Monthly Archives: July 2016
The San Diego Chargers have begun making roster moves and training camp isn’t set to begin until Saturday. On Friday, the Chargers waived center Trevor Robinson. Part of the carousel at the center position, Robinson had 14 starts at center over the last two seasons.
Also included in the recent mix of Chargers centers since 2013 are Chris Watt, Nick Hardwick, Doug Legursky and Rich Ohrnberger.
The free agent signing of former-Chicago Bears offensive lineman Matt Slauson is expected to stop the revolving door at center while 2016 NFL Draft third-round pick Max Tuerk is groomed to be the center of the future. Slauson is an eight-year veteran who will be looked to provide leadership and serve as a mentor to Tuerk and the young offensive linemen.
The release of Robinson frees $2.3-million in cap space.
The free roster spot was filled with the signing of offensive lineman Marcel Jones. Listed at 6’7″-inches tall and 320 pounds, Jones was a seventh-round pick of the New Orleans Saints in the 2012 NFL Draft. He is listed as a guard/tackle. Now entering his fourth season as a pro, Jones has been limited to playing on the practice squad for the Saints and Baltimore Ravens.
Training camp is heating up and the first pass hasn’t been thrown yet. What will the Chargers do next? Are you excited for the 2016 edition of the San Diego Chargers so far? Post your thoughts in the comments below.
The Greg One
Football is finally in the air again as the San Diego Chargers take the field for their first training camp of 2016 in less than 24 hours. The camp will be free and open to the public. Rookies and veterans report Friday for physicals. On Saturday, ninety men will take the field at Chargers Park ready to make a name for themselves.
That is, all but one.
The saga surrounding the Chargers’ first round draft pick, defensive end Joey Bosa, continues. Bosa will continue his holdout and will be a no-show at training camp opening day. ESPN Chargers reporter Eric Williams posted the story below less than an hour ago detailing the particulars of the holdout. The story also includes an ESPN Cover 2 segment moderated by Trey Wingo about the Bosa holdout.
The issue is money. Bosas’ management team, CAA, wants Bosa to have no offset language in his contract. In short, he wants to be paid his full guaranteed monies regardless of whether he is still a member of the Chargers at the end of his rookie deal or not.
If for some reason Bosa is released and signed by another team before the end of his contract, without offset language, the Chargers would still have to pay Bosa the full value of his contract even if he is playing for another team and getting paid by said other team. The Chargers have not allowed this provision to any player on the roster and don’t plan on starting now.
The negotiation continues but by holding his stance and holding out as camp opens, Bosa puts himself behind the eight-ball when it comes to performing on the field when the games count for real. His teammates will forgive him as every player in the locker room understand trying to get as much money as possible while you can.
Where Bosa will sour himself to his teammates and fans is if he shows up and underperforms or is slow adapting to the playbook. If he plays and provides 8-10 sacks and a proficiency for bringing down the ball carrier, al will be forgiven. Time will tell.
Saturday, the clock starts ticking.
The Greg One
In less than 24 hours the 2016 San Diego Chargers will take the field for training camp. Bringing you continual coverage of the names in the program we don’t know, today, I focus my player spotlight on tight end prospect Matt Weiser.
Weiser signed with San Diego as an undrafted free agent the day after the 2016 NFL Draft. He played for the Buffalo Bulls of the Mid-American Conference (MAC). Listed at 6’5″, 241-pounds, Weiser is the ideal size preferred for a San Diego Chargers tight end. He comes in on the heels of a breakout senior year in which he posted a school-record for catches and receiving yards by a tight end. He was also a Coaches’ selection to the All-MAC Conference First Team in 2015.
Weiser lit up the MAC with 63 catches for 625 yards and three touchdowns in 2015. For his career, he logged 92 catches for 1,080 yards and eight touchdowns. Weiser concluded the 2015 NCAA season with the fourth-highest receiving grade among tight ends.
At the Buffalo Pro Day, Weiser ran the 40-yard dash in 4.80-seconds, posted 18 repetitions on the 225-pound bench press, a 30-inch vertical jump and broad jumped nine feet, six inches. Watching the video below, it’s easy to see what the Chargers’ war room saw in the young prospect. He has performed well against big name opponents and was versatile enough to play both sides of the ball.
The competition at tight end will be fierce in training camp. Antonio Gates and Hunter Henry are already slotted in as the top-two tight ends on the depth chart. After that, there is a logjam for the third tight end slot. Also in the mix with Weiser are veterans Asante Cleveland, Jeff Cumberland, Sean McGrath and fellow undrafted free agent rookie Tim Semisch.
Not everyone will make the cut. One more name can be expected to make the 53-man roster and a couple others will be moved to the practice squad. A couple others will play in a different uniform. One thing for certain, the race to be the heir apparent to the Hall-of-Fame bound Gates is on and it will be one of the most intriguing position battles to watch as training camp is set to open Saturday.
Weiser will be catching passes wearing number 46. Follow him on Twitter: @mweiser89.
Good luck, Mr. Weiser.
The Greg One
The countdown to San Diego Chargers training camp 2016 now stands at four days. The eyes will be trained to look for the faces we know. There will be many more faces we don’t know which will require a look into the program to see who’s making head-turning plays on the field. In an effort to provide as many advance primers as possible, today, I turn my player spotlight on Carlos Wray.
Wray signed with San Diego as an undrafted free agent immediately after the 2016 NFL Draft. The 6’1″, 287-pounder was the anchor of the Duke Blue Devils’ defense as their defensive tackle. Versatile, Wray was moved all over the field starting out as a defensive lineman, then to guard in his second year on the team. He had the most success his final two seasons in Blue Devils’ blue when he was moved to defensive tackle. In those two seasons he logged 86 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks and two passes defensed.
At the Duke Pro Day, Wray ran the 40-yard dash in 4.85 seconds; impressive for a man his size. He posted 26 repetitions in the 225-pound bench press, broad jumped nine feet and showed a 28.5-inch vertical leap. NFL scouts love his wide body, high motor and fundamentally sound skill set, even though he’s only been playing defensive tackle for two seasons. After watching the video below, it’s obvious he was born to play defensive tackle.
Wray was the unquestioned leader of the Blue Devils’ locker room and those leadership attributes will translate well in the NFL. The line forms behind Brandon Mebane when it comes to nose tackles for the San Diego Chargers. The mix at DT currently consists of Corey Liuget, Sean Lissemore, Ryan Carrethers, Damion Square, Tenny Palepoi and Wray.
There is opportunity to take a slot on the depth chart for Wray. If he can bring the same intensity and passion he played with at Duke to Chargers Park, he has a great chance of staying on the roster. As a native North Carolinian and ACC homer, I will definitely be pulling for Wray to make the team.
What do you think? Do you like what you see? Post your thoughts in the comments below.
Follow Carlos on Twitter: @The1st_Montana
Good luck, Mr. Wray.
The Greg One
There are countless past (and some present) NFL stars still floating in the abyss known as free agency. Some are available because they have outlived their usefulness. Some make too much money for their team to afford to keep them. Some are the last to know their days are over and they hold press conferences while doing shirtless sit-ups in their driveway.
One recent addition to the free agent whirlpool shouldn’t still be there.
Former Detroit Lions middle linebacker Stephen Tulloch is still in search of a new team. The Lions cut Tulloch on July 5th and almost three weeks later, he hasn’t visited another team. According to the Detroit Free Press, Tulloch had offseason arthroscopic ankle surgery and didn’t pass a physical until the day he was released.
Media reports out of Detroit and different NFL sites speculate the Lions didn’t bring Tulloch back amid concerns of his age, declining lateral quickness and inability to play in coverage.
This is also coming from a team that recently fired most of their front office and has a brand new General Manager calling the shots. One could question the decisions coming out of the front office if they didn’t consider trying to get something for him before the draft if they knew he wasn’t part of the future in Detroit.
There are too many reasons why San Diego should sign this man.
Veteran leadership: Tulloch is 5’11”, 245-pounds and turned 31 on January 1st. A ten-year veteran of the NFL, Tulloch played the first five years of his career in Tennessee before signing on with the Lions. He would be an outstanding mentor to the budding young linebacker corps in San Diego while showing them how it’s done on the field. (i.e. Dwight Freeney).
Durability: The man is beyond durable for his position. Outside of his 2014 season where he suffered a torn ACL in game three, Tulloch has not missed a single NFL game.
Productivity: Tulloch is a tackling machine. Last season, he led Detroit in tackles with 107 combined tackles (74 solo). In six of the last seven seasons, Tulloch has recorded over 100 combined tackles. In his career to date he has 942 tackles, 14.5 sacks, 27 passes defensed and five interceptions.
By comparison, no member of the current Chargers’ roster has had a 100-tackle season. The last ones to do it were Eric Weddle, Takeo Spikes and Stephen Cooper.
Fit: Tulloch would move into a rotation that at the moment lists Manti Te’o, Denzel Perryman, Joshua Perry and Nick Dzubnar as the current middle linebackers. Tulloch would form a great two-down, run-stuffing linebacker. He would form an excellent tandem with the Bolts’ free agent acquisition, defensive tackle Brandon Mebane.
There’s only one logical reason this addition hasn’t happened yet. Money.
Tulloch was in the final year of a five-year, 25.5-million deal he signed in 2012. The base for Tulloch for 2016 was to be 5.5-million. The Lions paid him a 500,000 roster bonus in March. Paying him in the new league year allows them only take a 1.3-million cap hit for releasing him. The Lions free themselves of that contract and Tulloch is officially a free agent.
Any team could sign him for the veterans’ minimum. of course, he’ll want more than that but if they wanted, the Chargers could have him in lightning bolts before training camp begins on the 30th. There’s nothing wrong with competition and bringing in Tulloch would push Te’o and Dzubnar to step up their game or be replaced.
Defense wins championships. This signing would make the defense even more formidable and advance the development of the Chargers’ young nucleus even more. What do you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
The Greg One
The staff of BoltBlitz.com is proud to host a San Diego Chargers fans meet-up on Saturday, August 6th at the Tilted Kilt in Mission Valley. The Tilted Kilt has been an amazing host site and the staff has been very accommodating. We are very proud of you, our loyal readers who turn out en masse and take over and fill the place with lightning bolts!
At our June Tilted Kilt meet-up many members of the Chargers organization came out to take part in the festivities. As you can see in the picture above, sandwiched between myself (far left) and Dave Peters (far right) are (from left to right) Kyle Emanuel, Dontrelle Inman and Sean Lissemore. These Chargers took the time out of their busy schedules to attend in person and graciously signed autographs and took pictures with everyone who asked.
Many, many thanks to Kyle, Dontrelle and Sean for making our event such a huge success!
If the Aug. 6th date looks familiar, yes, it is the same day as the Chargers’ annual FanFest. FanFest will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and the meet-up will be from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. so there will be plenty of time to make it from the stadium to the Tilted Kilt for a raging after party! There will be raffles for Chargers memorabilia, autographed collectibles and other prizes.
Paddy Pickford, owner of Evolution Lighthouse will be there with his signature line of custom Chargers jewelry as well as new and unique lines of custom jewelry. A portion of every Chargers-related item sold goes to victims of domestic violence in San Diego.
Special surprise guests are scheduled to update us on all things stadium and Chargers related. Stay tuned!
Join us on Saturday, August 6th as we ring in the new San Diego Chargers season BoltBlitz style!
The Greg One
To begin, I will start with a lyric from Metallica, this comes from their song, Wherever I May Roam, “I adapt to the unknown/Under wandering stars I’ve grown/By myself but not alone/I ask no one/ And my ties are severed clean/The less I have the more I gain/Off the beaten path I reign.” The reason I use this particular lyric is not only because it is a great song, but also because it perfectly encompasses the feeling of being a San Diego Chargers fan in enemy territory, Arizona.
Although the Cardinals and Chargers are not division rivals, there is still the unspoken Arizona versus California rivalry that gets created because of all of the people who have moved between the two states.
The unknown, refers to the feeling of whenever I wear my Chargers jersey to the University of Phoenix Stadium. I am highly uncertain of the reactions that will be thrown my way. Some may approach and try to have a healthy conversation where we discuss sports and whatever is going on with each others teams, such as, Philip Rivers or Larry Fitzgerald.
Others do the uneducated and frankly stupid thing many sports fans on social media are guilty. They utter the short, dastardly and annoying phrase, “Your team sucks!” Now that is all well and good…… If they can back it up. Most times, they are too drunk to remember why they stated that in the first place so it is kinda funny to ask why and watch them stumble on their words.
The wandering stars refers to the fact that I have lived in Arizona my entire life. So how did I become a Chargers fan you ask? It’s kind of a dumb story but I have never looked back since. When I was younger, my family would often vacation to the San Diego area and there was one time I can remember, we were at the convenience store on the southwest corner of Shelter Island Drive and Scott street. Me being my curious young self I picked up a koozie with a Chargers lightning bolt on it. When I got back I turned on the Madden game I had at the time, and I have grown more and more in my fanhood each year since. That was around…… 14-15 years ago.
By myself but not alone, refers to the surprisingly large presence of Chargers fans that inhabit the metro-Phoenix area that I call home.
The less I have the more I gain, off the beaten path I reign, refers to the ability that I was able to find within myself being the only Chargers fan at my school. When I realized it was actually a huge advantage to have a team not in the state of Arizona. Also, to me any team that does not have a Super Bowl ring from after the AFL-NFL merger is off the beaten path.
A lot of sports fans will gravitate to teams like the Dallas Cowboys, the San Francisco 49ers and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Their loyalty is purely based upon the fact that they have a pull safe that they can use if they are ever in a sports argument. That pull safe is “Well, we have rings.” It is a luxury a fan of those teams can use without ever watching a football game.
This is what makes the San Diego Chargers fan base so strong. It’s called faith. Similar to the Chicago Cubs, all we are able to do is look forward to the future rather than living our lives in the past. That is what we will do this season. We will charge forward, not just on the field, but off the field. In the stands we will charge forward. Why? It is because that is what our team needs, and also because of the community it builds.
Bolt Up Charger Brigade.
In my ongoing attempt to bring you expanded coverage of the San Diego Chargers 2016 training camp roster, I cherry-pick another candidate vying for a spot on the 53-man roster. Today, we’ll take a look at a position that has been long on talent and short on stability.
Cornerback Trevor Williams signed with the Chargers as an undrafted free agent immediately after the draft. He is a four-year product out of Penn State. Standing 5-foot-11, 191-pounds, Williams looks to crack a crowded field of contenders. To his advantage, cornerback is a position in need of quality depth as injuries have wreaked havoc on the starters in recent seasons.
Interestingly, Williams came to Penn State as a wide receiver. In his sophomore year, Williams switched to cornerback, where he would play the final three seasons of his collegiate career. In two of those three seasons at corner, he was an honorable mention All-Big Ten selection. Last season he posted 33 tackles, four passes defensed, three tackles for loss and one interception.
At the Penn State Pro Day, Williams ran the 40-yard dash in an impressive 4.44 seconds and had a 35.5-inch vertical jump. Considered a quiet leader by his teammates and coaches, he has the size, speed and intangibles needed to make it at the pro level. His coach spoke glowingly of him after hearing of his signing with San Diego.
“This is an outstanding opportunity for Trevor,” Penn State coach James Franklin said in a release to the media. “Trevor was a mainstay on our defense for three seasons. His speed, length and intelligence will give him a chance to continue his career. He earned his degree in just three and a half years while leading our defense with a quiet confidence.”
Like many of the other undrafted free agents, Williams is high on potential, playing to live out his dream of making an NFL roster. He has impressive size, the speed you look for in a cornerback, wide receiver-skilled hands and as you can see in the video above, he seeks contact and plays well against the run. Call it surname bias if you like, but I like his chances of making the team as a backup cornerback and special teams ace.
Good luck, Mr. Williams.
The Greg One
Former Minnesota Vikings and Arizona Cardinals head coach Dennis Green passed away on Thursday night at the age of 67.
“Dennis passed away last night from complications of cardiac arrest,” Green’s family said in a statement per ESPN.com, among other reports. “His family was by his side and he fought hard.”
Dean Spanos released a statement regarding the passing of Green via the team’s Twitter account.
Green left an indelible mark on the NFL, not only for the rant in the video below, but because he was the second black head coach in the NFL — Art Shell of the Raiders was the first.
Personally, I’ll remember Green as much for the 1998 season — where the Vikings went 15-1 while sporting an incredibly dangerous offense, featuring Daunte Culpepper and Randy Moss — as I will for his famous rant.
Prayers and condolences go out to Green’s family and friends.
With the third pick of the 2016 NFL draft, the San Diego Chargers select defensive end Joey Bosa of Ohio State.
When the Chargers selected Bosa with the third overall pick in this year’s draft, I was a little disappointed; not because I don’t think he will be a good player, I just had my sights set on either Jalen Ramsey or DeForest Buckner.
Alas, the Chargers drafted the player who had been No. 1 on their draft board for the last two years.
Bosa had a phenomenal career while at Ohio State, compiling 148 total tackles (51 of which were tackles for loss), 26 sacks, one interception, six passes defensed, two fumbles recovered and five forced fumbles.
|*2013||Ohio State||Big Ten||FR||DL||11||27||15||42||13.5||7.5||0||0||0||1||1||0|
|*2014||Ohio State||Big Ten||SO||DL||15||39||16||55||21.5||13.5||0||0||0||1||1||4|
|2015||Ohio State||Big Ten||JR||DL||12||35||16||51||16.0||5.0||1||28||28.0||0||4||0||1|
(Stat chart credit: www.sports-reference.com)
A consensus All-American in both 2014 and 2015, Bosa was touted by many as the best player in all of college football for the last two seasons — at least until a month or so before the NFL draft.
In what was a bit surprising, as you looked around at all of the “experts'” mock drafts that were out there, Bosa started to fall down draft boards a few picks.
Once the Los Angeles Rams and Philadelphia Eagles moved up to secure the first and second overall picks, respectively, Bosa was no longer in the conversation for the No. 3 pick, as players like defensive back Jalen Ramsey, defensive end DeForest Buckner and offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil were all prognosticated to the Chargers.
When looking back on it and allowing it to sink in, it is actually very impressive that Tom Telesco and company were able to play things so close to the vest, not letting the cat out of the bag that the former Buckeye had been their target all along.
In an effort to come to grips with the selection of the former Buckeye, I decided to find and watch several more of his games at Ohio State. One of the things that jumped out at me immediately was how Bosa was moved around between multiple spots along the defensive line, allowing the opportunity to create mismatches in his favor. From what I saw, Bosa was as impressive on the inside of the defensive line as he was on the outside at defensive end.
In the video below — and I apologize in advance for the language — you immediately see Bosa blow up a fourth-down play by hitting the open gap and bullrushing the running back into the quarterback, ending the game and winning the contest. On said play, Bosa was lined up inside. Throughout the video, you’ll notice that Ohio State moved Bosa all along the defensive line.
In addition to selecting Bosa in the draft and already having Corey Liuget signed for the foreseeable future, the Chargers signed nose tackle Brandon Mebane during free agency, giving the Bolts what could be one of the best d-lines in football.
Though the Bolts have already stated that their first-round pick will play defensive end in the team’s 3-4 defense, they will also utilize him on the inside in passing situations. I am looking forward to them doing just that.
Moving Bosa around forces the opposing offense to attempt to game plan for each individual situation differently.
When in a third-and-long situation, you could see him line up anywhere along the defensive line. It wouldn’t surprise me if he was asked to stand up, occasionally, as an outside linebacker.
Obviously, the Chargers have plenty of plans for Bosa, seeing as Tom Telesco and members of the coaching staff have spoken glowingly about the youngster’s playing ability. The kid is only 20 years old, too. He figures to be a fixture on the defense for many years to come. In order to maximize his potential, John Pagano must make sure to be creative when unleashing the rookie, forcing teams to pick their poison on a defensive unit that sorely needed an addition like Bosa.
Now, if only the Chargers and Bosa could get things figured out on a mutually beneficial contract prior to the beginning of training camp on July 29. All Chargers fans are waiting with bated breath for that very moment.
Thanks a lot for reading.
Dave Booga Peters