With training camp rapidly approaching, I began thinking about the story lines that will be intriguing at the start of camp, through the pre-season and heading into the regular season. I’m going to omit the new coaches and GM but obviously what they are able to do during the season is of huge intrigue. If you are a glass half full person (like me) these will excite you. In no particular order, I give you the stories to watch:
- Can Philip Rivers get his swagger back (a story featured on BoltBlitz on this topic)?
- Will Dwight Freeney resemble the potential future HOF player he was with the Colts?
- To that point, how many 4-3 looks will we see this year?
- Vincent Brown showed great promise last year before the ankle injury, can he pick up where he left off?
- Who are the best 5 to start on the O-Line?
- What do we have in Johnnie Troutman?
- Can Max Starks lock down the left side?
- Will Clary transition well to guard?
- Fluker…experts think he’s better suited for Guard…prove ’em wrong big man.
- How will Te’o and Butler mesh?
- Can Wright and Cox replace Jammer and Cason?
- Who will be the starting nickel?
- Who will start next to Eric Weddle?
- Liuget and Reyes both broke out last year, will they continue their rise to greatness?
- Ryan Mathews…I’m a believer…but now’s the time
- How will Danny Woodhead fit in with the offense…can he have a Sproles like impact (blocking too)?
- Can Danario and Rivers continue the magic?
- Meachem and Royal…Royal and Meachem
- Keenan Allen felt like a steal in the draft…how much of a steal…let’s see
- Tony Gonzalez has perfected the 10 yard hook…is it time to stop having Gates run down the field like a receiver?
- Ladarius Green…I saw you with that smooth catch and run last year?
- Cam Thomas…time to shine.
- But who will provide depth at the nose?
- Injuries have bitten us a bit the last few years…with new training staff and doctors, will that change?
Think I missed any? Leave a comment below with your story to watch this summer.
Going into the 2013 offseason the Chargers, and their fans, knew that they had to address the vacant starting cornerback positions. The decision had been made to allow both of the starting corners, Antoine Cason and Quentin Jammer, to walk out of town without signing them to new contracts. The former Bolts landed in Arizona and Denver, respectively. Neither of the two will be missed much for their play on the field.
The team’s first attempt to address the need at corner was to sign free agent Derek Cox. The former Jacksonville Jaguar has proven to be more than capable when healthy. He is very solid against the run and has a good stat line versus the pass as well. As you’ll notice from the numbers below, the issue with Cox is his inability to stay healthy.
At 6’1″ 195 pounds with a 4.39 second 40 yard dash time out of William & Mary, Cox has the size and speed to man up on the opposing team’s number one wide receiver. He’s only 26 years old and entering the fifth year of his career. His best football is in front of him and it’s up to the coaching staff to put him in the best position to make plays. Look for Cox to play the left cornerback spot.
So what would the Chargers do to fill the void at the other spot opposite Cox? Who would they bring in? The answer is no one. The Bolts would find their answer in house.
Shareece Wright, a 5’11” 182 pound Colton, California product, is getting the reps at the right cornerback position and the sky is the limit for the former USC Trojan. Wright is also 26 years old and has shown solid promise during his first two years in the league.
Despite very limited regular season action – he has yet to start a game in the NFL – Wright has shown a tenacity and physicality that any team would love to have out at corner. Couple that with his speed and ball skills and you certainly have something to work with. Wright was off to a fantastic start while having a great 2012 preseason. He saw his season derailed on the opening kickoff of the regular season on a tackle versus the hated Oakland Raiders. Shareece came back and showed a lot of promise during the latter weeks of last year. In weeks 11-13 he notched a total of 12 tackles and a forced fumble. He has some footwork issues to clean up but shows a lot potential to be a difference maker if given a starting opportunity.
Both players are former third round picks and share the same age. What does that mean? Absolutely nothing at all. But what we can hope they share is success in 2013 and beyond. If the front seven of the Charger defense, with the help of some aggressive play calling from John Pagano, can get some pressure on opposing quarterbacks then I expect the duo to more than hold their own.
Only time will tell if either of the two are answers for the Chargers. The team could surely use an upgrade at both spots from previous years. I can’t recall a time where the Chargers truly did have solid corner play on both sides. Perhaps the time begins now.
Thanks a lot for reading.
In honor of the upcoming NFL draft, today will be, almost, 100% committed to draft articles.
As promised, there will be a contest giveaway later this evening too. I would suggest you read the article on how to get a head start on the rest of the competition. It’s as simple as following the staff here at BoltBlitz.com, hitting the subscribe and the Facebook like buttons on the homepage, and being prepared for some Charger and random movie trivia.
But we should move on.
Let me make something clear, so there is no confusion. I am aware that it is 2013. But, the successful teams in the NFL are able to draft players that stick around for longer than five seasons. That is not to say that they keep the entire draft class for five years. But when you look at San Diego’s draft class of 2008, not a single player still remains on the roster. Even worse is the fact that only two of them are still in the NFL.
I have another article that covers the fact that only Eric Weddle is still a Charger from the classes that were selected between the years of 2007 and 2009. This piece will focus solely on the 2008 group.
Here is the how the draft stacked up in 2008 for the Bolts.
1st round: Antoine Cason CB Arizona
3rd round: Jacob Hester RB/FB/ST
5th round: Marcus Thomas RB UTEP
6th round: DeJaun Tribble DB Boston College
7th round: Corey Clark OT Texas A&M
Cason, a former Thorpe award winner in college, has returned to the state where he went to school. The Chargers did not desire to bring him back and the free agent signed with the Arizona Cardinals. Although Cason was not nearly as bad as most of the fans portrayed him to be, he had more than his share of poor plays in San Diego. The fact that he was a first rounder makes his exit that much more of a sore spot.
Having no selection in the second round, the Chargers picked Jacob Hester in the third. The team had no second round choice due to the move up to acquire Eric Weddle in the previous year’s draft. That one worked out just fine, if I do say so myself. Unfortunately, in hindsight, the Chargers moving up to select Hester did not pan out as hoped. He flashed a couple positive moments, particularly on special teams, but became one of the more frustrating draft selections for the team in recent memory. I am not, by any means, saying he is Buster Davis. But he was definitely not a success in lightning bolts.
Thomas and Tribble barely saw any action in the NFL whatsoever. Clark stuck around on the Charger bench for a few seasons and was brought in during a couple of team’s training camps as a camp body.
The 2008 class is done. As already mentioned, Cason is in Arizona, while Hester relocated to within the division in Denver. Needless to say, A.J. Smith really blew it in 2008.
Later today, I’ll have some more draft articles about other selections, and classes, that can almost be considered a collective group of busts.
Thanks a lot for reading.
You see this all the time. When a former coach moves on to another team, whether it’s as a coordinator or head coach, they have a tendency to poach players from their former team.
As we all know, Norv Turner is now the offensive coordinator with the Cleveland Browns.
It comes as no surprise that head coach, and Norv Turner protege, Rob Chudzinski and the Browns have expressed interest in both Danario Alexander and Antoine Cason.
Although the Browns have superstar in the making Joe Haden, there is a need at the other cornerback position opposite him.
In addition to the hole at one of the cornerback spots, the Browns are also looking for another wide receiver. Turner has familiarity with Alexander and would probably love to rip him from the grasp of his former team.
Quite frankly, I would like to keep both of them with the Bolts. I know most of you can’t wait to wish good riddance to Cason. The other end of the spectrum provides that all of us want the team to retain Alexander.
We will be finding out soon enough. Free agency begins March 12th, at 4:00pm est.
Thanks a lot for reading.
It is common knowledge that the Chargers have many positions that need upgrading in the 2013 offseason. The most obvious positions of need happen to be on the offensive line.
But let’s get one thing straight. The Chargers have many holes in their roster in addition to the offensive line.
Ryan Mathews has shown that he is incapable of being a workhorse running back due to repeated injuries and an inability to stay on the field on third down. Although Mathews is a decent receiver out of the backfield, he is a poor blocker, at best, in passing situations. There is no need to get started on his fumbling issues. The aforementioned facts show that there is a need at running back in the Charger offense as either a replacement for Ryan or as a complimentary piece to him.
Despite Donald Butler getting better in each and every game, it is hard to imagine how he would perform with a solid inside linebacker playing next to him in our 3-4 defense. I know that Takeo Spikes has become a fan favorite, but his best years have long passed him by. If the Chargers were to find another solid player to play next to Butler, our youthful, improving defense would only get that much better.
I have had a good time making up nicknames for Atari Bigby. He set himself up pretty good with his name announcement during the Monday night contest versus Denver. All joking aside, Bigby’s inability to wrap up, coupled with his penchant to bite on play action, made him a serious detriment to the success of the Bolt defense. The Chargers haven’t had a quality strong safety since the days of Rodney Harrison. Yes, it has been that long.
Now that Antoine Cason and Quentin Jammer have completed the final year of their contracts, the Chargers are now left searching for two starting cornerbacks. Despite Jammer being one of my favorite Chargers, it is nearly impossible to think that he will be back as a cornerback with the team. The door might be open for him to sign a hometown discount to return as astrong safety as we talked about last night on “All Out Blitz.” Cason is a player that could price himself out of our range while being allowed t shop free agency. My hope is that we bring him back but only at the right price. Cornerback will need to be addressed with multiple players in any case.
Those are the obvious holes, in my mind, that need addressing on the 2013 San Diego Chargers. You could easily add in defensive tackle and defnsive line depth as well. Also, you can never have enough quality depth on the offensive line either.
Below you will notice a poll asking the very same question in the title. Excluding offensive line, which position is in need of upgrading the most in San Diego?
Please vote and leave a comment below stating why you voted for the position that you did.
Thanks a lot for reading and voting.