Los Angeles Chargers

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Free agent quarterback Robert Griffin III worked out with the Los Angeles Chargers on Tuesday, igniting talk throughout the league, TV and social media. That visit came and went with little fanfare. The most that was reported was that the visit went ‘well’ and was ‘positive’. Not exactly ringing endorsements.

On Wednesday, the news broke that the Chargers have traded a conditional late round draft pick (7th) to the Buffalo Bills in exchange for quarterback Cardale Jones. Jones was a fourth-round pick of the Bills in the 2016 NFL Draft. This could be a game-changing move for the second team to move into Los Angeles in as many years.

Unless you watched the last game of the Buffalo Bills 2016 season, (I thought not), the last time we saw Jones he was holding up the first NCAA National Championship playoffs trophy as a member of the Ohio State Buckeyes. In the first season the NCAA went to a playoff system in the 2014-2015 season, Jones led the Buckeyes to a come-from-behind win over Alabama and defeated a Marcus Mariota-led Oregon Ducks team to win the championship.

In the 2015-16 season he was named a co-starter with J.T. Barrett. That season he had almost as many rushing attempts (153) as passing attempts (167). Ohio State won all 11 games in which Jones had a role in quarterbacking the team.

Jones was literally the last man up in what was an Ohio State quarterback carousel and he led the Buckeyes through the final three games of the season, including the NCAA playoffs. Playing behind J.T. Barrett and Braxton Miller, Jones led OSU to a 59-0 victory over the Wisconsin Badgers leading into the playoffs. Take a look at the clip below for a refresher of how that season culminated.

Jones is the epitome of a ‘raw’ talent. At 6’5″-inches tall and 250 pounds he is a dynamic playmaker who can throw the ball a mile and move the ball with his legs. At the combine he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.81 seconds, impressive for a man his size. He ran the ball 153 times for 617 yards and passed for 2,323 yards on 167 completions out of 270 attempts.

What led to his acquisition by the Los Angeles Chargers is his familiarity with Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn. Last season, Lynn was the man calling the plays as the interim head coach in the Bills’ season finale. The Bills had fired head coach Rex Ryan the week before. That was the one game Jones played as a Bills quarterback, playing the final quarter after starter E.J. Manuel was benched due to poor performance.  In the game. Jones went 6-11 for 96 yards and an interception.

Lynn thought highly enough of Jones from watching his scout team reps and practice habits to convince the front office to trade for him. Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Jones cried tears of joy upon being informed he had been traded. The Bills signed a free agent quarterback and drafted a quarterback this offseason, most likely leaving Jones as the odd man out. In L.A., he will get meaningful reps and could land as high as the number two quarterback  on the depth chart if he plays to expectations.

Jones will be joining former teammates Joshua Perry and Joey Bosa. Undoubtedly they will be excited to welcome Jones to the Chargers. What do you think? Do you like this signing? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

 

Bolt Up!!

 

The Greg One

 

#TelescoMagic

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The Chargers broke countless hearts when they finally announced they would be relocating to Los Angeles, leaving the residents of San Diego in shock, confused and heartbroken. 

Some fans decided to decided to follow them to their new locale, while others decided not to support such horrible ownership and what many believe to be an incredibly poor decision.

I have with me a good friend and fellow staff writer who’s made the decision of choosing a new team, Chris Hoke.

Chris: First off, thank you for conducting this interview. It’s been a long six months since greed and selfishness took my hometown team away from me, leaving me to wonder where the fuck do I go from here.

Charlie: No problem at all! I would like to briefly go over your time as a Chargers fan and ask you a couple of questions about the process of being a free agent fan, so to speak. How long were you a fan of the Bolts? Was it a born-to-now thing? This move must’ve really crushed you.

Chris: I was Chargers fan for 25 brutal seasons. Basically since I was a little kid I grew up watching them with my grandpa and my brother. It become a Sunday tradition in our household. No matter how bad the bolts were my brother and I stuck our team.

Hearing about the bolts was definitively soul crushing. I’ve seen the Chargers get killed in their only Super Bowl appearance. I was there for LT’s last game as a Charger. I was there when the Jets beat us in the playoffs in 2010. I thought those were soul crushing experiences. They pale in comparison to losing your hometown team. It’s like your brother died. I would never wish this kind of pain on any fan. It’s truly been one of hardest times in my life.

Charlie: I’m sure if we take the Spanos family out of the picture, were looking at a much different outcome in this whole process. So that being said, what was a couple of moments being a fan that you’ll cherish for the rest of your life? There’s got to be a part of you that wants to see the players still succeed and do great, right?

Chris: As much as I despise Dean, If you took the Spanos’ out of the picture maybe things would’ve worked out. It wasn’t just his fault though the city of San Diego needs to take some of the blame. For the last 15 years both sides did this dance. Dean would come up with plans to renovate Jack Murphy Stadium or build a multi-purpose center downtown, which would host a number of sporting events. Each time Dean would do this the city turned him down; finally capping it off last November when Proposition C failed miserably. The city and Mayor Faulconer basically left Dean no choice but move the Chargers. So no, I don’t believe the end would be better without Dean. San Diego losing the Chargers was inevitable.

I don’t know if you ever went to any Chargers home games in the Q Charlie, but when the Chargers were winning there was blue and gold everywhere. This city was buzzing. One of the things I will miss about home games was the calm before the storm. The music would start and AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” would hit. Then smoke would filter out of the Chargers helmet then the cannon would fire and then the starting units would be introduced. You just got that electric nervous feeling almost like you were in the game. Those nerves would be turned up even more if it was a rivalry or a playoff game.

As far as moments I’ll cherish, every game I went to was with my brother. Win or lose we were always there next to each other for support. The shared experience of moments and memories like that were enough to last a lifetime.

If I had to go back and pick one game. It would be the Colts wildcard game in 2010 when Darren Sproles scored in overtime in one of the craziest overtime endings ever. Shocking the then Super Bowl Champion Colts.

Football and the Chargers were more to me than money or the games I went to. It was family. Not Dean, not Roger Goodell or anybody will ever take that from me. Family is forever and I will forever be a San DIego Chargers fan!

As far as the players, some have handled this in a way where they can put the true San Diego Chargers fan into their perspective. Take Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates for example. They have both expressed how much San Diego meant to not only their careers but to their families as well. For those players I will cheer for them and hope they finish their careers on top.

Now for those players such as Keenan Allen, who by the way was caught wearing a Raiders hat after he was drafted; we know which team he gets soft against. Allen wasted no time burning his bridge with SD fans by tweeting how excited he was to play in LA only moments after news broke about the Bolts departing from San Diego. I would say that in my eyes those players don’t exist to me and that true Chargers fans should question those players loyalty to not only the team but to us the fans.

Charlie: Safe to say that Darren Sproles game winner has to be a top-3 moment in every Chargers’ fan memory. It was amazing. Still gives me goosebumps to this day watching it and seeing Peytons’ helpless face. *Devilish Laugh*.  Now that you’re a free agent fan, have you narrowed it down to any teams in specific that you are gonna cheer for from here on out? if so, how did it come down to them? Whats the process on picking a new team? What plays a big role in attracting you to become a fan? I’m sure given this experience, a huge part has to be ownership.

Chris: I have narrowed it down to three teams. Those teams being the:

Green Bay Packers

Philadelphia Eagles

Chargers

For me it came down to several reasons,

First of all with the Packers, I’ve always loved the Packers and the history that comes with this franchise. Not to mention they are publicly owned. The team cares about its fan base. It would also be nice to be a fan of a franchise that knows what it takes to get to a Super Bowl and win.

Secondly, the Philadelphia Eagles. One of the oldest franchises in the league. Like my former team the Eagles have struggled to win a championship. They have had two Super Bowl appearances. One was in 1981 where they lost to the underdog Oakland Raiders. The second loss came in 2004 at the hands of the New England Patriots. Why the Eagles though? My best friend comes from Philly. So I’ve already become a secondary Eagles fan. Since I am now a free agent the idea of being a part of a fan base that is loyal to its team no matter what would be a breath of fresh air compared to the fair weather fan base of the San Diego/LA Chargers.

Lastly, the Chargers. I still can’t call them that disgusting cities name because really it makes me sick to my stomach. It’s like the New York Yankees moving to New Jersey and becoming the New Jersey Yankees. It would make a New Yorker sick. I digress though many may call me a hypocrite since I said “I would never cheer for a team in that city.” However, the Chargers have been all I have known for 25 years. I’ve grown up with this team. They are my blood. They are the bond that my brother and I have always shared. The Chargers are like family to me. If I were to pick them it would be not because of that shithead of an owner. Not because the Mayor of San Diego had a stick so far up his ass he refused to see the grander picture. It would be my heart. My heart has belonged to this team. Whether I like it or not it will always belong to this team.

CharlieIt truly sounds like you have limitless love for the Chargers even after this whole disaster. That’s why you and I connect in good ways. The Packers and Eagles are pretty fair choices as well. Both places can get very cold though, so if you plan on taking trips to see the teams, at Lambeau especially, make sure to bundle up.  So before we get into the actual team that you’re rocking with, how has this decision affected relationships with fellow Chargers fans? Do they understand why you’re doing this? I’m sure people feel your pain to some degree. Have you lost any followers on social media?

Chris: I live in Missouri and just moved from Nebraska. I’ve adjusted to cold weather I actually prefer it as well. As far as the transition to being apart of the bolt family on social media to a free agent fan. Man, its been rough. In fact its been one hell of a past seven months. Some have accepted it and understand why I have done it. Some have chosen the same path. Such as former BoltBlitz writer Zak Darman. Others who I have considered close followers have shown anger towards myself and others saying “we were never true fans” which is preposterous. I believe as humans we all grieve in certain ways. Of course I haven’t helped my own cause when I have drunkenly mocked the bolts and L.A. For that I apologize. It was a part of the seven steps of grief anger. In fact after this interview I will no longer be talking about the move or how much I hate Dean Spanos. The subject on this matter is now officially closed!

Charlie: Hypothetical question here, lets say you pick a team that isn’t the Bolts and they end up over exceeding expectations and making playoffs, how would that make you feel? Would you consider coming back? I myself would welcome you back with open arms. Everybody makes mistakes right? All 3 teams are good this year so there should be no letdown where ever you choose to land.

Chris: If the Bolts finally exceed expectations that would be a shock. I mean every time this team is predicted to “take over” the AFC West this team falls flat on its face. So I would be shocked and happy for the players like Rivers, Gates and other veteran guys who deserve to go out on top. However I would not change my mind to be Chargers fan again. Though I’ve thought about trying to be a fan for just one year. Like a player does when he signs a one-year contract. That’s not for me though. When I pick my team this is gonna be the team I stand by till I die!

 

Charlie: Is everybody in the Hoke family going to be following you on this decision or will this be a solo mission? Somebody in your family had to have either helped with your decision or entice you to go a certain route? Joining a fan base alone can be like switching schools as a kid.

Chris: As I’ve stated in an earlier question. My brother will be remaining a Chargers fan. The rest of my family is either fans of different teams or they are not into football in general. So no, this is something I’ve done on my own unfortunately.

 

Charlie: Alright so by now, I’m pretty sure the people are on their toes. Everybody can feel your pain and love for the Chargers throughout the article. A lot of people understand you and share those same emotions. Hopefully, this article and your decision can help others and their futures as football fans. With all that being said Mr. Man-of-the-hour, what team are you going with? Who are you going to support going forward? This is a huge decision and it has me so ecstatic to find out! I just hope you’re choosing to stay with us! 

Chris: Oh man, This is a question I’ve asked myself over and over for the past seven months. Its taken a lot of soul-searching to get to this point. Being that I’m the man of the hour and I’m a man of my word.

I’ve decided to take my fandom with the Chargers to LA. At the end of the day this is my team. No owner can strip that away from me. I’ve seen these players such as Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates come up from nowhere to be the NFL’s elite. More so than this the Chargers are family. As the line in “Fast and the Furious” series always says “You don’t turn your back on family.” As hard as it is to cheer for a team in a city I hate, things change and I will learn to love this team again. I would once again like to apologize to all the bolt family I’ve spurned for the past seven months. It was a part of the grieving process. I hope you all  can forgive me and let me back into the bolt family once again.

Again, Charlie I would like to thank you for these wonderful questions and helping me to close a huge chapter in my life. I look forward to cheering with you on Sundays. Go Bolts!!

Charlie: Yesssssss!!! Words can’t describe how hyped I am to hear you say that. I sure as hell speak for the entire bolt family when I say “welcome back”. Something told me all along you were going to stay with the team. Your passion for this team stretches further than most. This would definitely would not be the best time to leave anyways. The talent on this squad has everybody hyped for the future and I’m truly happy that you are able to look past all the destruction and let downs over the years to stay with them. It’s only going to make winning that much better. I truly am grateful to have found out your great decision first! Next round is on me!

 

Charlie LaFurno and Chris Hoke

 

 

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Late Monday afternoon, an interesting pair of tweets came through the Twitter timeline of ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter regarding the Los Angeles Chargers and a certain woebegone quarterback.

With training camp only a couple weeks away, it looks like the Chargers are taking the time to look at upgrading their quarterback situation. On Tuesday, July 25, the Los Angeles Chargers will bring in former superstar quarterback Robert Griffin III in for a workout. Bringing Griffin in is a no-risk proposition. Right now, the Chargers backup quarterbacks are Kellen Clemens, 2016 undrafted free agent Mike Bercovici and 2017 undrafted free agent Eli Jenkins.

Griffin exploded onto the NFL scene as the number two overall selection of the Washington Redskins in the 2012 NFL Draft out of Baylor. His electrifying play caused many sleepless nights for opposing defenses and defensive coordinators as he looked to be the second coming of Michael Vick. He had a rocket for an arm and scintillating speed for a quarterback.

Griffins’ play catapulted him to the 2012 Rookie of the Year award and led the Redskins into the playoffs. A right knee injury suffered in the playoffs ended the Redskins hopes and Griffins’ career went into freefall immediately thereafter. After reconstructive knee surgery, and multiple other injuries Griffin slowly lost grip on his starting role to present Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins and was released at the end of the 2015 season.

The Cleveland Browns added Griffin to their roster on a two-year, $15 million deal. A shoulder injury landed the veteran on the injured reserve list after only five games. The Browns cut Griffin on March 10, 2017.

With all the talk of out-of-work quarterbacks centered on Colin Kaepernick, Griffin has been almost completely off the radar. This is the first signs of interest he Griffin has had aside from the aforementioned cancelled visit with an unnamed team. At this point, Griffin has no leverage and will have to exist onveteran minimum,  one- or two-year ‘prove-it’ deals until he can show he can still play and last a season without getting injured.

What do you think of the Chargers bringing in Griffin for a workout? Should they sign him? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

 

Bolt Up!!

 

The Greg One

 

#RGIIIcomeback

Inman

Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Dontrelle Inman recently had surgery to repair a core muscle. According to multiple reports including ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Inman is expected to miss six weeks while he recovers and rehabs. Based on that timeline, he will miss OTA’s and mini camps but would be back in time for full squad training camp in July.

The ex-CFL star had a breakout season in San Diego last season, his second year on the team. Inman started all 16 games and compiled 58 receptions for 810 yards and four touchdowns. A month ago, he signed a one-year, $2.7 million restricted free agent tender. Next offseason Inman will be an unrestricted free agent.

The wide receivers room is the most crowded as it has been in an extremely long time. With first-round draft pick Mike Williams in the fold and Travis Benjamin and Keenan Allen returning from injury among others, it is important Inman gets as much field time as possible. His team security and financial security depend on it.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery!

 

Bolt Up!!

 

The Greg One

 

#RingFor17

RiversAllen

The sun finally seems to be shining brighter on the Los Angeles Chargers these days. Pro Bowl offensive tackle Russell Okung signed with the team in March. The Chargers had a grade-A draft in Philadelphia, littering their lineup with potential day one starters. Veteran safety on-the-rise Tre Boston picked L.A. over the Buffalo Bills and the Pittsburgh Steelers just a few days ago.

Now the news was released Tuesday that star wide receiver Keenan Allen participated in OTA (offseason training activities) workouts. Allen was lost for the season in the first regular season game last September to a torn ACL in his right knee. His injury spearheaded a domino effect in which the Chargers lost starters for the year nearly every week of the season.

Allen was back on the field snagging passes and according to multiple reports, looking very fit. Tuesday marked the first time rookies and veterans shared the field together. Chargers players and coaches got a glimpse of their future as Allen and their first-round draft pick WR Mike Williams stood on the field together. Williams did not participate in the workouts due to back pain. Aside from a large knee brace, Allen looked his normal speedy self as he participated at full speed in 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills.

At long last, long-suffering Chargers fans have a lot to look forward to with a new regime, new city, a great draft and a healthy roster headed into camp. Knock on wood….

 

Bolt Up!!

 

The Greg One

 

#Worst2First

 

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As minicamps and OTA’s begin, with it will come news of cuts of recognizable names. The Los Angeles Chargers continued their purge of veterans as they released guard Orlando Franklin on Monday. He becomes the third veteran cut from the team this offseason as starters D.J. Fluker and King Dunlap also received their pinkslips this offseason.

One of the lowest rated guards in the league according to Pro Football Focus, Franklin placed 66 out of 72 offensive guards for his performance least season. Lower body injuries and concussions plagued his stint with the Chargers. Franklin has only played two out of the five seasons on his contract.

The drafting of blue-chip OG’s Forrest Lamp and Dan Feeney made Franklin expendable and worth the cap hit for cutting Franklin so soon. The Chargers look to be all-in on revamping and solidifying their offensive line now.

Here’s hoping the shuffling finally turns up a full house.

 

Bolt Up!!

 

The Greg One

 

#Ring4Rivers

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Coveted free agent safety Tre Boston announced his new team on Twitter Friday. The ex-Carolina Panther chose the Los Angeles Chargers to be his new team after completing a three-team tour. Terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed. Boston made visits to Buffalo and Pittsburgh over the last week before returning home to Charlotte, NC to deliberate over the team that would win his services.

On Bostons’ Twitter page @TreBos10, the safety broke the news:

And showed he’s already catching on to the local lingo:

The Chargers organization would then make an official announcement a few hours later:

Boston fills the need for a veteran safety who is just entering his prime. At 6-foot-1, 205 pounds, the 24-year old Boston already has Super Bowl experience.  He brings a physical style and playmaking skills to a position where it is badly needed. Last season, Boston played in 15 games (starting ten) and compiled 52 tackles, seven passes defended, two sacks and two interceptions.

Join me in welcoming Tre Boston to the Chargers! Visit his Twitter page and show your love! Here’s a small sample of the latest impact player to bolt up with the Chargers. Enjoy!

Bolt up!!

 

 

The Greg One

 

 

#TelescoMagic

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Exactly two weeks ago the Los Angeles Chargers made Clemson Tigers’ wide receiver Mike Williams their first round draft pick. On Thursday, May 11, they signed their 6-foot-4, 218-pound stud to 4-year deal worth $19.75 million dollars with a $12.5 million signing bonus.

The Chargers’ brass seemed to have learned their lesson from the saga that was last year’s Joey Bosa holdout. The star defensive end held out over contract language and bonus payouts. Bosa eventually signed two weeks after training camp began and that led to him missing the first four games of the season.

There will be no such story this year as Williams becomes the eighth player taken in the first round to sign on the dotted line. Williams is already in Los Angeles preparing for camp. He went to Twitter and posted this shot of the happy moment when pen met paper.

 

Williams looks to be making the most of his time waiting for camp to begin as Fox Sports: PROcast caught up with him during the recent training session posted below.

Congratulations Mike Williams on realizing your dream. Next stop, Offensive Rookie of the Year! Where does this news rank on the excitement meter for you? Post your thoughts in the comments below.

 

Bolt Up!!

 

The Greg One

 

#CongratulationsMike

boston2

 

The Los Angeles Chargers had free-agent safety Tre Boston pay them a visit. The former Carolina Panthers defensive back has also visited with the Buffalo Bills.

Boston has familiarity with Bills new head coach Sean McDermott and new general manager Brandon Beane from his time in Carolina.

Boston took to Twitter to keep everyone posted on where he is at in the free-agent process and how he felt about the two clubs that hosted him.

 

 

 

 

As noted by Eric Williams of ESPN.com in a recent article, “…the Los Angeles Chargers did not address the safety position until Day 3, selecting Miami’s Rayshawn Jenkins in the fourth round and Iowa’s Desmond King in the fifth,” which gives the Bolts every reason to bring in Boston and attempt to sign him to Gus Bradley’s defense.

As it stands right now, the Bolts are slated to start Jahleel Addae and Dwight Lowery at the strong-safety and free-safety spots, respectively. They also have safeties Dexter McCoil, Darrell Stuckey, Adrian Phillips and Adrian McDonald on the roster.

Although the number of bodies at the position seems sufficient, it is lacking the quality depth you need at this level, especially in a pass-happy league where signal callers often are slinging the rock 30-plus times a game.

As mentioned above, the Chargers did select Jenkins from “The U” and project him to eventually be an in-the-box safety, his time to make an impact is not necessarily this year. King looks to be penciled in as No. 1 on the depth chart at nickel-corner, by my estimation when looking at the roster.

Adding Boston would indeed give the Chargers some much-needed depth and perhaps another playmaker in a secondary boasting the likes of Casey Hayward and Jason Verrett.

Drafted out of UNC in the fourth round of the 2014 Draft by the Panthers, the 24-year-old has amassed 108 total tackles, two sacks, 10 passes defensed and three interceptions — one of which he returned 84 yards for a touchdown as a rookie — in his three seasons in the NFL.

 

Booga Peters

 

 

 

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The NFL Network released its annual Top 100 players for 2017. As the saying goes, a picture says a thousand words so here is a noteworthy picture courtesy of NFL Networks’ Twitter page:

last of the true gunslingers, Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers made the list at number 73. The Chargers organization retweeted the photo with this reply:

Looks like the organization is pleased with Rivers simply making the list. Personally, to land at number 73 is a travesty. Is this an individual or a team accomplishment? Considering the list is the Top 100 PLAYERS, Rivers should have been much higher on this list.

Here are my points to back up my claim:

*Rivers finished fifth in the NFL in passing (4,386 yards).

*Rivers tied for fifth in the NFL passes of twenty yards or more (57) and second in passes of forty yards or more (16).

*Rivers was fourth in the NFL in touchdown passes (33) behind Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and Aaron Rodgers.

*Rivers played behind a turnstile of an offensive line (36 sacks allowed) and played the season without a true number one receiver. Keenan Allen was injured in the second quarter of the first game.

*Despite losing a player for the season each week for the first half of the season and the Chargers leading the league in players on IR, no one had to do more with less than Rivers. Even then, eight of the Chargers’ eleven losses were by a touchdown or less.

While Rivers undoubtedly received demerits for leading the league in interceptions with 21, it’s simply because he was the one constant, the one member of the team with the most weight on his shoulders. He gladly took on that weight, suffered the weekly pounding by opposing defenses and sprang back up for more trying to will his team to a win.

That’s leadership. That’s courage. That’s a warrior’s soul. That’s what every professional athlete should strive to be.

Apparently, what that doesn’t get you is much respect from NFL Network…

 

Bolt Up!!

 

The Greg One

 

#BetterThan73

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