NFL Draft

Chargerfans

I just can’t give people an answer yet. I know…..it’s been over four months.  I just don’t know yet.

When the talks of the Chargers moving to Los Angeles started in 2015, I was certain that I would remain a fan no matter what they did. I am a fan of the team not the city. I spend over half of my life rooting for the Chargers and that would not stop because of a move up North.

Then it happened and it sucked. Not because they moved but because of how it all happened.

A letter by Dean Spanos about the decision to move via twitter?

Really?!?!

He could have at least have held a press conference to announce it. Then the terrible logo! What do most San Diegan sport fans hate as much as the Raiders? The Los Angeles Dodgers! So why make a logo that looks pretty much just like the Dodgers logo and think it would go over well with us folks in San Diego? Well it didn’t go over well with anyone!

I was angry and I still thought I would be a fan. I don’t have to like Dean Spanos but I can still love the players. Then the “Fight for LA” website popped up. That was the last straw for me. Where was the “Fight for San Diego” website?  Oh yeah…they did not want to fight for their beloved home of 56 years.

So four months has passed and I have seen many fans stay loyal to the team despite a lot of anger towards the Spanos clan.  I see some immediately dropped the team and became a fan of a new team. The Arizona Cardinals just got a bunch of new fans on their bandwagon. I also see that some fans are just done with the NFL altogether. Others have decided to just focus on football as a whole. Lastly, some made their decision around draft time.

Me….I watched the draft and I followed the Chargers picks. I just hated to see LAC! That is the Los Angeles Clippers, isn’t it? No decision was made after the draft.

Can I really just start rooting for another team? I might. I was raised in a household of two die-hard Steeler fans. I considered myself a fan when I was a kid since my parents were fans. I come from a family of Steeler fans. Grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, all Steelers fans. Yes, they all loved to give me crap about the Chargers wondering why I would decide to be a fan of a team with no rings instead of the team with six. I have sometimes wondered that myself but I could not help but love my Chargers. My Aunt actually sent me her beloved Steelers jersey after the announcement in  hopes that I would come back to the black and gold side. The thing is, I tend to always root against the Steelers.  It would be odd to all of a sudden be a fan again. So this is still a possibility but no decision has been made yet.

The truth is I hate seeing and hearing the Los Angeles Chargers. It just makes me sad and little angry. I just can’t help it. It is how I feel.

So here I am still undecided on my choice to remain a fan. I decided I will not watch a game on my on television at home. I will go somewhere to watch if I chose to watch a game. I will not attend a home game in Los Angeles but might try to attend an away game. I really want to go to Kansas City for a game.  I have not gotten rid of any of my Chargers stuff but I have not worn any since the decision. I refuse to buy anything that say Los Angeles Chargers.

So maybe I was wrong and I am a fan of the city. It doesn’t make me less of a fan. I still suffered some lowly years with the Chargers and remained loyal.

We shall see what the 2017 season brings me. A new found love for the Chargers? A new team? Time will tell. My heart will make the decision soon enough.

Thanks for reading!

 

mw

 

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

draft

 

For those of you who still care about the fate of the team formerly known as the San Diego Chargers, I bring you my one-and-only mock draft. Yes, I know they are now the Los Angeles Chargers, but like a vast amount of you I hate the sound of it, the look of it and my fingers hurt just typing it. We all cope in our own way and I go forward with solid belief that by the time the two years in the StubHub Center is over, Dean Spanos will have sold the team (by will or force) to an owner who will return the team where they belong in America’s Finest City.

With the draft only a few days away, thankfully, the season of a million mock drafts will also come to an end. I’m throwing a wrinkle into this year’s edition. Since the team never picks the player I want, for the first few rounds I am separating my dream pick (the guy I want) and the actual pick (the guy I believe they will actually take). I’m happy to be wrong on last year’s first round pick (I wanted Jalen Ramsey. Joey Bosa was and will be a home run for the next decade as long as he can stay healthy).

I hope you enjoy my mock. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Round 1: (My pick) QB Deshaun Watson, Clemson. It is that time. Time to pick a quarterback of the future. Like I’ve admitted many times over, I’m the President of the Philip Rivers fan club but even I can see that his run is coming to an end. I’m not saying his skill is declining. He will be among the league leaders in passing as usual this season. However, his body takes a pounding every season from having a suspect offensive line blocking for him. We never see his name on the injury report but we’ve seen him labor during games. Couple that with his disdain for leaving San Diego to play in Los Angeles and I say he’ll bridge the two-year gap leading into the permanent residence in the Taj Mahal Rams owner Stan Kroenke is building.

Hence, the benefit of having a star quarterback on the roster. All the talk is about how none of the quarterbacks in this draft are ready to be day one quarterbacks because none of them came from a pro-style system. Air raid quarterbacks fail at large because they’re thrown into the fire too soon.

Watson would come into a perfect scenario where he would get to sit for two seasons behind Philip Rivers and learn the game from a master of the craft. That would be more than ample time to master the playbook and learn the nuances of a pro-style offense from taking the ball from under center to reading defenses and making calls at the line. This is the perfect time for a top-tier quarterback. Watson brings an undeniable charisma, raw natural talent, athleticism rarely seen in a quarterback, and the swagger that comes with leading his team into the National Championship game two seasons in a row and winning one.

In my opinion, Watson is the best quarterback in this class. Everyone will say taking him at pick seven will be a major reach. They won’t be saying that when he’s torching defenses in 2019. The precedent is as close as the guy he will be replacing. Rivers sat two years behind Drew Brees and I’d say that turned out pretty damn well wouldn’t you?

On to the man I think Telesco will actually pick…

S Jamal Adams, LSU. It seems to be six of one, half a dozen of the other when it comes to the top two safeties in the draft, Adams and Malik Hooker out of Ohio State. Both are big, physical and versatile playmakers who will provide an instant impact when they step on the field. Given the fact that seemingly every year two teams trade up into the top five for a quarterback, I believe this year will be no different. The teams trading up will push both safeties into the Chargers spot and given the choice, I believe Telesco will take Adams. If Adams is gone, the pick will be Hooker.

Round 2: (My pick) S Jabrill Peppers, Michigan. I know what you’re thinking. Two safeties? Not quite. Peppers is listed as a safety because he can play both safety positions exceptionally well. However, he can play slot corner and linebacker, too. Talent that versatile is a steal  in the second round. Up until a short while ago, Peppers was considered a top-ten talent. A failed urine test revealed this week has damaged his draft stock and will lead to a precipitous drop. First round talent will drop into the second and this will be the biggest name of them all.

Speaking of steals, the second round pick of the Chargers also managed to fall from grace and into Day 2 for reasons unknown.

OT Cam Robinson, Alabama. The Chargers can’t have enough help on the offensive line and the 6’6″, 322-pound behemoth will be a Godsend if he’s still on the board when the Chargers pick.

Round 3: WR Curtis Samuel, Ohio State. Dual-threat capability as a running back and wide receiver fills a need to find a replacement for the now-departed Danny Woodhead in the backfield and adds depth to the receiving corps. By the way, his 4.3-speed would also come in handy in the return game.

Round 4: DT Dalvin Tomlinson, Alabama. More beef in the center of the defensive line is always a good thing and a blue blood at this spot is a great value pick.

Round 5: ILB Ben Boulware, Clemson. Boulware is a bulldog on the field. He is always near the ball, a tackle machine and a defensive leader. Great football IQ.

Round 6: QB Josh Dobbs, Tennessee. This is the point where the Chargers waste a draft pick on a quarterback project. Could be a different QB, but a QB nonetheless.

Round 7: RB Wayne Gallman, Clemson. The Chargers lack depth in the running back room. Gallman is an excellent all-purpose back and powerful rusher.

 

So concludes my Tigers-heavy, (If I get my way) mock draft. What do you think? It will be fun to see the drama unfold over the next three days — especially since we are here in person, AGAIN!

 

Bolt Up!!

 

The Greg One

 

#NFLDraft2017

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

 

 

Manti4

 

Well, this time it wasn’t an offensive player that left a Chargers’ game with an injury.

It was their defensive signal-caller and captain, Manti Te’o.

In what is appearing to be an extremely freakish beginning to their 2016 campaign, the Bolts have suffered significant season-ending injuries to three of their starters in each of the first three games.

Keenan Allen – ACL tear to his right knee.

Danny Woodhead – ACL tear to his right knee.

Add Manti Te’o to the list, though it was his Achilles’ that gave out, not his ACL.

Even more disconcerting is that each man sustained his injury in a non-contact scenario. We’ll discuss that in another article soon.

Te’o left the game early in the first quarter of the game in Indianapolis with an immediate announcement that he was done for the day. Who was going to be “next man up” this time?

Enter rookie Jatavis Brown, a product from the University of Akron and a fifth-round pick by the Bolts in this year’s NFL draft.

While the former Zips’ linebacker was chosen for a number of reasons, his 4.47-second 40-yard dash was a primary one. His versatility and athleticism only add to his ability. Additionally, per Pro Football Focus (PFF), he was only called twice for penalties (1,629 snaps) over the last two years. PFF also stated that in 2015 when utilized as a blitzer, Brown had 15 sacks, 12 hits, and 22 hurries in 144 pass-rushing snaps. I have to say – just WOW! This from a guy who some considered to be on the small side at 5-foot-11 and 221 pounds. Looks to me like he can hold his own for sure!

Prior to his entering the game on Sunday, the only sighting of Brown was in the preseason game versus San Francisco. He started that game and made five tackles — three of which were solo stops. Since then, he has participated in all three regular season games, racking up 15 tackles (10 solo), four PDs (passes defensed) and collecting a sack and a forced fumble.

His Sunday stats were six tackles with two tackles for loss, defending two passes and adding a sack. His strip-sack of Andrew Luck should be part of a highlight reel, as it was scooped up by the recently signed Caraun Reid and run in for the score.

One of the bright spots of the afternoon in Indianapolis.

So, just who is this guy Jatavis Brown? The answer: he is a player that many scouts, teams and the like knocked due to his size, though his playmaking ability spoke for itself. It was thought that if he couldn’t perform at this level as a linebacker that he could be a hybrid-safety type defender.

In his four years at Akron, he amassed 340 tackles (193 solo), three forced fumbles, two passes defensed and an interception. The 40.5 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks were not only team-bests but also led the MAC while his total tackles gave him 7th best.

NFL Draft Scout had him ranked #13 out of 203 OLBs. Brown was not only chosen the 2015 Defensive Player of the Year, he was also named to the All-MAC Conference 1st-team three consecutive years.

This is the rookie that after the draft Telesco told Chargers.com writer Ricky Henne, “This is the one guy in our draft room that if we didn’t draft, I think there would have been a revolt amongst everyone else in the room…There are certain guys sometimes that have a trigger for everybody. (Brown) was a guy who everybody wanted on our football team. He’s actually the one guy that (we got) so many different texts from across the league (about) saying ‘Great pick!’ ‘Good pick!’ Those are kind of fun text messages to get during the draft.”

Brown told Henne shortly after the draft, “I do think I’m flying under the radar, but I’ve been flying under the radar my whole life,” he said. “I guess that’s just me. I like to prove people wrong, and that’s how I (operate). I don’t like the spotlight. I’m a laid back, chill guy. So this fits me just fine. I like to do all the dirty work, do what I’m supposed to do and I don’t worry about getting the publicity.”

Well, Jatavis Brown…publicity or no, here is your opportunity to take the bull by the horns and show those detractors just who you are. You had a great start in an unfortunate situation, but it’s always “next man up” in the pros.

Yeah, my money is on this young man to get the job done. I’m looking forward to seeing him blitz Brees and blow up a few plays this Sunday afternoon at Qualcomm.

Thanks for reading and please share your thoughts.

Cheryl White

 

Bosa5

At long last, the San Diego Chargers have signed their first-round draft pick Joey Bosa today. The selection shocked everyone from all the media pundits to the Bolts fanbase themselves. The four-year deal is worth $25.8 million with a $17 million signing bonus according to Chargers.com and various major media outlets.

While waiting for his contract to get done, Bosa was a full participant in all training activities and  impressed teammates with his work ethic. Newly-acquired defensive tackle Brandon Mebane had this to say about Bosa on Chargers.com:

“He’s a good guy. He asks questions. He always soaking up knowledge. He’s a little quiet right now. I can see he’s got a little nasty side in him so that’s a good thing. I think he’s a great player. I think he’s going to be a real help on our defensive line.” said Mebane.

“He don’t get tired out there. I’m thinking I’ve got to get my cardio up man. “Mebane joked. “He has great technique from what I’ve seen on the field. For a rookie he has great technique already. Seeing how good he is now compared to how good he’s going to be…once we get more and more reps every day, I think he’ll probably be a Pro Bowler.” Mebane added.

Linebacker Jerry Attaochu also had glowing words for Bosa. “He’s a great kid. Looks like he is going to give us a lot of help up front.” Attaochu said.

Offset language became the biggest point of contention holding up the deal. Offset language is simply 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.

Bosas’ 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. Players call it double-dipping, meaning a player is making full salary from his old team and his new team simultaneously.

The contract standoff deprived Bosa of needed training camp time and has also cost him the first three games of the preseason. The longest contract holdout since the inception of the next salary-slotted rookie wage scale, the Chargers’ and Bosas’ management team dug their heels in. Neither side was willing to budge over the offset language.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune and ESPN, a change in agents was the key element in breaking the contract impasse. The two sides returned to their seats at the bargaining table after the preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings and two days later, Bosa is finally a member of the San Diego Chargers.

Growing frustration over Bosas’ high-profile absence raised the ire of the fanbase and his teammates were beginning to voice their disapproval as valuable training and bonding time dissipates with each day passing.

Only 13 days remain until the start of the regular season.

The Chargers’ private jet went to Bosas’ hometown of Fort Lauderdale, Florida last week only to return empty. Cooler heads have finally prevailed and the two sides have come to a compromise. Bosa got what he wanted, his $17 million signing bonus is fully guaranteed. He will get 85% up front and the other 15% in 2017. The Chargers got what they wanted, the offset language clause is in effect.

The deal is done. It’s time to ball. Here’s a quick look at the man who is all the buzz (both good and bad) of the Chargers’ offseason. Looking forward to seeing lots of shrugs on the field in 2016!

Welcome to San Diego, Joey Bosa!

 

Bolt Up!!

 

The Greg One

 

#Shruglife

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

Wray1

The countdown to San Diego Chargers training camp 2016 now stands at four days. The eyes will be trained to look for the faces we know. There will be many more faces we don’t know which will require a look into the program to see who’s making head-turning plays on the field. In an effort to provide as many advance primers as possible, today, I turn my player spotlight on Carlos Wray.

Wray signed with San Diego as an undrafted free agent immediately after the 2016 NFL Draft. The 6’1″, 287-pounder was the anchor of the Duke Blue Devils’ defense as their defensive tackle. Versatile, Wray was moved all over the field starting out as a defensive lineman, then to guard in his second year on the team. He had the most success his final two seasons in Blue Devils’ blue when he was moved to defensive tackle. In those two seasons he logged 86 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks and two passes defensed.

At the Duke Pro Day, Wray ran the 40-yard dash in 4.85 seconds; impressive for a man his size. He posted 26 repetitions in the 225-pound bench press, broad jumped nine feet and showed a 28.5-inch vertical leap. NFL scouts love his wide body, high motor and fundamentally sound skill set, even though he’s only been playing defensive tackle for two seasons. After watching the video below, it’s obvious he was born to play defensive tackle.

Wray was the unquestioned leader of the Blue Devils’ locker room and those leadership attributes will translate well in the NFL. The line forms behind Brandon Mebane when it comes to nose tackles for the San Diego Chargers. The mix at DT currently consists of Corey Liuget, Sean Lissemore, Ryan Carrethers, Damion Square, Tenny Palepoi and Wray.

There is opportunity to take a slot on the depth chart for Wray. If he can bring the same intensity and passion he played with at Duke to Chargers Park, he has a great chance of staying on the roster. As a native North Carolinian and ACC homer, I will definitely be pulling for Wray to make the team.

What do you think? Do you like what you see? Post your thoughts in the comments below.

 

Follow Carlos on Twitter: @The1st_Montana

 

Good luck, Mr. Wray.

 

Bolt Up!!

 

The Greg One

 

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Last week I did a player spotlight on practice squad tight end Tim Semisch. The 6-foot-8, 267-pound pro is entering his second NFL season after being signed to the Chargers’ practice squad last December, then resigned in January. Semisch is hungry for a spot on the 53-man roster and took time out of his hectic training schedule for this interview documenting his journey.

 

Take us on your journey from the end of your last season at NIU to right now.

 

After my senior season. I trained at school (NIU) with another TE, a running back, and a D-lineman, A friend who transferred to NIU with me from a D2 school in NE. We would workout from 5am-7am every morning, 5 days a week. We would do position work in the evenings 1-3 days a week depending on our work schedules. I also played club hockey for NIU during that time.

About a month before Pro Day I had a bad injury to my hip flexor. I had to decide between surgery and be out a full year or rehab and hope it healed. So, I hoped for the best and I found an amazing PT near school who worked wonders with me. I did what I could training for Pro Day and was able to do Pro Day. I wasn’t at 100% yet but probably 75-80%. I did Pro Day and then hoped and prayed for the best.

Draft weekend came and went. The day after the draft ended I got an invite to the Dolphins rookie minicamp on a tryout basis. Long story short, I fought and earned a contract and invite to stay with the team. During OTAs I learned A TON from Jordan Cameron, Jake Stoneburner, Dion Sims, and Arthur Lynch, the tight ends there. As well as our position coach(s) Dan Campbell and Mike Wahl.

I started doing extra work in the weight room-film room and would go in on my off days with a few other players to walk through plays or just work fundamentals, long snap, or all the above. Longer story short. I worked my tail off through the preseason, but it wasn’t enough for a 53-man roster spot but was on the practice squad, which only made me hungrier. I always stayed ready and up to date with the game plan every week. I wanted to learn as much as possible and I knew I could be called up any minute, which almost happened a couple times with injuries to both Dion and Jordan.

Near the end of the season, the defense in Miami took a hit due to some injuries and they needed space to bring in some depth. At time the TE room was healthy. I was the low man on the totem pole at the time and was let go. That’s just how this business is sometimes. But luckily a few weeks, and many stressful nights later, I was lucky enough to be picked up by the Chargers have been out in San Diego ever since!

 

You caught 10 passes in three seasons at NIU, yet last season in Miami you made it through until the final cut to 53. What did the scouts in Miami and San Diego see in you that led them to sign you to their practice squads?
They haven’t told me much. As a player, you don’t get a ton of contact with the scouts. So other than the usual: We like your size, athleticism, ability to long snap, etc, etc… I’d like to think it’s my work ethic. I pride myself on being the first in building and the last one off the field every day. To me, there’s always something I can be working on to improve myself and my game.

 

Take us through a day in the life of Tim Semisch, Chargers practice squad player.

 

(Here was my OTA schedule during the week) 4:30am wake up. Quick breakfast. At the facility by 5-515 at the latest. Hot tub/steam for 10-15 minutes. Then lift and run until 645-7. Second, bigger breakfast. Film study or playbook study in the TE room for 30-45 minutes. Then team schedule until practice was over around 1pm. Stay on the field for extra work. Juggs, blocking sled, special teams work, long snapping, conditioning, anything I felt I needed work. Then lunch, then watch the day’s practice on my own and any extra film.

I tried to watch 2-3 games from last year every week during OTAs. Then head home to relax or hang out with friends. Go to the beach, I lived in PB during OTAs so I was at the beach almost if not everyday. Even if it was for 10-20 minutes just to relax and watch the sunset. My schedule in camp will be about the same, the days will just be longer and I probably won’t make it out to the beach much either lol.

 

You have a great opportunity to pick the brain of one of the greatest tight ends ever to play the game, Antonio Gates. Do you get to spend much time learning from him on or off the field?

 

I watch as much film of Gates as I can, game or practice. When I’m around him on the field, I’ll ask him for tips or advice on certain routes, or how he reads the coverages. If I’m struggling with something he’s always willing to walk through stuff or just talk football and say/show how he would handle different things.

 

Being on the practice squad must come with more uncertainty than if you were a drafted rookie. How do you prepare mentally to achieve your goal of making the 53-man roster?

 

That’s what drives me. I know I’m fighting an uphill battle. Being undrafted, from a small school, with little to no stats, the odds are not exactly in my favor. But, with all that said, I know I can bring a lot to the table and be a key player in helping a team win. So for me, I use it as motivation to keep my head down and to keep working. Being on the practice squad last year only made me hungrier and want a roster spot more.

 

I found a South Florida television interview in which you told the reporter that at NIU you played a few snaps at defensive end. A. How did that happen? B. Would you do it again? C. Have you told Pagano?
A. I played it in HS and actually had more INTs than receptions on varsity. (We ran the wing-T triple option. So we didn’t pass much). My sophomore year, our two All-Conference DE’s begged for a special trick play on offense. So they played TE a couple times. The plays never worked tho. But me and another TE struck a deal with the d-line coach that if they got to take our spot, we’d get to take their spot if the chance presented itself. So we took some reps at practice from time to time. And the coach actually liked me as a DE, but I was only an emergency back-up.

B. I would do it in a heartbeat, no questions asked!

C. I mentioned it to coach Pagano once or twice in passing but I doubt he took me serious. I would love a chance at some reps at it though. I have mentioned it to Melvin Ingram and he’s showed me a few things if I ever get the chance to take a few reps.

 

We all know Philip Rivers loves his tight ends. We can all only imagine how much fun he would have throwing to a 6-foot-8 target. Have you had much time to catch balls from him and, if so, what has that experience been like?

 

Working with Phil has been an awesome experience, from the way he explains how he wants certain routes run, to how he throws the ball. The first couple times we would go out as an offense to throw, it was kinda a surreal feeling catching passes from Philip Rivers. It’s been an awesome experience to just be around him and Gates and watch how true pros work day in and day out.

 

Do you have a roommate whom you live with on the team or do you live alone?
I lived by myself during OTAs. I got an Airbnb out in PB before we even started team activities. But I always either had guys over, or would hangout with other guys on the team.

 

Mike McCoy recently said he wants the team to have more fun on the field. Have you seen this statement manifest itself in practice yet?

 

Absolutely, from the music that’s played at practice, to the competitive trash talk between the guys and even a few coaches. You could tell everyone, coaches and players alike, were having fun while still working hard at practice.

 

Who is your best friend on the team? Do the practice squad players have a brotherhood type of mentality based on the fact you’re all in the same boat, so to speak?

 

 

I wouldn’t pick one guy as my best friend in-particular. But I’d say the TE group as whole is pretty close off the field. Outside of them, Danny Woodhead has been a great role model and vet for me to be around. Also the specialist group as whole, I work a lot with both Casey And Drew on long snapping and Mike and Josh on short snaps as well. But I wouldn’t say the practice squad are any different than the active roster guys during the season. Everyone pretty much acts as one team. It sucks being a new guy when you come. Most guys have been there so they show you the ropes the first couple days, because every team operates differently.

 

Give us your favorite moment since arriving in San Diego (on or off the field).

 

Other than being a 10-minute walk to the beach everyday, I’d say the last home game of last season. It was against my old team so I got to see some old friends and coaches. We won the game, and best of all, Qualcomm was ROCKING. With everyone showing their support for the team, and wanting the team to stay in San Diego. It was just an amazing day and game to be a part of.

 

What message would you like to give the San Diego Chargers fans?

 

I’m incredibly thankful for the opportunity to be a part of this city and this team. And if given the opportunity, I’m going to do whatever I can to help this team win and go from worst to first!

 

 

BoltBlitz.com would like to thank Tim for taking the time to do this interview. We’re all rooting for you!

Follow Tim on Twitter: @TDSemisch82

 

Bolt Up!!

 

The Greg One

 

#TrainingCamp2016

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