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.
RGIII scheduled to work out Tuesday for LA Chargers, per league source. Been training in Florida with former Browns asst. Pep Hamilton.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 24, 2017
Tuesday’s workout with Chargers will be Robert Griffin III’s first team visit this off-season. Had another visit lined up but cancelled it.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 24, 2017
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.
The Greg One
Certain plays keep running through my mind as I lay my head on my pillow. I am flooded with memories of penalties and mistakes that conquer my thoughts. And who do I see when my sleep-deprived eyes finally come into focus? Brandon Flowers. My eyes begin to burn and my head hurts.
Make no mistake about it my friends – the Chargers beat the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Night; except of course on the scoreboard. Ironically, however, that is all that matters when you are trying to win the AFC West and go deep into the playoffs.
San Diego played with heart and determination throughout most of the game. People who read that sentence might have a quick-tempered retort, so I am asking for you to re-read that sentence.
“…heart and determination….”
The offensive line is battered – again. However, with a potpourri of players blocking and protecting, they managed to only allow two sacks – against a team that blitzed almost every play. Of course you have to credit the master, Philip Rivers, for maneuvering in the pocket and getting rid of the ball quickly. But you also need to credit those players ahead of him. They played hard and fought through it all. Their mistakes? Penalties. Those penalties from that offensive line hurt drives; inevitably hurting field position. The Bolts and Rivers feed off of momentum. When you throw a fade route to Ladarius Green to convert a 3rd down and it comes back, frustration begins to creep in no matter how hard you choose to ignore it.
For 58 minutes of the game, the defense was a beautiful sight to see. Manti Te’o was wrapping people up and making key tackles. Melvin Ingram and Corey Liuget continued to be in the face of Michael Vick. Jason Verrett was everything San Diego had hoped he could be, as he dominated one of the best wide receivers in the game, limiting Antonio Brown to three receptions for 45 yards on the night.
Pittsburgh’s offense had many golden opportunities with their field position; something the Chargers offense lacked for almost three quarters. Even with Pittsburgh’s great field position, John Pagano’s defense stepped up huge, allowing only three offensive points through three quarters.
The interception that was returned for a touchdown was upsetting. Those who blame Rivers for that need to watch more football and perhaps understand that Malcom Floyd did not run the sharp route he was supposed to. Rivers laid it out perfectly, and the person who ran the best route was in fact Antwon Blake for Pittsburgh. Nonetheless, that was not the most disconcerting mistake of the night.
What was devastating was when Vick threw a deep pass to a wide-open Markus Wheaton.
“Did that just happen?”
My heart had not stopped racing with enthusiasm after Antonio Gates caught his second touchdown of the game.
Flowers was beat badly and it appeared that after the 72 yard touchdown, Vick knew where he had to go when asked to throw. Over and over again Flowers was beat. How fitting that Heath Miller, who caught a pass at San Diego’s one-yard line, was covered by Brandon. Furthermore, what was more disturbing and gut-wrenching to watch, was the soft defense with two minutes left in the game while holding onto a slim lead.
All game, Vick was disrupted. There seemed to always be a spotter on him, ensuring that his dangerous speed and agility were contained. For some reason however, the attack button was put on pause as he marched down the field to win the game in dramatic fashion.
Can we blame the loss on one player? Of course not. As pointed out there were many mistakes that were made which accounted for the loss.
This Chargers’ team can compete. They have the talent and the heart to win. San Diego is not out of the AFC race by any means. This week will be a tough challenge, and if mistakes can be minimized and mental toughness strengthened, there is no reason why the Bolts can’t shock the NFL next Sunday and the weeks thereafter.
Thanks for reading.
Brian “Big Kahuna” Scott
The Steelers come into San Diego to face the 2-2 Chargers coming off a “gifted” win versus the Browns last Sunday. Here are my three things that need to happen in order for the Bolts to win on Monday night.
1.) Contain Bell and keep Vick in the pocket
This is basically a 1a and 1b point. It’s known that Michael Vick is a shell of his former self athletically, but he is still a threat running the ball. He still has a monster arm and can chuck the ball 60 yards in the air. But the most important part of throwing is still an issue as it has been for his entire career, and that’s his accuracy, or lack thereof. Vick doesn’t have an accurate arm and he will struggle to hit wide-open receivers. Keep him in the pocket and the Chargers defense will be fine; in the passing game that is….
In the running game, Pagano is going to REALLY have to have his best gameplan of the season. Le’Veon Bell is a duel threat (running and catching) and very powerful back. He is a top-three running back in the league and the Chargers’ defense struggles stopping the run. Think of a younger Adrian Peterson (or one versus the 2007 Chargers defense), and I present to you Bell! (Okay, I won’t be that extreme but you get the picture). Keep Bell contained as much as possible and force Vick to try to beat you through the air.
2.) Give Gordon the ball
If you know me well enough, you’ll know that I am very critical of Melvin Gordon. But, he has shown some solid promise. Anything less than 20 touches a game is crazy at this point in the season. The Steelers currently rank in the middle of the pack in run defense (allowing 111.8 yards per game this season). Running the ball is another way to keep Le’Veon Bell away from the ball. McCoy was adamant in the offseason about being a power-running team. When done correctly in 2013, the Chargers were damn near unbeatable. Reich is gonna need to go back to what his predecessor did and run the ball.
3.) Stay healthy!
I know, this is almost a moot point and something the Chargers have no control over. But please, stay healthy. The team is, once again, dealing with multiple centers and linemen. They haven’t had their starting secondary together since Week 1. The Bolts have gotten most of their injured players back at practice this week, which is a good sign. Now they just need to keep them healthy and get it all together at some point.
Thanks for reading.
If you have any other keys to victory for the Chargers, let me know below in the comments.
Word has gotten out that the Philadelphia Eagles are looking to trade their best wide receiver, Desean Jackson. The Eagles asking price is a third round draft pick. Teams like San Francisco, Cleveland, Carolina and Seattle are believed to be in the mix for the 5’10 speedster as well as the New York Jets, who just acquired Jackson’s former teammate Michael Vick to be their new quarterback.
The San Diego Chargers are in need of depth at wide receiver. The playing careers of wide receivers Malcolm Floyd and Danario Alexander are yet to be determined. They both suffered career-threatening injuries lasts season and it remains to be seen if they play at all, much less in a Chargers uniform, which also is no certainty. Keenan Allen burst into the lead wide receiver role as a rookie and was a close runner up for offensive rookie of the year. The Chargers are desperately in need of a number one quality threat opposite Allen. In a perfect world, Jackson would be a perfect fit.
But we don’t live in a perfect world do we?
Among many of the problems hampering the possibility of Jackson coming to San Diego is his salary. Chargers general manager Tom Telesco is dealing with being cash-strapped for a second straight year, forced to sign platoon players off the second teams of other organizations and resigning his own talent. Over ten million dollars is tied up in dead money from Jared Gaither, Derek Cox and Robert Meachem make up over ten million of the 12 million in dead money that will be off the books by the end of this season.
Desean Jackson is scheduled to make 10.5 million this season and according to the New York Daily News, he is unwilling to restructure his deal. The big money is limiting the Eagles ability to trade him and they may be forced to release him outright rather than keep him in town for one more season.
Last season, Jackson caught 82 balls for 1332 yards and 9 touchdowns. He is one of the fastest players in the league and is only 27 years old. Entering his seventh season as a pro, Jackson is entering his prime. Yet, in an Eagles offense led by new head coach Chip Kelly, they are letting Jackson go. Is it about the money or the player? At Oregon, Jackson collected the nation’s fastest players and racked up an obscene won-loss record outscoring opponents by ridiculous margins. Something doesn’t add up.
All wide receivers are known to be divas. Jackson however, has a reputation as one of the top diva receivers in the league. He has been known to pout and call out his quarterbacks, teammates and coaches in the media when he feels he is not getting the ball enough. Jackson also infamously shut himself down a couple season ago as the Eagles season spiraled downhill, gathering losses along the way. When Jackson is on, he is among the best receivers in the league, but when he feels disrespected he pouts and shuts down making a nuisance of himself in and out of the locker room.
Would the Chargers take that chance?
Assume for a minute that Tom Telesco could get Jackson to agree to restructure his deal making it a possibility to sign him. It would be an excellent fit. San Diego is a perfect spot for the troubled wideout. Jackson is from nearby Long Beach. He would be able to play near family and friends. San Diego fans would shower Jackson in love and the media glare would be considerably, noticeably less searing than it is in Philadelphia. All Jackson would have to do is show up, catch balls from a Pro Bowl quarterback and go on a Super Bowl run with a team on the rise.
What Telesco would have to consider is Jackson’s history. Would he be a distraction? Would he be up to the same shenanigans he was up to in Philadelphia? Could he be a good example to the stable of young wideouts on the Chargers roster? Keenan Allen, Vincent Brown and Seyi Ajirotutu are still in their NFL infancy. With Floyd and Alexander out, Jackson and Eddie Royal would be the veterans of the Chargers receiving corps. Would Jackson accept his role as leader of that group?
What Jackson needs is a change of scenery. Philadelphia has been an underachieving disaster of a team for the amount of talent on their roster. Jackson’s outbursts are a result of frustration over losing, the intense media and fan pressure and a front office resembling a rudderless ship. Jackson is a ultra-competitive, passionate player who seems unable to keep his feelings in check. Sound like another Charger we all know so well doesn’t it?
I still contend Jackson would make San Diego the most lethal offense in the league opposite Keenan Allen. With Brown and Royal in the slot, tight ends Antonio Gates and Ladarius Green working the middle of the field and Danny Woodhead lining up anywhere, Philip Rivers would have a field day finding open receivers. Jackson’s speed takes the lid off the secondary’s coverage, leaving the middle of the field vulnerable to the run and the pass.
Telesco has already made a run at another undersized, disgruntled wide receiver when he offered a contract to former Carolina Panther Steve Smith. That play alone shows he’s not afraid of a ‘diva’ wide receiver if he produces on the field. Attitude issues resolve themselves in the right locker room with the right leadership. Smith and Jackson are cut from the same cloth. Both are blazing fast deep ball threats, cocky, showboats, durable faces of their franchises. Both have been consistent veterans of multiple Pro Bowls. It would be foolish for Telesco not to make a play for Jackson based solely on what he can do on the field. Telesco mentioned team speed as an area he wants the team to upgrade and Jackson definitely addresses that area.
Is a third round pick too much?
In a word, no. Look what last year’s third round pick yielded, Keenan Allen. If this year’s third round pick lands a top five NFL wide receiver who is young and also a special teams solution, that’s getting your money’s worth. As it stands, Telesco may be able to get Jackson and keep his third rounder as it looks like no team wants to pony up that pick knowing the Eagles are on the cusp of having to release him anyway. Even diva veteran receivers know a good thing when they see one. The Chargers are a stock a player would want to buy before it gets too high.
It’s time to come home to sunny San Diego Desean.
The Greg One