Monthly Archives: August 2016
When Branden Oliver left Sunday’s game with an obvious Achilles injury, Bolts fans, as well as the team, were faced with the question of who would fill in for the third-year back.
Monday, that query was answered when it was announced by chargers.com that the team had claimed running back Gus Johnson off of the waiver wire from the Atlanta Falcons.
Johnson is a 5-foot-10, 215-pound running back (Stephen F. Austin) who went undrafted in 2015. He was initially signed by the Dallas Cowboys and spent time on their practice squad until he was released and subsequently picked up by the Falcons. In two preseason games with Atlanta, Johnson collected 60 yards on 14 rushing attempts (five for first downs) with zero touchdowns.
The Chargers currently have Kenneth Farrow (5-foot-9, 219 lbs) as the only depth behind ball carriers Melvin Gordon and Danny Woodhead as the team just stated via chargers.com that Dreamius Smith was waived on Tuesday.
Farrow’s preseason numbers are 16 rushes for 60 yards with five of his runs ending as first downs. Though the former University of Houston (2016) back did not see any on-field participation against the Vikings on Sunday, it could be that his stature, being so similar to Oliver’s (5-foot-7, 208 lbs), may have swayed the coaches into Farrow still being on the roster.
It looks like Thursday’s preseason game against the 49ers will determine who ends up taking the No. 3 spot in the starting running back rotation.
In the meantime, welcome Gus Johnson to the San Diego Chargers.
Thanks for reading!
Joey Bosa is officially a Charger! Chargers fans everywhere breathed a collective sigh of relief when news broke around noon Monday that Bosa and the Chargers had finally agreed to bury the hatchet. Bosa signing his nearly 26 million dollar contract has been a long time coming for many disgruntled fans. The collective pulse of Charger Nation seems to be coming down to a level that no longer requires hospitalization. Fans seem eager to move on, and so was I, until I thought a little deeper about what I watched unfold over the last 20 or so days.
We all saw what happened, and we all participated in it. We watched a loving mother trying do what she thought was best for her son. We watched her son allow his parents, and the people they hired to look out for his best interests, do what they believed to be right for him, to get him what was normal and fair. These agents got him millions from a man who has billions. So, for the fans who called him a mama’s boy, a moron, a little boy, and a pussy — to name just a few — I have a message to relay to you.
We all know what Cheryl Bosa said that made fans so mad. Her comments about Eli Manning brought up old wounds for many Charger fans. I understand why you got mad, Charger fans, but where is that anger coming from? Is it because of what she said, or was it because she is a strong, protective woman who started to speak in “man’s world.” Cheryl was there with Joey when he was drafted, as many other moms are for their son’s, to hug them before they go off into their “man’s world,” and we never see the moms again. But then Cheryl showed up again at Chargers Park, okay, no big deal. Then she spoke out on Facebook, in a message thread she thought was private. Then she spoke out again on Twitter. She was getting too close, too close to a world few women are allowed to speak in. Fans lashed out. Joey Bosa became the biggest “mama’s boy” in Chargers history, almost overnight.
Cheryl Bosa isn’t the first woman in history who has gotten too close to a realm controlled and dominated by men, and while I doubt she was trying to make a major social statement in defending her son, this “situation” demonstrates a fatal flaw in our society. What gives us the right to call another human being a mama’s boy, or a pussy? You may say freedom of speech, but it really goes deeper than that. What gives men the right to whistle at woman walking by their construction site? Or to grab or grope a drunk girl at a concert or club as she walks by? What gives men leading the world the right to send other men to war to kill other men over land, religion, ethnicity or race? One word, patriarchy. Our patriarchal legacy of living in a society that is male centered and male dominated controls almost everything we do and fear.
Let’s look at calling someone a pussy; let’s look particularly at men calling other men pussies. So, we are likening another man to female genitalia, essentially. Why are lady parts associated with being weak when they are in fact some of the strongest and most resilient examples of human anatomy, not to mention the means by which human life continues on this planet? It’s because our patriarchal society tells us that women are the weaker sex, and anything they do is thus devalued, including the miracle of childbirth. Thus, their female organs that produce the child are also devalued and assigned a weakened, oppressed status, and then used as an everyday insult by men and some women.
So, what does it mean to be a “mama’s boy?” Moms in today’s society carry a small human inside them for nine months, give birth, are primarily responsible for the child’s care for a majority of its life; all while cooking food, cleaning the house and many other tasks many associate as “women’s work.” Many women work a job on top of all that! Moms are some of the most valuable and strongest people on the planet in every way imaginable; so why is it a bad thing to be a mama’s boy? Because, again, our patriarchal society has devalued most of the things women do. In fact, the only way for most women to get respect in this secular world is to enter the workforce full time. Even when they do, they are often overlooked for promotions, paid far less than men who are less qualified than they are, and their every success is measured against how a man would have achieved it.
So, are you mad yet? Well, I want to make something clear: I am not mad at you, it’s not your fault. It’s not my fault; it’s not your dad’s fault; it’s not your grandfather’s fault; it’s not Joey or Cheryl Bosa’s fault. Patriarchy has been going on for thousands of years. It’s a part of our legacy whether we like it or not. It’s going to continue unless we do something about it. As long as it goes on, we will continue to see war, crime, violence, rape, shootings and the continued pollution of our planet. Patriarchy, and the unearned privilege it bestows on every man, comes at a price. Patriarchy drives a destructive cycle of fear and control. Men fear losing control, and the only way to temporarily alleviate the fear is to gain control over something or someone. Of course, the more a man controls, the more fear he has of losing it, the only way to fix it is to control something else, a vicious cycle. For some desperate men who have lost much, the final act of control is taking a gun and killing, or to take a woman and rape her.
You have to be mad by now. However, the purpose of this article wasn’t to make you mad, because I believe we can make this right. For me, it starts with writing this article. Obviously, this wasn’t easy for me to write, but I believe it’s an important topic to discuss. And from discussion may come an awareness some of us can use this football season in how we interact with one another and the team and players we admire.
Woman have made some incredible advances in the world in the last one hundred years, but it hasn’t been nearly enough. The NFL is one of the few remaining institutions in our society that is exclusively dominated by men. Even the few women who have made it into the media side of the NFL face almost constant criticism, bullying and trolling on social media, mostly from men. I see this bullying or trolling a lot on Twitter in our own Charger community. Women who have strong opinions are often challenged and shamed by men for their football IQ or acumen.
Remember, this isn’t about shame or blame, there’s something bigger than any one person driving this. My only want is that we take a moment and evaluate how we treat other people, men and women. I can only hope one day I will become a pussy and a mama’s boy, because I will have become one of the strongest men on the planet. Go Chargers!
At long last, the San Diego Chargers have signed their first-round draft pick Joey Bosa today. The selection shocked everyone from all the media pundits to the Bolts fanbase themselves. The four-year deal is worth $25.8 million with a $17 million signing bonus according to Chargers.com and various major media outlets.
While waiting for his contract to get done, Bosa was a full participant in all training activities and impressed teammates with his work ethic. Newly-acquired defensive tackle Brandon Mebane had this to say about Bosa on Chargers.com:
“He’s a good guy. He asks questions. He always soaking up knowledge. He’s a little quiet right now. I can see he’s got a little nasty side in him so that’s a good thing. I think he’s a great player. I think he’s going to be a real help on our defensive line.” said Mebane.
“He don’t get tired out there. I’m thinking I’ve got to get my cardio up man. “Mebane joked. “He has great technique from what I’ve seen on the field. For a rookie he has great technique already. Seeing how good he is now compared to how good he’s going to be…once we get more and more reps every day, I think he’ll probably be a Pro Bowler.” Mebane added.
Linebacker Jerry Attaochu also had glowing words for Bosa. “He’s a great kid. Looks like he is going to give us a lot of help up front.” Attaochu said.
Offset language became the biggest point of contention holding up the deal. Offset language is simply if Bosa is cut or released during his rookie contract the Chargers are off the hook for any remaining salary he was scheduled to make.
Bosas’ management didn’t want any offset language in the contract. It means if Bosa did get cut or released before his rookie deal is up he would still get paid his full rookie contract. Players call it double-dipping, meaning a player is making full salary from his old team and his new team simultaneously.
The contract standoff deprived Bosa of needed training camp time and has also cost him the first three games of the preseason. The longest contract holdout since the inception of the next salary-slotted rookie wage scale, the Chargers’ and Bosas’ management team dug their heels in. Neither side was willing to budge over the offset language.
According to the San Diego Union-Tribune and ESPN, a change in agents was the key element in breaking the contract impasse. The two sides returned to their seats at the bargaining table after the preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings and two days later, Bosa is finally a member of the San Diego Chargers.
Growing frustration over Bosas’ high-profile absence raised the ire of the fanbase and his teammates were beginning to voice their disapproval as valuable training and bonding time dissipates with each day passing.
Only 13 days remain until the start of the regular season.
The Chargers’ private jet went to Bosas’ hometown of Fort Lauderdale, Florida last week only to return empty. Cooler heads have finally prevailed and the two sides have come to a compromise. Bosa got what he wanted, his $17 million signing bonus is fully guaranteed. He will get 85% up front and the other 15% in 2017. The Chargers got what they wanted, the offset language clause is in effect.
The deal is done. It’s time to ball. Here’s a quick look at the man who is all the buzz (both good and bad) of the Chargers’ offseason. Looking forward to seeing lots of shrugs on the field in 2016!
Welcome to San Diego, Joey Bosa!
The Greg One
The San Diego Chargers’ private plane landed in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Tuesday. The mission: Bring back the Chargers’ number one draft pick, Ohio State defensive end Joey Bosa. Escort him from his childhood home to his adult home, San Diego, as a signed, sealed and delivered star of the future.
Armed with their best and final offer, Chargers General Manager Tom Telesco presented the offer on Tuesday. The offer was rejected on Wednesday. The plane returned to San Diego with the same names on the passenger manifest that it left with.
The mission had failed.
To that end, the Chargers front office released a official statement detailing the specifics of their offer before pulling the offer from the table. Paraphrasing the release, future offers will be adjusted based on the looming reality that Bosa will not get sufficient practice and classroom time to make playing the week one road game against the Kansas City Chiefs a possibility. The more games Bosa misses, the less money he will make out of the gate.
Not to be outdone, the management team of Joey Bosa, CAA, issued a response to the Chargers’ statement. Their statement reads as follows:
It is unfortunate the San Diego Chargers have decided to manipulate facts and negotiate in the media. The team surely is not strengthening its relationship with Joey Bosa by taking this stance and making their position public.
We have decided that we will not engage in public negotiations or discuss numbers and/or terms in this negotiation.
We will say, that it is ironic that the team now takes issue with the timing of Joey’s arrival, since the Chargers unilaterally decided to remain silent for the first 14 days of training camp instead of replying in a timely fashion to the proposal we made on the eve of training camp on July 28th.
At this point, all we can do is continue to fight for a fair contract on behalf of our client, as we do for all of our clients. The Chargers can focus on trying to sway public opinion, but our focus will remain on our client and securing a contract for him that is fair and consistent with his draft position.
This is the typical, We’re-taking-the-high-road response we’ve seen before. If Bosa’s management had gone public first, this would have been the Chargers’ response. Once again, both sides look to be entrenched with no end in sight. At the same time, these situations can turn overnight.
This deal will happen. Bosa will be in lightning bolts before week one is underway. Simply put, there is too much money on the table for the parties to walk away from and have Bosa re-enter the 2017 draft.
1. There’s no way to ever make that money back. Even if Bosa plays for 15 years and is paid handsomely, there is no way he will account for the millions he passed on by sitting out a year. This season will always represent millions more dollars that could have been in the bank.
2. Bosa will not be picked third in the 2017 NFL Draft. The top stars of the 2017 draft class will be taken ahead of Bosa. Bosa may fall into the middle of the first round or lower due to the fact that since the Chargers own his rights, he will not be able to visit, work out for or speak to other teams. The uncertainty will cause his stock to fall and even if he is selected in the first round, he will not make as much as he will by signing with the Chargers this season.
3. Perception of owners and players. Fairly or unfairly, this ordeal casts an unflattering shadow on Bosa. Other NFL owners may pass on him after seeing how the situation unfolded in San Diego. Telesco isn’t the only GM who doesn’t waive offset language or guarantee the full signing bonus before the end of the calendar year. Players may see Bosa as an entitled diva unwilling to earn his paycheck.
In the end, Bosa’s value will never be higher than it is right now. He only hurts his pride and his bottom line if he decides to sit out and re-enter the draft. That decision would run counter to the whole purpose of these frustrating negotiations.
Bosa will not make endorsement money sitting on the couch. He will not become the next big thing in football watching the games on Sundays. The only solution is to suit up, ball out and soak up the adoration of his teammates, the fans, the city, the media and cash in on Madison Avenue as he creates SportsCenter highlights on a weekly basis.
The shrug was local at Ohio State. If he performs up to his ability and shines, it will go viral in the NFL. That’s how you get paid.
It’s go time, rookie.
The Greg One
The lines in the sand in San Diego aren’t only on the beach volleyball courts. Through this offseason, the San Diego Chargers’ front office and management team of first-round pick Joey Bosa have drawn multiple lines in the sand to see who would flinch first. The holdout is the longest since the inception of the Collective Bargaining Agreement in 2011, which implemented a rookie wage scale. The wage scale slots a first-round pick’s salary based on where they were selected from 1-32.
The only sticking point that is possible is how much in guarantees and bonuses a player will receive over the life of his rookie deal. The issue is over offset language. Offset language can be simplified as such: If Bosa is cut or released during his rookie contract the Chargers are off the hook for any remaining salary he was scheduled to make.
Bosa’s management didn’t want any offset language in the contract. It means if Bosa did get cut or released before his rookie deal is up, he would still get paid his full rookie contract, fifth-year option included. Players call it double-dipping, meaning a player is making full salary from his former team and his new team simultaneously.
On Tuesday, the Chargers’ key front office personnel flew to Bosa’s hometown in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to get the deal done. They returned to San Diego at approximately 11:30 a.m. local time without Bosa on the plane. Bosa’s camp rejected the Chargers’ final offer.
Shortly thereafter, the Chargers’ front office issued a press release detailing the specifics of their offer to the public. Taken directly from the Chargers’ official Twitter page, the statement is shown below. Click on the image to enlarge.
Statement from the San Diego Chargers on defensive end Joey Bosa. pic.twitter.com/BayBGeN22x
— San Diego Chargers (@Chargers) August 24, 2016
While fans will be on either side of this ordeal, the Chargers have let the record show — for their fans and, more importantly, for those in the locker room — that they went to Florida to get a deal done and were still rebuffed by Bosa’s management. Both sides are culpable in this standoff.
The Chargers’ publicly stated they knew Bosa was their man since the beginning of the 2015 college football season and his performance in 2015 only solidified their stance. Contract negotiations could have taken place long before the draft to ensure this scenario wouldn’t happen. Such a practice, however, hasn’t been necessary since the new CBA was ratified in 2011.
On the other hand, it can be viewed as arrogant and selfish that Bosa demands his full signing bonus in year one and his contract fully guaranteed regardless of whether he is still on the team at the end of his rookie contract. What does he have to hide? If he is as good as he thinks he is and the Chargers’ are as high on him as they have stated in the past, the chances of him getting cut or released are minuscule at best.
Everyone understands the shelf life of an NFL player is short and by all means, negotiate to maximize as much of your perceived worth as possible. In the end, you’re only worth what a team is willing to pay. Bosa is going to get the worth of his full rookie contract anyway; just over time. To ask for what no other Chargers’ player has (full signing bonus up front and no offset language) is setting a bad precedent for the present and the future.
More lines in the sand…
With their best offer shot down, the Chargers’ have pulled the offer from the table and will henceforth revise the deal based on the viewpoint that he will likely not be ready to take the field for Week one on the road in Kansas City. Now, the choice for Bosa is to sit out the season, miss out on millions of dollars and re-enter the draft in 2017 or sign and begin rebuilding a damaged relationship with the team, fans and front office.
All of a sudden, a shrug seems to be a perfect personification of how this negotiation has gone for both sides…
The sooner Bosa realizes he’s still a rookie that hasn’t played an official NFL down the better off he will be. In my opinion, he needs to swallow his pride, get on the field and prove his worth. When it’s time to negotiate the second contract, make all the demands you want. What do you think Bolt Nation? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
The Greg One
A few weeks back, I wrote a piece on my thoughts on the Joey Bosa contract negotiations. I told everyone to “chill” on the Bosa contract. At the time, I had faith that the Chargers and Bosa’s agent would come together, reaching a deal that was mutually beneficial for both sides.
In the time since I wrote that first piece, it’s been a deadlock where neither side has budged. Currently, there are no signs of the parties blinking anytime soon.
Matters were escalated when Joey Bosa’s mom, Cheryl, exploded on Facebook saying, “wish we pulled an Eli Manning.”
We all know this story. I’ll sum it up again for our younger audience.
Eli’s dad didn’t want him playing in San Diego. So, when he was drafted by the Bolts, they refused to even go and there was the awkward presentation of Manning holding the Chargers jersey with complete disdain on his face.
Luckily, a trade was worked out between the Giants and San Diego received Philip Rivers and other picks in that deal. Since then, the name Eli boils the blood of SD faithful.
Cheryl Bosa is Joey’s mother, and she has every right to say what she wants as his mother. Was it timely? No. Should Chargers’ fans be expected to take a statement like that lightly? Hell no!
In an effort to avoid this post/situation seeming to be one-sided, I spoke with BoltBlitz.com staff writer Zak Darman, asking him his take on the predicament.
We’ll take a look at this from multiple perspectives.
Chris: From the Chargers’ perspective, what has been the hold-up on Bosa’s deal? What do they seem to gain from this standstill?
Zdizzle: The hold up on Bosa’s deal is the fact the Chargers are not wanting to pay him his entire bonus money upfront or to take off his offset language. What that means is, if Bosa is cut anywhere between Year One and Year Four of his rookie contract and he signs for less than $2 million somewhere else, he would then get paid the remaining deal from the Chargers and from the team who signs him. What Bosa’s side gains is a fair contract deal that 80 percent of all top-5 picks have received since the new CBA was put into place (2012), and what three of the top-five picks have received (three of the four not included him) this season alone.
No matter the outcome of this, it’s a bad look for a team that is supposedly trying to turn a new leaf and save face for a stadium vote in November. The longer this drags out, the worse it will affect November’s vote. As they say, though, winning cures everything, and only time will tell.
The Bosa Camp
With only two Preseason games left, Bosa has yet see the field at all during the preseason, missing precious reps that could help him come along in a defensive scheme that is like learning a foreign language to him. The reps and games he’s missing now could be better served by getting on the field with his teammates, earning the respect of said individuals. With pass-rushing defensive ends coming at a premium in this league, the sooner he begins playing and learning this scheme, the sooner he can trade up from his rookie deal for an even better payday.
Once again, I’ll bring back Zak to give his opinion on the subject.
Chris: So much has been made of what Bosa wants from the Chargers. If you could, please reiterate the two things the Bosa camp wants? Which one of the two do you think his camp would be willing to move on?
Zdizzle: I think Bosa’s camp would more than likely move on from the bonus money because Joey will be getting it regardless. The biggest thing I think is the offset language which is petty from both sides which is why this holdout is stupid but should still be taken care of and if failed to, should be a fireable offense.
The fact that this has dragged on for both sides. Makes you think that A. Bosa may need to think of a new agent next time around if there is one. B. The Chargers seriously need to rethink their contract negotiation strategy.
It is worth noting, the past two years have been some of the hardest times for Chargers fans, not solely due to the team losing on the field; the threat of this team moving to a different city has inched closer and closer, too. It has tested the loyalties of a fractured fan base; one which may not recover for a long time. Yet, with all of the offseason additions, coupled by the drafting of Joey Bosa, the fans have had something positive to hang our collective hats on. Most individuals are not fond of millionaires fighting with billionaires over money; we just wanna see our players play.
Once more, here’s Zak to chyme in with his hot take on the situation.
Chris: When should the fans truly begin to panic? With the recent news that the Chargers and Bosa have reconvened, when do you expect a deal to be struck? Will see Bosa play in preseason? If so, will he see more reps than a normal first-round pick, just to catch him up on the time he’s missed?
Zdizzle: I’d say the time to panic would be the start of regular season games (which I don’t think it goes that far and, in fact, I think it gets done before the team’s third preseason game). With that being said, I’m not expecting him to be rushed into game action, as he is far from being in football shape, and still needs to catch up on the playbook and assignments given to him by defensive coordinator John Pagano.
All in all, this is a very silly holdout on the part of Bosa and his agents, and very silly for the Chargers to conduct business in such a manner. At the end of the day, not one side is more to blame than the other and both are equally at fault.
Is time to panic on Bosa? I tend to lean toward what Zak said regarding the regular season. Then I will panic. As for now, I’m remaining optimistic. Both sides have started talking again. Per some social media stalking done by multiple bloggers, the team’s personal plane was even spotted on Tuesday, landing in Fort Lauderdale, where Bosa lives.
Hopefully, I will soon be congratulating the two sides on FINALLY getting this contract mess worked out.
For the time being, try to stay positive, BoltFam.
Running back Donald Brown, formerly of your San Diego Chargers, was released by the New England Patriots on Tuesday, according to reports from ProFootballTalk.com.
Brown occasionally made a play here and there for the Chargers — most notably that long run in 2015 against the Dolphins in what was possibly going to be the Bolts’ last game in San Diego — but he’ll mostly be remembered for signing a three-year deal with the Bolts that paid him north of $10 million that turned out to be a huge overpayment.
General manager Tom Telesco clearly had a lot of respect for Brown, keeping him on the roster much longer than he needed to, considering a minimal amount of production from the former Colt.
I must admit that when it was first announced that Brown was signing with the Patriots, I immediately thought to myself, “watch, he’ll provide a significant and useful contribution while in New England.”
Well, that’s what I get for “thoughting.” (My Dad used to pull that shit with me when I was a kid and I told him what I thought about certain plays and players.)
Brown is now set to be a free agent, and no, I do not believe he’ll ever be back in a Chargers’ uniform; thank goodness.
It all came about because of a neighbor, who happened to be a diehard Chargers fan.
Initially, I was never a gal who liked to watch football. I went to a couple of games in high school but that was it. I grew up in this little place in Rhode Island, which is about a 90-minute drive outside of Boston. The closest NFL team was the Patriots. (I know, boo-hiss!) The only thing I could tell you then about the New England Patriots was that their quarterback was Jim Plunkett and they played at Schaefer Stadium in Foxborough, MA.
My dad was a baseball guy, a fan of the good ol’ Boston Red Sox. The BoSox were his team, and Luis Tiant was his favorite player; probably more so than either Carl Yazstremski (“Yaz” was my favorite) or Tony Conigliaro.
We never watched football!
No, not even Super Bowls!
Fast forward to moving from the East Coast to the West Coast in 1980. I was still pretty uneducated about football at that time, but not for much longer!
I believe it was that fall when we began going to our neighbor’s home to watch San Diego Chargers football on Sunday afternoons. The Chargers’ Air Coryell offense was flying high with Fouts at QB. He had Charlie Joiner and John Jefferson at wideout, along with Chuck Muncie and John Cappelletti as his running backs. Additionally, No. 14 had Kellen Winslow at the tight-end spot. Remember that defense? Willie Buchanon, Louie Kelcher, Woody Lowe, Don Macek, Jim Laslavic and Ed White. Beasts!
That was a great year to start being a fan. The Chargers ended the season with an 11-5 record, finishing in 1st place in the AFC West. They went on to face the Buffalo Bills in the divisional round and won. Unfortunately, they ran into the Oakland Raiders at the AFC Championship level and lost. Disappointed, but my interest was piqued.
The following year the Chargers won their division again, in no small part due to the guys who returned from the previous year, but also additions like Wes Chandler, James Brooks, Eric Sievers and Pete Holohan.
Then came the “Epic in Miami.” What a game! Once you hear it, all football fans immediately associate it with the image of an exhausted and drained Kellen Winslow being helped off the field by a couple of teammates. Chargers won the hard-fought, see-saw contest, 41-38 in overtime. It was quite a battle.
These are the types of games that get fans fired up! I was no different. By that point, I was becoming a fan, although my understanding of the sport was still miniscule.
After the heat and humidity of Miami a week later, Fouts and Company found themselves in Cincinnati. This game gets a nickname, too: the “Freezer Bowl.” From the heat and humidity of Miami to the sub-zero temperatures in Cincy, where the wind chill at game time was minus-59 degrees! The Chargers would have the fight of their football lives on the line. Sadly, they lost to the Bengals 27-7.
Of course, there were other games and players that helped solidify my enjoyment – and frustration – of Chargers’ football, just like many other people who root for them. As a “transplant” to California in 1980, there were four football teams here: the San Francisco 49ers, the Oakland Raiders, the LA Rams and the San Diego Chargers.
I chose to represent San Diego then as I do now. My understanding of the game is better because of family and friends, plus a little bit of reading. I still have a long way to go and every year is a learning experience.
Thanks for some awesome memories over the years, San Diego Chargers! Now let’s bring on 2016!
Thank you for reading!
I was at the joint practice between our San Diego Chargers and the Arizona Cardinals at Qualcomm Stadium Tuesday night. Just before it started, it was announced on social media that Cardinals’ head coach, Bruce Arians, had been taken to the hospital experiencing stomach pains. Best wishes to him in his recovery.
The practice started with special teams drills (yawn). Then it was time for 1-on-1 drills, consisting of wide receivers versus defensive backs that were much more exciting. Brandon Flowers was burned for several deep passes. His days as an outside cornerback are hopefully over. Jason Verrett also struggled early trying to cover Larry Fitzgerald.
After good coverage caused Philip Rivers to be unable to connect with Keenan Allen twice, the duo started lighting up the Cardinals secondary. First, with a deep bomb over coverage from Patrick Peterson, the Cardinals top defensive back. Allen looked unstoppable all night, catching nearly everything thrown his way, and getting open early and often.
Travis Benjamin made several nice and difficult catches where he used his quick twitch speed to change direction and come back to perfectly placed balls from PR17. Rivers later said that he and Benjamin “needed” that type of connection in practice. The duo looks to be gelling nicely.
During 11-on-11 drills the Chargers got the best of the exchanges on offense and defense. Melvin Gordon had several nice runs through the middle of the Cardinals’ defensive front seven. The Cardinals’ defense had trouble covering Tyrell Williams, because he is a beast.
Melvin Ingram looked like a man on a mission. He set the edge on back-to-back run plays to the outside with tackles for a loss or no gain. Early, Arizona was running almost every play to the outside, no doubt from watching the Chargers get gashed by the Titans on Saturday. With Ingram in the backfield on almost every run they changed the plays.
Casey Hayward looked very good; he had tight coverage on several plays resulting in pass breakups. In my opinion, Jason Verrett and Casey Hayward need to be the starting outside cornerbacks this season. Dexter McCoil ran stride-for-stride with Arizona receivers and had a great pass break-up in the end-zone.
Something interesting I saw during linebacker interception drills; both Manti Te’o and Jeremiah Attaochu had balls clank off their hands and land on the ground. As soon as they got to the huddle they were told to bust out push-ups in front of everyone. I personally love this kind of accountability. I have heard that this has happened before in some practices this year. In those cases, the whole front seven had to do push-ups during a practice when the unit was not getting enough pressure on the quarterback.
Hunter Henry had a nice toe-tap touchdown, he looks to be a better red zone weapon than Ladarius Green was.
No major injuries to report. The “no-tackling” practice was competitive but not combative.
Quickly, I will give my thoughts on that sorry excuse for a preseason game that was played on Saturday between the Titans and Chargers:
Obviously it was great to see Ken Whisenhunt getting the Bolts’ offensive linemen coming forward on run plays instead of skating backwards. It was great to see Melvin Gordon finally get in the end-zone on a long catch-and-run. Gordon looked more confident and decisive. Not much bad to say about the first team offense. A low-light on offense was too many penalties on the line (coaching); hopefully they can get that cleaned up before they play Arizona on Friday.
The defense was terrible. They picked up right where they left off last season with not being able to tackle and giving up big plays in the run game. Of course this shouldn’t be a surprise because it’s been like this for five years now. John Pagano is still the defensive coordinator, and his defense still looks like they have no clue what they are doing with tons of missed assignments.
Now, I’ve heard people say it’s the first preseason game. Tackling across the league is bad right now since these players haven’t really tackled in 7-8 months. Okay, but this defense was missing it’s assignments, shooting the wrong gaps, and looked woefully unprepared. All of which is coaching. They have a lot to clean up.
One of the few bright spots on defense and special teams was Dexter McCoil. He blew up a Titans’ returner on a special teams play that caused him to lose about ten yards. He’s big, fast and can cover and tackle. He also had a fumble recovery. He needs to be one of the starting safeties. The kicking game and punt game both looked good. That’s all for now, thanks for reading.
Usually when journalists such as myself look forward to a brand new season of football, we look at things like QBR, preseason numbers and even the previous season’s statistics. This analysis will different than usual. Why? That is because football is so much more than just a number’s game; it is a game that is not played by players who have their data set and can be predictable.
Football is a game played by humans, and that in and of itself can directly affect play on the field. Using the skills I have learned while studying human communication while minoring in Sports Management at Grand Canyon University, (Go Lopes!) I will look team-by-team and present my analysis here.
San Diego Chargers: The big controversy around this team is whether Joey Bosa will sign or not. Several current and former Chargers players have already voiced their disgust for this situation. If Bosa does end up signing with San Diego and not “pulling an Eli Manning,” that will cause rifts that will directly affect team chemistry on the defensive side of the ball.
As we all saw from the Denver Broncos last season, defensive chemistry is a must for a championship season. Also coming off of a season with as many injuries that the Chargers had last season, it will take a little bit of time for Philip Rivers to get acquainted or reacquainted with his wide receiving corps. If a quarterback does not trust his receivers, he is unable to make the split-second decisions that are needed to win football games.
Kansas City Chiefs: The Kansas City Chiefs’ defense is facing the issue of a lack of leadership due to the uncertainty of the situation of their longtime defensive captain, Eric Berry. Captain is more than just a fancy title and a stitching on their jersey; it is a position that is handed to those that rise above and are chosen by their teammates to lead them not only on the field, but off the field as well. On the offensive side of the ball, Alex Smith must get comfortable throwing more than ten yards on any given play. As soon as teams start jumping routes, the Chiefs will not be able to return to being over .500.
Oakland Raiders: The issue with the Oakland Raiders is the fact that they may not have a home next season. It is a situation similar to the Chargers, however, at least last season Chargers’ fans knew that it would be at most a 2-hour drive north. With the Raiders, it will either be a 6-hour drive to Los Angeles or a 10-hour drive to Las Vegas. There are not many fans that can put their faith in a team that may leave them.
Fan presence is a huge factor when the game is on the line, when the opposing offense is on the field, driving towards a score. The only thing that can disrupt that momentum is a lot of crowd noise to get inside the opposing QB’s head, such as when another team plays in either Seattle, Arizona or Kansas City.
Denver Broncos: The issue with the Broncos this season will be at the QB position. Something a lot of fans may not realize is that the QB is the leader. When you have no idea who the outstanding leader is, the offense will have nothing but miscues, accompanied by little to no sense of direction. Also, they are dealing with choosing from a few youngsters and a QB who has garnered little respect in the NFL, Mr. Butt-fumble himself, Mark Sanchez.