Richard Sherman

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Seattle Seahawks’ cornerback Richard Sherman has always been generous with his thoughts whether we want him to be or not. The Stanford-educated All-Pro is back on his pulpit once again to encourage NFL players to go on strike. The reason: Money. Of course, it’s always money. This time the money they seek comes in the form of fully guaranteed contracts.

A bit of jealousy has emerged from NFL players after seeing the kind of money that has been doled out to NBA players during the current free agency signing period. Most notably, Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors just became the first NBA player to cross the $200 million dollar mark when he signed a five-year deal worth $201 million dollars.

Listen to Shermans’ take on the subject in the clip below:

NBA players signed deals worth close to one billion dollars in the first 24 hours of the NBA free agent signing period. Utah Jazz small forward Gordon Hayward recently signed a four-year/$128 million dollar deal with the Boston Celtics.  Kevin Durant took less than maximum money so the Golden State Warriors could bring back free agents and he still fetched a two-year deal worth $53 million dollars. Point guard Kyle Lowry re-signed with the Toronto Raptors on a three-year/$100 million deal.

Deals like these have NFL players green with envy and Sherman isn’t the only one letting their jealousy air in social media.

All the players see are dollar signs. There are plenty of good reasons fully guaranteed contracts wouldn’t work in the NFL. The main reason is the physical pounding is not comparable on any level. The injury risk is infinitely higher in a full-contact sport like pro football compared to the NBA where even hand-checking a player is grounds for a foul. The NBA doesn’t have the violent collisions the NFL has on every play.

The next big reason is the sheer size of the leagues. In the 2016-17 NBA season had a total of 449 players on the opening day roster. There is a minimum 12 to a maximum of 15 total players on an NBA team. Compare that to the 53-man rosters (plus a five-man practice squad) of the 32 NFL teams and now you’re talking nearly 1,700 players, not counting the practice squad players. That’s literally four times the size of the NBA and now everybody gets a guaranteed contract?

If the NBA were the size of the NFL there wouldn’t be guaranteed contracts there either. Those guarantees would wreck the ability of a team to re-sign players or sign replacements when one of those high-dollar players get injured. Small-market teams would be forced to fold because large-market teams with huge bankrolls and multiple revenue streams could outbid them. The NFL would contract because the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans of the world would not be able to afford to stay in business.

Sherman says the only way to get guaranteed contracts is to strike. Players have to be willing to give up game checks to make it happen. Will the rookies be willing to pass up their prime years to get it? Would mid-level players who won’t break the bank be willing to do it? There is a huge gap between the haves and the have-nots in the NFL and fully guaranteed contracts won’t bridge that gap for them.

Enjoy the upcoming season, if we have one. If Richard Sherman gets his way, there will be a long, cold winter without football if players decide to unite on this matter.

What do you think? Ludicrous or long overdue?

 

The Greg One

 

#ApplesandOranges

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One man’s problem can be another man’s solution.

In the NFL, two teams separated by one state and a thousand miles find themselves in the same situation.

Only different.

In Seattle, the Seahawks are prepared to start the season without cornerstone strong safety Kam Chancellor. Chancellor (6’3″, 232 lbs) is holding out for a new contract even though his existing deal has three years remaining. In 2013, he signed a four-year extension worth $28 million.

Entering his sixth season out of Virginia Tech, the 27-year-old All-Pro is a key cog in Seattle’s fabled ‘Legion of Boom’ secondary. He is equally adept against the run and pass, assuming the role of an extra linebacker in run situations.

The Seahawks just made Chancellor’s running mate, free safety Earl Thomas, the highest-paid safety in the league in 2014. The Seahawks front office had hoped their vaunted secondary was set in stone after agreeing with Richard Sherman during the 2014 offseason, as well. To give in to Chancellor’s demands would set a bad precedent and open themselves to the same situation occurring with other players down the road. Ironically, Chancellor is the highest paid strong safety in the league at $4.55 million.

Seattle is hedging their bet by adding another safety to the team. Last week they sent a fifth-round draft pick to Kansas City for Kelsie McCray.

Meanwhile in San Diego…

An All-Pro safety has thrown his hands in the air and is prepared to test the free-agent market once the season ends. Eric Weddle made news this offseason when he spoke out against the San Diego front office. Weddle feels “highly disrespected” at the fact that the team has not offered him a long-term extension. He is due to make $7.5 million in base salary this season.

The 30-year-old Weddle has bristled at not being contacted by the front office at all regarding his future during the offseason. He has stated he would love to retire a Charger and have that security for himself and his family. Weddle set a training-camp deadline to have an extension completed. Nothing happened. As a result, he has stated this is his last season in San Diego and looks forward to playing the season through and testing free agency at season’s end.

Drafted by San Diego in 2007, Weddle has established himself as one of the top-five safeties in the league. He is the only safety in the NFL to be named to the All-Pro first- or second-team five consecutive seasons. A team leader, the three-time Pro Bowler is annually selected as a team captain. He will again wear the captain ‘C’ on his jersey this season.

The same, but different.

One team is not talking to the player. One player is not talking to the team. One player is threatening to sit out the season, the other will play and leave when the year is over. By front office logic, one player is on the right side of 30 and the other isn’t. One already has an extension, the other doesn’t. The player with the money wants more years. The player with more years wants more money.

Could a swap of teams solve the headaches of all involved?

Absolutely.

Rarely does it occur that two players at the top of their game swap teams in what would amount to an even trade. Both players are at the top of their class for their position. The free safety/strong safety designations are irrelevant aside from figuring like position players and salaries. Weddle can and has played significant snaps at strong safety throughout his career. Last season he played 350 snaps at strong safety. Both players play multiple positions all over the field. The portraits of toughness and durability, Chancellor has only missed three games in his playing career while Weddle has only missed four.

In Seattle, Weddle would be the one player they could obtain that could make their secondary even more dangerous. The Seahawks could give Weddle a three- or four-year deal and not compromise their stance on redoing contracts with more than a year remaining.

In San Diego, GM Tom Telesco would get what he covets. He gets a young, versatile impact player who is already an All-Pro and three-time Pro Bowl selection. Telesco should feel comfortable giving Chancellor a four-year deal to solidify his secondary.

Teams have been inquiring about the availability of Chancellor via trade. The New York Giants were the only team mentioned specifically. Could the Chargers be one of those callers?

They would be foolish not to. This trade makes too much sense for both sides.

Personally, I believe the Chargers will franchise Weddle after this season. Homegrown talent should always come first. A player can be franchised for two seasons which would keep him in lightning bolts for the next three seasons. Management can decide when they want to let him leave instead of the player deciding. Weddle will still get paid a top salary for his position. The difference is instead of a secure two- or three-year extension, he would be playing a series of one-year deals.

A deal of that type isn’t what Weddle has in mind. If he does demand a trade as a result of the franchise tag, the Chargers would have to get something comparable in return because he is still technically under contract. A team can’t low ball San Diego with an offer because they don’t have to let him go. If Seattle gets out of the gates slowly to begin the season because of their depleted secondary (Thomas still isn’t fully recovered from offseason labrum surgery and has missed all preseason), it will either force them to reconsider Chancellor’s demands or look for a better option.

Weddle.

Telesco has done an admirable job signing a young nucleus of 27-and-under defensive talent to multi-year contracts with the intention of letting them become a tight, cohesive unit. Turnover doesn’t become an issue for another three seasons at the earliest. Doing so ties in with the new extension given to franchise quarterback Philip Rivers that will keep him a Charger through the year 2019. The sure-fire Hall-Of-Fame quarterback deserves a Super Bowl ring and this is all in the effort to get him one (or more).

If a trade has to be made this is the win-win for both sides. What do you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

 

Bolt Up!!

 

The Greg One

 

#TelescoMagic

Russell Wilson, Melvin Ingram

When you turn your attention to the football events ON the field this past weekend, there was no bigger story than San Diego beating the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks. The Chargers beat, dare I say, dominated the Seahawks in San Diego. Although the final score was 30-21, the game wasn’t as close as the score indicates. When you consider the referees gifted the Seahawks a touchdown by not calling Seahawks wide receiver Percy Harvin for stepping out-of-bounds during his 51-yard TD run the margin of victory probably would have been greater. The NFL since admitted their mistake but that won’t take the points off the board.

Seattle is at the top of every media pundits power rankings and carry a reputation as the hands down best team in the NFL. That reputation carried over into this season especially after seeing them dismantle the Green Bay Packers, stewarded by a now healthy Aaron Rodgers in the season opening game.

The Packers didn’t do anything to dispel the perception that the Seahawks were the most dominant team in the NFL. Rodgers didn’t throw to the side of the field occupied by Seahawks standout cornerback Richard Sherman one time. Seattle’s pass rush got to Rodgers or kept him on the run all game. For a team expected to go deep into the playoffs, the Packers definitely looked afraid of their opposition.

Seattle cut a path of destruction through the league last season, going 13-3 with the #1 ranked defense leading the way. In the Super Bowl they beat the Denver Broncos who boasted the #1 offense in the league last season by a 43-8 margin. That destruction continued against the Packers in week one. Did they overlook the Chargers? The Chargers did squeeze into the playoffs last season, the last team to gain entry to the postseason. However, in week three the Seahawks host the Broncos in a Super Bowl rematch. The Chargers were just going to be another victim of Seattle’s dominance, right?

Wrong.

In three hours on a 115-degree day in San Diego, the Chargers proved the Seahawks were mortal. In turn, the Chargers just made the Seahawks road back to a championship repeat much more difficult. What did we (and more importantly, coaching staffs of teams who will face Seattle) learn?

1. Seattle is not invincible. Perhaps the Seahawks bought into their own hype a bit too much. It was easy to count San Diego as a win and focus on their home game against Denver. The old cliche’ goes that the Super Bowl champion will get every team’s best shot. That will be true this season as well. The Seahawks learned they can not just roll their helmets onto the field and get a win. Only two teams had scored 30 against this Seahawks secondary in the ‘Legion Of Boom’ era, Atlanta in the 2012 playoffs and Indianapolis in week five of last season. The Chargers become the third to do it in only week two of the 2014 season.

Taking such a defeat so early in the season is a gift and a curse. Seattle knows they can’t steamroll every opponent and will be more prepared going forward. Alternatively, their aura of invincibility is also gone early in the season and they will not have the fear factor to their advantage against the NFL’s stronger teams. If Philip Rivers can light them up for three touchdowns and 284 yards in the air, what will Peyton Manning do?

2. Richard Sherman is not a shutdown corner. We heard the Chargers wideouts say it after the game and they are right. Richard Sherman is an excellent ball hawking cornerback but we all know he plays zone in the Seattle secondary. Sherman does not play man-to-man. He patrols a quadrant of the right side of the field, free to attack any ball or wide receiver that enters it. Unlike Aaron Rodgers the week before, the Chargers and Philip Rivers went right at Sherman and continually completed passes to his side of the field. When he lined up over Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen, Sherman was left facing the wrong direction on simple cuts on numerous occasions. Disgusted with himself after the game, Sherman left without talking to reporters after the game. His uninformed reputation as a shutdown corner is now in shambles.  Opposing quarterbacks will follow the Chargers lead and go at him instead of away from him.

3. If San Diego can do it, why can’t we? That will be the mantra of the rest of the league after seeing the game tape which has no doubt been sent in triplicate to every offensive and defensive coordinator in the league. Did the Chargers provide the blueprint for beating Seattle? Yes and no.  Yes in the sense that the Chargers provided a great example of how to beat Seattle. Ball control offense. Strong running game. Quarterback protection. No in the sense that most teams don’t feature the personnel to be able to pull off that type of game plan.

The Chargers feature an elite quarterback in Philip Rivers. There are few elite quarterbacks in the NFL. Behind a blossoming offensive line, the four man rush Seattle relies on for pressure was neutralized and Rivers had time to pick apart the weaknesses in the secondary. Hall-Of-Fame bound tight end Antonio Gates expertly found the openings in the Seahawks secondary and Rivers got him the ball repeatedly, with Gates logging three touchdowns on the day. Most teams don’t offer as skilled a tight end as Gates to compliment their receiver corps.

Lastly, the Chargers defense was able to keep Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson in the pocket by blitzing through the middle. As a result, Wilson was not able to step up into the pocket and choose which way to run to elude danger. The defense also stifled the Seahawks rushing attack. Seattle feature back Marshawn Lynch only gained 36 yards in the game. There aren’t many defenses with the ability to contain the man known as ‘Beast Mode’. The Seahawks collectively gained 100 yards rushing with the benefit of the Harvin run which should have been called out halfway through.

4. The Chargers are a dangerous team. The Chargers would probably prefer to stay under the radar but a landmark win such as this against a juggernaut team will change the perception of every team that will face them. Every team from here forward will know the Chargers are capable of beating anybody. San Diego beat Seattle with their own brand of physical, power running, pressure football. They are widely regarded as a finesse, soft team league-wide. Perhaps not anymore.

More importantly, the Chargers now know they are capable of beating anybody. If you can manhandle the Super Bowl champions, who can’t you beat? It’s a great morale win and it’s also great that it comes so early in the season. The Chargers still face a long uphill climb as games against New England, San Francisco, Baltimore and two games each against Kansas City and Denver loom on the schedule.

Too much stock can’t be put into one win but confidence is a reservoir a team can drink from all season long. This is a win that can turn the fortunes of a franchise. The momentum started with the bounce back season in year one of the Telesco/McCoy regime, it continues to snowball with this win. These type of wins lead to deep playoff runs and eventually, Super Bowls.

 

You’re welcome, NFL.

 

Bolt Up!!

 

The Greg One

 

#TelescoMagic

 

 

Harvin2

 

 

When Tom Telesco arrived in San Diego he talked about changing the culture in this city and on this team.  Sunday was a prime example that his mission has started. The Chargers have seldom been a team to win a BIG game. Either through turnovers, penalties or bad decisions (coaches and players) they struggled with “closing” the game out, especially the defense. They would be close, but couldn’t finish the game with a win.

Then Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks came. Even the weather in San Diego became a factor. With temperatures reaching 120 degrees on the field, the Chargers used their no-huddle offense to tire out the Seattle defense with little time for switching their players on and off the field. The stands were packed full of Chargers fans outnumbering the green of the Seahawks fans.

The Chargers were facing the Super Bowl Champions and the Legion of Boom. The Chargers response to that? Meh, they didn’t give a damn. San Diego’s gameplan was they will dictate the game, no one else. The time of possession, the physicality of the game, the execution, and then when all that was done they imposed their will on the Seahawks. Period!

Whether it was Keenan Allen juking Richard Sherman out of his jock strap or Ingram and Freeney bringing the pass rush off the edges, the Bolts came out to play.  And they did just that. The Seahawks had no answer for Danny Woodhead and the Chargers quarterback bleeding in the blazing hot sun, going all surgical on the Seahawks defense. How about the San Diego fans basking in dangerous heat conditions pushing out maybe the loudest game in Chargers history at the Murph! Yeah, I said the Murph!  Reporters were tweeting out about the amount of noise coming out of that stadium from the Chargers diehards.

At that point the whole change in the culture slogan got it’s icing on the cake. In the final minutes of the game, the Charger defense was on the field. They needed a stop to achieve a win. But this time they do it! The fans go nuts! After roasting in the scorching hot temps they would be leaving with a victory to be proud of and smiles on their faces.

Every part of this game, from the stands to the field, was different than years past. These are not the San Diego Chargers of years past. The culture has changed. Mission accomplished and lets all hope it ends with a Super Bowl victory. The last team to hold that trophy just lost to the Chargers by 9 points!

 

Thomas Powell

Harvin

 

 

In front of a white-hot sellout crowd at Qualcomm Stadium, the San Diego Chargers defeated the defending Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks, 30-21.

However, that wasn’t the entire story of the game.

Questionable calls by the officiating crew along with the return to All-Pro form by Tight End Antonio Gates seemed to be the highlights in this man’s opinion.  After the Chargers took an early 3-0 lead in the first quarter, Perch Harvin received a pitch from Russell Wilson and ran along the sidelines for a 51 yard touchdown.  Replays showed that Harvin clearly stepped out-of-bounds.  The side judge on the play also pointed to where he stepped out-of-bounds.  The Fox television broadcasters even brought in Mike Pereira, referee turned analyst, to explain how the review process works.  Yet, the play was confirmed.

Since the play was allowed to stand as called, the Seahawks gained the lead, 7-3.

In a future possession, Rivers, who isn’t known for his mobility, ran out-of-bounds and was pushed by Seahawk Linebacker Bobby Wagner. Rivers, livid at the late, unnecessary contact by Wagner, confronted the defender.  No penalty was called.

On a later drive, as the Chargers had the ball in the red zone, a questionable holding call was given to tight end John Phillips that took away a touchdown run by Ryan Mathews.  Gates eventually scored a touchdown to put the Chargers ahead, 10-7.

Officials tried to make amends by calling a personal foul late hit penalty on Seahawk linebacker Bruce Irvin which lead to Antonio Gates’ second touchdown and a lead for the Chargers 20-7.

As I sat and watched the game from the comfort of my home, I couldn’t help but feel that the officials didn’t seem to want the Bolts to win. The blown call on Harvin’s run was merely the beginning.  Non-calls on obvious penalties and flags on questionable calls (that went against the Chargers) and it felt as if the San Diego was battling two opponents:  the Seahawks and the officials.

 

Harvin1

 

 

Seriously, how can officials who monitor the games in New York miss such an easy call?  The National Football League is in full crisis mode with off the field incidents involving Ray Rice and Adrian Petersen.  The Chargers-Seahawks game was also a nationally televised game.  The game showed a sizable audience that the league is constantly making mistakes.  Granted, mistakes happen. I get that.  Yet considering the pains the league has made to get calls right, the NFL can’t afford any more blows to its reputation.

At end of the day, the Chargers overcame a lot this Sunday.  The infamous “12th Man” of Seattle were mostly held in check.  Although I was appalled at a brief “Seahawks” chant I heard in the third quarter.  Gametime temperatures on the field reached 120 degrees and the team overcame that.  Richard Sherman, famed Seahawk cornerback, claimed he was the best in the league.  Philip Rivers threw the ball in Sherman’s direction on multiple occasions and Sherman wasn’t a factor.

Yes, that was one tall mountain that San Diego climbed on Sunday.  Not many experts gave the team a chance (the preseason game earlier didn’t help), but the Chargers controlled the ball, pressured Russell Wilson, and looked good against a team that was perceived to be unbeatable.

I, for one, hope there’s still more of what Gates showed fans on Sunday.  I hope the Mathews injury isn’t serious.  Additionally, I hope Qualcomm Stadium will continue to host sellout games and host loud, loyal Chargers fans.

I’m wondering now if the organization would consider “persevere” as a team motto.

 

David Parada

 

Photo Credit:  James Ebo and Raymond Broome

Butler

 

 

 

Every football media pundit on television lauds the NFC West as the by far best division in football. On some shows it has even been mentioned that the NFC West is the toughest division in sports regardless of the sport. While the NFC West is definitely the talk of the league division-wise, it is hardly a forgone conclusion that the Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers, Arizona Cardinals and St. Louis Rams are the best division in football.

The AFC West would beg to differ. While not as defensively dominant as the NFC West, the AFC West excels in the opposing category. The AFC West is the most offensively dominant division in football. The 1754 points scored by the AFC West teams best the closest division, the NFC North, by over 100 points (1,648).  The NFC West led the league in fewest points allowed with a paltry 1,191. The next closest division was the NFC South with 1377 points allowed, a difference of 186.

The AFC and NFC West are the classic example of unstoppable force meets the immovable object.

That story played out in the last season’s Super Bowl as the highest scoring team in the league, the 13-3 Denver Broncos with 606 points scored faced the team that allowed the fewest points in the league, the 13-3 Seattle Seahawks with 231 points allowed. Both teams reached the same record in completely different fashions. Another old adage played out in this contest. Defense wins championships. The Seahawks embarrassed the Broncos 43-8, solidifying their season-long dominance with the Lombardi trophy. The win also put the NFC West as the best division going today.

But are they?

The NFC West was long the laughing-stock of the league until only three years ago. Keep in mind in 2010 the Seattle Seahawks created a national firestorm among football purists and analysts when they made the playoffs by winning the NFC West with a 7-9 record. It was during these three seasons that the NFC West rebuilt itself starting with the Rams drafting Sam Bradford in 2010. The 49ers drafted quarterback Colin Kaepernick  in the 2011 draft. Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was drafted in the 2012 draft. Add to the mix players that are now household names like Seattle’s Legion Of Boom members Walter Thurmond (2010), Earl Thomas (2010) and Richard Sherman (2011) or San Francisco’s Aldon Smith (2011) Navorro Bowman (2010) to show how this division has risen only after years upon years as the NFL’s doormat.

On the other hand, the AFC West has long had dominant teams represented with the exception of the 2008 and 2011 seasons when San Diego and Denver won the division with 8-8 records, respectively. In both cases, they won the wild card game and lost in the divisional round. League dominance by a division is cyclical. The last time the NFC West dominated the way they have been in present years was the Steve Young era 49ers in the 90’s. During the second half of that decade, the division also featured the Kurt Warner-led ‘Greatest Show On Turf’ St. Louis Rams team. Now the NFC West looks primed for another long run of dominance as players like Kaepernick and Wilson mature and the team around them gets better suited to their talents. The question is, at this point, are they that much better than the AFC West?

Take a look at the principal teams. In the NFC West you have Seattle, San Francisco and Arizona as the heavies while St.Louis toils away in the basement. In the AFC West you have Denver, San Diego and Kansas City jockeying for control with Oakland living in the cellar.  The AFC West was the only division to get three teams in the playoffs last season. The NFC was close to getting three teams in as well as Arizona went 10-6 but failed to make the playoffs. Call them victims of circumstance, but the Cardinals did lose three games last season by a field goal including a loss to the lowly Rams in the season opener. The big three in  NFC West had 2 more wins than the big three in the AFC West by a 35-33 margin. They were by far the top two divisions in the NFL when you take a win count of the top three teams. They may be lapping the rest of the league, but not each other.

Look at the starting quarterbacks. Representing the NFC West you have Wilson, Kaepernick and Carson Palmer representing the Cardinals. In the AFC West you have Peyton Manning, Philip Rivers and Alex Smith. If you had to select one group of quarterbacks, team notwithstanding, to carry your team a for full season which group would you pick? The NFC group is the young upstarts, (Palmer notwithstanding) but Palmer is only in his second season in Arizona. The AFC West feature the proven quarterbacks. Manning and Rivers can light up the scoreboard like a Christmas tree. Kaepernick and Wilson are on the rise but their best days are ahead of them. The AFC West crop are winding down their careers but Manning and Rivers represent the most dangerous quarterback tandem in any division.

Leaving Palmer and Smith out of the formula for a moment, in Manning and Rivers you have two of the most cerebral quarterbacks in the league. Give them time and they will eat defenses for lunch. There’s nothing they haven’t seen and they are the old-fashioned stand in the pocket, lead-footed gunslingers that are fading out of style in the NFL. Instead, teams fancy the new breed of quarterback with Wilson and Kaepernick as the prime examples. They are quick to scramble to extend a play. They are also very intelligent, game managers. They capitalize on field position granted by their stalwart defenses. Manning and Rivers have rarely had the benefit of top five defenses, instead making their mark with their arms and their superior knowledge.

This season, these divisions will battle it out in the regular season and when the smoke clears two things will be evident. One, neither division will get three teams in the playoffs. Two, we’ll know which division is truly the best in football because as you can see, no other division comes close.  However, to answer the pundits, the NFC West is not without a doubt the best division in the NFL. They may be in the lead as they can boast the current Super Bowl champion but not by far. The safer thing to say is the WEST is the best division in the NFL, regardless of conference. Will the unstoppable force or the immovable object come out on top this year? Let the games begin.

 

What do you think? Which division is better?

 

Bolt Up!!

 

The Greg One

 

#TelescoMagic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After returning a missed field goal to beat Alabama in the 2013 Iron Bowl, most people know who Chris Davis is.  An incredible play, that led his team to a win over undefeated Alabama and helped push them closer to the Championship Game.  It somewhat reminded me of another 5’10” athlete that won a game against a defending national champion on a historic play.  (See: Doug Flutie Hail Mary)

Many people had concerns about Flutie and his height coming out of college even though he had won the Heisman.  Davis and his measurables had scouts and GMs around the league concerned as well.  The Seahawks have created a blueprint for the copycat league that is the NFL for having big corners.  Combine Davis’ height with a 4.55 40 yard dash time at his Pro Day and his stock was dropping from the original 4th – 5th round grade.

After going undrafted, he signed as a free agent with a team that needed corner help after the failed Derek Cox experiment in San Diego.  Then the Chargers signed Brandon Flowers.  The path to an NFL roster spot got tougher again.  That didn’t stop Davis from working hard and doing all he could to make an impression.

I watch the Chargers videos all throughout camp, both the top plays and daily recaps.  Soon I started to notice #42.  I’d see him breaking up passes and flashing good closing speed and say to myself, “was that #42 again?!”.

Then came the games.  He was tried at punt returner, averaging 7.8  yards per return (he averaged 18.7 last year).  He played defense with 6 tackles (he had 74 last year) 0.5 a sack and a couple pass breakups (he had 14 last year).  The numbers weren’t off the charts, but what you saw on tape was a guy playing fast.  I loved how they brought him off the corner in the preseason and that seemed to be a strength.

The question is whether or not he sticks and how much of a role he has on the team.  That I don’t know, but he did change his number according to the Chargers today from 42 to 20.  I would imagine a guy wouldn’t change his number if he wasn’t sticking around for a bit.

I’ll leave you with this…mostly because I love sports and science and this show is awesome.  It’s an analysis of the game winning return for Davis against Alabama.  Go Bolts and thanks for reading!

Justin Holmerud

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