Monthly Archives: March 2013
Good morning and Happy Easter to you and yours from BoltBlitz.com.
I don’t know about you, but Easter kind of feels like a day that we should be watching football while pigging out on some great eats. It seems very similar to Thanksgiving, in that respect.
We hope everyone has a great day and enjoys spending time with friends and/or family. I’ll be spending a good portion of the day breaking down some All 22 tape.
We also wanted to take a second to say thank you to all of the people that are helping making this website a success. Whether you are reading the articles, leaving comments on the articles, viewing the videos, listening to the podcasts, or simply retweeting the articles via Twitter, it all helps tremendously and is very much appreciated. Yesterday was a record day, view-wise, at BoltBlitz.com.
On that note, on behalf of the entire BoltBlitz.com staff I’d like to thank you all and wish you a Happy Easter.
Thanks a lot for reading.
P.S. I am putting together a “special” Easter card for all of the supporters of BoltBlitz.com. You will love it and it will be hilarious. Either leave a comment at the bottom of the article or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You will not be disappointed.
To start this article off, here is a little bio about our new GM Tom Telesco.
College: John Carroll University
Degree: Bachelors in Business Management
Here is Mr. Telesco’s career to date:
Tom started as a summer intern for the Buffalo Bills from 1991-1994. In 1995, he started his NFL career with the Carolina Panthers. He was with Carolina from 1995-1997. In 1998, he began an impressive journey with the Indianapolis Colts. His tenure includes becoming director of player personnel for the last six years. As of Tom’s hire date, on January 9th 2013, he became the youngest GM in Chargers history.
Now a little about Tom Telesco the man. He was a starting WR for John Carroll University and played from 1991-1994. Tom’s collegiate football team won the championship in 1994. Despite winning the Championship, Telesco has admitted he wasn’t an NFL caliber receiver. Tom is a family man. His intermediate family includes his wife Larah, daughter Elena and two sons, Thomas and Nicholas.
What has Telesco showed us about his character as a GM? I can name the two that impress me the most. One is the fact that he was willing to personally investigate the Gaither frauding. We all know Team owner Dean Spanos made the cut of our injury prone LT . The fact that Tom was not willing to just take the old regime’s opinion for law. And number two, every pick up in free agency this offseason were safe picks. Let’s be honest here big name signing didn’t go that well last year.
Overall I give Tom a B+ so far in his first few months on the job. The reason he does not get an A is it’s pre-draft and there are a lot of former Charger players that signed with other teams thus far. Some of those players, I personally, would like to have seen resigned.
I am going to say be patient with Mr. Telesco. We have yet to see his full plan. He also brings a fire that AJ Smith certainly didn’t have. AJ let talented players leave San Diego due to his enormous ego and Scrooge “bah humbug” attitude.
The bottom line is the COLTS were 155-85 overall while Telesco was there. I certainly can not give him 100% credit, but he was in a management position for both of their two Super bowl appearances. Did I mention they won one of those? I can’t say that about the former regime.
My final thoughts are that I don’t think Tom has sacrificed this season. I also believe that not only do we make the playoffs, but Larry English will finally reach his full potential.
I will save that story for another day.
Thanks for your support,
Below you will see the complete NFL draft order as it sits right now, per NFL.com. Underneath the draft order chart you will see a link to NFL.com.
The Chargers currently have one selection a piece is rounds 1-7. I still have a feeling that they will acquire more picks by moving down in one of the rounds but we’ll see.
The NFL draft is only 26 days away. This is a huge draft, not only for the Chargers, but the AFC West. Kansas City has the first overall pick. Followed by Oakland with the 3rd pick and San Diego selecting 11th…. for now. Rounding out the first round selections are the Broncos with the 28th pick.
With the draft being less than a month away, the rumors of what the Chargers are going to do are all over the place. I feel fortunate that I will be there live to witness it for myself.
Here at BoltBlitz.com, we’ll be counting down the days by adding a Bolts’ player that’s jersey number corresponds with the number of days left until the draft.
Many of you may not know who Lionel James is or that he was an NFL player. He happens to be one of my favorite Chargers of all-time. James was a smaller guy that did it big on the field. In 1985, he set the NFL record for most all purpose yards in a season. He was an excellent receiver out of the backfield. So good, in fact, that he actually switched to wide receiver for a season. In addition to be a threat catching the ball, James was an extremely dangerous return man. He finished his short career with 16 touchdowns for the Chargers.
I actually wore the number 26 jersey for one year of rocket football as a child in honor of Lionel James.
Thanks a lot for reading.
When you hear the term “New Regime” in context of the San Diego Chargers, the first names that come to mind are usually the new general manager Tom Telesco, the new head coach Mike McCoy, and maybe the new offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt. What most seem to forget is that the new regime goes way deeper than that, as far as coaches are concerned.
Strength and Conditioning coach Kent Johnston is also a first year member of the Charger coaching staff. His coaching career started in 1987 with Tampa Bay up until 1991. In 1992, he was the Strength and Conditioning coach for the Green Bay Packers for 7 seasons. During that span he was fortunate to be a part of 6 playoff appearances, 2 Super Bowl appearances, and 1 Super Bowl trophy for the 1996-97 season. The year 1997 continued to be a great one for Johnston as he was named the Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year. He spent the past 3 years with the Browns and now he is a member of THE San Diego Chargers at 57 years of age.
Johnston will not be alone. Another first year coach for the Chargers, Ricky Lyle, will be the assistant Strength and Conditioning coach in San Diego. Lyle, 42, is a former defensive end who played 9 season in the NFL. One season included a Super Bowl win with the 2002-03 New England Patriots. Lyle’s coaching career began in 2006 with the Jets. The past 4 seasons he was an assistant head coach for the Cleveland Browns, three of which he spent under Kent Johnston.
Johnston and Lyle will replace former strength and conditioning head coach Jeff Hurd and assistant coach Vernon Stephens. These two hires came in 2007 along with the arrival of Norv Turner.
These coaches are not to be looked over, as they are key pieces to the organization as well, having a direct influence on the players.
Thank you all for visiting BoltBlitz and continue to #ReadTheBlitz
Good morning BoltFam. Hope all is well and everyone is enjoying the beginning of their weekend. I wanted to take a moment to let you know that tonight on #TheInsideBlitz I’ll be interviewing John Gennaro of BoltsfromtheBlue.com.
I feel very fortunate that John is willing to sit down and talk Chargers with me. His website is very successful and he knows the Chargers. He really knows the Chargers.
Make sure you tune in at 5:30 pm pacific for the live show tonight. To watch the live show, go to the top of the BoltBlitz.com homepage and click the live tab.
I am really looking forward to this interview and I hope that you are as well.
Thanks a lot for reading and be sure to join us tonight at 5:30 pm pacific time.
Yesterday there was an agreement, which can be considered all but finished, between the Seattle Seahawks and their former rival Oakland Raiders to trade quarterback Matt Flynn to the Raiders. The Seahawks will likely get a pair of draft picks to give up their highly paid clipboard holder.
What happened? Did Vince Young forget how to answer the phone? The Raiders had been sniffing up that tree longer than they will publicly admit. Did they not hear about the Jamarcus Russell comeback bid? Was Jeff George busy? Jeff Garcia is always ready. They ran through fire to bring in Carson Palmer and he will be shown the door after two miserable seasons in silver and black. That leaves Terrelle Pryor, he of whom the Raiders gave up a third round pick in the 2011 Supplemental Draft to obtain.
Bad quarterback decisions, Raiders be thy name. Since 2002, the Raiders are third to last in passer rating, dead last in completion and touchdown percentage. The Raiders are 49-111 in that time span, not that anyone in the AFC West is complaining. The good get better, the bad play for the Raiders, which is what makes today’s deal all the more strange.
Matt Flynn actually has shown potential. So far, he has started two games. In the first he went 23-37 for 254 yards, 3 touchdowns and one interception in 2010 against New England in a loss. In his second start, in the Packers final regular season game in 2012, Flynn lit up the Detroit Lions for 480 yards and six touchdowns in a 47-41 win. He sat watching and learning behind Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay for four seasons before he went sent to Seattle last season. Flynn was set to start until Seahawks coach Pete Carroll decided to open the competition and let the rookie compete. We would all be laughing at him losing out to a rookie until we see that rookie became phenom Russell Wilson. If there is a consolation for losing your starting gig, there it is.
I imagine Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers like pledgemasters watching awkward, lanky, uncoordinated pledges (Flynn, Alex Smith) tripping over their own feet trying to get accepted into the fraternity. Now Flynn will find himself in Oakland, devoid of quarterback talent for over a decade. No chance Flynn won’t be the starter even if Oakland is closer to playing in the CFL than the NFL. Congratulations on the new starting gig Matt Flynn, too bad its with the Raiders. Twenty dollars to you if you can name your number one receiver. No? ANY receiver…and remember Heyward-Bey is gone. No? We don’t know either. Welcome to the AFC West cellar. Ice packs and the trainers room down the hall. Alex will show you around.
It started with the trade. Moving up in the draft to get the running back of the future. The comparisons of Mathews to Tomlinson (unfair or not) were always going to be made. He’s 3 years in and it’s been a rocky start. Fumbles and injuries have derailed the start of his promising NFL career. On film, he has the speed and tools to be a solid NFL back. But as my fellow writer Nick Shepherd pointed out earlier this week, Mathews struggles with vision and reading the running lanes.
On-field performance aside, we expect a certain level of dedication from players and the desire to learn and improve their game. This is what we get with our quarterback. Rivers puts in more time than most and while the expectation isn’t to have Mathews beat Rivers to the facility, he should be working harder than most to improve. On the Mighty 1090 yesterday, Rivers was given the opportunity to throw Jared Gaither (the big lazy) under the bus. “It’s too bad. It really is too bad. That’s all I can say. It’s too bad the way the whole thing happened. Again regardless of whose fault or how it was handled, what could have been done differently; I’m talking about the last 9 months. But, you know the guy is a heck of a tackle when he’s out there on the field.” A guy that absolutely deserved it, Rivers takes the high road.
On top of that Rivers was asked about how the loss of offensive personnel (i.e. Sproles, Jackson etc.). Host Darren Smith set up the question perfectly asking Rivers, “Of the players who have left here in free agency, and we all know what the list looks like, that maybe the biggest effect on you, has been Darren Sproles.” Rivers Replied, “It’s certainly been huge, and again Darren I never like to say the biggest effect on me, I think it’s been one of the biggest effects on our offensive unit.”
Given his struggles over the past two years, it’d be easy for Rivers to pick any one of the departing free agents/retirements as an excuse. But again, taking the high road and saying that it’s had a greater impact on the team.
Now let’s get back to Mathews. He appeared on NFL AM this morning talking about all things Ryan and Chargers. He talked about being complacent over the past year under Norv Turner. From the outside, most Charger fans would dub Norv, President and CEO of complacent island. But throwing the coach right under the bus for something that EVERY Charger fan already knows comes off as an excuse. You can watch the full interview on NFL.com but Mathews said of Norv Turner: “I think he did everything he could to try to make us win, no doubt about it. I just think we really got complacent to where we were and what we were doing and thought we were owed to win games.”
I’m not big on criticizing players, because I know their job is tough and in the public eye. But I’ll take a guy who puts the work in and takes accountability for himself any day of the week. We can’t always control what goes on around us, but we can control ourselves. I know my motivation comes from within, but inspiration comes from guys like #17.
A lot of big name free agents are finding their new homes in the AFC West. Our beloved San Diego Chargers are standing pat, preferring to add depth and build through the draft. Its hard to look at the names settling into Kansas City and Denver and not be concerned about the Chargers strategy.
Peyton Manning cruised into Denver this past season and propelled the Broncos into the number one seed in the AFC West, highlighted by a ten game winning streak to finish the season. In the offseason, the Broncos continue to add weapons. The major coup is the acquisition of slot receiver Wes Welker from New England. They also added DT Terrance Knighton from Jacksonville and CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in addition to swiping OG Louis Vasquez from the Chargers. The Broncos have added big names to offense and defense in addition to weakening a division rival in a primary need area. The Broncos are also currently in the mix to bring in DE Dwight Freeney from Indianapolis.
Kansas City inexplicably went 2-14 last season, a season that looked promising with the return of feature back Jamaal Charles, TE Tony Moeaki, and S Eric Berry; all of whom missed the season before with devastating injuries. The Chiefs failed to live up to their potential despite sending six players to the Pro Bowl last season. In the offseason the Chiefs decided quarterback Matt Cassel was not the answer and signed free agent QB Alex Smith of the 49ers, expendable after the meteoric rise of Colin Kaepernick. The Chiefs have also added CB Sean Smith, TE Anthony Fasano, DB Dunta Robinson, WR Donnie Avery and QB Chase Daniel.
The Oakland Raiders…remain the Oakland Raiders. Their biggest free agent signing has been OLB Kevin Burnett. They have been busy letting their few good players go. CB Michael Huff, WR Darius Heyward-Bey, P Shane Lechler have all been shown the door and quarterback Carson Palmer is on his way out as well. The punchline is the Raiders are kicking the tires on the return of…Vince Young?
So, for at least two of the other three teams in the division, lots of heavy hitters and impact players are signing up while the Chargers are content with CB Derek Cox as the only sure fire starter signing. Are the Chargers right to follow this path? Consider these observations.
The Raiders deserve no consideration. The Chargers have beaten the Raiders 15 out of their last 17 games with the only aberration being a Raiders sweep in 2011. The beatings will continue. Vince Young. Nuff said.
Even with the return of their injured Pro Bowlers, Kansas City was an abject failure, unable to execute in any facet of the game. Cassel was terrible, eventually losing his job to Brady Quinn. Charles has a nice comeback season but was missing in the box score some games. The Chiefs were swept by the Chargers by a total combined score of 68-33. The Chiefs have to overhaul their team and they’re starting by signing every free agent who will get on a plane. To Kansas City, San Diego is the Joneses. Forget Denver, KC must revamp the lineup just to keep up with the Chargers!
In Denver, the rich get richer. Peyton Manning is gifted the most dangerous slot receiver in Welker. Manning had the most completions to the slot receiver of any quarterback in the league which could make Welker even more lethal than he was in New England. Cromartie and Knighton were once bigger names than they are now but they are names fans know. Freeney’s best days are behind him but Manning wants him in Denver and usually what Peyton wants, Peyton gets. Signing Vasquez had the dual purpose of adding even more protection to an already sturdy Broncos offensive line while weakening the Chargers even more at their most vulnerable position.
Denver has ascended to the top of the division and are the team to beat. Lots of flashy names are rolling by but the Chargers are still the team to challenge them for the division. Even with their many shortcomings, the Chargers were one dropped pass, one failed 4th and 29 stop and one helmet to helmet hit from being a ten win team last season. That’s not considering the Monday Night meltdown in San Diego against the Broncos. The Chargers dominated the Broncos to the tune of 24-0 at halftime before the wheels fell off and Denver ran off five unanswered touchdowns in the second half. The Broncos only won the second game by a touchdown. More importantly, losing DE Elvis Dumervil and OLB DJ Williams can have an adverse effect on the defense that allowed the Chargers 23.5 points against them last season.
The point in this diatribe is do not be distracted by all the flashy cars passing us on the highway headed to Denver and Kansas City. The Chargers are taking the right approach. The Chargers are still the second best team in the AFC West. General Manager Tom Telesco is plodding along and adding solid, versatile players undaunted by the high volume of signings in the division. Beware the “Dream Team” style rash of big name signings going to one team ala the 2011 Eagles. This could be one more example of the tortoise (Telesco) catching the hare (Elway).