Craig Mager

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When looking at the Chargers’ injured-reserved list, it is clear that there are a few names which jump out immediately.

One of those marquee names who suffered a season-ending injury is Pro Bowl cornerback Jason Verrett, who was placed on injured-reserve after suffering a partially torn left ACL.

Verrett, 25, played through the ailment for two games leading up to the Week 5 contest against the Oakland Raiders, who happen to be his childhood team.

The former Horned Frog would not play against the Raiders, as his fate was sealed by the aforementioned diagnosis above.

Shortly after the injury, the stud corner stated that he would have surgery in a couple of weeks.

On Wednesday, Verrett took to Twitter to announce that he had undergone surgery and it was a success.

 

 

Not having Jason in the Bolts’ defensive backfield is a huge loss for the Chargers’ defense and team as a whole, but it is encouraging to know that his surgery was a success.

The 25th pick in the first round of the 2014 draft has been slowed by injuries throughout the course of his young career, missing games in 2014 (10 games missed), 2015 (two games missed) and, of course 2016 (played in four games; set to miss 12 remaining games).

 

 

Though we won’t be seeing Jason Verrett on the field until 2017, I can certainly say that I am looking forward to his return.

In Verrett’s absence, and due to the concussion issues with Brandon Flowers, the Bolts’ cornerbacks group is down to only Casey Hayward, Craig Mager, Pierre Desir, Steve Williams and Trevor Williams, all who will be tasked with stopping the high-flying passing attack of the Atlanta Falcons in Week 7.

 

Dave Booga Peters

Do you remember what is was like to simply be happy with a Chargers victory? Those good ol’ days when it didn’t matter if your Bolts won 3-2 or 50-0. You were just thrilled that they left the field with a “W”. If you are like many Chargers fans these days, those feelings are long gone.

 
Maybe it is because you know more about football then you did when you were young. Maybe it is because you have been a Chargers fan so long that you are tired of playing a certain type of football that you know will not yield you a Super Bowl ring at season’s end. Maybe it is just because you have been disappointed so many times, that you refuse to let your guard down. Whatever the reason, many Chargers fans cannot enjoy victories. They must pick the game apart and focus on the negative.

 
I’ll be the first to admit, that I fit that description for many years. I clearly remember commenting after wins, “Sure we won, but if we play like that against a good team, we don’t stand a chance.” Or, “We didn’t win. The other team lost.”

 
It is fair to feel that way. Too many times in the past, the Chargers have gotten their fans hopes high, only to crush them like one of Gallagher’s watermelons. Be honest, it is not easy to be a Chargers fan.

 
All that may be true, but I think it is time to change our way of thinking. We are talking about the NFL. A league where on any given Sunday, (almost) any team can beat any other team. Winning a game is a difficult thing to do! That should be evident by the Chargers 4-12 record last season.

 
Look at this season. The Chargers seemingly should be 6-0 right now. They should be the talk of the NFL, for all the right reasons. Instead, they serve as a punchline for jokes and the guinea pig for various studies. What a difference a few plays can make.

 
So, why should you try to put your cynicism behind you and appreciate every win your favorite team manages to secure? Because right now, you are looking into the future. The Chargers are playing games with kids all over the field. They just beat the reigning Super Bowl champions, with six of the eight players who were just drafted month ago! Joey Bosa, Hunter Henry, Jatavis Brown, and Drew Kaser (yes, that Drew Kaser) all were impact players in that win. Fourth-round pick Joshua Perry and sixth-round pick Derek Watt also participated in significant snaps and made some plays as well. That bodes quite well for the future of this team.

 
Going back to the 2015 draft, players like Melvin Gordon, Denzel Perryman, Craig Mager, Kyle Emmanuel, and even Darius Philon are all still with the Chargers and are important players moving forward.

 
What I am saying is that 12 of the last 14 players drafted by the Chargers are playing important snaps for the 2016 team and the team is competing every week. Sure, they are struggling to close out games. They are kids! Yes, it could be that they are not playing for a coach who can take them to the next step as well. That problem is a lot easier to solve than trying to replace failed draft picks.
Okay, I’ll admit it. Some of these young kids are playing because of need more than because they beat someone out. Injuries have forced the Chargers to play kids before they may be ready. Ready or not, these kids just beat the Broncos. That should be celebrated!

 
Do yourself a favor. Watch these games with your heart, rather than your head. All that matter at the end of the day is who has more points on the scoreboard. There will be plenty of time for us to mope and complain about heart-breaking losses. It feels good to celebrate the wins. So take off your annalists hat and go back to being a fan. You will probably live longer too. Remember, the longer you live, the more chances you have to see our Chargers hoisting up that Lombardi trophy!

 
Thanks for reading. Please leave comments below. I will be sure to get back to you.
Go Bolts!! #VoteYesOnC
Will McCafferty

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The San Diego Chargers will have their first primetime game of 2016 Thursday against the Denver Broncos.

Off to a 1-4 start, the Bolts look to win their first divisional game since November of 2014.

Suffering multiple season-ending injuries to starters such as Keenan Allen, Danny Woodhead and Jason Verrett, among others, the Chargers are banged up — as usual — entering their Week 6 contest against the Broncos.

The team released its injury report on Wednesday for the Thursday Night game at home against Denver.

 

OUT:

  • SS – Jahleel Addae    Collarbone
  • CB – Brandon Flowers    Concussion

 

QUESTIONABLE:

  • OT – Joe Barksdale    Foot
  • OG – Orlando Franklin    Ankle
  • OT – Chris Hairston    Groin
  • CB – Craig Mager    Shoulder
  • WR – Dexter McCluster    Hamstring
  • ILB – Denzel Perryman    Shoulder

 

All of the players listed as questionable were limited in practice on both Tuesday and Wednesday. Some of that could be a precaution, while it may also mean that they just weren’t able to practice fully.

Knowing the history of the Chargers’ injuries along the offensive line, it is discouraging to see two starters (Barksdale and Franklin) on the list, along with their swing-tackle (Hairston).

Perryman may miss another game with that shoulder ailment, leaving the inside linebacker spots to rookie Jatavis Brown, Joshua Perry and the recently signed Korey Toomer.

Yikes!

The secondary will once again be without cornerback Brandon Flowers, who is still working through the concussion protocol. His absence leaves Craig Mager, Casey Hayward, Steve Williams, Pierre Desir and the recently promoted Trevor Williams as the team’s cornerbacks.

Yikes!

Chargers’ fans are not strangers to watching a severely banged-up squad, but, nonetheless, the Bolts must come out and find a way to win their second game of the 2016 season regardless of their injuries.

For whatever reason, I do believe they’ll achieve just that, beating Denver at home by a score of 27-26.

 

Dave Booga Peters

 

 

 

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Week 5 is upon us! If the Chargers want to finally get a divisional win, here are three things they MUST do.

1.) Unleash the Bosa
He is finally ready to play! The Chargers No. 3 overall pick hasn’t suited up for them yet this season and has been listed on the injury list the last 4 weeks despite practicing. Darius Philon has been starting in his spot and hasn’t done much, notching six combined tackles with two assisted. He has been losing snaps to Caraun Reid, who has been somewhat impressive, even though he has four combined tackles and one sack. But, it’s time. Bosa is a playmaker and the guy I wanted since Day 1. I know he is already in deep shit with the fans, but, believe me, he is worth the wait.

2.) Someone needs to step up
No Verrett this week just adds on to the playmakers who are on the IR for the Chargers. Who is going to step up and take over? This is a perfect time for Craig Mager to step up and show why Telesco reached for him in the third round. He’s been doing it, but this is also time for Jatavis Brown to step up and fourth-round pick Joshua Perry to step up, as well. These next 12 weeks will be huge for the youth on this team and could be very beneficial to the future success of the Chargers.

3.) Get out of shotgun
I was out with my buddy last week (every week actually) and I kept noticing one thing that was driving me insane: we are continuously in the shotgun slinging the rock 40 times when we have a lead. Now, I get you want to put the ball into your best players’ hands, but it’s looking like last year’s offense and the predictability is through the roof. If you have a lead, run the ball. I’m not a fan of Melvin Gordon, but play the clock and quit trying to outscore the opponent when you are already winning.

 

Zak Darman

@WilMyersGOAT

01 November 2015: San Diego Chargers cornerback Steve Williams (23) reacts after being called for pass interference by umpire Tony Michalek (115) at M&T Bank Stadium, in Baltimore, MD. where the Baltimore Ravens defeated the San Diego Chargers, 29-26. (Photograph by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire)

01 November 2015: San Diego Chargers cornerback Steve Williams (23) reacts after being called for pass interference by umpire Tony Michalek (115) at M&T Bank Stadium, in Baltimore, MD. where the Baltimore Ravens defeated the San Diego Chargers, 29-26. (Photograph by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire)

 

With Wednesday’s news that cornerback Jason Verrett is done for the season due to a partially torn ACL, the San Diego Chargers have re-signed cornerback Steve Williams, according to the team’s official website.

In a corresponding move to make room on the roster for Williams, the Bolts waived defensive lineman Ryan Carrethers.

Williams, 25, was the team’s fifth-round selection in the 2013 NFL draft. Possessing blazing speed, the undersized Williams was released in order for the Chargers to sign cornerback Pierre Desir.

The former Cal Bear spent two weeks with the Los Angeles Rams, both weeks of which he was inactive.

The 2016 season will mark Williams’ fourth year with the Bolts. During his short career, one that saw him miss all of his rookie season due to injury, Williams has amassed 29 total tackles, seven passes defensed, one sack and two interceptions.

According to Chargers.com, Williams will be wearing the No. 41 jersey, as his former number of 23 has been taken over by defensive back Dexter McCoil.

Carrethers, also a fifth-round draft choice, but in 2015, participated in 20 games with San Diego, including three starts. The defensive lineman had been inactive for all four of the Chargers’ four regular season contests in 2016.

Carrethers flashed some ability at times, but had found himself on the outside looking in when it came to reps during the offseason.

Though he has been waived, should he clear waivers, the team could possibly bring him back onto the practice squad, which in turn would mean another move would be coming to a roster/practice squad that has already seen a ton of fluctuation.

 

Dave Booga Peters

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The shootout in Mission Valley became just another 4th quarter collapse under Mike McCoy, who has seen his team fail to close out three games in the second half in the four opportunities of 2016.

The Chargers would fall to the Saints by a score of 35-34 in a contest that they most certainly should have won.

Sunday was no different, as the Bolts carried a 13-point lead into the 4th with 6:50 to go. The Chargers would then proceed to fumble on two consecutive drives; the first by Melvin Gordon and the second by Travis Benjamin.

The real story here is coaching, which if you’re a diehard Bolts fan like I have been, you’ve watched this team your whole life.

Since the miracle season in 2013 which honestly Norv Turner himself could’ve done that, this team has fallen off the rails. McCoy is 13-20 in that span, losing too many games by one score or less than one fan can remember.

If last year didn’t set a precedent, the start to this season should. Simply put, McCoy is not getting it done at the head coaching position. It’s time to make a change before this season gets too far out of reach for these Bolts to even catch a wildcard birth.

 

 

Duds of the game:

Melvin Gordon – Yes, he had two touchdowns for fantasy owners. Hooray…. For Bolts fans, this was his worst game of the season. He was never able to get going running the ball. Though the Saints were selling out to stop the run, it is fair to say that good running backs still find a way. His biggest miscue, fumbling the ball with just under seven minutes to go in the game, is something that is just unforgivable. Just hold on to it and live to fight another down for God’s sake!

Travis Benjamin – A miserable day as a receiver: four receptions for 48 yards. His biggest blunder coming a drive right after the Melvin Gordon Fumble, as he caught the ball and carelessly fumbled it, allowing the Saints to get the ball for a go-ahead TD.

Mike “Choke” McCoy – This may seem redundant, but I will do it anyway. What halftime adjustments did you give this team? What was the message given to this team going into the 4th? Whatever it was, it didn’t work.

Mike this loss and the other two fall right at your feet. For two weeks in a row your team had a lead and two weeks in a row they have found new ways to lose it. Here’s hoping the Spanos family wakes up and gives you the ax you deserve, ensuring that I don’t have to put you as dud for the rest of the season.

Dishonorable mentions: injuries at linebacker continuing to mount, DJ Fluker and Spencer Pulley

 

Studs of the game:

Hunter Henry –  After a costly fumble last week as the Bolts were attempting a comeback, Henry had another solid week, gaining 61 yards on four receptions, including his first touchdown as a pro.

Dontrelle Inman – After lackluster games to begin the 2016 season, Inman had the game of his life, totaling 120 yards and a TD on seven receptions. You knew going into this game that the Saints would have hard time with all of the Chargers’ offensive weapons. Have a day, though, Inman.

Craig Mager – Was it just one interception? Yes. It should’ve been a key one if not for the offensive fumbles. Mager did his job, showing up and making a play for this team when it mattered most.

Honorable mentions: Philip Rivers, Jason Verrett(way to come back, kid) and Tyrell Williams

 

The 2016 season has not gone as hoped in the eyes of Chargers fans all over the world. Despite a heightened amount of excitement surrounding a strong free-agency period and draft, the team has struggled to close out games, losing three games in which they should have most definitely won; the Bolts should be 4-0, to be honest, and I think you all know that.

With that in mind, do you think the Chargers can rebound from their 1-3 record and put themselves into a position to compete for a playoff spot?

Let me know by leaving your thoughts in the comments section below.

 

Chris Hoke

@SuperCharged17

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See what two of our writers, Zak Darman and Chris Hoke, have to say about whether or not the 2016 San Diego Chargers will make the playoffs this season.

 

Zak Darman: NO DEAL! The San Diego Chargers will NOT make the playoffs at years end.

 

The Chargers made some nice moves in the offseason to boost up their offense by signing wide receiver Travis Benjamin and center Matt Slauson. It is no secret that the offense is much improved, starting with the addition of offensive guru Ken Whisenhunt. The offense was looking very good in Week 1, right before Keenan Allen left that game with a torn ACL, ending his season. The running game looked much improved with a better and more decisive Melvin Gordon. The loss of Danny Woodhead from Sunday’s game against Jacksonville will hurt immensely, though, and they hope the recent signing of Dexter McCluster will help. We will see.

 

On defense, however, is where the weaknesses still stand out. The Bolts used the No. 3 overall selection on defensive end Joey Bosa, who has not played in a single game this season due to contract negotiations/injury, and brought in nose tackle Brandon Mebane, cornerback Casey Heyward and safety Dwight Lowery. I still don’t like this group because in my opinion they don’t have enough playmakers to take this team to the next level. Manti Te’o is below average and prior to being lost for the season due to injury, there was a question whether he should be starting or not. The safeties are a joke and the pass rush is still bad. Outside of Pro Bowler Jason Verrett, who else is there? It also does not help to have one of the worst defensive coordinators in all of football in John Pagano. Yes, the defense looked great in the first half vs KC but lets not forget that the Chiefs were without Jamaal Charles and Alex Smith was missing some wide open short route throws that he usually doesn’t miss. This unit has been overrated from the get-go and it needs to be addressed. The defense looked better in week 2, but that was against a young and inexperienced Jaguars team. On Sunday, Andrew Luck and T.Y. Hilton did what they wanted. Verrett wasn’t on his game and the defense had no shot.

 

 Lastly, the coaching on this team is pathetic. We already went over Pagano, who should have been fired in 2013 if not for the playoff win in Cincinnati. Head Coach Mike McCoy is soft and constantly sits on leads when he can easily put a team away; Chiefs game was a perfect example. He has gotten worse every year while being here and is constantly letting games slip away. McCoy and Pagano need to be shown the door or else this team will not improve. With all that being said, I am predicting the Chargers record at the end of the season will be 5-11 or 6-10 at best.
Chris Hoke: DEAL! The San Diego Chargers will make the playoffs

 

First let me start by saying for the sake of this piece I will make a case for Mike McCoy even if my previous articles and opinions have stated otherwise. Mike McCoy has shown flashes of being a Coach who can lead this team. All of the losses, huge injuries, off the field drama with Eric Weddle and now Joey Bosa, has caused major distractions which is never a good recipe in the locker room. In this case for Mike McCoy winning fixes everything. Even through three major season-ending injuries to key players, this team is built to win and get deep into the playoffs.  Here’s how:

 

As Zak had pointed out above, the improvement of this offense is the running game. Yes it is odd to say this, due to the horrible run game the Chargers have had in a long time, a running game is very much back in San Diego; maligned since the departure of Ken Whisenhunt and Ryan Mathews. It’s no coincidence that since his return to America’s finest city, the run game has been rejuvenated. Gordon, who had zero touchdowns last year, has already compiled four scores along with his first career 100 yard rushing game against the Jags. Follow that up with a passing attack, without Keenan Allen and Danny Woodhead whom are both lost for the season, still has the weapons to be very dangerous. With the old reliable Antonio Gates on the sidelines, there is not much room for panic with the emergence of second round pick Hunter Henry. Even with the fumbled tragedy that ended any last ditched efforts for a win last week against the Colts, Hunter had a pretty solid game; breaking open for huge yards. Continuity between him and Rivers will only begin to grow more with each big play Hunter makes. The future is still bright for these Bolts offensively.

 

After being released from the Chargers after the 2012 season, former Head Coach Norv Turner was asked for a quote regarding the new incoming coaching staff. “They need to have a lot of patience with them.”

 

“Them” referencing all Charger fans.

 

Maybe we need to really forget about 2013 as maybe the Chargers caught lightning in a bottle with a group of talent that really wasn’t that good, at least defensively. Moving on to this year, it’s been four years and four drafts since Tom Telesco and company took over. Some naysayers have claimed that he has missed on players, but at the same time he has found some gems, such as Jason Verrett.  There are others like Craig Mager and DJ Fluker where the verdict is still to be determined however in my opinion they are good additions to this team.

 

I will say that the defensive talent on this team, is what Pagano has been waiting for.  We all have seen what Hayward has done thus far and of course what the Pro Bowler Verrett can do, but the key addition, in my opinion, is the addition to Brandon Mebane – whose presence alone has shifted protection schemes. That ability, to force opposition to change schemes, is not listed in the box score yet it creates room for the linebackers, such as new defensive captain Melvin Ingram, to reap the rewards.

 

The first round pick Joey Bosa has yet to take the field – signs pointing to week 5 or 6. The Chargers seem fine to just ease him in slowly rather to not risk further injury. Even with the loss of Manti Teo, Jatavis Brown stepped in and showed that he can be an instant playmaker. When Bosa does finally step in and is at game level, this defense will be headed to the next level. We already see what happens when Mebane is on the field and when you add in the beast Corey Liuget and Bosa – the three-headed monster will lead this team to playoffs and hopefully back to the Super Bowl.

 

In closing, if McCoy can remain aggressive, this team can and will make the playoffs.  If his attitude is as assertive as I saw it to be in 2013, it will resonate throughout the whole locker room.  As long as we do not continue to lose key players every week, this team has the talent to beat any team on any given Sunday.  The defense could easily be ranked in the top five, sans injuries of course, and as we have seen in the past, defense wins championships.  Toss in a future Hall of Fame quarterback, a running back who is so raw and talented, and a receiving core who has already manifested themselves as reliable, the San Diego Chargers will make it deep into the playoffs.  Perhaps we will hear this again.

 

 

Let us know your opinion on whether or not the Chargers, as it stands, will make the playoffs this season.

 

Thanks for reading

103013telesco620

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!

-Zak Darman

Weddle6

 

The Chargers have announced their weekly injury report for this Sunday’s game against the Baltimore Ravens. Although things on the injury front seem to be improving numbers-wise, the team will be without marquee starters at multiple positions.

 

OUT:

  • LG – Orlando Franklin (Ankle)
  • ILB – Manti Te’o (Ankle)
  • FS – Eric Weddle (Groin)
  • OLB – Tourek Williams (Foot)

 

DOUBTFUL:

  • ILB – Denzel Perryman (Biceps)

 

QUESTIONABLE:

  • TE – Antonio Gates (Knee)
  • NT – Sean Lissemore (Hamstring)
  • CB – Craig Mager (Hamstring)

 

PROBABLE:

  • RB – Melvin Gordon (Ankle)
  • C – Chris Watt (Groin)

 

The Chargers’ offensive line will once again be without left guard Orlando Franklin, but it will be getting back center Chris Watt this week. Reserve center Trevor Robinson played well in Watt’s absence, and he could possibly force the Bolts to keep Watt on the shelf for one more game in order to ensure he gets back to full health.

Also on the offensive side of the ball, Philip Rivers could be without his favorite target, Antonio Gates, for the sixth game in 2015. Gates tweaked his knee on the final drive of the team’s loss to the Packers in Week 6. Should the future Hall of Famer miss the game on Sunday, Ladarius Green will once again be called upon to start at tight end.

Green, 25, has already set career-highs in receptions (26) and touchdowns (4), adding 304 yards receiving. The fourth-year veteran is only 73 yards away from his career-high in receiving yards, too.

While the offense is slowly getting healthier, the defensive side of the ball is not so lucky.

The Chargers’ defense will be missing inside linebacker Manti Te’o and free safety Eric Weddle for the second consecutive week. Te’o was one tackle behind Weddle for the team-lead prior to the two starters becoming injured. Weddle, nursing a groin injury, is missing consecutive games for the first since 2009.

Te’o’s replacement, Denzel Perryman, is listed as doubtful for the game on Sunday, forcing back-up linebacker Kavell Conner into the starting lineup.

Conner was signed as a free agent from Indianapolis two years ago.

Though he won’t play against the Ravens, outside linebacker Tourek Williams returned to practice this week for the first time since August. Upon his return, he will be a welcome addition to the anemic pass rush in San Diego. He is also a prime performer on special teams.

This week’s game is a must-win for the Chargers. It is up to the players and coaches to get this thing turned around starting Sunday.

Should the team lose to the Ravens on the road, they can basically kiss goodbye to any opportunity to make the playoffs this year.

 

Booga Peters

 

Weddle6

 

It is that time of the week again, Chargers fans. The team has released its weekly injury report.

Some of the “usual suspects” find their names listed as out or questionable, but there is one new addition that is sure to change the way the defense runs its game plan on Sunday.

 

OUT:

CB – Craig Mager (Hamstring)

OLB – Tourek Williams (Foot)

FS – Eric Weddle (Groin)

 

DOUBTFUL:

ILB – Manti Te’o (Ankle)

 

QUESTIONABLE:

WR – Keenan Allen (Hip)

LT – King Dunlap (Concussion)

TE – Antonio Gates (Knee)

RB – Melvin Gordon (Ankle)

OL – Chris Hairston (Ankle)

WR – Stevie Johnson (Hamstring)

OL – Chris Watt (Groin)

 

PROBABLE:

SS – Jahleel Addae (Back)

OLB – Kyle Emanuel (Shoulder)

OL – D.J. Fluker (Ankle)

OG – Orlando Franklin (Ankle)

 

That places 15 players on the injury report for Week 7.

Wow.

Free safety Eric Weddle will miss his first start since 2009. The three-time All-Pro is arguably the best player on the Chargers’ defense. It goes without saying that he will be missed, and his absence puts a lot of pressure on all of his fellow members of the secondary.

With Te’o listed as doubtful, it appears that rookie Denzel Perryman will get his second-consecutive start. Last week in his first start of the season, Perryman led the defense with eight total tackles and a forced fumble.

Due to the absences of Weddle and Te’o, it will be interesting to see which defender receives the green-dot helmet used as the defense’s communication device to the sideline with defensive coordinator John Pagano.

In what I believe is the most disheartening news on the injury report, both Antonio Gates and Keenan Allen are listed as questionable. Having just come back from a four-game suspension, Gates has had back-to-back nine reception contests, adding two touchdowns. Allen has continued to shred opposing defenses, leading the league in receptions (53) while standing at third in receiving yards (601).

Early reports are stating that Allen is likely to play despite his questionable status. Gates, however, does not appear to be in the same boat, as many fear that he may end up missing Sunday’s game against the hated Raiders.

Sticking with weapons being at the disposal of quarterback Philip Rivers, wide receiver Stevie Johnson is in jeopardy of missing his third game in a row. That being said, after being a limited participant on both Wednesday and Thursday, he was a full-go in Friday’s practice.

Prior to suffering a hamstring injury, Johnson was proving to be a reliable target for Rivers in the passing game.

The offensive line appears to be getting left guard Orlando Franklin back this week. Though he was struggling a bit to get acclimated to the blocking schemes in San Diego, he will be a welcome addition to the starting lineup. Fluker, like Franklin, is listed as probable and he will be starting next to right tackle Joe Barksdale — the only opening-day starter to start every game this season.

Rookie running back Melvin Gordon is making his first appearance on the 2015 injury report. He suffered an ankle injury during last week’s loss to the Packers. I feel his pride may be in worse shape than his ankle, as he fumbled twice, losing one, and was also denied a touchdown for the sixth consecutive game.

All in all, the injury report has lengthened but it seems as though the team is getting healthier along the offensive line. The offense is still struggling to open up any semblance of a hole in the running game, but has done an impressive job of keeping Rivers clean in the passing game. Getting some starters back should help in both areas.

The defense will be worth keeping an eye on this week, seeing as Weddle is out and Te’o will be joining him in street clothes come Sunday. This situation provides a great opportunity for some of the reserve defenders to come n and make their mark, showing they deserve more playing time.

It is imperative that this team finds a way to get healthy as it enters the more favorable part of their schedule. With the exception of Denver, not one team left on the docket has a winning record.

Coach Mike McCoy and company have their work cut out for them. Now is the time for the coaching staff to prove that they are better than their 2-4 record shows.

 

Booga Peters

 

 

 

 

 

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