Dwight Lowery

riversfrustrated

 

 

The Chargers looked to move back to .500 in Week 10 as they faced the Dolphins at home before heading into the Bye Week. Unfortunately, huge mistakes in key situations lead to the Miami Dolphins stealing this game away from the Chargers.

Let’s take a look at the good, the bad and the ugly of another heartbreaking Chargers’ loss.

 

The Good

Tyrell Williams– 5 REC, 126 YDS, TD 

With Travis Benjamin out with a knee injury, Tyrell Williams stepped up in a big way, as he has done pretty much all season. You have to love Tyrell’s ability to find ways to get open and his desire to learn from his mistakes. After running the wrong route and getting chewed out by Philip Rivers and Mike McCoy, Williams made up for his error the very next play with a game/momentum changing 51 yard touchdown reception. You almost wonder if Tyrell would have come this far if this team still had Keenan Allen and Stevie Johnson. None the less, look for Tyrell to get even better after the bye week, sans any injury setback.

 

Chargers Defense– No Denzel Perryman or Jatavis Brown?  No problem.  With those key injuries, this rag-tag defensive unit did their job in key moments in the game, especially Korey Toomer who lead the way with ten tackles and one assist.  In addition, this band of misfits was able to hold the NFL’s leading rusher, Jay Ajayi, to 79 yards on 19 carries. Even if I didn’t agree with John Pagano’s play calling at key moments, you can’t blame the defense for this loss. The defense kept the Chargers in it until the end and with the upcoming bye week, this defense should get even better; getting Brown and Perryman back from injury,

Worth a mentionTrevor Williams, Melvin Ingram and Melvin Gordon.

 

The Bad

Joe Barksdale

In four games with nine penalties on one player, there comes a time where you have to rethink who is out there. It would be okay if Joe was good at his job. The truth is he’s not. In those four games he has been consistently beat at the point of attack, allowing Rivers to be sacked on multiple occasions. With the present bye week, the coaching staff needs to see that just because he is healthy, Barksdale is just not getting it done.  Can they please try Chris Hairston or DJ Fluker at the right tackle position?

 

Offensive Line Pass Protection

In addition to Barksdale, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how bad this line was as whole. For the second week in a row, Rivers continued to find himself looking up at a blue San Diego sky. Three times last Sunday, Rivers was probably wondering if his line would ever protect him. This has been a consistent problem that can only be fixed by a short, quick passing game and running the ball far more consistently.

 

The Ugly

Philip Rivers– 23/44 326 YDs, 3 TDs, 4 INTs 

After the game Rivers took all the blame for the team losing on Sunday as he should have. This team lives and dies by his success and struggles. Rivers struggled a lot on Sunday throwing four interceptions; three of which were in key points of the game. The first one of those three came off of a rare Dolphins turnover, giving the Bolts a 1st and goal at the five yard line. Rivers looked like he just wasn’t paying attention to zone defense as he threw into double coverage for an easy interception.  Tough to come out of that situation with no touchdown – let alone no points at all.

 

The second came as the Chargers were driving down the field late in the game – trying to get in field goal range for a game winning score. Philip was baited into thinking Kiko Alonso was blitzing, As the ball was snapped, Kiko instead backs out into zone stepping in front of the first read. Tyrell Williams. and took it back for the Dolphins go ahead score. Finally, on the game sealing interception, #17 is again looking for Tyrell who wasn’t even open on the play. He forced it, instead of looking elsewhere or taking the sack and live to fight another down.With the upcoming bye week, its time for Rivers to rest up. Get Travis Benjamin back and hoping Williams gets 100% healthy he will try to get this team back into the thick of things if it’s not too late.

 

 

Situational Play Calling- Too many times this season have we seen this team get bogged down in the redzone. Why? Because we run the same predictable plays every time we get to the opponents twenty yard line or closer. Where was the screen passes? Where was the quick slants? We ran a screen to Melvin Gordon on a crucial third down and he was able to gain a ton of yards. Yet we only ran the screen again with a failed screen to Antonio Gates. Lets be realistic for a moment: Screens are for speedy and shifty players in the open field. Gates is none of those at the back-end of his career. Quick slants were one of the factors in the Chargers victory against the Tennessee Titans the previous week. Yet against Miami, the offense went away from the bread and butter.

 

Most of the season, the question most asked is “Why didn’t the charger run the ball (in key situations)?  I’m aware Gordon was getting stuffed for most of the game, however Ayaji was also getting stopped but the Dolphins had no problem running it in twice in the red-zone. So if San Diego fired Frank Reich last year for these same issues, why  does this continue to happen? The answer is Mike McCoy who seems to have some sort of say in these situations. If this is the case, Mike has to go this week. He is holding this team back from being good or great. I for one have seen enough of this McNorv experiment and its time to move on. I hope that during this time off, the “powers that be” make the right decision and let McCoy go. A change is desperately needed, although I highly doubt this organization has any guts to do it.

 

Worth a mentionDwight Lowery

 

 

Chris Hoke

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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

ChargerDefense

Over a month ago the San Diego Chargers drafted defensive end Joey Bosa with their third overall pick. Along with Bosa the Chargers drafted two more defensive players. One of them was Bosa’s running mate at Ohio State, Joshua Perry. These look to be great additions combined with the free agent signings of defensive tackle Brandon Mebane and safety Dwight Lowery.

Some Chargers fans are clamoring for the Chargers to switch defensive schemes. I’ll tell you why this can not and will not happen anytime soon. First, I’ll tell you the difference between the two schemes. For the purpose of this piece it will just be a base 3-4 scheme versus the base 4-3 scheme. After this I will give my opinion on why switching schemes wouldn’t be beneficial for the Bolts moving forward.

I’ve stated in a previous article (Bolt Up For Bosa) that the Chargers only run their base scheme about 50% of defensive snaps. It’s these 50% of snaps I will be focusing on. That being said what is a 3-4 defense? It has been used famously by Bum Phillips, the father of Wade Phillips.

Used by the Houston Oilers in the 70’s, it’s predicated on pressure by overwhelming the offensive line with multiple attacking defensive players. If used correctly this scheme can be virtually unstoppable. This was defensive scheme used most brilliantly by the Denver Broncos to defeat the Carolina Panthers in this past years’ Super Bowl.

The 3-4 was the staple of Dick LeBeau’s defense which helped drive multiple teams to Super Bowl appearances. Lebeaus’ defense has yielded two wins and four losses in the Super Bowl. In New England, the 3-4 has been the driving force behind the Patriots dynasty. Yes, Tom Brady has made his throws but its been the defense that’s given the Patriots four Super Bowl titles in 15 years.

Breaking it down the 3-4 consists of three down linemen and four linebackers. The four linebackers have endless possibilities on how they can be placed. There’s a multitude of packages to utilize. This makes the 3-4 a hard defense to plan against. With four linebackers you don’t know who is blitzing or who is dropping back in coverage. The point of a 3-4 defense is mismatches. It’s built to stop the run and apply endless amount of pressure on the opposing teams’ offensive line. In theory, the Chargers should be good at run-stopping although this has been the Achilles’ heel of the defense over the past several years.

 

Here’s a diagram of a basic 3-4 defense.

34defense.png (574×288)

 

So how will the Chargers look defensively? Let’s start with the defensive line. At left defensive end will be Corey Liuget. Anchoring the middle will be nose tackle Brandon Mebane. At right defensive end will be Joey Bosa. At weak side outside linebacker will be Jerry Attaochu. The inside linebacker will be Manti Te’o. The middle linebacker will be Denzel Perrymen. The strong side linebacker will be Melvin Ingram.

Anchoring the back end of the defense from left to right will be left cornerback Jason Verrett. At Free Safety will be Dwight Lowery. Next to him will be strong safety Jahleel Addae. The right cornerback will be Brandon Flowers. Keep in mind this is how it stands right now. A lot depends on training camp and if the Chargers sign other free agents.

So now know how the Chargers will run their basic 3-4 defense. What is a 4-3 defense? The base 4-3 first came to us under Tom Landry when he was the Giants defensive coordinator in the 1950’s. He then made it even more famous with the Dallas Cowboys and through their vaunted “Doomsday” defense. Ever since, there’s been multiple variations of the scheme from the Bill Parcells stack defense to the Wide-9 defense famously used by the Philadelphia Eagles.

On to the basis of the 4-3. It’s four down linemen and three linebackers. In its most basic form the four down linemen will always have their hands in the ground and be in pursuit of whomever has the ball. The three linebackers are in charge of coverage in this base defense although they may blitz in certain packages.
Here’s a diagram of a basic 4-3 defense.

base_4-3.jpg (600×387)

The Chargers run a variation of the 4-3 in a hybrid nickel package. The nickel package features Melvin Ingram and Jerry Attaochu with their hands in the dirt. The 3-4 defense has been implemented since 2001 when Marty Schottenheimer took  over as head coach. Since then the Chargers have had a few dominant defenses in ’06, ’07, ’09 and 2010. Its been proven very effective when the right pieces are in place. In 2016 this is such the case. My main reason for this belief is Joey Bosa and the signing of cornerback Casey Hayward. The Hayward addition was an amazing pick up.

It’s all about the anchor of the 3-4, the nose tackle. A viable anchor is something the Chargers have lacked for so long. Since the days of Jamal Williams its been a revolving door at this position. Brandon Mebane probably didn’t make headlines to the casual Chargers fan. I believe this is the most underrated pickup of the whole offseason. Mebane can garner double- and sometimes even triple-teams.

This defense, hell, this whole team is going too shock a lot of people. As I said earlier the 3-4 requires almost pure selflessness from its three down linemen. It starts with Mebane. I may call him Bane by seasons’ end. If you know Batman then you understand the reference. Its been five years in the making with this defense. Why change philosophies now when this defense is so close to grasping greatness? Its proven to be a dominant defense in the past. It can and will be for years to come.

Jahleel Addae 2014

 

The mantle has been passed.

When long-time defensive team captain Eric Weddle moved on to sign with the Baltimore Ravens in March of this year, it was the end of an era.

Now, the onus is on Jahleel Addae to take on a more prominent role in the secondary. The question is, can he?

In the offseason, Addae signed a one-year RFA (restricted free agent) tender for $2.553 million. Last year, the strong safety racked up 65 tackles and a sack. Four years in San Diego have given him 151 tackles, three sacks, four passes defensed, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.

An undrafted free agent, Addae has been a part of the Bolts’ secondary longer than anyone else currently back there. He and defensive backs coach Ron Milus joined the Chargers in 2013. So, Addae should have a better grasp than the rest of that position group when it comes to what Milus is striving for out of his players in the secondary.

One of the challenges he faces is staying on the field. Now entering his fourth year with the Bolts, Addae has only managed to have one complete 16-game season (in 2013 as a rookie). Since then, he has missed parts of the last couple of campaigns with injuries to his ankle and hamstring. Let’s not forget there were two concussions, also.

Dubbed “The Hitman” by his fellow Chippewas at Central Michigan University, the ferocious hits that Addae has put on opponents have not only rattled them, but No. 37 himself. One such hit occurred in the October 23, 2014 game in Denver — a helmet-to-helmet collision with Broncos running back Juwan Thompson; the aftermath was disconcerting to many who witnessed Addae’s behavior. The safety is clearly seen experiencing some type of reaction to that impact. Though all on-field evaluations were negative, he was diagnosed with a concussion two days later. He did not miss any playing time.

Fast forward to 2016 and the expectations that Addae has for himself now that No. 32 is no longer across from him. Throughout OTAs, he has realized that he can take the knowledge learned from lining up opposite Weddle, use it to step up his game and become the leader that the young guys coming in need him to be. The offseason addition of former Colts’ safety Dwight Lowery should make that challenge seem less daunting.

Maturity and experience have also brought recognition of the example he needs to set with respect to those hits that he is so well-known for; putting himself on the bench due to injury as a direct result of one is not in his plans. As he recently stated, “I’m a physical safety. I love contact. But I know that I have to play smart. I’ve been hearing that since I’ve come into the league…My biggest goal is to play in all 16. And I feel I’ll be able to do that.”

Will Addae lead the secondary in helping the team overcome a forgettable 4-12 season? I believe he can. It is on him now to mentor the youth movement and be the voice of experience.

Thanks for reading!

Cheryl White

#SecondaryGetsItDone

November 8, 2014: Houston Cougars defensive back Adrian McDonald (16) during the NCAA football game between the Tulane Green Wave and University of Houston Cougars at TDECU Stadium in Houston, TX.

November 8, 2014: Houston Cougars defensive back Adrian McDonald (16) during the NCAA football game between the Tulane Green Wave and University of Houston Cougars at TDECU Stadium in Houston, TX. Photo Credit: todaysu.com

 

With Eric Weddle leaving for the Baltimore Ravens, it was apparent the San Diego Chargers were going to have to address the hole at safety.

So they did. Sort of. Possibly.

After signing former Colts safety Dwight Lowery early in March, it wasn’t until the draft that the front office addressed the last line of the defense once more.

Technically, it was actually after the draft ended when San Diego acquired the only true safety during the most popular weekend of the NFL offseason.

Undrafted free agent safety Adrian McDonald agreed to terms with the Chargers on April 30 and will look to become a permanent part of the San Diego secondary.

Measurables

Height: 5’11″*

Weight: 205 lbs*

40 Yard Dash: 4.62**

Bench Press (225 lbs): 10 reps**

*According to Chargers’ website

**Texans local prospect day

Analysis

McDonald tallied 17 career interceptions, forced seven fumbles and recovered seven more. He ranked 2nd on his team in tackles during his junior campaign with 92, along with four interceptions for the University of Houston. His numbers did not go unnoticed as he was named first-team All-AAC, as well as a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe awarded given to the best defensive back in college football.

There is no denying McDonald has a nose for the football as he consistently finds himself near, sometimes with, the ball. He is a solid tackler which not only is a defensive requirement but a special teams one, as well.

Showing value on special teams is most assuredly McDonald’s key to making the 53-man roster. His lack of ideal size and speed is what kept him from hearing his name during the draft, but he can make 31 other teams regret that decision by working hard to get an opportunity to showcase his talents.

With the Chargers ranking 19th in takeaways last season with just 20, players like McDonald are going to get a chance to bring such production to the Bolts’ secondary.

Here’s to hoping this marriage is long-lasting and beneficial to both sides.

Take a look for yourself at Charger hopeful, Adrian McDonald:

#ReadTheBlitz

Jarvis Royall

 

mccoil1

In the wake of NFL Draft week, fans are laboriously absorbing all the information on their team’s new selections as possible. For San Diego Chargers fans, the outlook is bright when looking at the team’s selections from top to bottom.

On paper, San Diego selected the top pass rusher (Joey Bosa), tight end (Hunter Henry) and punter (Drew Kaser) in the draft. They added an immediate upgrade at the decrepit center position (Max Tuerk) and gave Melvin Gordon company and instant chemistry in the backfield in the form of Derek Watt, the same fullback who blocked for Gordon during his record-breaking seasons at Wisconsin. There is very little not to love about this draft.

However, one name has flown almost completely under-the-radar in the storm of NFL Draft fever. Canadian Football League standout Dexter McCoil could be the future of the safety position. Versatile, the 6’4′, 220-pound phenom notched 76 tackles, two sacks, three interceptions and one fumble recovery as a hybrid inside linebacker/safety on the way to leading the Edmonton Eskimos to the 2015 Grey Cup Championship. In 2014, McCoil was the CFL’s Most Outstanding Rookie. His season was highlighted by his six interceptions, of which three were returned for touchdowns. The team signed him to a futures contract in January.

The Chargers drafted a defensive end and two linebackers to an already loaded linebacker corps. McCoil may rotate in as a linebacker on sub-packages; however, his true worth is elsewhere. The void is in the secondary, particularly in the free safety spot vacated by Eric Weddle. The Chargers signed veteran Dwight Lowery to fortify the position in free agency, and brought in Houston safety Adrian McDonald to vie for the position as an undrafted free agent.

If he plays in America as well as he played in Canada, this will be McCoils’ job to lose. Lowery may bring nine years of veteran experience, but McCoil, 24, brings youth, a vast upside and ball skills any team would feel lucky to have at the cornerback position, much less at safety. This will be a heated position battle as minicamps and OTAs start over the next few weeks. Whomever wins, we all win.

Stay tuned.

 

Bolt Up!!

 

The Greg One

 

#Safetyfirst

Gordon2

 

 

Now that the initial wave of free agency has come and gone, there are still many questions that need to be answered and holes on the roster to be filled.

For the purpose of this interview, I’ll be sitting down with the lead writer of this website, Greg Williams.

 

Booga: Which of the recently signed Chargers’ free agents are you most excited about?

Greg: By the slimmest of margins, I am most excited about the addition of wide receiver/returner Travis Benjamin. Slightly edging out Brandon Mebane, Benjamin had nearly four times as many punt return yards in 2015 than the Chargers did. Giving the Bolts a much-needed advantage in field position, the former Brown can swing the field in favor of the Chargers’ offense, as opposed to struggling mightily in that department in recent years. His ability to take the top off of defenses is something Philip Rivers hasn’t had since the days of Vincent Jackson. His presence dramatically opens up two of the three phases of the game for the Bolts.

 

Booga: Which position do you feel could still be addressed via free agency?

Greg: The center spot. Due to the fact that San Diego needs a veteran presence in the middle of the offensive line, Stefen Wisniewski should have already received a phone call from Tom Telesco, by now. He’s a Pro Bowl center who (no offense, Trevor Robinson and Chris Watt) is far and away better than the guys filling that spot now.

 

Booga: With the third pick, in the 2016 NFL draft, the San Diego Chargers select…….

Greg: I want the answer to be Jalen Ramsey. With his size, speed, natural ball-hawking skills and versatility, he is going to be an instant game changer. The problem is his stock is WAY  too high. I’m afraid he’s going to go top-two. Also, with the Chargers already signing Dwight Lowery, they may feel they have the safety position suitably covered. I would still want him since he can play corner just as well as safety. Play him opposite Jason Verrett, put Casey Hayward on the slot receiver and Brandon Flowers in the dime package. Unstoppable secondary.

All that being said, I think the Chargers will draft DeForest Buckner. He will be there. He has freakish size, speed and power. He’s got that Oregon conditioning so he won’t gas out. His presence will open up Corey Liuget, Melvin Ingram and other pass rushers to favorable one-on-one conditions.

 

Booga: The retirement of Malcom Floyd has left a gaping hole in the wide receiving corps. Despite the addition of Benjamin, do you feel the position should still be addressed in the draft?

Greg: YesThere is a good crop of receivers in this draft and none are projected to go higher than middle of the first round; meaning, there will be high quality guys available in the second and third rounds. The Chargers always seem to be pulling guys in off the street to catch the ball by the end of the year due to receiver injuries. Adding a receiver in the draft is a must. Better to have too much depth than not enough. I’m sure Rivers would attest to that.

 

Booga: Now that offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt is back with the team, do you think he can help steer Melvin Gordon’s career in the right direction? His rookie season left a lot to be desired.

Greg: Absolutely. Whisenhunt is the perfect man for the job. He knows how to use a power back correctly. The most frustrating thing about last season for me was watching how clueless former OC Frank Reich was in using Gordon. This was the man who just had a 2,000-yard, record-breaking, Heisman Trophy finalist season at Wisconsin using a traditional Power-I system. Fullback makes the first crack in the line and Melvin blasts through it to outstanding results. Did Reich sample that formula at all last season? No. He’s so married to his system he doesn’t want to help Gordon along with a system he’s familiar with that showcases his strengths. Instead, he wants to put him as a single back in a pistol or shotgun formation, use him as a receiving back and overuse inside draw handoffs from seven yards deep in the backfield. Gordon was doomed to fail.

Whisenhunt has a ton of experience using the style Gordon knows from his time in Pittsburgh and Arizona, and he used that style to great success. Both of his teams made the Super Bowl. He did it as a coordinator in Pittsburgh and as a head coach in Arizona. He understands using a fullback yields positive results. He will run old-school, smashmouth power sets, and Gordon will be the back we were hoping to see last season. I’m thrilled for him. I met Gordon three times at the NFL Draft in Chicago last year. He is an amazing young man and it couldn’t be happening to a better person.

 

Booga: If you were to grade Telesco’s free agency period thus far, what grade would you give it and why?

Greg: I would give him a B-minus.

Getting Mack would have given him an automatic-A. Looking at what Atlanta gave him, the Chargers could’ve done that contract and still had the room to sign their other guys. In their defense, however, there’s no way to know how much other guys are going to command. Getting Wisniewski would give them an A, as well.

The center problem is still a problem and the solution is still sitting there.

Mebane is a great add. All his teammates talk about how he is the soul of their defense, more so than the heralded Legion of Boom. He can occupy two defenders, opening up pass rushers, he can stop the run and he can push the pocket into quarterbacks’ laps.

I love Benjamin for the reasons I mentioned above.

Hayward hasn’t reached his prime yet. He’s going to shine because a lot of balls will be coming his way. Quarterbacks are learning to stay away from Verrett. He had six picks his rookie year and he’s shown himself to be a solid, versatile defender.

Lowery has grown into a quality pro, despite becoming an NFL journeyman. He’s going to have every opportunity to write his name in pen for the next three years at that position if he produces.

I like this free agent class a lot.

 

Booga: Despite a horrible 2015 for the Bolts, both on and off the field, what are your thoughts on the 2016 offseason thus far, and the prospects of the organization moving forward.

Greg: The Chargers needed this past season to happen. They needed it to see what they were doing is wrong on so many levels. The revolving door on the offensive and defensive lines is wrong. The offensive philosophy was wrong for the talent they have.

They needed the stadium fiasco to play out to light a fire under their butts and realize you can’t half-step on these stadium proposals and say they did their part, essentially blaming the fans. Now they see that the way to win back your fan base is bring in names we know to spark interest, not only in the fan base but in their own locker room.

Do you think the defensive captains are happy to hear Brandon Mebane is coming? Do you think Philip Rivers is happy to hear Travis Benjamin is coming? You better believe they’re excited! Rivers has already said he and his son were watching YouTube clips on Benjamin. That’s how you begin building a winning culture. Now the stadium task force will come correct with a viable plan and a stadium will become a reality.

The draft is going to bring in another impact player or two, and this team has a very realistic shot at getting back to a double-digit win season. They will have everyone coming back healthy and they’re playing a last-place schedule. They needed to be smacked down by reality in order to move forward. Now you’re going to see the real Chargers and a front office with their heads out of the sand.

Believe it or not, it’s a great time to be a Chargers fan. I can’t wait for the season to start!

 

Thanks a lot for reading.

 

Please follow Greg on Twitter, @LordOfTheGregs.

 

Booga Peters

lowery2

 

It wouldn’t be a San Diego Chargers free agency if former Colts GM Tom Telesco didn’t sign a Colt to the roster. For the fourth consecutive year, the trend continues. The Chargers GM has just added ex-Colts safety Dwight Lowery to their roster, filling the void left by Eric Weddle.

Lowery, 30, has agreed to a three-year contract. Terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed.  An eight-year veteran, Lowery is 5’11”, 212 lbs. The Chargers will be the fifth team he’s played on. Originally drafted by the New York Jets in 2008, he spent three years in New York, three years in Jacksonville and one season each in Atlanta and Indianapolis.

Although his career trajectory was hampered by injury in the 2012 and ’13 seasons, Lowery has rebounded and played every game the last two seasons. Over the course of his career, he has 335 tackles, 5 sacks, 59 passes defensed, 16 interceptions and theee defensive touchdowns.

Another solid free agent addition by Telesco. What do you think of the signing. Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

 

Bolt Up!!

 

The Greg One

 

#TelescoMagic

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