Kansas City Chiefs

September 25, 2016: San Diego Chargers defensive tackle Caraun Reid (91) returns a fumble for a touchdown during the NFL game between the San Diego Chargers and Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN. (Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire)

September 25, 2016: San Diego Chargers defensive tackle Caraun Reid (91) returns a fumble for a touchdown during the NFL game between the San Diego Chargers and Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN. (Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire)

 

 

News out of Chargers Park is that ANOTHER player is lost for the year due to injury.

Monday we learned it is defensive end Caraun Reid. And as has been the sickening norm for this team, it was an ACL tear to the big end’s left knee.

Reid sustained his injury in the first quarter of the Atlanta game after being hit in his lower leg as he planted his foot. Linebacker Denzel Perryman was heading for the pile and just caught Reid’s knee.

Claimed off waivers from the Detroit Lions roster, the 6’2, 302-pounder (Princeton, round five of 2014 draft) has been with the Chargers for about six weeks. Filling in while Joey Bosa (2016 draft first round #3) nursed his sore hamstring, Reid has been a contributor on the defense. In 103 snaps he collected five combined tackles, a sack and a fumble recovery for a touchdown.

That notable highlight occurred in the week three game at Indianapolis. Rookie linebacker Jatavis Brown strip-sacked Andrew Luck and Reid scooped up the ball, taking it to the house 61 yards and tying the game at 13 all.

While announcing Reid’s situation, McCoy said “Caraun came in on the very first day and did an outstanding job. He’s a smart player that picked our system up in a hurry and made some big plays for us.”

If anyone is counting, including Reid, that makes TEN – yes, I said TEN – players lost to season-ending injuries. Five of those ten are to the knee and have occurred in the last seven weeks. Here’s the long and incomprehensible list:

Keenan Allen – torn right ACL, week one vs the Chiefs
Danny Woodhead – torn right ACL, week two vs the Jaguars
Jason Verrett – torn left ACL possibly sustained in the Jaguars game
Nick Dzubnar – torn right ACL, week four vs the Saints
And of course, Caraun Reid from yesterday.

Though it was not his ACL, the Bolts lost Manti Te’o to a torn left Achilles’ tendon early in the Colts game.

On top of those, what about the non-contact injuries that besieged the team before the 2016 campaign even began:

wide-out Stevie Johnson tore his meniscus in training camp
tight end Jeff Cumberland was lost to a torn Achilles’ during the pre-season game against Arizona
rookie guard Donavon Clark tore his right ACL in the Arizona contest
change of pace back Branden Oliver had his right Achilles’ snap during the Minnesota game

It is ONLY Week 7 and that list is scary!! I don’t know if there is any other NFL team playing right now that has had the upheaval to their roster that San Diego has endured. There are still nine weeks to go to the end of the season.

I shudder to think what the “football gods” have in store for this group of men and the accursed injury phenomena as time rolls by. Every time a man goes down, I cringe and pray it is just a minor hiccup and they’ll be back quickly.

Time for the CBA to be re-evaluated. Some teams don’t lose any players, some one or two. But to have TEN is like looking at an emergency room full of wheelchairs!

Sorry to see your name added to that list, Caraun Reid. Your presence on defense will be sorely missed.

Cheryl White

#IRclaimsAnother

#VoteYesonCandD

#BoltnUp

henry4

 

Everyone knew that the time to choose a “replacement” for the Chargers’ stellar tight end Antonio Gates was fast approaching. The 36-year-old Gates has been the go-to guy for the Bolts’ signal caller Philip Rivers for the last 10 years. The pair have set many franchise records and “Gatesy” has numerous individual statistics which have come via the arm of Rivers. The veteran TE has slowed just a bit, however, so finding a viable replacement — not in terms of production but in terms of playing time — was a focal point during the 2016 offseason.

Enter dynamic tight end Hunter Henry. As in the best tight end of the 2016 NFL Draft.

Yes, the BEST tight end of his class. The only one ranked by CBSSports.com above 70.

Don’t take my word for it, though. Check out any of his draft profiles. Many football analysts and draftniks dubbed Henry as such, the consensus stating that he had good hands, ran routes well and was a good blocker. He stands 6-foot-5 and weighs 235 pounds. His 40-yard dash time was 4.66 seconds. Sounds like just what the Chargers need at that position, right?

Henry declared his eligibility on January 4, 2016, after his junior season at Arkansas. And, why not? Just look at the former Razorback’s career stats: 1,661 receiving yards on 116 catches with nine touchdowns. Did you know that 93 of those 116 receptions went for first downs or touchdowns? Or that he had four 100-yard receiving games? His 2015 numbers of 51 grabs for 739 yards and three touchdowns plus NO DROPS culminated in Henry receiving the John Mackey Award, an honor annually bestowed upon the most outstanding collegiate tight end in the nation.

Though he has been active in all six games thus far, Henry’s debut versus the Kansas City Chiefs was quiet, as he had a lone catch for 20 yards. He came up empty in the boxscore for the Jacksonville game. The rookie finally busted out in Indianapolis to the tune of 72 receiving yards, as he caught each of the five passes tossed to him by Rivers. The only slight was that in the final minute of that game, he was stripped of the ball in what would most likely have led San Diego to a come-from-behind win.

Henry caught his first touchdown in the home game against New Orleans. It was a sweet pass caught in the middle of the field that he took to the house after 20 yards, just one of his four-catch, 61-yard day. No. 86 has scored a TD in each of the last three games. Six games into the season and he has already amassed 310 yards on 19 receptions (16.3 avg) with three scores and 16 first-down grabs.

Thursday’s game at Qualcomm had division rival Denver in town. How did Henry respond? He responded by scoring a 5-yard TD in front of Broncos’ corner Chris Harris, Jr. while the Bolts were at 2nd-and-goal in the first quarter. He finished the night with 83 yards on six catches in addition to his touchdown reception.

Having future Hall of Famer Antonio Gates as your mentor has to be right up there with being able to play in the NFL.

Just a couple of weeks ago, Gates told Ricky Henne of chargers.com: “From the time I met him, I could see he had all the intangibles.

I see him still growing. I jokingly told him, ‘If I met you before the Combine, you would have went first round! I would have showed you how to have some personality in your routes!’ Now you are seeing that personality in his routes. He already had it all, and now he is just building on it. He is a phenomenal blocker, which is rare to see coming into the league. He’s special. He really is.”

Those are TWO special tight ends that San Diego has on its roster; the master and the apprentice. Keep absorbing all the knowledge you can from No. 85, Henry. He will mold you in to a Hall of Famer, too.

“The sky’s the limit” might be a trite phrase. But in Henry’s case, there are no truer words. Whenever Gates hangs up his cleats, we all know that the team will be in good — make that great — hands!

#OROY

 

Cheryl White

@BoltnUp

 

 

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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

Te'o

 

In what appears to be an unfortunate yet ongoing theme, the Chargers lost yet another player for the season.

The team announced on its official website on Monday that Manti Te’o suffered a torn Achilles and that he will miss the remainder of the 2016 campaign

The few snaps that Te’o saw Sunday before being hurt may very well have been his last in lightning bolts. The inside linebacker is in the final year of his rookie contract which has yet to be extended.

Te’o exited Sunday’s nail-biter against the Colts with an obvious injury to his lower leg. No contact was made as he was clearly in the middle of the field and suddenly went down, grabbing at his calf. Initial reports shortly after were that it was his Achilles and he would not be returning to the game.

This is the third non-contact injury to a Bolts’ player in as many weeks. First to be lost in the regular season was Keenan Allen, who tore his ACL in the Week 1 game against Kansas City. Last week the team saw all-around back Danny Woodhead go out with an ACL injury, as well. Sunday it was Te’o. This trend brings up many questions but I’m not going to discuss them right now.

What is disconcerting is that this is the third player on the team to be lost for the year due to an Achilles’ tear. First up was tight end Jeff Cumberland, an offseason pickup. He had gone up to catch a deep ball from Kellen Clemens in the Week 2 preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals. The following week it was Branden Oliver. Everyone can recall with utmost clarity when BO’s Achilles’ snapped and rippled up his calf. Now Manti Te’o, the defensive captain and signal caller, has had the same thing happen to him.

Three players lost to an Achilles’ tendon tear in what, six weeks?! Each one coming in a situation where the individual is not being contacted by another player.

The Chargers may not be the only team to have the “injury curse” hit them this early in the 2016 campaign, but it’s damn freaky to have the SAME type of trauma effect three different players in the course of a season.

Let us all hope that this does not continue to be the theme over the course of the remaining games.

Thanks for reading!

Cheryl White

#AchillesWoes

Tennessee Titans v New York Jets December 13, 2015 (Source: Getty Images) Courtesy of Zimbio.com

Tennessee Titans v New York Jets
December 13, 2015
(Source: Getty Images)
Courtesy of Zimbio.com

 

 

On Monday another crushing blow to the Chargers 2016 campaign occurred when it was announced that Danny Woodhead would be lost for the season. Compounded with the loss of Keenan Allen last week, a huge void has been created in this offense.

 

Enter Dexter McCluster who the Chargers wasted no time finding as a solid replacement for Danny. Formerly with the Tennessee Titans and Kansas City Chiefs, he is a capable and dangerous weapon who could be the best in-season pickup the Chargers have had in a long time.

 

Dare I say this – McCluster may be a better weapon for Rivers then Woodhead was. That’s only if McCluster has the same speed and shiftiness he had in KC/Tenn. The best part of this signing is Dexter knows Whisenhunt’s offense since he played for him in Tennessee. McCluster should easily be a situational player who has the versatility to make an impact in the running game, passing game and a return specialist. The Bolts haven’t had this kinda flexibility since the days of Darren Sproles.

 

To some, there might be some concern as to why he was on the free agent market. In Tennessee, he was third on the depth chart behind DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry and thus he was released on September 2nd.  A tryout with the New York Jets and 18 days later, the Chargers timing seems fortuitous as they inked him right away.

 

With his adaptability to fit into any role, it is anyone’s guess as to how McCoy will utilize the 28-year-old.  Clearly he has huge shoes to fill in replacing a player like Woodhead, but perhaps with the right coaching staff and supporting cast, his career and usefulness could get a major jump.  So far in his career, since being drafted by Kansas City out of Mississippi, he has not been “the guy” to build a team around.  However, he appears to be a self-aware player who believes he can make an impact in any role he is given.  All he needs is open space and the rock in order to showcase his speed and elusiveness.

 

If you’re not familiar with Dexter, here’s some highlights of his years with KC and his last year with the Titans. Enjoy!

 

Thanks for the read

Go Bolts!

@supercharged17

Chris Hoke

 

BoltBlitz-800x450-e1412795490245

 

The staff at BoltBlitz.com gives their picks and analysis of Sunday’s game.

Zak Darman: KC is without Justin Houston and Jamaal Charles, arguably the two best players on the KC roster. Tamba Hali is banged up and Alex Smith is still Alex Smith. BUT, Mike McCoy and John Pagano are still here. The Bolts are without their 3rd overall pick and we still don’t know if they can stop the run yet. The defense should be better and the offense should be immensely better with the additions of Travis Benjamin and Offensive Coordinator Ken Wisenhunt. My fear is the Chargers start out sloppy and slow, as we normally see, and dig themselves too big of a hole to climb out of. It will be closer than many think, but the Chiefs are still deeper than the Chargers and have better talent at most of the skill positions. 24-20 Chiefs

Travis Blake: Contrary to popular opinion, this game is not a low scoring defensive battle many pundits were predicting. Chargers get down early 7-0 but rally back midway through the second quarter and never trail again. Melvin Gordon runs for 99 yards and his first regular season rushing touchdown on a draw play from just outside the red zone. A comeback hopeful drive late in the 4th quarter stalls for the Chiefs as Melvin Ingram gets the strip sack to end the game! Boom! #boltpredictions. Bolts 31, Chiefs 27.

Corey Decker: The Chargers are going into one of the loudest stadiums in the entire national football league. Which means they will be primed and ready to upset the home team. Almost every touchdown in the first three preseason games was scored by the first string, which is a very good sign that the Chargers will score at least one touchdown in the first quarter. The bolts will trail 14-7 going into half time, but will score one touchdown in each of the 3rd and 4th quarters. The Chiefs will kick a field goal with less than a minute remaining and then fail on an onside kick attempt. This game will be close like most division games are. There are a lot of guys that didn’t see much action last season playing which means they are hungry. Chargers 21-17

Cheryl White: Melvin Gordon scores his and the teams first touchdown; the team will be itching to get some work in. KC’s defense will be off kilter a bit w/o Houston and Matt Slauson will show the O-line how to play with NFC North nastiness. Add in touchdowns by Gates and Slayer with good field position for a change courtesy of Benjamin or whomever runs it back. 24-21 Bolts

Chris Hoke: Chargers overcome slouchy first half and squeeze past the Chiefs led by a stingy second half defense and the arm of Rivers. Josh Lambo hits a field goal in OT as the Chargers leave KC victorious. 24-21 bolts

Mike Pisciotta Kansas City’s front 7, even with the absence of Justin Houston will stuff Melvin Gordon and force the offense to become one dimensional. With Joey Bosa out, the Chief’s offense will take advantage with Jamaal Charles and Charcandric West and run all over the Chargers defense. KC 24-17 winners

Will McCafferty: If a healthy Bolt squad can’t beat a banged up KC team, they are in real trouble. 27-24 Bolts

Greg Williams: D will stuff what is left of Chiefs running game. No Justin Houston means they can double Hali without consequence. Chargers will lead wire to wire and game manager Smith will throw two picks trying to play catch-up. Rivers lights up Chiefs secondary for 325 yards and 4 touchdowns. (Two to Gates, who roasts Eric Berry on the regular). 31-13 bolts win

Dave “Booga” Peters: Gordon does just enough, totaling 111 total yards and two touchdowns. Defense forces three turnovers. Joey Bosa was missed in generating pressure, but the front-seven pressures KC enough to allow the secondary to snag two Alex Smith interceptions. Bolts allow QB Smith to rush for 50 yards while Spencer Ware and Charcandrick West chew up 160 yards on the ground, but that isn’t enough for KC. Chargers win 23-20

GatesAllen1

 

Alright, saying this game is a “must-win” is a bit of an exaggeration. After all, it is Week 1 of a 16-week NFL season. A season is normally broken into quarters before teams are critiqued. Even if the Chargers lose in Kansas City (KC), there are three more games to be played in the first quarter of the season. I think we would all agree that a 3-1 record would be a very good start, no matter which of the first four games are lost.

Then again, this game may not be a must-win, but it is very important. The Chargers have been through many changes this offseason, and have a lot to prove to the skeptics, — the “experts” — the rest of the league, their own fans, and themselves. All of that, on top of having to find a way to prove to the city of San Diego that they are worth keeping, is NOT an easy task.

So, why is this game so important? There are a litany of reasons. Here are 10 fairly obvious reasons unveiled in a completely random order.

  1. A Fast Start: The Chargers have long been thought of as a team that doesn’t start a season ready to play. That has changed a little in the last couple of years, but the importance of getting that first win under your belt is real, and could go a long way toward building a real sense of belief across the fan base, as well as the team itself.
  2. Building a Winning Culture: A large percentage of this team has never played together before. They have never gone into battle knowing what to expect from the guy next to them. They do not know how the team will react in a pressure situation. In fact, even the players who have been on the team for a couple of years do not know these things, as the team has been decimated by injuries and there has been a revolving door at many positions. To go into KC in Week 1 and beat a very talented Chiefs team would go a long way toward building the team’s confidence and creating a winning culture.
  3. No Excuses: Most of Mike McCoy’s time in San Diego has come with a built-in excuse for losing. Not that it was ever really used as an excuse in a press conference, but there has always been an understanding that it is difficult to win when you have multiple key injuries on both sides of the ball. Coach McCoy and the Chargers have been given a pass by many who understand the importance of team play and continuity in the ultimate team sport. Going into Week 1, the Chargers have not listed anyone as “out” on the injury report. That means for the first time in recent memory, the Chargers are taking the field with a healthy team of starters who are supposed to be of high quality. No one wants to hear that it takes time to learn to work together. That is what preseason and training camp are for. These players need to go out there and prove that the excuses of the past were warranted rather than lame.
  4. Divisional Game: Okay, this one is pretty obvious. The Bolts are playing the Chiefs. The Chiefs are also in the AFC West. This is one of the greatest rivalries in all of football. Going into this season, the two teams have met 111 times, with the Chiefs holding a slight advantage in wins with a 56-54-1 record against the Bolts. If they can’t get up for this game, there is a real problem. As you all know, the Chargers finished 0-6 in the division last season.
  5. Melvin Gordon: We need to be honest. No one is happy with the stats that the Chargers’ No. 1 draft pick put up in 2015. Not a single touchdown to his name was the largest red flag. One would think with an offense that gained just shy of 5,000 yards in the air, Gordon would have at least found the endzone one time! But, no. So far, in the preseason, Gordon has looked like a different back. He scored on a long running play as well as a long pass. He is running with the confidence that he had back in college. Perhaps it is due to having a healthy offensive line. Perhaps it is because he is more comfortable with the offense. Perhaps he is just a slow starter. Finally, perhaps his injured knee that was repaired in the offseason was bothering him during the season and that was kept from the fans. I don’t know what the truth is and, honestly, I do not care. The only concern I have is that he is confident right now and a bad game Week 1 could allow doubt to creep back in his mind and further delay his progress.
  6. Coach Ken Whisenhunt: Much of the blame for the lack of run production and scoring on last year’s team was piled on the shoulders of offensive coordinator Frank Reich. Well, Reich has been let go and replaced by fan- favorite Ken Whisenhunt. Coach Whisenhunt promises to bring power football back to San Diego. Yes, this year’s Chargers will announce their presence with authority, if Whisenhunt has his way. A welcome change from the one-dimensional team that graced the field in 2015. A solid running game should open up many options for quarterback Philip Rivers, as well as keep the defense guessing, rather than pinning their ears back and targeting Rivers.
  7. Mike McCoy: It is said that McCoy’s backside is sitting in a very hot seat. We are supposed to believe that if the Chargers do not make a significant improvement this season that McCoy will be run out of town faster than Mayor Faulconer at a Save Our Bolts rally. Personally, I have my doubts. Let’s face it, Norv Turner was on the hot seat longer than anyone believed possible. It was almost as if ownership didn’t want to eat his contract. Surely, that is not reality, though. Winning comes first! (wink)
  8. Healthy Players: As of the Friday before the game, there is not a single player “out”, or even “doubtful” on the Chargers injury report. That is an unbelievable stat when considering last year’s injury report looked more like the guest list for a popular Gaslamp club on any Saturday night. If the Bolts can’t win with these guys, they are in trouble.
  9. Kansas City Hurting: With Justin Houston out and Jamaal Charles and Tamba Hali hurting, now is the time for the Chargers to take advantage of another team’s injuries for a change. If the Bolts struggle to move the ball against a defense that is missing their top pass rusher and has their next best on a bum wheel, then playoff hopes are perhaps nothing more than the dreams of the eternally optimistic.
  10. #VoteYesOnC: Let’s face it, if the Chargers don’t have a good start to their season, the casual fans will abandon them. They need all the votes they can get in November if they are going to get a new stadium downtown. It won’t take too many losses to turn off those who really don’t follow the Bolts too closely. This team needs to light up the scoreboard, earn some dominating wins while showing this town that they can be a winner.

So, is this a must-win game for our Bolts? No. That being said, in the eyes of the players, fans and voters, the team must find a way to get off to a hot start, enabling the community to rally behind a team who could be on the move.

Please leave your comments down below in the comment section and I’ll be sure to get back to you. Thanks for reading and Go Bolts!!!

Will McCafferty

Here is my take on three things the Chargers must do in order to walk out of KC 1-0

Ahh yes. Week one is upon us at last. Lets get into it

1.) Control the rock, control the clock
If it’s one thing the Chargers learned with Whiz in 2013, it’s that he likes to control the clock and keep his offense on the field. Melvin Gordon is going to have to be a huge part of this game plan, even if he looked lost last season. Keenan Allen, Antonio Gates and Danny Woodhead will also have to be used on short passes because, even though he looks limited, Tamba Hali is still a top pass rusher and Dee Ford has given us fits since KC drafted him.

2.) Stop the run
Kansas City looks like they will be without star running back Jamaal Charles this week, which is a plus. But the guy who will replace him, Spencer Ware, is no slouch either. Last season in the two games he played and started vs the Chargers, he had 19 total carries for 148 yards (7.7 average) with two touchdowns. That is unacceptable on every level and defensive coordinator, John Pagano, is going to have to game plan to stop him. Addition of Brandon Mebane will help. If only Bosa was playing….

The bolts are going to need Denzel Perryman and Manti Te’o to step up and help with the run game as well.

3.) Tune out the crowd noise
“Home field advantage” is more mental part of the sport than it is result. However, it is still something that needs to be addressed because in a division game on the road, every little thing matters. I am not one who believes that “home crowd” has a big effect. It is highly overblown and has no effect on a players skill set and a little effect on the game result. Get the mental aspect of it right and you will most of the time be okay. Now, the other part of “Home field advantage” is the field of play and comfort. That is more a problem than the crowd noise. But knowing the Chargers play in KC once a season, that should also be little problem as they already know what to expect.

If the Chargers do all three of these things, they should come out with a victory. I, for one am excited and ready to see how this team does on both sides of the ball. Do you agree or disagree with my keys? What else do you think is a key to winning? Let me know in the comments below!

Zak Darman (@WilMyersGOAT)

Bosa1

The San Diego Chargers’ private plane landed in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Tuesday. The mission: Bring back the Chargers’ number one draft pick, Ohio State defensive end Joey Bosa. Escort him from his childhood home to his adult home, San Diego, as a signed, sealed and delivered star of the future.

Armed with their best and final offer, Chargers General Manager Tom Telesco presented the offer on Tuesday. The offer was rejected on Wednesday. The plane returned to San Diego with the same names on the passenger manifest that it left with.

The mission had failed.

To that end, the Chargers front office released a official statement detailing the specifics of their offer before pulling the offer from the table. Paraphrasing the release, future offers will be adjusted based on the looming reality that Bosa will not get sufficient practice and classroom time to make playing the week one road game against the Kansas City Chiefs a possibility. The more games Bosa misses, the less money he will make out of the gate.

Not to be outdone, the management team of Joey Bosa, CAA, issued a response to the Chargers’ statement. Their statement reads as follows:

It is unfortunate the San Diego Chargers have decided to manipulate facts and negotiate in the media.  The team surely is not strengthening its relationship with Joey Bosa by taking this stance and making their position public.

We have decided that we will not engage in public negotiations or discuss numbers and/or terms in this negotiation.

We will say, that it is ironic that the team now takes issue with the timing of Joey’s arrival, since the Chargers unilaterally decided to remain silent for the first 14 days of training camp instead of replying in a timely fashion to the proposal we made on the eve of training camp on July 28th.

At this point, all we can do is continue to fight for a fair contract on behalf of our client, as we do for all of our clients.  The Chargers can focus on trying to sway public opinion, but our focus will remain on our client and securing a contract for him that is fair and consistent with his draft position.

This is the typical, We’re-taking-the-high-road response we’ve seen before. If Bosa’s management had gone public first, this would have been the Chargers’ response. Once again, both sides look to be entrenched with no end in sight. At the same time, these situations can turn overnight.

This deal will happen. Bosa will be in lightning bolts before week one is underway. Simply put, there is too much money on the table for the parties to walk away from and have Bosa re-enter the 2017 draft.

Why?

1. There’s no way to ever make that money back. Even if Bosa plays for 15 years and is paid handsomely, there is no way he will account for the millions he passed on by sitting out a year. This season will always represent millions more dollars that could have been in the bank.

2. Bosa will not be picked third in the 2017 NFL Draft. The top stars of the 2017 draft class will be taken ahead of Bosa. Bosa may fall into the middle of the first round or lower due to the fact that since the Chargers own his rights, he will not be able to visit, work out for or speak to other teams. The uncertainty will cause his stock to fall and even if he is selected in the first round, he will not make as much as he will by signing with the Chargers this season.

3. Perception of owners and players. Fairly or unfairly, this ordeal casts an unflattering shadow on Bosa. Other NFL owners may pass on him after seeing how the situation unfolded in San Diego. Telesco isn’t the only GM who doesn’t waive offset language or guarantee the full signing bonus before the end of the calendar year. Players may see Bosa as an entitled diva unwilling to earn his paycheck.

In the end, Bosa’s value will never be higher than it is right now. He only hurts his pride and his bottom line if he decides to sit out and re-enter the draft. That decision would run counter to the whole purpose of these frustrating negotiations.

Get. Paid.

Bosa will not make endorsement money sitting on the couch. He will not become the next big thing in football watching the games on Sundays. The only solution is to suit up, ball out and soak up the adoration of his teammates, the fans, the city, the media and cash in on Madison Avenue as he creates SportsCenter highlights on a weekly basis.

The shrug was local at Ohio State. If he performs up to his ability and shines, it will go viral in the NFL. That’s how you get paid.

It’s go time, rookie.

 

Bolt up!!

 

The Greg One

 

#signthecontract

Bosa1

 

The lines in the sand in San Diego aren’t only on the beach volleyball courts. Through this offseason, the San Diego Chargers’ front office and management team of first-round pick Joey Bosa have drawn multiple lines in the sand to see who would flinch first. The holdout is the longest since the inception of the Collective Bargaining Agreement in 2011, which implemented a rookie wage scale. The wage scale slots a first-round pick’s salary based on where they were selected from 1-32.

The only sticking point that is possible is how much in guarantees and bonuses a player will receive over the life of his rookie deal. The issue is over offset language. Offset language can be simplified as such: If Bosa is cut or released during his rookie contract the Chargers are off the hook for any remaining salary he was scheduled to make.

Bosa’s management didn’t want any offset language in the contract. It means if Bosa did get cut or released before his rookie deal is up, he would still get paid his full rookie contract, fifth-year option included. Players call it double-dipping, meaning a player is making full salary from his former team and his new team simultaneously.

On Tuesday, the Chargers’ key front office personnel flew to Bosa’s hometown in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to get the deal done. They returned to San Diego at approximately 11:30 a.m. local time without Bosa on the plane. Bosa’s camp rejected the Chargers’ final offer.

Shortly thereafter, the Chargers’ front office issued a press release detailing the specifics of their offer to the public. Taken directly from the Chargers’ official Twitter page, the statement is shown below. Click on the image to enlarge.

While fans will be on either side of this ordeal, the Chargers have let the record show — for their fans and, more importantly, for those in the locker room — that they went to Florida to get a deal done and were still rebuffed by Bosa’s management. Both sides are culpable in this standoff.

The Chargers’ publicly stated they knew Bosa was their man since the beginning of the 2015 college football season and his performance in 2015 only solidified their stance. Contract negotiations could have taken place long before the draft to ensure this scenario wouldn’t happen. Such a practice, however, hasn’t been necessary since the new CBA was ratified in 2011.

On the other hand, it can be viewed as arrogant and selfish that Bosa demands his full signing bonus in year one and his contract fully guaranteed regardless of whether he is still on the team at the end of his rookie contract. What does he have to hide? If he is as good as he thinks he is and the Chargers’ are as high on him as they have stated in the past, the chances of him getting cut or released are minuscule at best.

Everyone understands the shelf life of an NFL player is short and by all means, negotiate to maximize as much of your perceived worth as possible. In the end, you’re only worth what a team is willing to pay. Bosa is going to get the worth of his full rookie contract anyway; just over time. To ask for what no other Chargers’ player has (full signing bonus up front and no offset language) is setting a bad precedent for the present and the future.

More lines in the sand…

With their best offer shot down, the Chargers’ have pulled the offer from the table and will henceforth revise the deal based on the viewpoint that he will likely not be ready to take the field for Week one on the road in Kansas City. Now, the choice for Bosa is  to sit out the season, miss out on millions of dollars and re-enter the draft in 2017 or sign and begin rebuilding a damaged relationship with the team, fans and front office.

All of a sudden, a shrug seems to be a perfect personification of how this negotiation has gone for both sides…

The sooner Bosa realizes he’s still a rookie that hasn’t played an official NFL down the better off he will be. In my opinion, he needs to swallow his pride, get on the field and prove his worth. When it’s time to negotiate the second contract, make all the demands you want. What do you think Bolt Nation? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

 

Bolt Up!!

 

The Greg One

 

#Signthecontract

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