Max Tuerk

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Finally! The Chargers begin the 2016 regular season today on the road against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Per a report from Marty Caswell of The Mighty 1090 via Twitter, the team has announced its inactives for the game.

 

 

 

On another note, B.J. Kissel, a Chiefs’ reporter, has reported that running back Jamaal Charles will be inactive for today’s game, too.

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The San Diego Chargers have begun making roster moves and training camp isn’t set to begin until Saturday. On Friday, the Chargers waived center Trevor Robinson. Part of the carousel at the center position, Robinson had 14 starts at center over the last two seasons.

Also included in the recent mix of Chargers centers since 2013 are Chris Watt, Nick Hardwick, Doug Legursky and Rich Ohrnberger.

The free agent signing of former-Chicago Bears offensive lineman Matt Slauson is expected to stop the revolving door at center while 2016 NFL Draft third-round pick Max Tuerk is groomed to be the center of the future. Slauson is an eight-year veteran who will be looked to provide leadership and serve as a mentor to Tuerk and the young offensive linemen.

The release of Robinson frees $2.3-million in cap space.

The free roster spot was filled with the signing of offensive lineman Marcel Jones. Listed at 6’7″-inches tall and 320 pounds, Jones was a seventh-round pick of the New Orleans Saints in the 2012 NFL Draft. He is listed as a guard/tackle. Now entering his fourth season as a pro, Jones has been limited to playing on the practice squad for the Saints and Baltimore Ravens.

Training camp is heating up and the first pass hasn’t been thrown yet. What will the Chargers do next? Are you excited for the 2016 edition of the San Diego Chargers so far? Post your thoughts in the comments below.

 

Bolt Up!!

 

The Greg One

 

#TrainingCamp2016

 

 

Only three weeks of quiet remain before training camp begins for the San Diego Chargers. There are still newsworthy pieces afloat on the web and after scouring the internet, here are five worthy submissions for your reading enjoyment.

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Joey Bosa will continue to be news until he signs his contract. More analysis courtesy of ESPN below:

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=espn:16923285

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ESPN Chargers writer Eric Williams asks in an AFC West round table if the Bolts can go from worst to first. Check out the responses from the Oakland Raiders, Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos writers here:

http://espn.go.com/blog/san-diego-chargers/post/_/id/16497/afc-west-qa-can-the-chargers-go-from-worst-to-first-in-the-afc-west

Tuerk

Center Max Tuerk became the last 2016 draft pick not named Bosa to sign on the dotted line on Thursday. Around The NFL writer Marc Sessler wrote about it here:

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000673493/article/max-tuerk-signs-contract-with-san-diego-chargers

 

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Tom Krasovic of the San Diego Union-Tribune wrote a training camp preview of the offensive line. Read it here:

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2016/jul/08/slauson-dunlap-fluker-franklin/

 

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Courtesy of Hayley Elwood of Chargers.com, right tackle Joe Barksdale gets the profile treatment. Read the insightful piece here:

http://www.chargers.com/news/2016/07/07/chargers-2015-lineman-year-taking-nothing-granted

 

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In case you missed it, read my two-part series breaking down the Chargers’ offense, including position-by-position points projections here. Give it a read and tell me if you agree or diasgree.

http://boltblitz.com/?p=21128 Part. 1

http://boltblitz.com/?p=21222 Part. 2

 

Stay tuned to Boltblitz.com for the latest in Chargers news. Thanks for reading, have a great weekend!

 

Bolt Up!!

 

The Greg One

 

#TelescoMagic

Tuerk

Photo credit: usctrojans.com

 

The Chargers announced that they have signed third-round draft choice Max Tuerk on Thursday.

Details of the contract have yet to be released.

 

 

 

 

The former USC Trojan is being viewed as a long-term option as the team’s starting center. Though, due to the signing of free agent center Matt Slauson, he won’t be asked to start right away, he did take reps with the second-team offense during minicamp and OTAs.

As all Chargers fans know, that leaves only one rookie that remains unsigned, Joey Bosa.

The club’s first-round selection, drafted third overall, Bosa and his agent are having issues with the organization over the offset language in the contract proposed by the Chargers.

There hasn’t seemed to be any talks recently, but the players are all off getting some much-deserved down time prior to the beginning of training camp and the preseason.

Rookies and veterans begin training camp on July 29.

 

Dave Booga Peters

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There’s a different aroma in the air around the neatly cut grass and white-painted lines of the practice field off of Murphy Canyon road.

The newly acquired rookies of the San Diego Chargers’ 2016 NFL draft class run around flashing their brilliance alongside some 50 other undrafted free agents the team has brought in to try to fulfill their life-long dream of playing professional football.

In the earliest of reports, the first- and second-round picks appear to be men among boys; as they should be practicing among guys who will most likely never wear an NFL jersey on game days in September.

On paper, the Chargers have improved leaps and bounds from a team that was decimated by injuries and lacked enough quality depth to be competitive in an ever-evolving AFC West. The starting offensive line played two games together throughout the course of the 2015 season. The defensive line wasn’t much better even when they were on the field, giving up nearly five yards per carry on the ground.

Fast forward to this year and there’s a completely new picture to look at.

The defensive line has been transformed by the pick up of true nose tackle Brandon Mebane, and the drafting of defensive lineman Joey Bosa. Mebane and Bosa are going to come in and immediately improve the run defense of this team. Mebane is going to clog up the middle of the defense, freeing up the linebacking corps, allowing them to fly in and stop ball carriers before they get through the line. Bosa is as technically sound as it gets for a rookie. He has violent hands, and good strength that allows him to bully offensive linemen and attack the football.

The improvements of the defensive line are going to make everyone else’s job on the defense much easier. Let’s not forget the addition of Casey Hayward who will team up with Jason Verrett as the teams No. 1 and 2 corners.

Telesco has also replaced Donald Butler with two young, hungry linebackers in Joshua Perry and Jatavis Brown. These two young men are going to come in and make the special teams better the second they step on the field. Don’t be surprised if you see Perry and Brown also push Manti Te’o for some playing time on defense.

Speaking of the linebackers, fifth-year pro Melvin Ingram easily had the best season of his career in 2015 by totaling 10.5 sacks. As you well know, that was all without the aid of a Mebane or Bosa on the team’s defensive unit. Opposite of Ingram, Jerry Attaochu also made the best of his opportunities last season, setting a career-high with six sacks of his own.

The offensive line has also been fortified with center/guard Matt Slauson formerly of the Chicago Bears, and third-round pick Max Tuerk of USC. The pick up of Matt Slauson has a huge impact on the identity of this line. Slauson is durable, intelligent and plays with a nasty mean streak. This also allows Max Tuerk to take his time to recover from a knee injury, move Chris Watt back to his natural position of guard, while hopefully eliminating the dead weight that is Trevor Robinson.

Not only has Tom Telesco improved the offensive and defensive lines, but he’s also brought in a couple of new weapons for Philip Rivers to throw to in the speedster Travis Benjamin and the sure-handed rookie tight end Hunter Henry.

Philip Rivers has gone on record saying that Travis Benjamin is the fastest guy he’s ever thrown the ball to. Benjamin is going to come in and take the top off of the defense and allow guys like Keenan Allen, Hunter Henry and Antonio Gates to tear up the middle of the field.

This is the best offseason of Tom Telesco’s tenure as the Chargers’ general manager because he addressed almost every need that was bleeding the team last year.

The national media is sleeping on the Chargers and that’s fine, but don’t be surprised if this team changes that perception as soon as they strap on the helmets and pads come September.

 

David Droegemeier

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Melvin Gordon performed well below expectations his rookie year. Appearing in 14 of 16 games, starting 12 of them, he ran for only 641 yards and never saw the end zone.

I expect bigger and better out of Melvin this year. He had microfracture surgery in January, which may have contributed to his pedestrian performance in 2015. The offensive line, at least on paper, is improved. The addition of center Max Tuerk should put Chris Watt at guard where he belongs. The additions of Gordon’s former blocking back at Wisconsin, Derek Watt, and Chris Swain should also help via competition at the fullback position. Gordon’s supporting cast looks deeper than last year’s and represents an upgrade over 2015 (at least on paper).  The improvements up the middle should produce dividends for No. 28.

The departure of Frank Reich as offensive coordinator and the return of Ken Whisenhunt is definitely welcome among much of Charger Nation and could represent handwriting on the wall for Mike McCoy, as well, but that’s for another discussion. The Chargers’ offense showed more balance and far less predictability under Whiz than it did under Reich, which should definitely help the running game in general, and Gordon in particular.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hold Gordon blameless for last year. He showed an inability to hold onto the football with six fumbles — four of them turned over to the other team. Gordon needs to learn to hold onto the ball and protect it with his life. Six fumbles in 184 touches is unacceptable. He ran tentatively much of the time. He needs to be decisive. He needs to hit the gaps created for him. He needs to run north and south with authority. He needs to earn Philip Rivers’ trust and confidence. He needs to prove to himself and to Rivers that he doesn’t need to audible out of running plays.

Whether or not Gordon can fulfill all of the needs bestowed upon him remains to be seen. That being said, I expect that he’ll take care of the majority of  the aforementioned responsibilities in his second year.

Between Reich and a turnstile offensive line, there are plenty of responsibilities to spread around. Gordon has to step up this year and prove he was worthy of being traded up for in the first round of the 2015 draft.

I think he will.  What do you think?

 

(My wife left me)

 

Mike Pisciotta

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According to Eric Williams of ESPN.com, the Chargers waived center/guard Michael Huey on Thursday.

The team has yet to confirm the move as of yet.

 

 

 

Huey, a former three-time Arena League champion with the Arizona Rattlers was picked up last year as a project along the offensive line. He has yet to play in an NFL game.

The Chargers recently signed offensive lineman Matt Slauson to a two-year contract, making Huey expendable in the eyes of the team.

I know, I know, Chargers fans.

“Why in the heck didn’t they release Trevor Robinson?”

Quite frankly, they must not feel comfortable about third-round draft choice Max Tuerk getting 100% healthy prior to the start of the 2016 regular season.

Robinson graded out as the worst center in all of the NFL in 2015, per Profootballfocus.com; further prompting fans to ask why he is still on the roster.

The Bolts may still cut ties with Robinson before the season begins. If they were to do so, the team would save $2.3 million in salary cap space.

 

Thanks a lot for reading.

 

Booga Peters

 

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On Monday, the San Diego Chargers announced on the team’s official website that they have signed five players from their 2016 draft class. Those players include: fourth-round pick ILB Joshua Perry, fifth-round pick LB Jatavis Brown, sixth-round picks P Drew Kaser and FB Derek Watt and seventh-round pick OL Donavon Clark.

All of the draftees signed were selected on the third day of this year’s draft.

These signings leave only Joey Bosa, Hunter Henry and Max Tuerk to sign in order for the Bolts to have all of their ’16 draft picks under contract.

Due to the rookie wage scale that was adopted by the league, signing your draft picks is no longer the headache that it used to be for NFL teams. Of course, there are minute details that need to be figured out, but the process is much easier than in the past.

The signing of Bosa is expected to take the most time as he was selected with the third overall pick in this year’s draft.

 

Booga Peters

 

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The draft may be over, but the San Diego Chargers’ front office is still hard at work. The news broke over the last hour that free agent guard/center Matt Slauson has signed a two-year deal to wear lightning bolts. Terms of the deal are yet to be disclosed.

Slauson, 30, visited the Chargers and Buffalo Bills over the last two days before making a decision. This signing is a major addition to the roster at their weakest position, center.  Last season Slauson allowed only one sack with his former team, the Chicago Bears. The massive 6’5″, 320-pounder is ranked as a top-ten player in pass protection.

In his seven seasons in the NFL, he has only missed 11 games due to injury. In five of the last six seasons, Slauson has not missed a single game. In 2014, a torn pectoral muscle prematurely ended his season. In his rookie season, he only started three games due to a coaching decision.

The added bonus of this signing is the fact it will allow Max Tuerk, the Chargers’ third-round draft pick, to ease into the lineup slowly rather than immediately. Tuerk was one of the top-rated center prospects in the draft, but he is recovering from an ACL injury he suffered last season. Having Slauson in the mix allows Tuerk time to fully recover, learn from a grizzled veteran and be well prepared when his number is finally called.

This is another excellent signing by GM Tom Telesco! Are you excited for the season yet? Post your thoughts in the comments below.

 

Bolt Up!!

 

The Greg One

 

#SlausonIsHere

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Former New York Jet and Chicago Bear Matt Slauson has concluded his visit with the Buffalo Bills without signing a contract, according to Michael Gehlken of The San Diego Union-Tribune.

Gehlken also reported that the Chargers are still “very much in the mix” to sign Slauson, a source said.

 

 

 

If Slauson does end up signing with the Bolts, he brings a lot of versatility to the offensive line. The expectation would be that he could possibly begin the season as the Chargers’ starting center until Max Tuerk is 100% healthy.

Injuries have plagued the Chargers’ offensive line in recent years, and the more quality depth they add to the roster, the better.

The 30-year-old has started 85 of the 88 games in which he has played during his seven-year career.

 

Booga Peters

 

 

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