starters for the year nearly every week of the season.

Allen was back on the field snagging passes and according to multiple reports, looking very fit. Tuesday marked the first time rookies and veterans shared the field together. Chargers players and coaches got a glimpse of their future as Allen and their first-round draft pick WR Mike Williams stood on the field together. Williams did not participate in the workouts due to back pain. Aside from a large knee brace, Allen looked his normal speedy self as he participated at full speed in 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills.

At long last, long-suffering Chargers fans have a lot to look forward to with a new regime, new city, a great draft and a healthy roster headed into camp. Knock on wood….

 

Bolt Up!!

 

The Greg One

 

#Worst2First

 

Franklin1

 

As minicamps and OTA’s begin, with it will come news of cuts of recognizable names. The Los Angeles Chargers continued their purge of veterans as they released guard Orlando Franklin on Monday. He becomes the third veteran cut from the team this offseason as starters D.J. Fluker and King Dunlap also received their pinkslips this offseason.

One of the lowest rated guards in the league according to Pro Football Focus, Franklin placed 66 out of 72 offensive guards for his performance least season. Lower body injuries and concussions plagued his stint with the Chargers. Franklin has only played two out of the five seasons on his contract.

The drafting of blue-chip OG’s Forrest Lamp and Dan Feeney made Franklin expendable and worth the cap hit for cutting Franklin so soon. The Chargers look to be all-in on revamping and solidifying their offensive line now.

Here’s hoping the shuffling finally turns up a full house.

 

Bolt Up!!

 

The Greg One

 

#Ring4Rivers

Bos1

Coveted free agent safety Tre Boston announced his new team on Twitter Friday. The ex-Carolina Panther chose the Los Angeles Chargers to be his new team after completing a three-team tour. Terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed. Boston made visits to Buffalo and Pittsburgh over the last week before returning home to Charlotte, NC to deliberate over the team that would win his services.

On Bostons’ Twitter page @TreBos10, the safety broke the news:

And showed he’s already catching on to the local lingo:

The Chargers organization would then make an official announcement a few hours later:

Boston fills the need for a veteran safety who is just entering his prime. At 6-foot-1, 205 pounds, the 24-year old Boston already has Super Bowl experience.  He brings a physical style and playmaking skills to a position where it is badly needed. Last season, Boston played in 15 games (starting ten) and compiled 52 tackles, seven passes defended, two sacks and two interceptions.

Join me in welcoming Tre Boston to the Chargers! Visit his Twitter page and show your love! Here’s a small sample of the latest impact player to bolt up with the Chargers. Enjoy!

Bolt up!!

 

 

The Greg One

 

 

#TelescoMagic

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Exactly two weeks ago the Los Angeles Chargers made Clemson Tigers’ wide receiver Mike Williams their first round draft pick. On Thursday, May 11, they signed their 6-foot-4, 218-pound stud to 4-year deal worth $19.75 million dollars with a $12.5 million signing bonus.

The Chargers’ brass seemed to have learned their lesson from the saga that was last year’s Joey Bosa holdout. The star defensive end held out over contract language and bonus payouts. Bosa eventually signed two weeks after training camp began and that led to him missing the first four games of the season.

There will be no such story this year as Williams becomes the eighth player taken in the first round to sign on the dotted line. Williams is already in Los Angeles preparing for camp. He went to Twitter and posted this shot of the happy moment when pen met paper.

 

Williams looks to be making the most of his time waiting for camp to begin as Fox Sports: PROcast caught up with him during the recent training session posted below.

Congratulations Mike Williams on realizing your dream. Next stop, Offensive Rookie of the Year! Where does this news rank on the excitement meter for you? Post your thoughts in the comments below.

 

Bolt Up!!

 

The Greg One

 

#CongratulationsMike

AlbertoRiveron1

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: I love me some Alberto Riveron, so I couldn’t be happier to have seen his recent promotion in the press release posted below.

(Sorry, Dean Blandino. I have this weird thing — not good-weird, but bad-weird — for guys named Dean, and you were no Mike Pereira, either.)

 

NFL ANNOUNCES NEW OFFICIATING LEADERSHIP TEAM

Alberto Riveron, a member of the NFL’s Officiating Department since 2013 and a nine-year veteran NFL game official has been named NFL senior vice president of officiating.

Riveron will oversee all aspects of the league’s officiating department – including the implementation of the centralized replay model approved by clubs at the annual meeting in March – as well as administration, evaluation and development.

A native of Cuba, Riveron moved to Miami at age five with his family and developed a passion for the game.  He began as an official in local youth leagues in 1977, made his collegiate officiating debut in 1990 before joining the NFL officiating ranks in 2004.  In 2008, Riveron was promoted to referee, earning the distinction as the NFL’s first Hispanic referee.  Riveron came off the field following the 2012 season to join the league office as senior director of officiating.

“Al has done a terrific job as a key member of our officiating staff for the past four seasons,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.  “Prior to that, Al was an outstanding on-field official who earned the respect of his fellow officials, as well as coaches and players alike.  To have Al leading our officiating department, and then to add talented, knowledgeable instant replay and officiating experts like Russell and Wayne, is a tremendous positive for us as we look forward to the 2017 season.”

Reporting to Riveron, who will report to NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Troy Vincent, will be two new hires designed to aid in the department’s long-standing goal of excellence in officiating performance –Russell Yurk and Wayne Mackie.

Yurk joins the staff as Vice President of Instant Replay and Administration.  In this role, Yurk will direct the league’s instant replay operations in the Art McNally GameDay Central room and oversee all instant replay-related personnel.  Yurk will also be responsible for officiating administration, including supervising operational aspects of scheduling and logistics as well as the training and development of instant replay personnel.

Yurk spent the past seven seasons as an NFL instant replay official after working as an on-field official for 10 seasons at the high school and college level. An instant replay expert, Yurk assisted in authoring the replay section of the NFL Referee’s Manual for the past two years.

Mackie, a 10-year veteran NFL game official, has been named Vice President of Officiating Evaluation and Development, responsible for the officiating evaluation and development program, managing the on-field officials weekly crew evaluation process, as well the staff of officiating supervisors and trainers, and the management of the Officiating Development Program.

A highly-respected on-field game official for the past two decades at the collegiate and professional level, Mackie entered the NFL in 2007 as a head linesman and quickly established himself as one of the league’s top officials at his position.  Mackie has officiated in eight NFL playoff games, including serving as head linesman at Super Bowl 50 and for two conference championship games during his 10-year NFL career.

Mackie began his collegiate officiating career in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference in 1996 and also officiated in the Atlantic 10 and Big East through his final collegiate season in 2006 prior to joining the NFL.

Riveron, Yurk and Mackie will all work in GameDay Central throughout the season and have the final say on instant replay decisions, in consultation with the referee as part of the new replay rules for the 2017 season.

“Al, Russell and Wayne are a team dedicated to delivering the highest quality of officiating and game administration in professional sports,” Vincent said.  “The structure of their responsibilities will provide us with a sustainable model for greater efficiency, improved performance from our officials, and operational excellence in collaboration, development and training of our officiating team.”

 

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