Monthly Archives: January 2016
If you haven’t heard the news, on Friday Chargers owner Dean Spanos announced that the San Diego Chargers will be staying in San Diego for the 2016 season. Some players were ecstatic, including a fired up Philip Rivers and a very encouraging tweet from Charger Running Back, Danny Woodhead.
Can’t wait for this season and knowing we will be playing at HOME! Let’s go San Diego!
— danny woodhead (@danny__woodhead) January 29, 2016
But, in perfect Charger fashion, there seemed to be two players who weren’t that excited about the decision made Friday:
So it’s looks like we are going to be in San Diego for another season. The stadium better be packed. The fans got what they wanted.
— Keenan Allen (@Keenan13Allen) January 30, 2016
Staying in San Diego 4 another year..Every home game better be sold out..Charger blue everywhere Fans got what they wanted Now come support
— Melvin Ingram (@MelvinIngram) January 30, 2016
Keenan “Corner Back slayer” Allen and Melvin “Supa-Melv” Ingram. Yes, they threw gas on a very well lit fire and proves even more that they still don’t get it.
Melvin Ingram, the number 18 pick in the 2012 NFL draft hasn’t been the playmaker the Chargers expected him to be. He has missed a total of 19 games in his career and has only started in 28 of 64 total games. He has a total of 16.5 sacks, with 10.5 of those coming this season (a career high, previous high was 4). That averages out to 4.1, so roughly 4 sacks a season.
Keenan Allen, a 3rd round pick in 2013, has been a lone bright spot for the Chargers. He had a heck of a season, before lacerating his kidney in a week 8 match-up versus the Ravens. He ended his year with 67 receptions for 725 yards and 4 touchdowns.
Why do I bring up their stats? Well, for one, Ingram has been rotational at best. He has had one solid year under his resume. ONE. Keenan was a true #1 receiver last season, that is undeniable. Isn’t he supposed to be a leader? Aren’t they both supposed to be leaders? Calling out fans for lack of support on social media while your team went 4-12 is ridiculous. How about you guys win some games? You’ve made the playoffs one time since 2010, and it doesn’t seem like that will change for awhile.
Oh, and this isn’t the first time Keenan has made a bone-headed post on social media. Here’s this, from his Instagram, right after being blown out in Minnesota:
Maybe the lack of leadership comes from their head coach:
— Artie Ojeda (@ArtieNBCSD) January 30, 2016
Whatever it is, it needs to change because 2016 will come and go. This is a very important year for not only Keenan Allen and Melvin Ingram, but for the city of San Diego.
Maybe I’m crazy, but it seems like there is a path between Chicago and San Diego when it comes to football and I don’t just mean head-to-head match-ups.
Consider this: Since 2000, there have been three quarterbacks who played for the Bears before coming to the Chargers (Jim Harbaugh and Moses Moreno (1999-2000) followed by Doug Flutie (2001-2004). There was also a defensive tackle in 2011 named Tommie Harris. The year 2000 brought a wide receiver named Curtis Conway, now a studio analyst for the Bolts, who was catching what they threw at him until his 2002 release. Don’t forget that the Chargers had Ron Rivera as their linebackers coach/defensive coordinator during the 2007-2010 seasons. (Yes, that would be the same Rivera who is going to the Super Bowl as head coach of the Carolina Panthers). Ah, what could have been!
The Bears and Chargers have met five times since 1999, with the Monsters of the Midway leading the match-ups 4-1. That sole win, a 14-7 final score, was played in September 2007 at Qualcomm Stadium.
Chicago’s defense sacked Philip Rivers three times and racked up 70 tackles in that game. Do you remember who was the defensive coordinator for Da Bears that day? None other than the Bolts’ new linebackers coach, Bob Babich.
Babich has 33 years of coaching experience, with his first eight having been at the college level. He entered the professional ranks in 2003 as linebackers coach for the St. Louis Rams. The next year, Rams defensive coordinator Lovie Smith was named head coach of the Chicago Bears and took Babich with him. After coaching linebackers during his first three years, he took over the role of defensive coordinator in February 2007, when the Bears decided not to renew the contract of Ron Rivera. Babich spent three seasons in that capacity, until he was returned to his prior position of linebackers coach from 2010-2012. He then moved on to serve as the Jacksonville Jaguars defensive coordinator from 2013 until earlier this month.
Chris Harris recently joined the Bolts defensive staff as an assistant defensive backs coach. Harris is a former safety who played most notably for the Chicago Bears and Carolina Panthers. In Chicago, Harris was coached by Babich for three seasons (’05-06 and 2010). Chargers coach Mike McCoy was on the offensive side of the ball while Harris was in Carolina.
Harris played for eight years as a safety in the NFL after being selected in the second round (#181) of the 2005 draft by the Bears. His career statistics: 439 tackles (352 solo), 13 forced fumbles, 16 interceptions and one sack. Also known as “Hitman” during his playing days, Harris will most likely be coaching the Bolts’ own “hitman”, Jahleel Adddae.
Harris was an integral part of the Chicago Bears defense which participated in the 2007 Super Bowl against Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts. He intercepted a deep, third-down pass from Manning, and returned it 6 yards to the Bears’ 35-yard line. Unfortunately Chicago could not convert the pick into points. The campaign saw the Bears defense collect 87 tackles, a sack, defended 14 passes, two fumble recoveries and forcing one. That defense was pretty stout that year with guys like Harris, Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs, Mike Brown, Jerry Azumah and Nathan Vasher implementing Babich’s playbook.
I like these two hires on the defensive side of the ball. I like the experience Babich and Harris both bring. With the teaching that will take place when OTA’s and mini-camp arrive, the Chargers 2016 defense can be what we would all like to see: getting after the passer, stuffing the run, making picks, forcing fumbles – you know, stuff we have seen them do in the past.
I can’t wait to see how the DB’s progress! Bring it on!
Thank you for reading!
In last week’s Los Angeles relocation conference in Houston the NFL owners awarded the right to move to California to the St. Louis Rams. The San Diego Chargers have first opportunity to flesh out an agreement to share the venue with the Rams if a deal can be worked out between Rams owner Stan Kroenke and Chargers owner Dean Spanos.
Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis was left in the cold with his hand out. Davis is the next in line to negotiate with Kroenke if Spanos doesn’t work out a deal by this time next year. Davis gets $100 million to build a stadium in Oakland if he can come to an agreement to do so with the city. Only one problem…
Davis has no right to Oakland now that his lease on O.Co stadium has ended. If the season started today, the Raiders would have no place to play. The sins of the father have truly come full circle and landed solely on his son and his organization.
Davis is keeping a close eye on what happens with Spanos and Kroenke because now his first priority is securing a place to play for his team. Davis has acquired land in San Antonio and he is open to the idea of playing there if San Antonio will have him and the owners approve his moving there.
These are the very same owners that voted 30-2 against him getting to move to Los Angeles.
Davis is also willing to stay in California and move to San Diego if Spanos and Kroenke come to an agreement to share the L.A. venue. Allegedly, the league wants to keep San Diego as a location because it is the best destination location in the NFL.
So that begs the question…Would you root for the San Diego RAIDERS?
Chargers fans are practically born with a hate for the Raiders in their blood. The blood feud between the Chargers and Raiders extends beyond the field and into the fan bases with a Hatfields versus McCoys type of intensity. However, this is a different day and age.
If the Bolts bolt to Los Angeles, many spurned fans are not willing to leave San Diego County to support them. Losing the NFL will be a major blow to the city economically. Money has no loyalty. The city will welcome Mark Davis with open arms if he wants to bring his team there but will the fans?
After 55 years of rooting the loudest against the Raiders, can the switch be so easily flipped if the Raiders become the home team? Many will defect and cheer for football in San Diego no matter what colors the home team wears. Others will toss their allegiance to a different team and the loyalists will cheer on the L.A. Chargers.
What side do you come out on?
I was born and raised a San Diego Chargers fan. They were my first favorite team regardless of sport and it has stayed that way. If the Chargers were to move to Los Angeles I will follow them there. The players have nothing to do with this. We’re mad at the city and the team officials for not getting this obstacle out of the way long ago. We’re mad at the laziness of all involved in waiting until the last second to entertain a vote to build a new stadium ensuring the team stays.
The players are not boycotting playing in San Diego. The players are as in the dark on this matter as we are. I enjoyed the Air Coryell years immensely. The 1994 championship run and the subsequent Ladainian Tomlinson era provided the greatest joys of my life as a sports fan. I’ve endured more losing seasons than I care to but every year I come back for more. Now is no different.
Philip Rivers is my favorite athlete. Just two years ago I stood at the bottom of the stage at the NFL Draft in New York City as Jason Verrett came down the stairs. Amidst his euphoria of just getting drafted, Verrett saw me cheering him in my powder blue Rivers jersey and he came forward and hugged me. Just last summer I met Melvin Gordon at the draft on three different occasions and he always had time to stop and talk for a few minutes. Gordons’ thousand watt smile never left his face and his Chargers lid didn’t leave his head the whole time.
I’ve had the privilege of getting invited to cover charity events of the Chargers players as you’ve seen on this site in the past. The players are always extremely kind, willing to be a part of your life even if for a few minutes. My loyalty is with the players. That’s my team. Those are my guys. Wherever they play is where i’ll be. San Diego. Los Angeles. Mars.
I’ll be there.
For the record, I say if you’re ready to forsake the Chargers at their lowest moment you were never a true fan. The same way we don’t choose our parents, the team didn’t choose their owners. We wear the players names on our backs, not the names of the owners. Separate the team you live and die for (if that’s the case) from the ownership. Your beef is with those in the ivory tower who are facilitating this hot mess. The players are collateral damage. If you’re ready to abandon ship on the Chargers and root for the Raiders if they relocate to San Diego all I have to say to you is this:
Bolt Nation doesn’t need you. I’d rather be stuck in Disneyland on the It’s A Small World Ride with a Justin Beiber concert droning on in front of me until the end of time than watch the Silver and Whack colors representing San Diego one time. You 619-for-lifers out there…represent your city. Have pride in your city, absolutely. Don’t declare your devotion for the Chargers then bolt to the Vader-mask wearing dark side if the Raiders set up shop in America’s Finest City.
If it happens, enjoy the black hole. I hope it swallows all of you whole so we never have to see Raiders players representing San Diego ever again. The very thought of it makes me want to projectile vomit all over my computer screen. True Chargers fans feel the same way I do.
Everything will be all right Bolt Nation. To paraphrase Terrell Owens:
That’s our team
That’s our quarterback
The rest of you can kick rocks. Are you staying Bolt proud or will you welcome the Raiders if they move in? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. Let’s GOOOOOOOOO
The Greg One
It’s been a week since the fateful decision that wasn’t for the team and the fans of the San Diego Chargers. A week later we have as many answers as we did when every owner of every team went behind closed doors to discuss the fate of our favorite team in Houston.
The 33 most powerful men in football went into a room. By the time they came out, much like the Chargers own front office, even they could not figure out what to do with the Bolts. The Los Angeles Three-for-all ended with the St. Louis Rams getting the green light to go to the City of Angels by a whopping 30-2 vote.
San Diego gets approval to move to Los Angeles and share the new stadium Rams owner Stan Kroenke will build in Inglewood. That is, IF he and Chargers owner Dean Spanos can come to an agreement on co-habitating the facility in one year. The Raiders get left with nothing but the right to be next in line to barter for co-habitation with Kroenke if the Chargers fail to do so.
The NFL offered a parting gift to the Chargers and Raiders in the form of $100 million towards building a new stadium in their home cities IF they can come to an agreement to build there. We all know how well that has gone so far.
Still, this is a victory for fans of the San Diego Chargers. The team is not moving. Yet.
Dean Spanos is part of the old school of NFL owners. Stan Kroenke is part of the boisterous, defiant, rebellious new school of NFL owners. Spanos is tight with his money as all Chargers fans know. Kroenke throws around money like there’s no tomorrow. The two don’t get along to say the least, which bodes well for Bolts fans.
Imagine you just built your dream home. You’ve moved in, decorated and it is finally perfect. That night the doorbell rings and it’s the person you can’t stand but tolerated because you know punching this person could equal time in jail. This person says, “You have a great new house, we should BOTH live here for the next fifty years!”
A little over-the-top, sure, but not far from the truth.
Chargers fans couldn’t have hand-picked a better foil for the Los Angeles plan than Stan Kroenke. Kroenke is set to build his dream stadium. If the renderings are to be believed, this stadium will be nothing short of futuristic. Into his office walks frumpy Dean Spanos.
We should both live here…..
The NFL owners are not a mutual admiration society. There are distinct factions behind the scenes. While Kroenke made his victory speech last Tuesday night Spanos and Raiders owner Mark Davis left the room and did not return. When reporters asked Spanos when he was going to begin discussions with Kroenke his Chargers owner first comment was “I’m going to take a day off.” Doesn’t sound like a man looking forward to moving onto another man’s property, especially that man.
The fate of the Chargers remains in limbo. Spanos has reportedly applied for the trademark rights to the names Los Angeles Chargers and L.A. Chargers but that’s about all he’s been able to accomplish. The rights haven’t been granted to him yet.
When Spanos and Kroenke finally met in person on Monday to discuss sharing the new venue the only thing they decided was to keep everything private until there’s something to report. Thanks for nothing, guys. It’s not like there are players lives and families and fan allegiance riding on these ‘discussions’.
Oh wait, there are…
Again, this pairing could be the best thing to happen to San Diego when it comes to keeping the Chargers in town. If both owners were gung-ho on getting these teams in place as soon as possible a deal would be done by now. In my humble opinion Spanos would rather stay, use his $100 million consolation prize toward building his own stadium than be Kroenkes’ tenant. I’ve never believed the Chargers would leave and still don’t. Looking at the way the situation is unfolding, now I have a basis to go from and not just hope. As do we all.
Sit back and enjoy the first world billionaire problems.
The struggle is real.
The Greg One
The Chargers announced Thursday that Jeff Davidson has been named the team’s offensive line coach.
The coaching position has been vacant since the club relieved former offensive line coach Joe D’Alessandris from his duties.
Davidson has spent the last five seasons in the same position with the Minnesota Vikings. He also spent time with head coach Mike McCoy when they were both with the Carolina Panthers.
The Chargers’ offensive line struggled mightily at providing holes in the running game in 2015, and hopefully, coming from the Vikings who feature league-rushing champion Adrian Peterson, Davidson can help get the ground game back on track.
Helping running back Melvin Gordon gain confidence — and yards on the ground — should be one of the top focuses of the upcoming offseason for the Bolts. After naming Ken Whisenhunt as the team’s offensive coordinator, the addition of Davidson seems to show that they are taking steps in that direction.
Although the fans of the San Diego Chargers may have felt as though they were a part of a victorious battle on Tuesday in what has been a dramatic and exhausting war to keep the team in America’s finest city, it appears that the team may indeed move to Los Angeles.
Despite owner Dean Spanos stating that he would be taking the day off, it is being reported Wednesday that the framework of a stadium deal that would relocate the Chargers to L.A. with the Rams is in place, according to Alex Flanagan of NFL Network.
Clearly, by saying he would be taking the day off, it actually meant that he would be going above and beyond to continue to ensure that the team would relocate.
NFL has framework of a stadium deal between the rams/chargers. Chargers vetting it now and barring anything unforeseen, plan on going to LA
— Alex Flanagan (@Alex_Flanagan) January 13, 2016
The writing has been on the wall — quite to the contrary of what many perceived as positive news on Tuesday at the Owners meetings in Houston — that the Spanos’ family had given up on working with the city of San Diego.
Though it may have been viewed that the organization was filing for relocation as a means to gain leverage over San Diego should the team have decided to return to the negotiating table with the city, it would seem they had no other reason in doing so other than to relocate the franchise.
Of course not.
Does it hurt?
It is incredibly painful that the reality of this situation is that the Chargers will no longer call San Diego home.
But, perhaps, this report is bullshit like so many other reports out there.
If true, the only thing football-wise that could make this worse would be if Dean moves the team and then turns around and sells it in the near future.
Nothing would surprise me at this point.
The Chargers and Ken Whisenhunt have come to an agreement today to come back as the team’s playcaller. Ken, who was the head coach in Tennessee before being fired halfway through the 2015 season, was with the Chargers as their offensive coordinator in 2013.
Without Whiz, the bolts offense was plain and very predictable.
What he brings: a very smart offensive mind and one who will hopefully bring the fire power back to the Chargers.
What this means: It could mean Whiz is first in line to be the head coach, if the bolts decide to part ways with McCoy during or after the 2016 season.
This is a good move by the Chargers and one that will see a significant difference in the way the offense moves.
As you all may now know, Chargers General Manager Tom Telesco got a three-year extension right before the start of the 2015 season. But did he deserve it? Here I breakdown his three draft classes, free agent classes and contract extensions. I will be grading by a very easy criteria: Performance (worth the draft pick, money, etc), Value (starter or depth) and if they’re still on the team. It will be broke down by a number scale of 0-10, 0 being very bad and 10 being very good. At the end of each section I will give a percentage and a letter grade to that category by adding up the number I give to the player and divide it by 10 (max number a player/move can get). 90-100% = A, 89-80% = B 79-70% = C, and anything below that is an F. Lets get to it:
His Draft Classes
***Note: these rankings are how they have played since joining the Chargers. 2015 draft class is too early to judge, I get that, but it’s on how they have played as a Charger.
2013: #11 OL DJ Fluker, #38 MLB Manti Te’o (traded up), #76 WR Keenan Allen, #145 CB Steve Williams, #179 OLB Tourek Williams, #221 QB Brad Sorenson
DJ Fluker: Started off as a Right Tackle and played fairly well in 2013 before injuries in 2014 set in and he was recently moved to Right Guard in the offseason. He didn’t play as well as hoped, but it was his first time ever being there so it wasn’t really unexpected. Grade: 6
Manti Te’o: Trading up in the draft for anyone who isn’t a playmaker is a very big loss no matter what you gave up to get said player. Manti has been battling injuries most his career and is still having troubles wrapping up and tackling NFL sized players. He isn’t terrible like Donald Butler and did play better next to Perryman. Grade: 5
Keenan Allen: This was the best draft pick Telesco has had and Keenan is quickly developing into one of the best receivers in the AFC. He was on a torrid pace this season leading the league in catches and yards and was well on his way to breaking records until he got hurt. Again. Ended the season on IR with a lacerated Kidney. Grade: 9
Steve Williams: Keenan’s roommate at Cal, he hasn’t really done much before this season and even ended his rookie year before it started. He’s looking more and more like depth than he is a solid part of the team and wouldn’t be missed in terms of production if cut. Grade: 3
Tourek Williams: Tourek hasn’t done anything either since his rookie season. He was injured the entire year this season and even ended up finishing the year on IR. Grade: 1
Brad Sorenson: Has never been listed as more than the third-string quarterback, he spent 2014 on another team and 2015 between free agency and practice squad. Grade: 0
2014: #25 CB Jason Verrett, #50 Jerry Attaochu (traded up), #89 OL Chris Watt, #165 DT Ryan Carrethers, #201 RB Marion Grice, #240 WR Tevin Reese
Jason Verrett: Verrett is quickly becoming a lockdown cornerback, if only he can stay healthy. He had 3 picks this season, one for 6, and was ranked the fifth best CB this season according to pro football focus. Grade: 8
Jerry Attaochu: Again, trading up in the draft for players who aren’t playmakers hurt your team no matter what you gave up. Attaochu is one of those guys. Chargers moved up to get him and he has been getting better, but isn’t a playmaker who can bring it from week to week yet. Grade: 5
Chris Watt: Watt was a reach when drafted and a guy the coaches are hoping to be the heir to Hardwick at the center position. It hasn’t worked and he hasn’t stayed healthy. In fact, he has been graded as one of the worst offensive linemen in football. Grade: 3
Ryan Carrethers: Carrethers shows promise but for some reason, the coaches don’t play him. Whether it’s work ethic or attitude, we don’t know. But for him being a second year, 5th round pick, it’s not really uncommon. Grade: 5
Marion Grice: Got beat out by undrafted free agent Brandon Oliver and then swooped up by Arizona. Grade: 0
Tevin Reese: Never had a chance at the NFL level because he was way too small. His speed was for real but his size and catching were not. Never made the roster. Grade: 0
2015: #15 RB Melvin Gordon (Traded up), #48 MLB Denzel Perryman, #83 CB Craig Mager, #153 OLB Kyle Emanuel, #192 DE Darius Philon
Melvin Gordon: For trading up in the draft, see Manti Te’o and Jerry Attaochu. Yes, ANOTHER trade up and this time for a running back. Melvin Gordon from Wisconsin was most everyone’s pick that were Charger fans. But he has shown tremendous flaws in his game and hasn’t been anywhere close to the guy the Chargers had hoped for. The line was a problem as well, no doubt about it. Grade: 2
Denzel Perryman: Perryman looks promising and has quickly become a fan favorite. By the end of the year, he took the starting job from Butler (and deservedly so) and shined. He is by far the best linebacker we have on this team and he only started in about 5 games. Grade: 7
Craig Mager: Mager couldn’t find the field in 2015. He was a very big reach in the third round to begin with, but I understand why he did it. He has a lot to work on to become valuable and it’s going to take a few years to see that most likely. Grade: 3
Kyle Emanuel: Emanuel started strong. First game of the year vs the Lions he had a sack and an interception and then eventually was nowhere to be seen. He has tackling issues and doesn’t seem to set the edge like an OLB needs to do. He does come from a small school and was a 5th round pick so it is warranted and excusable. Grade: 4
Darius Philon: A guy I really liked coming out of Arkansas, Philon has shown some promise but overall looks to be a very good rotational player. He was put on the IR-designated to return list during the season but was playing well before that. Grade: 3
Final result: 64/170 = 37%, F
His free agent signings (major ones only)
***Note: these are how the players have played since joining the Chargers
2013: RB Danny Woodhead, OT King Dunlap, CB Derek Cox, OG Chad Rinehart, TE John Phillips
Danny Woodhead: Probably Telesco’s best signing and a big reason why we made the playoffs in 2013. Woodhead brings that “security blanket” the team had been missing since Sproles signed with New Orleans. He was versatile up until the Bills game last season where he ended it with a broken fibula. Other than that, he’s been a rock. Grade: 9
King Dunlap: Another strong signing by Telesco. Dunlap wasn’t much in Philly but Chargers brought him in on a very team friendly deal and he excelled and actually earned a pay raise this last offseason. Another solid signing by Telesco that year. Grade: 8
Derek Cox: The biggest miss by Telesco in 2013. He was toast everytime he touched the field and eventually was benched and ended his time with the Chargers. Cut after his first season. Grade: 2
Chad Rinehart: He was average at the guard position in 2013 and awful there in 2014. He was a fill in for the future and expecting anything other than below average was a pipe dream. Grade: 4
John Phillips: Nothing flashy but he was the blocking Tight End that the team needed. Being mostly used as that, he has caught a few passes and even a touchdown. He was eventually cut by the team this season and brought back as well. Grade: 4
2014: RB Donald Brown, CB Brandon Flowers, MLB Kavell Connor, TE David Johnson. Quick note: Kellen Clemens was also signed, but as a backup QB it is unfair to grade so I left him off for those purposes
Donald Brown: Terrible signing by Telesco as he was brought in for RB depth and got $5 million a year. He went inactive for most of this season as well. Grade: 3
Brandon Flowers: As bad as the Brown signing was, is how good of a signing the Flowers one was. He really boosted this secondary and his lockdown play earned him his new contract in this past offseason, something I will get to in a bit. Grade: 8
Kavell Connor: Brought in for LB depth, Kavell had a big workload in 2014 as he filled in for oft injured Manti Te’o and played fairly well when called upon. Grade: 6
David Johnson: Brought in to be the FB, David Johnson is brutal. He constantly looks lost and doesn’t know where he’s going and doesn’t seem to find the field that often now as well. Grade: 3
2015: WR Jacoby Jones, OG Orlando Franklin, WR Stevie Johnson, CB Patrick Robinson, DB Jimmy Wilson
Jacoby Jones: He was brought in to give us a feared return game. He never lived up to that and in fact, wasn’t even half of what we expected. Cut halfway through the season. Grade: 0
Orlando Franklin: Big money linemen signing, Franklin has been a HUGE disappointment as he isn’t even close to the guy who Telesco thought he was signing. System fit, as they ran a zone scheme could be a huge factor of why, but overall he was as bad as Rinehart. Grade: 3
Stevie Johnson: Started out strong, pulling in touchdowns in each of his first two games played for San Diego, but then seemed to check out and then eventually got hurt. Grade: 6
Patrick Robinson: The sneakiest of signings, PRob may have been the best signing of Telesco’s tenure. He graded as a very solid corner this season by Pro Football Focus and was a bright spot in a secondary that had high expectations going into the season. Grade: 7
Jimmy Wilson: Jimmy Wilson was brought in to be a Marcus Gilchrist type safety. One that could play safety and cornerback but actually do it well. Well, he couldn’t and eventually got cut at the end of the season. Grade: 2
Final Result: 65/140 = 46%, F
His contract extensions/re-signings (major one’s only)
2013: K Nick Novak, RB Ronnie Brown
Nick Novak: There wasn’t many re-signings his first year, which wasn’t bad. But Novak was solid here as he was very reliable. Grade: 8
Ronnie Brown: Ronnie Brown was brought in as a veteran backup and one who was very reliable with the rock. He had one big touchdown vs the Benagls that sealed the deal in our first playoff win since 2008. So for that, he gets a little extra love from me in his grade. Grade: 7
2014: MLB Donald Butler, S Darrell Stuckey, OG Chad Rinehart, CB Richard Marshall
Donald Butler: This couldn’t have gone any worse than it has. 2014 he was rated as one of the worst MLB’s in football and in 2015, rookie Denzel Perryman took his starting job and his time as a Charger may be over. Grade: 0
Darrell Stuckey: Solid as a special teamer, Stuckey was another sneaky good extension. He has made the pro bowl a few times as a special teamer but as a safety, he has been very limited in playing time. Grade: 6
Chad Rinehart: From an average 2013, to an awful 2014, Rinehart was below average for us. I understand the signing, but should have had a plan B. Grade: 3
Richard Marshall: Marshall had a knack at getting turnovers at the end of 2013, but most of that was due to him being in the right place at the right time. He was brought in for depth because he knew the system in 2014 but due to injuries, he played more than he should have. Grade: 3
2015: OT King Dunlap, CB Brandon Flowers
King Dunlap: Dunlap was a rock for us since 2013, but after his extension, he was very concussion prone again. Missed a chunk of the season and hasn’t lived up to his extension quite yet. Grade: 4
Brandon Flowers: Another player hit by injuries and possibly even coaching, Flowers under performed big time and was even rated as a bottom third corner this season. He really needs to have a bounceback season for his contract to not look so bad. Grade: 2
Final Result: 33/80 = 41%, F
Final overall result: 162/390 = 41%, F
Using my grading scale, Tom Telesco has gotten an ‘F’ grade as a general manager hitting on only 4 of every 10 personnel decisions. This doesn’t even include an undersized defense he has put together and coaches that are not good at what they do.
We all have differences of opinion on the different players aforementioned, but we can all agree that most his decisions have been sub-par.
Agree or disagree with my assessment? Did Telesco deserve this extension? I don’t think so, as my grading scale has proved. Let me know below!
On Monday the San Diego Chargers announced that six assistant coaches have been released. Heading the list is Offensive Coordinator Frank Reich. Offensive Line coach Joe D’Alessandris, Tight Ends coach Pete Metzelaars, Wide Receivers coach Fred Graves, Defensive Line coach Don Johnson and Assistant Offensive Line coach Andrew Dees complete the list.
Head Coach Mike McCoy survived the coaching staff purge and received a one-year vote-of-confidence contract extension in the process.
Someone has to take the fall for this season and the injury excuse apparently does not extend to everyone on the Bolts coaching chain-of-command. Reich did add a welcome wrinkle with the pistol offense, intended to give QB Philip Rivers more time to scan the field and spare some of the punishing hits. With all the offensive line injuries Rivers took as much of a beating as he did when he played under center in the seasons before Reich’s arrival. The short-passing, ball-control offensive philosophy worked for one season and has died with the absence of an effective running game.
Personally, my biggest indictment of Reich was his steadfast belief in his system, unable or unwilling to make adjustments. Without a true feature back the running game needed to utilize space. Danny Woodhead led the team in receiving and had roughly half as many yards rushing (641 to 336) as feature back Melvin Gordon on half the carries (184 to 98).
Sweeps, bubble screens and misdirection plays would have made Woodhead a larger threat that could’ve actually created more running room for Gordon. Secondly, Gordon ran for 2,500 yards in his last season at Wisconsin out of a traditional I-formation behind a fullback. Why not at least experiment with that formula? If Gordon gets half that amount in yardage he wins the Rookie Of The Year award easily.
Lastly, using the short-range, timing-based, ball control offense is a good idea but also takes away a major weapon from Rivers. It’s known around the league that Rivers is one of if not the best deep ball passers in the league. The deep ball has been absent from the game plan in the last few seasons. It’s not all Reich’s fault. The Chargers do not have a receiver who can take the top off a defense with his speed the way a younger Vincent Jackson and Malcom Floyd did earlier in Rivers’ career.
Of all the names on the list, Reich’s is the most justified. Jackson and Metzelaars look to be collateral damage. When Gates and Green are on the field they were key elements in the offense and produced more often than not. Gates finished third on the team in receiving and Green finished fifth. The receiver corps was decimated with injuries starting with Keenan Allen and continued with Stevie Johnson, Floyd and Dontrelle Inman joining him on the sidelines at various times through the season.
The line coaches have to deal with the players they’re given. Both lines had a shaky year. Both lines underperformed but there was no consistency because of all the injuries. Notable by his absence on this list is Defensive Coordinator John Pagano. According to NFL.com the Chargers finished 27th in rushing defense, 14th in passing defense and Pagano stays on the team while the offense finished 9th in the league and the Offensive Coordinator is fired.
Just or not, there will be a lot of new faces in the Chargers locker room in 2016 on the staff and on the nameplates above those lockers. Let’s hope they’re good ones.
The Greg One