Steve Keim

hr

 

With the 13th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, the Arizona Cardinals selected Temple linebacker Haason Reddick. Besides his passionate showing on the field, (recording 10.5 sacks and 22 tackles for loss in his last season of college), he also has a inspirational story that must be told.

In an interview with Jim Rome, Haason Reddick stated, “I didn’t know that you could go to college and walk on. I thought you needed a scholarship to be able to play on the team. So at first, I thought my football career was done.” Reddick said.

At Temple, Reddick walked on as a freshman with no scholarship, showing that he has determination and that is just the type of mentality the Arizona Cardinals are looking for. After he walked on, he not only earned a scholarship, but the respect of his coaches and teammates through skill, persistence, and determination.

“He’s everything right with college football.” His former coach at Temple Matt Rhule continued, “He’s tough, he’s hard-nosed. He got his degree and played so hard for us and so well for us and helped us turn this program around.” Rhule said.

One major perk besides his game-time mentality is the fact that he can play both outside and inside linebacker. His former coach at Temple spoke of this in an interview with Vince Marotta of Arizona Sports by saying, ““He’s a guy who can play off the ball and be a weak side inside linebacker and use that 4.5 speed to cover guys out of the backfield. At the same time, I think he can be a tremendous weapon blitzing. Not many running backs are going to be able to block this kid.” Rhule commented.

It looks like the Cardinals did okay with their first round pick this year, however, only time will tell. Arizona Cardinals General Manager Steve Keim said that he will not be red-shirting to start. Instead, he will play behind two Pro Bowl linebackers in Karlos Dansby and Deonne Buchannon. Reddick will be on the field in nickel formations. He will have great mentors in Dansby and Buchannon, giving the Arizona Cardinals a very bright defensive future.

Reddicks’ selection is a feel-good story as over 100,000 fans gathered at the steps of the famous Philadelphia Art Museum to watch the first round of the NFL Draft. Reddick went to Temple University in Philadelphia and a very loud cheer rose as his name was called as they witnessed the local boy make good.

Check out this video of his path to the NFL from childhood to first round pick below.

cardsbolts3

The San Diego Chargers host the Arizona Cardinals for a week of practice leading up to their game Friday. The Cardinals begin practice at Chargers Park on Tuesday after having their home turf taken over by Guns N’ Roses’ massive arena tour on Monday. On Tuesday, practice will be at Qualcomm Stadium, Wednesday at Chargers Park. Both teams will take the day off Thursday to rest before the game Friday.

The joint practice will be a nice change-of-pace for both teams. Undoubtedly, they’re all tired of hitting each other in practice. One could expect the intensity level of practice to heighten with men in different colored jerseys on the opposite sideline. This will be a big week for the players fighting to make the roster.

Living in Phoenix, I have heard plenty of juicy tidbits coming from the Cardinals’ side of the ball. The Arizona Cardinals are a Super Bowl favorite and a great way for the Chargers to test themselves against one of the deepest and most talented rosters in the league. Cardinals’ head coach Bruce Arians expressed his respect for Chargers’ head coach Mike McCoy on local radio Monday and talked about the joint practice.

“That’s the one thing, I enjoy working with Mike McCoy because we have the same philosophy.” Arians said. “We wouldn’t practice any different. We wouldn’t hit a guy going over the middle on our team in practice; we won’t hit one of their guys going over the middle. We always stay away from the quarterback.” Arians continued.

“It’s creating competition but it’s practice, and we’ve got 180 guys on the same team for three days. Then we’ll play them in the game and all bets are off.” Arians said on the Doug and Wolf morning radio show Monday.

More interestingly, Cardinals’ General Manager Steve Keim was also on the radio Monday talking about the road trip and made no bones about the fact he was looking to wheel and deal if the opportunity presents itself.

“I reached out to Tom Telesco last night and he and I will get together before practices start and talk about both of our rosters,” Keim started. “See where our deficiencies are you know; in hopes that you can always talk about, hey, is there an area where we can help each other improve?” Keim stated.

This kind of talk goes on behind-the-scenes at every joint practice if the front office is worth their salt. There are two 90-man rosters full of guys playing their hardest to showcase their talents for their current team and whomever else may be watching. What’s curious about this case is that Keim, who does a radio segment every week in Phoenix, has made it no secret over the past two weeks that he will be actively pursuing a healthy exchange of ideas and hopefully players during this trip to San Diego.

Sounds like the Chargers have something the Cardinals want…

Let’s look at the possibilities. The Cardinals have a wealth of depth at their defensive line, wide receiver, secondary and running back positions. They are lacking on their offensive line, especially at right tackle. The Cards are currently starting D.J. Humphries. Humphries was their first-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. Arians listed Humphries as inactive for every game last season because of his inability to grasp the playbook and laziness on the practice field. Humphries earned the unfortunate nickname “knee-deep” referring to Arians’ disposition with Humphries in 2015.

Arizona’s deficiencies at linebacker have been hidden due to the effectiveness of the secondary and defensive line. If the Cardinals plan on carrying a third quarterback, it won’t be NFL journeyman Matt Barkley or Jake Coker, an undrafted free agent signee out of Alabama. Both quarterbacks have been unimpressive in camp and in their first preseason game.

San Diego has an abundance of talent at linebacker where they currently have 15 linebackers on their roster. The Chargers also have better depth at tight end, quarterback and offensive tackle. The possibilities for a talent exchange is endless but I will give you five names to watch.

RB Andre Ellington: The Cardinals drafted Ellington in the sixth-round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Lower leg and foot injuries have derailed what was a phenomenal start to his career. Ellington is finally back to full strength from his injuries but with Chris Johnson (who led the NFL in rushing yards before he went down to injury in 2015), the emergence of David Johnson, Stepfan Taylor (considered the best pass protector of the group) and Kerwynn Williams on board, Ellington may be the odd man out. Ellington would be a great insurance policy for Melvin Gordon and he is an electrifying return man as well. Just how fast is Ellington? He ran the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine in 4.51-seconds with a pulled hamstring!

QB Mike Bercovici and G Vi Teofilo: Both of these men played their college ball right down the I-10 at Arizona State University. Bercovici has been the most impressive of the quarterbacks the Chargers have brought in during the offseason. Kellen Clemens and Zach Mettenberger are likely to be second and third on the quarterback depth chart unless Telesco sees enough promise in Bercovici to make one of the two expendable. Teofilo is a 6″3′-inch, 315-pound guard who fills a need for depth at that position.

CB Justin Bethel: In a very crowded Cardinals’ secondary room, Bethel has sat on the sidelines with a foot injury and watched as his job is threatened by rookie third-round pick Brandon Williams. Williams has wowed the coaching staff with one head-turning practice after another and is making the most of his quick ascension to the first team.

Bethel was a key piece of the Cardinals’ 2015 secondary as the number two cornerback opposite Patrick Peterson. With Peterson locking down his side of the field, lots of balls came Bethels’ way and he was up to the task with 46 combined tackles, nine passes defensed, two interceptions (one returned for a touchdown) and two forced fumbles. Bethel was signed to a three-year, $15-million dollar contract extension in the offseason and made the Pro Bowl for the third consecutive year in 2015 as a special-teamer. Arians has a reputation for his disdain for players in the trainers’ room. Bethel could be moved if the price is right.

ILB Manti Te’o: Manti isn’t on the bubble but this is a contract year for him. Many stories are afloat about Te’o finally coming into his own as a leader. Foot injuries limited his effectiveness in his first two seasons but he finally showed what he is capable of in 2015 as he led the Chargers in tackles with 107 combined tackles. Te’o had a strong finish to his 2015 season, especially after Denzel Perryman was promoted to starter midway through the season. The two had an unspoken chemistry and played well off each other.

Why would the Chargers let him go now?

Te’o leaves you wanting more and not necessarily in a good way. Every missed tackle, every time a receiver catches a ball right in front of him, every time he’s left behind by a running back we shake our heads in frustration. To his credit, 2015 was hands down the best we’ve seen of him. However, there is a reason Telesco hasn’t offered him an extension when he has been diligently signing the Chargers’ core players to multi-year deals.

A Te’o-for-Bethel deal works for both sides.

What do you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

 

Bolt Up!!

 

The Greg One

 

#TrainingCamp2016

Daryl

Chargers fans and NFL fans in general have their eyes focused on March 10, the day when free agency begins. For once, the Chargers have an abundance of spending cash and gaping holes that need to be filled on offense and defense. We’ve become used to and applauded GM Tom Telesco for doing a lot with very little financially. Its is going to be very interesting to see what he does with a pocket full of Benjamins instead of a pocket full of pennies.

Still, with all the needs to be addressed, the need to save money while still getting great value will always be a priority. In this column i’m going to give you three intriguing options that may very well achieve those goals. One has been discussed increasingly as days go by and two have been off the radar this past season. All three have one thing in common, troubled pasts.

  1. Justin Blackmon WR, Jacksonville.

If you saw my mock draft last year, you noticed I had the Chargers trading a 4th round draft pick for Blackmons’ rights. For those of you who’ve forgotten, Blackmon is a 6’1, 210 pound freak of nature out of Oklahoma State. A back-to-back winner in 2010 and 2011 of the Biletnikoff Award heralding college football’s best wideout, Blackmon was the fifth overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.

Blackmon ran the 40-yard dash in 4.48 at the 2012 combine and his speed is only enhanced by exceptional leaping ability and physical, aggressive nature when going up for the ball. All those things made Blackmon a bigger target than he is stature-wise.

In his rookie season, he burst on the scene catching 64 balls for 865 yards and 5 touchdowns.  Blackmon’s downfall has come off the field in the form of substance abuse. His second season was marred by suspensions from arrests for DUI and driving under the influence of marijuana. Blackmon only played four games in the 2013 season and has not played a game since.

Jacksonville is hoping to know Blackmon’s status before the draft. He has to apply for reinstatement after his year-long suspension in the 2014-15 season and it looks like he has worn out his welcome. A change of scenery in a locker room filled with veteran leaders could be just what the doctor ordered. Blackmon turned 25 at the beginning of January. A season away has hopefully rekindled his desire to play and given him time to get his personal life in order.

Focused and reinvigorated, he would step in as a legitimate number one or two wide receiver. An incentive-laden two-year contract would  give the Chargers a low-risk, high reward potential player at a thinning position. A mid to late round draft pick would still be sufficient to get him out of the Sunshine State.

  1. Daryl Washington, ILB Arizona.

Living in Phoenix, I have seen a lot of Washington and listened to his coaches and teammates sing his praises since he was drafted in 2010. Like Blackmon, the 28-year old Washington seems to have run out of lives in Arizona.

Let’s count the offenses…

Washington was suspended for the entire 2014 season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, his second such offense. The first caused a four game suspension in 2013. In addition, he violated the league’s personal conduct policy stemming from an aggravated assault conviction of his ex-girlfriend. After pleading guilty, he received one year supervised probation.

On the field, Washington was an exceptional and a disruptive force on the defensive side of the ball. He was one of the team captains, tasked with making sure the rest of the defense was in the right place and calling plays on defense. Despite missing four games in 2013 he was still third on the team with 81 tackles (59 solo), 3 sacks and 2 interceptions. He made the Pro Bowl in 2012 after amassing 134 tackles (107 solo), 9 sacks, 4 passes defensed, 2 forced fumbles and one interception.

Another big indicator he’s played his last game in a Cardinals uniform, during the 2013 offseason Cardinals GM Steve Keim said: “It’s completely unacceptable that Daryl has once again put us in this position.” A player like Washington who is on the right side of 30, loaded with potential and spared a year of wear and tear on his body will come with a higher price tag but to get that kind of production from an inside linebacker helps everywhere else on defense. In four seasons he only missed one game aside from the games he missed due to suspension and durability is definitely a trait that has been seriously lacking in San Diego.

  1. Adrian Peterson RB, Minnesota.

This has been a name that has been popping up recently in connection with the Chargers. We all watched as the child abuse scandal unfolded before us last season. Peterson missed all but the first game of the season and after being removed from the Commissioners’ exempt list was suspended the final six games of the season without pay. He was bought to trial for disciplining his 4-year old son with a switch, leaving behind lashes that were used for evidence.

There hasn’t exactly been a groundswell of support for Peterson among the front office in Minnesota. The team seems to be looking to rebuild without him, leaning on the talents of 2014 first round draft pick, QB Teddy Bridgewater. After compiling a respectable 7-9 2014 campaign without AP, Minnesota seems to be headed in the right direction.

As the league’s highest paid running back, Peterson is scheduled to make 12.75 million this season and is still under contract for the next three years. He will also count 15.4 million against the Vikings salary cap which is another reason they look to be ready to cut ties with their star player.

After entering a no contest plea to misdemeanor reckless assault, Peterson received two years probation, 4000 in fines and 80 hours community service. He will be able to apply for reinstatement on April 15.

By adding Peterson, the Chargers would instantly become a Super Bowl favorite in the AFC. His signing would be akin to Peyton Manning coming to Denver. With a franchise quarterback leading what was the 10th ranked passing attack in the league last season already in place, a dominant feature back would put the Chargers over the top.

The last of the dominant every down running backs, Peterson is the anti-Mathews. In seven full seasons he only missed 8 games, half of those came from missing the final four games of the season after tearing his ACL in 2011. He then returned and ran for an astonishing 2,097 yards and 12 touchdowns en route to winning the NFL MVP award in 2012. A punishing runner, he has the ability to catch out of the backfield, elude and break tackles and possesses phenomenal breakaway speed.

Peterson will be 30 by the time the season starts but he has essentially had a full season off to heal his body. We’ve seen what he can do coming back from a devastating injury in record time, what will he be able to do returning completely fresh and determined to reestablish himself as the top back in the league? Defenses will have to jam the box with an extra defender (which still has minimal effect against AP) to contain him and that will leave the Chargers receivers and tight ends in favorable one-on-one matchups. A three-year contract for Peterson will give Philip Rivers, Antonio Gates, Malcom Floyd, Eric Weddle and the longtime Chargers their greatest shot at a deserved Super Bowl championship since the Tomlinson era.

Chemistry is very important in a locker room. The question now is will Telesco give these three players serious consideration if and when they become available? We know the GM is big on high character, team-oriented players and he leans toward younger, high potential, multi-dimensional players. Was that because that’s truly his philosophy or because of the pennies in his pocket, that was the road he was forced to travel?

Keep in mind Telesco did offer a contract last offseason to veteran wide receiver Steve Smith (who’s had his fair share of on and off the field incidents) last year and would have got him if Baltimore didn’t have the team that exiled him, Carolina, on their schedule. The revenge factor was too great for Smith to pass up and he went on to a great season in Baltimore.

These players have endangered themselves and people around them through drug and alcohol abuse and domestic violence and that should not be taken lightly. Their past transgressions should serve as a cautionary tale to the rest of us. They have had a year or longer to get their lives back in order and (hopefully) come back to the game ready to perform and endear themselves to their new teammates, coaches and fan base. A change of scenery, a chance to play on a playoff-caliber team in a low media intensity city like San Diego and opportunity to start rebuilding their image will provide plenty of motivation and that will only benefit the Chargers. These players are game changers and that is what the bolts sorely need.

Morality is a slippery slope. These players have (or are soon to be) castoff from their teams because their behavior has become too big a distraction to keep them around. Who hasn’t made mistakes and been motivated to come through it better than you were before? We’re known as the land of opportunity. People come here from around the globe searching for a new start. In the end, we’re not considering these players to be the heads of our household, we’re considering these players to be standout components that will get us what we crave as Chargers fans: A Super Bowl championship.

My name is The Greg One, and I approve these players.

Bolt Up

#TelescoMagic

PetersonAdrian

 

Chargers fans and NFL fans in general have their eyes focused on March 10, the day when free agency begins. For once, the Chargers have an abundance of spending cash and gaping holes that need to be filled on offense and defense. We’ve become used to and applauded GM Tom Telesco for doing a lot with very little financially. It is going to be very interesting to see what he does with a pocket full of Benjamins instead of a pocket full of pennies.

Still, with all the needs to be addressed, the need to save money while still getting great value will always be a priority. In this column I’m going to give you three intriguing options that may achieve those very goals. One has been discussed increasingly as days go by and two have been off the radar this past season. All three have one thing in common, troubled pasts.

1. Justin Blackmon WR, Jacksonville.

If you saw my mock draft last year, you noticed I had the Chargers trading a 4th round draft pick for Blackmon’s rights. For those of you who’ve forgotten, Blackmon is a 6’1, 210 pound freak of nature out of Oklahoma State. A back-to-back winner in 2010 and 2011 of the Biletnikoff Award heralding college football’s best wideout, Blackmon was the fifth overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.

Blackmon ran the 40-yard dash in 4.48 at the 2012 combine and his speed is only enhanced by exceptional leaping ability and physical, aggressive nature when going up for the ball. All those things made Blackmon a bigger target than he is stature-wise.

In his rookie season, he burst on the scene catching 64 balls for 865 yards and 5 touchdowns.  Blackmon’s downfall has come off the field in the form of substance abuse. His second season was marred by suspensions from arrests for DUI and driving under the influence of marijuana. Blackmon only played four games in the 2013 season and has not played a game since.

Jacksonville is hoping to know Blackmon’s status before the draft. He has to apply for reinstatement after his year-long suspension in the 2014-15 season and it looks like he has worn out his welcome. A change of scenery in a locker room filled with veteran leaders could be just what the doctor ordered. Blackmon turned 25 at the beginning of January. A season away has hopefully rekindled his desire to play and given him time to get his personal life in order.

Focused and reinvigorated, he would step in as a legitimate number one or two wide receiver. An incentive-laden two-year contract would  give the Chargers a low-risk, high reward potential player at a thinning position. A mid to late round draft pick would still be sufficient to get him out of the Sunshine State.

2. Daryl Washington, ILB Arizona.

Living in Phoenix, I have seen a lot of Washington and listened to his coaches and teammates sing his praises since he was drafted in 2010. Like Blackmon, the 28-year old Washington seems to have run out of lives in Arizona.

Let’s count the offenses…

Washington was suspended for the entire 2014 season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, his second such offense. The first caused a four game suspension in 2013. In addition, he violated the league’s personal conduct policy stemming from an aggravated assault conviction of his ex-girlfriend. After pleading guilty, he received one year supervised probation.

On the field, Washington was an exceptional and a disruptive force on the defensive side of the ball. He was one of the team captains, tasked with making sure the rest of the defense was in the right place and calling plays on defense. Despite missing four games in 2013 he was still third on the team with 81 tackles (59 solo), 3 sacks and 2 interceptions. He made the Pro Bowl in 2012 after amassing 134 tackles (107 solo), 9 sacks, 4 passes defensed, 2 forced fumbles and one interception.

Another big indicator he’s played his last game in a Cardinals uniform, during the 2013 offseason Cardinals GM Steve Keim said: “It’s completely unacceptable that Daryl has once again put us in this position.” A player like Washington who is on the right side of 30, loaded with potential and spared a year of wear and tear on his body will come with a higher price tag but to get that kind of production from an inside linebacker helps everywhere else on defense. In four seasons he only missed one game aside from the games he missed due to suspension and durability is definitely a trait that has been seriously lacking in San Diego.

3. Adrian Peterson RB, Minnesota.

This has been a name that has been popping up recently in connection with the Chargers. We all watched as the child abuse scandal unfolded before us last season. Peterson missed all but the first game of the season and after being removed from the Commissioner’s exempt list was suspended the final six games of the season without pay. He was brought to trial for disciplining his 4-year-old son with a switch, leaving behind lashes that were used for evidence.

There hasn’t exactly been a groundswell of support for Peterson among the front office in Minnesota. The team seems to be looking to rebuild without him, leaning on the talents of 2014 first round draft pick, QB Teddy Bridgewater. After compiling a respectable 7-9 2014 campaign without AP, Minnesota seems to be headed in the right direction.

As the league’s highest paid running back, Peterson is scheduled to make $12.75 million this season and is still under contract for the next three years. He will also count 15.4 million against the Vikings salary cap, which is another reason they look to be ready to cut ties with their star player.

After entering a no contest plea to misdemeanor reckless assault, Peterson received two years probation, $4,000.00 in fines and 80 hours community service. He will be able to apply for reinstatement on April 15.

By adding Peterson, the Chargers would instantly become a Super Bowl favorite in the AFC. His signing would be akin to Peyton Manning coming to Denver. With a franchise quarterback leading what was the 10th ranked passing attack in the league last season already in place, a dominant feature back would put the Chargers over the top.

The last of the dominant every down running backs, Peterson is the anti-Mathews. In seven full seasons he only missed 8 games, half of those came from missing the final four games of the season after tearing his ACL in 2011. He then returned and ran for an astonishing 2,097 yards and 12 touchdowns en route to winning the NFL MVP award in 2012. A punishing runner, he has the ability to catch out of the backfield, elude and break tackles and possesses phenomenal breakaway speed.

Peterson will be 30 by the time the season starts, but he has essentially had a full season off to heal his body. We’ve seen what he can do coming back from a devastating injury in record time, what will he be able to do returning completely fresh and determined to reestablish himself as the top back in the league? Defenses will have to jam the box with an extra defender (which still has minimal effect against AP) to contain him and that will leave the Chargers receivers and tight ends in favorable one-on-one matchups. A three-year contract for Peterson will give Philip Rivers, Antonio Gates, Malcom Floyd, Eric Weddle and the longtime Chargers their greatest shot at a deserved Super Bowl championship.

Chemistry is very important in a locker room. The question now is will Telesco give these three players serious consideration if and when they become available? We know the GM is big on high character, team-oriented players and he leans toward younger, high potential, multi-dimensional players. Was that because that’s truly his philosophy or because of the pennies in his pocket, that was the road he was forced to travel?

Keep in mind Telesco did offer a contract last offseason to veteran wide receiver Steve Smith (who’s had his fair share of on and off the field incidents) last year and would have signed him if Baltimore didn’t have the team that exiled him, Carolina, on their schedule. The revenge factor was too great for Smith to pass up and he went on to have a great season in Baltimore.

These players have endangered themselves and people around them through drug and alcohol abuse and domestic violence. That should not be taken lightly. Their past transgressions should serve as a cautionary tale to the rest of us. They have had a year or longer to get their lives back in order and (hopefully) come back to the game ready to perform and endear themselves to their new teammates, coaches and fan base. A change of scenery, a chance to play on a playoff-caliber team in a low media intensity city like San Diego and an opportunity to start rebuilding their image will provide plenty of motivation and that will only benefit the Chargers. These players are game changers and that is what the Bolts sorely need.

Morality is a slippery slope. These players have (or are soon to be) cast-off from their teams because their behavior has become too big a distraction to keep them around. Who hasn’t made mistakes and been motivated to come through it better than you were before? We’re known as the land of opportunity. People come here from around the globe searching for a new start. In the end, we’re not considering these players to be the heads of our household, we’re considering these players to be standout components that will get us what we crave as Chargers fans: A Super Bowl championship.

My name is The Greg One, and I approve these players.

 

Bolt Up!!

 

#TelescoMagic

Shop for Authentic Autographed Chargers Collectibles at SportsMemorabilia.com
Subscribe

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Shop for Authentic Autographed Chargers Collectibles at SportsMemorabilia.com


Copyright © 2013. All Rights Reserved.