Darrell Stuckey

Manti9

 

The San Diego Chargers have named their 2016 captains, according to Michael Gehlken of The San Diego Union-Tribune.

 

 

 

The announcement was confirmed via the team’s official website, Chargers.com, moments later.

Though none of these names come as a huge surprise, it’s nice to see that Brandon Mebane has earned the trust of his teammates and coaches without having even played a regular-season down while wearing lightning bolts.

The former Seahawk, when the 2016 season is completed, may prove to be the best offseason addition of this year.

Here’s what Chargers.com had to say about each newly named captain:

 

OFFENSE

Philip Rivers – It’s no surprise that Rivers will once again don the C as the quarterback is considered the heart and soul of the Chargers. San Diego’s all-time leader in regular-season wins (92), consecutive starts (160), completions (3,462), completion percentage (64.8), touchdown passes (281), passer rating (95.5), 400-yard games (eight) and three-touchdown games (44), he is on pace to set franchise all-time marks for pass attempts, passing yards and 300-yard games.

Antonio Gates – Number 85 was named team captain for the second consecutive season.  A mentor for players on both sides of the ball, the former undrafted free agent holds team records for career receptions (844), receiving yards (10,644) and touchdown catches (104). He is seven touchdown catches shy of tying Tony Gonzalez for most by a tight end in NFL history.

 

DEFENSE

Brandon Mebane – It didn’t take long for the 10-year vet to take on a leadership position in San Diego as he became a trusted voice the moment he inked a three-year contract in March.  A former Super Bowl champion, Mebane has played in 142 games with 134 starts, notching 386 tackles, 15.5 sacks and two forced fumbles.

 

Manti Te’o – Te’o appeared destined to ascend to captaincy from the day he was drafted, and his teammates voted him into the leadership position heading into his fourth year.  The inside linebacker describes his leadership style as an inclusive one as he aims to ensure each of his teammates realize how vital they are to the Chargers success.

 

SPECIAL TEAMS

Darrell Stuckey – The former Pro Bowler was named team captain for a fifth consecutive season.  A safety by trade, Stuckey is one of the top gunners in the league which is why he routinely draws double teams.  He is also one of the most philanthropic Bolts as he spends much of his off time giving back to the community.

 

One name that I would have liked to see included was Jason Verrett. Entering his third year with the Chargers, Verrett is arguably the best player on the entire roster. Though he may allow his play on the field to do the talking for him, it would have been great to see him rewarded for his stellar play through two seasons. As many of you have seen throughout this offseason, the former Horned Frog is receiving a multitude of national attention from the media, being regarded as one of the best cornerbacks in all of the NFL.

The Bolts open up the season on the road against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday.

 

Dave “Booga” Peters

 

StuckeyAddae
BoltBlitz.com would like to invite you to attend the Second Annual Kaiser Permanente Strikes for Kids San Diego Bowling Classic.
The site will be working with Joe Allen of Strikes for Kids for the fourth event in the last three years.
Below are the details on how you can come out and support a great cause while meeting Jahleel Addae, Darrell Stuckey and more of your favorite Chargers.

Community Partner:

On behalf of Strikes For Kids, I would like to cordially invite you to the Second Annual Kaiser Permanente Strikes For Kids San Diego Bowling Classic. The fundraiser for all ages and skill levels will be hosted by Chargers’ Pro Bowl specialist Darrell Stuckey & Safety Jaheel Addae. The event will take place on Monday October 3, 2016 at Poway Bowl from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

Proceeds from the event goes to benefiting The Strikes For Kids Scholarship Program which will award four (4) $500 scholarships to the The San Diego Foundation. The San Diego Foundation strives to improve San Diegans’ quality of life by creating equity and ensuring opportunities to be WELL (Work, Enjoy, Live & Learn). Established in 1975, they now manage more than 1,900 funds, which have raised in excess of $900 million to support nonprofit organizations that do good throughout our community.

Strikes For Kids is a 501 c3 nonprofit organization that was launched in 2012 that partners more than a 125 NFL players with benefiting youth organizations in communities across the United States.  We coordinate charity bowling, softball and golf events that allows fans, families and local businesses an opportunity to come together for a fun-filled  event to support a positive cause in their city while enjoying the chance to meet their favorite athletes.

Helping us giving back to the community does so much to help those in need and contribute to the common good. You can give back in different ways, by  participating in the event, donating to it or just by simply volunteering your time. No matter how you do it, giving back to the community will touch many people’s lives. Even the smallest good deed can ignite change and positively impact the community by providing a renewed sense of hope. ​Once again thank you for your help and support I look forward to seeing you on the lanes!

Sincerely,

Joe Allen
Founder/Strikes For Kids
(559)241-4412
jallen@strikes4kids.org


 Registration options:
Spectator- $20 (gift bag, raffle and silent auction)
Bowler- $35 (two hours of bowling, shoes, event shirt, pizza per lane, pitcher of soda, gift bag, raffle and silent auction)
Lane (up to) 6 bowlers- $200 (
two hours of bowling, shoes, event shirt, pizza per lane, pitcher of soda, gift bag, raffle and silent auction)

Schedule of events:
6:00 pm to 6:30 pm- Registration/Check-in
6:30 pm to 8:30 pm- Bowling
7:00 pm to 8:00 pm- Silent auction
8:30 pm to 8:45 pm-  Awards ceremony/closing remarks

Location:
Poway Fun Bowl is a family-owned bowling center located in the heart of Poway, California. Their facility has 32 bowling lanes, an arcade, 7 pool tables and a sports lounge with 10 TVs  and a dance floor. Their friendly and considerate staff will make you feel like you’re family and their welcoming atmosphere will allow you to relax and enjoy yourself with ease.

BoltBlitz-800x450-e1412795490245

 

Community Partner:

On behalf of Strikes For Kids, I would like to cordially invite you to the Second Annual Kaiser Permanente Strikes For Kids San Diego Bowling Classic. The fundraiser for all ages and skill levels will be hosted by Chargers’ Pro Bowl specialist Darrell Stuckey & Safety Jaheel Addae. The event will take place on October 3, 2016 at Poway Bowl from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

Proceeds from the event goes to benefiting The Strikes For Kids Scholarship Program which will award four (4) $500 scholarships to the The San Diego Foundation. The San Diego Foundation strives to improve San Diegans’ quality of life by creating equity and ensuring opportunities to be WELL (Work, Enjoy, Live & Learn). Established in 1975, they now manage more than 1,900 funds, which have raised in excess of $900 million to support nonprofit organizations that do good throughout our community.

Strikes For Kids is a 501 c3 nonprofit organization that was launched in 2012 that partners more than a 125 NFL players with benefiting youth organizations in communities across the United States.  We coordinate charity bowling, softball and golf events that allows fans, families and local businesses an opportunity to come together for a fun-filled  event to support a positive cause in their city while enjoying the chance to meet their favorite athletes.

Helping us giving back to the community does so much to help those in need and contribute to the common good. You can give back in different ways, by  participating in the event, donating to it or just by simply volunteering your time. No matter how you do it, giving back to the community will touch many people’s lives. Even the smallest good deed can ignite change and positively impact the community by providing a renewed sense of hope. ​Once again thank you for your help and support I look forward to seeing you on the lanes!

Sincerely,

Joe Allen
Founder/Strikes For Kids
(559)241-4412
jallen@strikes4kids.org

 

 
 Registration options:
Spectator- $20 (gift bag, raffle and silent auction)
Bowler- $35 (two hours of bowling, shoes, event shirt, pizza per lane, pitcher of soda, gift bag, raffle and silent auction)
Lane (up to) 6 bowlers- $175 (
two hours of bowling, shoes, event shirt, pizza per lane, pitcher of soda, gift bag, raffle and silent auction)
 

 
Schedule of events:
6:00 pm to 6:30 pm- Registration/Check-in
6:30 pm to 8:30 pm- Bowling
7:00 pm to 8:00 pm- Silent auction
8:30 pm to 8:45 pm-  Awards ceremony/closing remarks
 

 
Location:
Poway Fun Bowl is a family-owned bowling center located in the heart of Poway, California. Our facility has 32 bowling lanes, an arcade, 7 pool tables and a sports lounge with 10 TVs  and a dance floor. Our friendly and considerate staff will make you feel like you’re family and our welcoming atmosphere will allow you to relax and enjoy yourself with ease. – See more at: http://www.powayfunbowl.com/#sthash.w1E8Wdl2.dpuf

Lambo3

 

Okay, I know what you’re thinking, saying the Chargers special teams unit will be improved in 2016 is a bit like predicting that college students will go out drinking in Pacific Beach this summer. We all know the Chargers’ special teams unit was atrocious last year. If fact, it really couldn’t get much worse. But I have reason to believe that this unit can go from a debilitating liability, to actually helping propel our beloved Bolts back into the playoffs in 2016. Here’s why.

 

Jacoby Jones is no longer on the field. Let’s take a sarcastic moment and let that sink in; just how lucky we are he got canned last November after appearing in only five games and recording NEGATIVE FOUR YARDS in punt returns. He was worse that a fair catch. Give Tom Telesco credit for pulling the plug early on Jones.

On the other hand, we can collectively boo the fact Mike McCoy and departed Special Teams Coordinator Kevin Spencer decided his replacement on punt returns was going to be Keenan Allen! I literally yelled at my TV every time I saw Keenan back to field a punt. Our future at wide receiver, back deep, just waiting to be pummeled by an onslaught of opposing special teams monsters.

Eventually injuries at wide receiver forced McCoy to promote receiver Javontee Herndon who showed promise towards the end of the season and saved the unit from being a complete dumpster fire. The addition of WR Travis Benjamin from Cleveland this offseason is a major upgrade.

 

Poor Mike Scifres. Mike, we love you. You are one of the best punters to ever wear the lightning bolts, but over the last couple of seasons you were blown up more than Drake’s cell phone. Not your fault (*cough* Donald Brown), but your body had taken a pounding and you could no longer pin the ball inside the five-yard line like the Chargers were paying you about $4 million dollars a year to do.

By cutting Scifres and drafting punter Drew Kaser from Texas A&M in the sixth round, the Chargers saved money and improved the punt game overnight. In addition, Josh Lambo should be able to build on a strong rookie season, having experienced kicking in division rival stadiums in 2015.

 

When fans talk about “Special Teams”, we tend to only mention three positions: kicker, punter and return man. There are, in fact, ten other players in the unit, unfortunately for the Chargers these other ten were mostly not good, least of all Nick Dzubnar. After showing flashes in the 2015 preseason and making the team as a backup linebacker/coverage team guy, Dzubnar’s numerous holding and illegal block penalties on special teams really hurt, and contributed to the Chargers being among the last in the league in starting field position.

The goal this year is to get him off the field. Thankfully, the Bolts drafted two linebackers that are already better than Dzubnar and they haven’t played an NFL game yet. The first is 6-foot-4, 254-pound Ohio State linebacker Joshua Perry. Perry has the size, durability and tackling skill to be a difference maker on special teams. Second, my personal favorite, and possibly the steal of this draft, is 5-foot-11, 227-pound linebacker from Akron Jatavis Brown. Brown runs faster than some of the wide receivers drafted in 2016 and he can hit! Look for him to make an immediate impact on special teams and defense this year.

 

Players already on the roster like linebackers Tourek Williams, who is hoping to come back strong after missing most of last season with injury, and Kyle Emanuel combined on a special teams strip/fumble early last year and are going to make plays. Denzel Perryman is hopefully going to continue to lay the boom. I would look for competition at gunner to be between LB Jatavis Brown, WRs Herndon and Tyrell Williams and excellent special teamer Darrell Stuckey. At worst, this unit looks to be on the uptick to average in the NFL. At best, the Chargers’ special teams could suddenly become an asset in the battle to reach the playoffs for 2016. And that’s something we can be excited about!

 

Let us know what you think in the comment section below!

 

Travis Blake

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

Weddle3

 

In a bombshell that was reported by Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune Monday, the San Diego Chargers informed safety and defensive captain Eric Weddle they will not pursue a contract extension with him this season. Weddle had made his displeasure known this offseason by stating he would not show up for voluntary team workouts as his form of protest for not getting a new deal. Penalties do not start accruing until mandatory minicamp beginning June 16.

Unless he decides to dig in and holdout, Weddle is expected to be in camp for all mandatory camp activities. He has expressed his desire to retire a Charger, but did state he feels ‘highly, highly disrespected’ for not getting an extension by now. Always the professional, the three-time Pro Bowler will play like his hair is on fire and leave it all on the field, then enjoy being courted by every team with cap space in the league next offseason.

There’s no doubt that if he’s not the top safety in the league, he is definitely in the top five. Weddle is the fourth-highest paid safety in the league and will collect $7.5 million in this final season of his contract. If you averaged the salaries of the top-ten safeties in the league, it comes out to approximately $8 million per season. Weddle is actually making below the market average, so what don’t we know? Is his camp asking for more? Given what he has meant to this team and the San Diego community, maybe they are. They would be justified to ask.

By not working out an extension now, GM Tom Telesco is making his biggest gamble. When Weddle hits the free agent market, teams will break the bank for his services. He will definitely make more than $8 million a year at the end of the day.

The bottom line is, if Weddle ends up a Charger past this season, it will come at a higher price tag than it would if they were to get a deal done while they have exclusive rights to him. Don’t expect Weddle to give Telesco a hometown discount after all that has transpired to this point.

In the very real possibility that Weddle is not a Charger in 2016, what is the backup plan?

The Chargers have a maturing group of safeties and a couple of contenders playing on their rookie contracts. They just signed Jimmy Wilson to a two-year deal in March. The former Dolphin is expected to push Jahleel Addae for the starting strong safety spot opposite Weddle. The veteran will be entering his fifth season and is coming off his best year as a pro, totaling 59 tackles, two passes defensed and one interception.

Jahleel Addae has done nothing but improve with each passing season. The 2013 undrafted free agent hit the ground running as a special teams standout and situational safety. Last season, he was the starting strong safety in five games, playing in eleven games. Although he missed five contests (two to hamstring, three to concussion),  Addae had a better statistical season than his rookie year when he played in all 16 games. Granted, he wasn’t thrown into the defensive rotation until midway through the season, but he’s shown a natural aptitude for the position.

Darrell Stuckey is the undisputed leader of the special teams unit and is coming off his first Pro Bowl selection at the special teams position. Stuckey saw lots of action on defense with the litany of injuries the Chargers suffered in the secondary. He is the eldest safety on the roster after Weddle, entering his sixth season. The rest of the field consists of rookies and pros entering their second season. If they are the backup plan, it is not a good backup plan.

No two of those players equal one Eric Weddle.

Even if you add in the top safety prospect in next year’s draft, Florida State junior Jalen Ramsey, it’s going to take time to cultivate that talent. With a formidable cornerback group anchored by Brandon Flowers and Jason Verrett, the Chargers have a potential top-five secondary if all stay healthy. That’s never been a problem for Weddle, who hasn’t missed a game in five years and only missed four games his entire career. According to Pro Football Focus, Weddle was the best safety in the league and 22nd-ranked player in the league regardless of position.

Yes, he’s 30. Yes, he’s reached that magical number where player performance starts to decline. We know Tom Telesco favors youth over grizzled veterans. That is likely the thinking in taking the wait-and-see approach. However, when you have the best player at his position, you should pay him as such.

We’ve seen what happens when a locker room is too young. Look no further than the Browns, Jets and Bills to see what happens to a team that doesn’t have the veteran infrastructure needed to keep the younger inmates from running the asylum. The Chargers have that veteran infrastructure.

As long as Telesco doesn’t let them all walk away.

 

Bolt Up!!

 

The Greg One

 

#TelescoMagic

 

weddle

 

Uncharacteristically, high-profile San Diego Chargers have been making headlines during this offseason. It started in the front office with the ongoing stadium issue, Antonio Gates asking for reduced playing time and rolled into the Philip Rivers-for-Marcus Mariota trade chatter that consumed national and social media in the weeks leading up to the 2015 NFL Draft. Since the draft, defensive captain Eric Weddle has proclaimed he will not show up for offseason training activities until he is signed to a new contract.

Weddle is the undisputed leader of the defense and one of the best if not the top safety in the league. Safety play is going to be critical if the Chargers are going to make the postseason. Let’s take a look at who the Chargers currently have on the roster at the safety position.

Eric Weddle: One of the few safeties wearing the helmet mic to receive the defensive calls from the sideline, Weddle is the conductor of the Chargers defense. Now entering his ninth season in lightning bolts, Weddle hasn’t missed a game in five seasons and has only missed four games in his career. Unlike other seasoned vets, Weddle has gotten better with age. The 30-year old has compiled 97, 115 and 114 combined tackles in the last three seasons. Weddle has been elected to the Pro Bowl four times, three in the last four seasons. Once Weddle signs his new deal, he and his beard will be permanently inked into his starting safety spot for the rest of his Chargers days. It will happen.

Jahleel Addae: Another Chargers undrafted free agent success story, Addae is entering is third season with San Diego. After contributing significantly on special teams he was thrown into the mix on defense halfway through the 2013 season and continued his stellar play. Last season, Addae started at safety alongside Weddle in five games and played eleven games. He compiled 48 tackles (35 solo), one sack, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. Although he missed five games, two to hamstring and three to concussion, he showed an aptitude for the position. Addae has great safety instincts and he can be expected to start significantly more games at safety this season as long as he can stay healthy.

Darrell Stuckey: Heading into his sixth season, Stuckey has established himself as the Bolts’ special teams captain. He has continually improved his production each season to the point where he was named special teams Player of the Year and was selected to his first Pro Bowl last season. Stuckey was also given extended playing time on defense at safety and proved his coaches right in doing so. The Chargers have an excellent three-man core at safety with Weddle, Addae and Stuckey consistently making plays.

Jimmy Wilson: An offseason free agency pickup by the Chargers, Wilson signed a two-year deal with the Bolts in March.  A native San Diegan, Wilson was a seventh-round draft pick by Miami in the 2011 NFL Draft. He is expected to challenge Addae for the starting strong safety and nickel corner positions. Durable and versatile, Wilson has only missed four games in his four-year career and has compiled 153 tackles (133 solo), 16 passes defensed, four interceptions, three forced fumbles and two sacks. Last season was the first time he started more than four games when he started in 13 of the Dolphins 14 games. As a result he had his best statistical year with 58 tackles, two passes defensed and one interception. Wilson provides another playmaker into the Chargers rebuilt secondary and will be exciting to follow as camp progresses.

Adrian Phillips: The undrafted free agent out of Texas spent last season on the Chargers practice squad. Phillips was team captain for the 2013 Longhorns and had 206 career tackles from the safety position. He did see action in the Miami Dolphins game, where he recorded one tackle.

UDFA’s Johnny Lowdermilk and Gordon Hill: If the name Lowdermilk sounds familiar, it’s because his father Kirk Lowdermilk had a 12-year career in the NFL with Minnesota Vikings and Indianapolis Colts as an offensive lineman. Iowa’s Lowdermilk is lauded for his physical play, nose for the football and coverage ability but lack of speed is a concern. Last season he totaled 103 tackles (58 solo), three tackles for loss, three interceptions, three passes defensed and two forced fumbles. He’s worth a look just from a hustle and bloodline standpoint.

Hill entered the NFL after leaving Sacred Heart after his junior season. An All-NEC (Northeast Conference) first team selection, he collected 85 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 4 forced fumbles and two interceptions last season. It will be a long way up to make the main roster but he will get his opportunity to shine in camp.

The Chargers have one of the better collections of safeties in the NFL. Weddle deserves to be the highest paid safety in the league and likely will be soon. Addae and Stuckey fly to the football and are finally coming into their own with regular playing time on defense. There is definitely room for a fourth man in the rotation. Whether it comes from this lot or from an unexpected name arising when roster cuts are made remains to be seen.

 

Bolt Up!!

 

 

The Greg One

 

 

#TelescoMagic

 

Weddle3

 

The Chargers begin offseason training activities (OTAs) on Tuesday. Although there is no hitting/tackling allowed, this is the first time of the offseason the players will practice in helmets.

OTAs provide the team with the opportunity to begin installments in all three phases of the game. It also gives the entire team a chance to begin to gel.

For the first time since Tom Telesco and Mike McCoy took over the reins with the Chargers, the team has a player not attending due to contract issues.

That player is Eric Weddle.

Weddle has made it clear that he will not be at voluntary workouts with the team until a long-term contract extension is signed. Although Telesco has said numerous times that the Chargers plan on extending him at the right time, the talks have been non-existent as of late.

He voiced his displeasure about not having a new contract to Kevin Acee of The San Diego Union-Tribune.

“I feel highly, highly disrespected,” Weddle told Acee in late April. “… It is what it is, but there is no reason for me to put out any more effort.”

“We’ve come to them numerous times and said we want to be part of the team, we want to retire as a Charger,” Weddle said. “We’ve completely gotten pushed aside.”

The 30-year-old free safety is in the last year of his contract; one that will pay him $7.5 million in 2015. Weddle desires to sign a long-term extension, ensuring his place on the Chargers’ roster for the remainder of his career.

Weddle has played in all 16 games of the season for five consecutive years. His career numbers include 772 total tackles, six sacks, 65 passes defensed, 19 interceptions and five forced fumbles.

It goes without saying that Weddle is the leader of the defense, wearing the helmet mic that John Pagano uses to call in the defensive plays. He is one of the only safeties in the NFL to have that distinction. The two-time first-team All-Pro deserves a new contract. He changes the way that the defense can be called. I cannot imagine what it would be like if he were to refuse to show up come training camp.

Mandatory training camp begins on June 16.

Also absent from OTAs Tuesday were Antonio Gates and King Dunlap.

 

 

Helmets2

 

 

The San Diego Chargers lost a tough game to the New England Patriots on Sunday.  It was a game of ups and downs; highlights and low lights, so to speak.  A battered Philip Rivers was inefficient and inaccurate when it mattered the most.  The running game was underutilized as the team finished with less than 60 yards rushing.

That is not good enough.  That is not what provides a chance to make the playoffs, or make noise if one is so “lucky” to make the postseason.

With 3 games left in 2014, the Bolts find themselves at a crossroads of sorts.  What is their identity?  Who are they?

I cannot answer that.  I have yet to be able to identify who this team is and what they are about.  To me, it is a mystery.

Despite losing to the Pats, the Charger defense was more than solid.  They continue to step up their game each and every week.  Corey Liuget is an absolute animal.  Arguably, he is the second-best defensive end in the NFL next to JJ Watt.  Melvin Ingram was all over the field making plays and disrupting Tom Brady and company.  A huge fumble recovery by Darrell Stuckey was returned for a touchdown.  Rob Gronkowski proved to be too much for the Charger defense after finishing with 8 receptions for 87 yards and a touchdown.  Sadly, his performance paled in comparison to that of Julian Edelman.  He snagged 8 balls, as well, and had 141 yards receiving with a 69-yard scoring reception.

San Diego also lost Mike Scifres to a fractured clavicle.  It is hard to say whether or not he’ll return for the 2014 season.  Scifres is the latest in a long line of banged up Chargers.  We have talked about it ad nauseam on this site regarding the number of injuries on this year’s team.  It is a bit sickening, to be honest.

The Chargers are now about to face-off with their division rival.  The Denver Broncos and Peyton Manning are coming to town after putting the Buffalo Bills to bed without even so much as a goodnight kiss.  There was hope going into the second half….. and then there was none.

Who are the Chargers?  What kind of mark is the 2014 team going to leave on this season?  If there was ever a time to find themselves, and establish an identity, it is now.  John Pagano has stepped up as a coordinator.  The defense has been playing lights out.  But the offense has yet to truly find its form.  Rivers is struggling to keep upright and he has been settling for checkdowns due to poor pass-blocking.

San Diego has three games left to show the entire NFL world what they are made of.  The time is now.  They have two choices:  fold and have a middle of the road draft pick, or march on strongly into the playoffs.

Which is it, San Diego?  What are you made of?

Regardless, I am looking forward to seeing what this team has to offer as they are now in a position to control their own destiny.  But what will that be?  It is up to them to do what it takes to secure a postseason opportunity.  And it starts with beating Denver this upcoming Sunday.

 

Thanks a lot for reading.

 

Booga Peters

 

Una noche triste para la escuadra relámpago, ya que la “época más feliz del año” no inicia bien para ellos, con un mal resultado contra los Patriotas de New England. Después de un juego extraordinario contra Baltimore, este juego se caracterizó, entre muchas cosas, por una línea ofensiva deficiente, una línea defensiva que trató de quitar puntos, y una unidad de equipos especiales que sufrió una pérdida muy fuerte. A pesar de que había de esperanzas de una victoria en la primera mitad, los Chargers no pudieron resistir a la escuadra de Tom Brady, y sufrieron un juego perdido, 23-14.

 

Retomando un poco de datos (como en cada partido):

 

No Se Puede Culpar, Completamente, a Philip Rivers

 

Un quarterback no puede hacer su trabajo bien si la línea ofensiva no lo protege. Se debe aclarar eso. La línea ofensiva se veía descontrolada, dando la oportunidad a la defensa de los Patriotas para poder saquear al capitán, lo cual ocurrió en 4 ocasiones. Sin embargo, Rivers no tuvo un buen día, en general, con 189 yardas, 20 intentos completados de 33, 1 touchdown y 1 intercepción. Hubo un par de momentos célebres para los Chargers, como la espectacular atrapada de Malcolm Floyd, resultando en el primer touchdown de la noche (Y cabe mencionar que fue la atrapada #1 en el ranking de las mejores atrapadas de la semana, según NFL.com) .

 

La Defensiva Hizo Un Buen Papel

 

Le tengo que dar un aplauso a la defensiva, porque hicieron bien su trabajo. Se vio una unión estable y consistencia durante la mayoría del encuentro, y vimos unas participaciones espectaculares de Jahleel Addae, quien forzó un fumble, recuperado por Darrell Stuckey quien lo llevó hasta la zona de touchdown para sumarle 6 puntos más a la escuadra relámpago. Podemos mencionar además a Melvin Ingram quien tuvo una buena noche, saqueando a Tom Brady en el primer cuarto para evitar un touchdown, y Manti Te’o que interceptó el balón al final del 2do cuarto, un gran acontecimiento para el #50. Si, todavía hay un poco de detalles, como el caso de los castigos; sin embargo, el esfuerzo y la mejoría de una semana a otra se ve.

 

Houston! Tenemos Problemas En Las Patadas!

 

Si bien creían que la peor pesadilla para los Chargers era perder el partido en “Sunday Night”, están equivocados. La unidad de equipos especiales sufrió una pérdida muy fuerte y esencial para el equipo, cuando Mike Scifres se lesionó después de despejar el balón, que fue bloqueado. Scifres, como he mencionado, es un jugador superestrella que se ha lucido durante varias temporadas como Chargers. Sin embargo, su lesión es una pérdida muy importante, probablemente la más importante para la escuadra. Scifres tendrá que ser operado y por consecuencia no terminará la temporada. Vimos a Nick Novak tomar cargo de las patadas por el resto de la noche, y a pesar de estar un poco nervioso al principio, tuvo un buen desempeño. Digo, no podemos comparar un pateador con el otro, pero la ausencia de Scifres se notó.

 

Para los Chargers, como cualquier temporada, este ha sido una intensa montaña rusa; sin embargo, esta se ha caracterizado por el alto número de lesiones, y un alto número de castigos durante el juego. Quedan 3 juegos en la temporada regular, y la escuadra se encuentra peleando en una carrera competitiva en la AFC. Su último juego en casa será el próximo domingo contra los Broncos de Denver, y si los Chargers quieren cerrar con broche de oro su récord local, deben tomar cartas en el asunto y empezar a jugar como si fueran los Playoffs o más allá.

 

– José “Joe” Martínez

#ChargerNation

@JoeLovesMusic24

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