If you read Booga’s article earlier today, “Charger fans: Step away from the ledge”, I would like to add to that a little and give you my take on last night’s game against the Seahawks.
I’ll have to agree with Booga in that as I watched the game and commented back and forth to many Charger fans on Facebook, they were very upset. I had to remind everyone that it’s only preseason. I also went on to tell fans that the Chargers can’t fix the weak areas unless they know what they are. In addition, I reminded folks that the Patriots and the Packers went 0-4 during preseason and went on to win a Super bowl during those same year. That’s not to say the Chargers will win a Super bowl this season however, it is to say that preseason means absolutely NOTHING other than to evaluate players.
I saw some bright spots as well as weaknesses last night. I’ll go through what I saw and you guys feel free to comment.
The first team offense marched right down the field on our first drive which I think could have been a touchdown had McCoy gone for a second 4th and 1 on said drive. Instead he went for the field goal. Ryan Mathews looked great on that drive. Antonio Gates and John Phillips both had big receptions as well. We also saw Eddie Royal with a couple of touches and even Keenan Allen had a reception to help the drive. Chad Rinehart did a nice job for the O-line opening up holes for the running backs. And last but not least, Philip Rivers looked sharp. You can forget what the naysayers are saying about him.
Our first team defense looked pretty good as well, stalling Seattle’s first drive. You can forget what the naysayers are saying about Dwight Freeney too. I saw him completely dominate Seattle’s offensive tackle, Breno Giacomini. No spin moves or fancy dancing, he just bull rushed Giacomini several times. I was impressed. Jarret Johnson did a nice job setting the edges to contain the Seahawks running game as well.
A lot of the second teamers and Rookies looked impressive as well. I liked the way Fozzy Whitaker was running the ball. I knew he would bust one loose (a run) after watching his first couple of touches. He’s quick and decisive.
David Molk did a nice job although he has to work on mental mistakes.
Steve Williams also did a nice job on coverage for the most part, although he did get burned for two touchdowns. You have to admit, those passes would have been difficult for any Cornerback to defend.
Areas that need work:
Here we go again with Robert Meachem. He didn’t drop any passes but he was running his routes incorrectly. Seems the coaching staff is trying to find a spot for him, using him for kickoff returns. At least Eddie Royal is showing more promise. Meachum still looks like a bust.
Josh Johnson, the rookie cornerback that was assigned punt return duties last night. Yikes. He better put some stickum on those hands or something (illegal, I know). He muffed his first attempt which almost resulted in disaster. His second attempt was almost disastrous as well. He’s lucky the ball didn’t touch him, otherwise the score would have been 38-10! Yikes!
I think the most glaring thing that stood out to me, and other fans, was Charlie Whitehurst.
My opinion of him is not good. He held the ball too long and couldn’t find his receivers. I was willing to give him somewhat of the benefit of the doubt at first, but it was the same thing I saw him doing in training camp. Then after I saw what Brad Sorensen did when coach finally put him in, no more benefit. Whiteworst out, Sorensen in. Period.
There were a lot of mental mistakes that resulted in penalties which drive coaches crazy. If these players keep making these mistakes, NFL will mean “not for long” for these guys.
Don’t fret Charger fans and like BoogaP said, step away from the ledge!! It’s only preseason. There are a lot of good things to look forward to.
Some fans approached the NFL draft with the impression that the Chargers could take at least two offensive linemen and some even speculated four. The fact of the matter is the Bolts only drafted one in selecting DJ Fluker out of Alabama.
This did leave multiple question marks along the line. Left Tackle seems to be the most talked about spot. It is safe to assume that Fluker can be penciled in at Right Tackle and the same can be said for Nick Hardwick at Center. King Dunlap will most likely be the starting Left Tackle come week one of the regular season. But perhaps Tom Telesco will attempt to make a move after June 1st rolls around and the team has a bit more cap space.
The real question lies at both of the starting Guard spots. There is a lot of intrigue as to who will man these positions.
The following players will all be competing for the two Guard positions: Jeromey Clary, Chad Rinehart, Brandyn Dombrowski, Rich Ohrnberger, David Molk, and Johnnie Troutman.
Personally, I would like to see both Clary and Rinehart start at Right and Left Guard respectively. But there is word out of Chargers Park that Johnnie Troutman will be given a chance to start.
Troutman is a 2012 fifth round draft pick out of Penn State. At 6’4″ 330 pounds he is, obviously, a very big man. There were questions about his stamina and taking plays off while coming out of college. Some have even voiced their doubts as to how much football even matters to him. But there are a number of positives as well. NFL.com had Troutman rated as a 54.5 when coming out of college. Please don’t quote me on that. I am going off of memory. By the way, that is not very good.
As mentioned above he has great size that allows him to hold his ground well against bull rushes by oncoming defensive linemen. Troutman has good strength and is solid when matched up one-on-one in blocking. He shows a nasty streak that one desires in an offensive lineman.
I hope for the best for all of the players on the Chargers. I feel that is part of being a true fan. If Johnnie Troutman were to come out and steal the show during mini camps, OTAs, and training camp, then more power to him.
All we can hope for is the best two guards to be in the starting line up come Monday night against the Houston Texans.
Thanks a lot for reading.
As we’ve talked about all offseason, the holes on San Diego’s roster are all over the place. There is little debate as to where the Chargers need help. The disagreements come in when you talk about when these needs should be addressed in the NFL draft.
Although the Bolts will not be able to fill all of their holes via the draft, they can take care of a good number of them then supplement them with players that are still available in free agency. Not to mention, there will be a number of cuts made after the draft as well. This will replenish the pool of free agents with some solid veterans that can either provide depth or come in and fight for a spot on the 53 man roster.
In this piece I’ll list the positions on the roster that the team could look to address in the draft. Again, they won’t be able to look at all of them. Keep in mind that these are groups that they could add depth to also. If a position is listed, it doesn’t mean I think it has the potential to be addressed in the first 3 rounds. There is no particular order to my list.
Offensive Tackle– The Chargers presently have King Dunlap, Jeromey Clary, Mike Harris, Kevin Haslam, and Stephen Schilling. Although one can not give a ringing endorsement to this group as a whole, the overall quality could change, for the better, if the team brought in Bryant McKinnie or Eric Winston.
The majority of people think that the team should find a way to secure one of the top 3 tackles. I suppose that would place me in the minority.
Offensive Guard– The Chargers list these players as there Guards at the current time: Chad Rinehart, Rich Orhnberger and Johnnie Troutman. David Molk is capable of playing Guard too.
Opening holes up the middle in the running game, and keeping pressure out of the face of Philip Rivers are crucial to this offense’s success. But, let me remind you, the Ken Whisenhunt offense will have Rivers getting the ball out much quicker than the overload of 7 step drops in Norv Turner’s offense.
Drafting a guard too early would be a mistake.
The Chargers have also brought in Joe D’Alessandris from Buffalo to run the offensive line. The Chargers will be employing a zone blocking scheme, along with the power scheme.
Running Back– The current crew of running backs are Ryan Mathews, Danny Woodhead, Ronnie Brown, Edwin Baker, and Foswhitt Whittaker. It’s hard to say if either Baker or Whittaker will make it past training camp. If the Chargers do decide to add a running back late in the draft, one or both of them could be cut.
Mathews is on his last leg with the Chargers. He has to put up, or shut up in 2013. The new regime has zero ties to the injury prone, yet talented, running back.
Woodhead was a solid addition. However, it’s difficult to say if he is the long term answer at the position. He will be lining up all over the field, causing defenses fits trying to scheme for what he’ll be doing.
Ronnie Brown helped invent the forward pass in the NFL. I kid. Brown is old but very effective as a receiver out of the backfield and solid in pass protection out of the backfield.
Wide Receiver- The wide receivers are Malcom Floyd, Danario Alexander, Vincent Brown, Eddie Royal, Robert Meachem, Richard Goodman, Dan DePalma, Deon Butler, and Mike Willie. In quantity, this group seems more than fine. In quality, that is another issue altogether.
Having weapons in the passing game for Rivers is crucial. Alexander and Floyd on the outside, with Brown in the slot sounds good to me. Royal might not make it to training camp this year. The team could decide to cut his $1.5 million salary due to multiple reasons. Meachem is a Charger for at least the 2013 season. He is owed far too much money to cut him.
The rest of the group consists of camp bodies/practice squad players. I don’t mean to sell short what Goodman provides as a gunner and kick returner on special teams. But he is not a threat at wideout.
Don’t be surprised if the team adds a wideout to compete with this group.
Quarterback- Calm down. Rivers is my favorite Charger. I am not saying to replace him. Carry on. Joining Rivers on the roster at this time is Charlie Whitehurst. Some people believe that now is the time to groom a replacement for Rivers. That isn’t the worst idea if the right guy falls and fits what the Chargers are doing. It’s a scenario like the one with Brees/Rivers, or Rodgers/Favre, in that having a signal caller learn behind a high quality starter can be an intelligent move. It may not pay immediate dividends, but in the long run it can certainly do just that.
The bigger question at QB for me is, do you feel comfortable having a Barry Gibb look alike, Whitehurst, as the Bolts’ backup? What are the chances of the Chargers staying alive in the case that Rivers went down? It makes me cringe, on so many levels, to even consider that happening.
If the Chargers do draft a guy to groom, and Rivers starts to put up quality numbers again, then you ship the newby off to a quarterback hungry team for a high draft pick.
Fullback- I am not going to make a lot of friends with this one. That is perfectly fine. The NFL has been phasing out the position for the last half a decade or more. Le’Ron McClain leaves a lot to be desired. McClain is another one of AJ Smith’s free agent extravaganza from 2012. You don’t have to draft a fullback. But you can pick up a guy as an undrafted free agent. And, by the way, I still have no idea what #sweater means that he constantly tweets out.
I didn’t list Tight End or Center on this list. The Chargers are now loaded at Tight End. Nick Hardwick is our best offensive lineman and Molk will be a solid replacement in the future if need be.
There you have it. Those are the offensive positions the Chargers could look to improve during the draft. We’ll address the defensive positions either later today or tomorrow.
Feel free to leave a comment below about what you think the Chargers should do offensively in the draft.
Thanks a lot for reading.