The Chargers begin offseason training activities (OTAs) on Tuesday. Although there is no hitting/tackling allowed, this is the first time of the offseason the players will practice in helmets.
OTAs provide the team with the opportunity to begin installments in all three phases of the game. It also gives the entire team a chance to begin to gel.
For the first time since Tom Telesco and Mike McCoy took over the reins with the Chargers, the team has a player not attending due to contract issues.
That player is Eric Weddle.
Weddle has made it clear that he will not be at voluntary workouts with the team until a long-term contract extension is signed. Although Telesco has said numerous times that the Chargers plan on extending him at the right time, the talks have been non-existent as of late.
He voiced his displeasure about not having a new contract to Kevin Acee of The San Diego Union-Tribune.
“I feel highly, highly disrespected,” Weddle told Acee in late April. “… It is what it is, but there is no reason for me to put out any more effort.”
“We’ve come to them numerous times and said we want to be part of the team, we want to retire as a Charger,” Weddle said. “We’ve completely gotten pushed aside.”
The 30-year-old free safety is in the last year of his contract; one that will pay him $7.5 million in 2015. Weddle desires to sign a long-term extension, ensuring his place on the Chargers’ roster for the remainder of his career.
Weddle has played in all 16 games of the season for five consecutive years. His career numbers include 772 total tackles, six sacks, 65 passes defensed, 19 interceptions and five forced fumbles.
It goes without saying that Weddle is the leader of the defense, wearing the helmet mic that John Pagano uses to call in the defensive plays. He is one of the only safeties in the NFL to have that distinction. The two-time first-team All-Pro deserves a new contract. He changes the way that the defense can be called. I cannot imagine what it would be like if he were to refuse to show up come training camp.
Mandatory training camp begins on June 16.
Also absent from OTAs Tuesday were Antonio Gates and King Dunlap.
The close of the 2014 NFL season for the San Diego Chargers was pretty dismal. The team finished 9-7 behind the Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos. The Bolts were 18th in total offense, 10th in passing, a lowly 30th in rushing and 29th in special teams. The signings of free agent wide receivers Jacoby Jones and Stevie Johnson should go a long way toward bumping up some of those rankings.
Offensive coordinator (OC) Frank Reich and wide receivers coach Fred Graves currently have at least four players to devise schemes around in 2015. Reich is entering his second year as OC while Graves is on his third with the wideouts.
Here is a look at who the receivers are to date:
Malcom Floyd: 6’5″, 225 pounds
This will be Floyd’s 11th year. After a season-ending neck injury in game three of 2013, the 34-year-old veteran receiver came back in 2014. He played all 16 games last year and he recorded 52 catches for 856 yards and six touchdowns.
Keenan Allen: 6’2″, 211 pounds
The 22-year-old was constantly covered after proving himself to be a viable threat in his rookie year. Prior to missing the last two games of 2014 due to a broken collarbone (game 15 vs Denver Broncos), he had 783 yards on 77 receptions with four touchdowns.
Stevie Johnson: 6’2″, 207 pounds
This may be one of the free agent pickups that really has quarterback Philip Rivers smiling. Johnson’s presence gives Rivers another seasoned option at wideout. He played 13 games in San Francisco last year with 35 receptions for 435 yards with three touchdowns. Career numbers for Johnson include 89 games played, 336 catches, 4,267 yards, and 31 touchdowns.
Jacoby Jones: 6’2″, 215 pounds
Jones was most recently a Baltimore Raven. With the special teams unit finishing 29th in the league last year, this signing should prove to be a boon for San Diego. Jones can be a kick returner (165 returns, 4,527 yards, and 5 touchdowns), a punt returner (265 returns for 2,673 yards, four TD’s) and a receiver (203 balls for 2,733 yards with 14 touchdowns).
Dontrelle Inman: 6’3″, 205 pounds
Previously a Canadian Football League player, the 26-year-old Inman made San Diego’s roster last August. He caught the ball 12 times for 158 yards in two games played. He spent the majority of the season on the team’s inactive list.
Austin Pettis: 6’3″, 203 pounds
Pettis has played in 47 games. As a receiver, he has racked up 1,034 receiving yards on 107 catches with five touchdowns during his career with the Rams. Additionally, he has nine kick returns for 75 yards, with 29 punt returns totaling 254 yards.
Although there could be changes among the receiving corps prior to the beginning of the 2015 season, this is how it is shaping up as of now. Perhaps Chargers General Manager Tom Telesco will add another receiver via free agency or the draft. Fans will not have to wait long as free agency is well under way and the draft is right around the corner.
What are your thoughts regarding the wide receiver position moving forward? Please let me know by commenting below.
As we inch closer to the regular season, the Chargers will be opening up with another round of OTAs starting this morning, June 3rd. The offseason training activities begin today and run through June 6th.
This is the first of two sessions in June that I’m aware of at this time. Another OTA runs from June 11th-13th. The main things to look for during OTAs are as follows:
– Entire team learning new playbooks and all the new terminology
– Building a rapport with your teammates
– Getting rookies and young players acclimated to the NFL
– Gelling as individual units ( Ex: The Offensive Line, Quarterback and Wide Receivers on same page, Defensive line working in harmony with the Linebackers, etc)
– Working on clock management
– Setting up the two-minute drill
– Continuing to get players into good shape/condition
And the number one thing you hope and pray for would be: STAY HEALTHY!!!
Of course there are many other things that are occurring during OTAs. I just thought that I would highlight some of them. These OTAs are, unfortunately, not open to the public. I spoke with Joel Price of the Chargers and although the training camp dates for the team have been announced, they have yet to determine what days will be open to the fans. We’ll all be staying tuned to find out that information.
Thanks a lot for reading.
Yesterday was the first time that the entire Charger team was assembled at Chargers Park. Well, almost the entire team.
Per NCAA rules, Keenan Allen, Steve Williams, Brandon Moore, and Mike Hermann must wait until their collegiate school years are fully completed prior to being able to join the Chargers for OTAs.
The expectation is that all of the rookies mentioned above will be joining the team as early as Wednesday and as late as the early part of next week.
The rule is in place to ensure that rookies have the opportunity to focus on their studies and finish up the school year without the hassle of worrying about their new NFL jobs. I would be willing to bet that they’d rather be at Chargers Park learning the playbook, practicing with their teammates and working on their craft to earn a spot on the roster. Call it an extreme form of “Senioritis” even for those of them that are not in their senior years of school.
The Chargers beginning camp and OTAs gets us one step closer to the season. We now have a little over three months until the first preseason game against Seattle. If you noticed on the homepage, we now have a countdown clock showing exactly how long we have until that game.
I think the excitement is already slowly starting to build around the Chargers. So is the media coverage as well.
Thanks a lot for reading.
I will start by saying that I hate this time of year. There is no football on television. The NBA playoffs are soon to be completed. I am not a hockey fan nor do I pay very much attention to baseball. But there is a glimmer of newsworthy hope today.
The San Diego veterans are reporting to Chargers Park today to join the rookies at OTAs. This is when the true journey begins for the 2013 Chargers.
It has already been reported that the media frenzy is five times more in number than the usual amount of coverage. That can be attributed to the drafting of former Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o. I am in the minority in that I am not bothered by any amount of attention that the Chargers receive. It is so much more about how you approach your preparation and the playing of the game than the number of cameras or the amount of “experts” that are there in attendance. Quite frankly, I couldn’t care less. It can almost serve as a strong motivator knowing how many sets of eyes will be present and will be watching once the footage is put out on the internet and television. A higher level of accountability can be felt by those that are participating on the field.
If the players are incapable of handling this type of attention during the offseason, how are they going to react on Sundays? It is certainly something worth taking into consideration when whining about not wanting a media circus surrounding the Chargers.
Another point of note is this is when the camp battles begin. I am very excited to hear about how a lot of these positions start to shake out and eventually result in the best player possible being chosen to start. There will be quite a few of them and we will be writing about them here on BoltBlitz.com in the coming days. Be sure to stay tuned to the site as we go over the most intriguing camp battles for the 2013 Bolts.
Thanks a lot for reading.
I thought it would be a good idea to post the dates of the minicamps and OTAs for the Chargers in 2013. As you can see below, they have already completed two steps in the process.
The is just the beginning of what will be a long journey to turn around the Bolts and take them back to the playoffs and beyond.
First day to arrive at Chargers Park: April 1. *Completed
Voluntary Minicamp: April 16-18. *Completed
Rookie minicamp: May 10-12.
OTAs: May 13-15, May 20-22, June 3-6.
Mandatory minicamp: June 11-13.
Thanks a lot for reading.