Roger Staubach once said, “In any team sport, the best teams have consistency and chemistry.”
General Manager Tom Telesco drafted rookies and signed veterans in free agency who have ties to each other. If he did not do this on purpose, then he got very lucky. Players who already have chemistry might be the best thing Telesco has done in the offseason.
The Chargers drafted Joey Bosa of Ohio State with the 3rd overall pick of the draft. As the NFL world was discussing this shocking pick, the Chargers drafted Joshua Perry with the 102nd overall pick. Perry, a 6-foot-4, 254-pound linebacker, was also a Buckeye. Bosa and Perry already have chemistry from playing defense together at Ohio State. This should help them both transition into the Chargers’ defense.
During free agency, the Chargers signed wide receiver Travis Benjamin from the Cleveland Browns. With the 175th overall pick, the Chargers drafted OLB Jatavis Brown from Akron. This pick will not only boost the Chargers’ defense, but also reunite childhood neighbors. Although Benjamin is four years older than Brown, they knew each other because they lived only two houses away from each other in Belle Glade, Florida. Not surprisingly, Brown looked up to Benjamin and he became his idol. Benjamin, in turn, had followed Brown’s high school and college career, becoming one of his biggest cheerleaders. The 2016 Chargers’ offseason brought these two together to play on the same team and they couldn’t be happier about it. This is chemistry that is rarely found in the NFL.
Last year, the Chargers shocked the fans by letting kicker Nick Novak go, replacing him with undrafted rookie Josh Lambo from Texas A&M. This year, the Chargers shook up the special teams again with the release of punter Mike Scifres.
Scifres will go down as the best punter in Chargers’ history! The replacement for Scifres, Drew Kaser, was drafted with the 179th overall pick. The 6-foot-2, 212-pound punter also played for Texas A&M. Kaser will have big shoes to fill, much like Lambo did last year. Lambo, already having a relationship with Kaser, will be able to help him get acclimated to the NFL during his rookie year, as Lambo can share his experience being the new guy replacing the “really good old” guy!
Last year’s first-round pick, Melvin Gordon, had a less than stellar rookie year. Gordon never reached the endzone and was benched a couple of times after multiple fumbles. Many would argue that Gordon would play better during his rookie campaign, and much like he did in college, with the addition of a fullback. Not only did the Chargers draft a fullback, but they drafted Gordon’s fullback from the University of Wisconsin. With the 198th overall selection, the Bolts selected 6-foot-2, 236-pound fullback Derek Watt. This will be the best pick regarding “chemistry” of the 2016 draft. Watt, although a rookie, will bring motivation to Gordon, who is probably still feeling defeated following the 2015 season. Gordon is a workhorse and will do whatever it takes to have a better season. Having Watt as his fullback will lessen some of the load. This fullback-running-back combo is one to watch this season.
Staubach was right about consistency and chemistry being the ingredients to building a great team. Consistency, though, is the key to achieving that chemistry on a team.
The Chargers have added some new unique chemistry via free agency and the draft. The football gods just need to show the Bolts some mercy and allow the team to have a season without the plethora of constant injuries.
Telesco is a smart man. These ties to other players do not seem to be a coincidence. He definitely thought about the impact of having players that already have some chemistry to help individual transition into the NFL.
Let’s hope this science experience, of sorts, helps turn around the 2015 4-12 team in the 2016 season.
After running my Chargers 7 round mock draft last night, I thought it would be cool to throw together some posts with some highlight videos of some of the players that I mocked to San Diego. Our first player will be fullback J.C. Copeland. I have the Chargers taking him in the 7th round. If you missed the first edition of my Chargers 7 round mock draft, here is a link.
Despite the fact that the fullback position is now the dinosaur position in today’s NFL, scoring points in the redzone is still at a premium. Having a guy like Copeland in your short yardage and goal line packages truly enhances your chances of scoring. As a blocker he will fight through the whistle and he does a good job sealing off defenders in the hole. He also has adequate hands as a receiver. At right around 270 pounds, he is a bit quicker than you’d expect.
Take a look at a few videos that I found on YouTube and let me know what you think about J.C. Copeland landing in San Diego during May’s NFL draft.
We all know that these highlight videos intentionally leave out the bad plays and only show the positive ones. But you do get a little idea of what the player is capable of doing. Copeland looks like a guy that you might even be able to line up at tailback on the goal line at the next level and have him punch it in after getting a full head of steam. He did so in one of the videos above in a college all-star game and scored twice.
Let me know what you all think about Copeland by leaving a comment below.
Thanks for stopping by. Stay classy, San Diego.
At this point in time the Chargers currently have two fullbacks on the roster in Le’Ron McClain and Chris Gronkowski. McClain was one of the disappointing signings made by AJ Smith during the 2012 offseason. His play last year left a lot to be desired. Gronkowski has been a journeymen of sorts after going undrafted in the 2010 NFL draft. He has spent time in Dallas, Indianapolis, Denver and now San Diego.
It is hard to say whether or not either will be a success in 2013. It’s even more difficult to see which of the two will be the starting Fullback for the Chargers this season.
That leads us to the poll question listed above. The Chargers are very likely to feature a run-oriented offense this year. If you go back and look at the playcalling of both Mike McCoy and Ken Whisenhunt you’ll see far more running plays than I think most would expect. Upon further examination of the offensive line, most of the projected starters are better run blockers than pass blockers.
As I was saying, the question is, should the Chargers become players in the Vonta Leach sweepstakes? Leach has been an all-pro fullback each of the last three years. Additionally, he has been named to the Pro bowl in those three years as well. The team would obviously have to free up some cap space to add the veteran. A solid start to that could be obtained by releasing McClain and, perhaps, even Gronkowski. There are some other players that could be axed to make room for Leach.
It has been reported that he is currently in Miami right now being looked at as a possible addition to the Dolphins. Must be nice to have so much money.
What do you think? Let us know by voting on the poll and leaving a comment as to why you voted the way that you did.
Thanks a lot for reading and voting.