Chargers Stuff

February 25, 2008 at 10:16 am (Sports thoughts)

In Baseball the “hot stove” is that which sustains us through the long cold winter by giving us something to smell, imagine and make our mouths water in expectation of the upcoming season.

Football isn’t the same for a couple of reasons. First of all the wait for football is eased by the 5 months of baseball during it’s interlude. Secondly as far a player acquisitions go, in baseball a single move can transform the entire outlook for a team, no such moves take place in football. This could be because of the roster size or because of the perception of parity but for whatever reason we acknowledge off-season football moves just are not as significant as off-season baseball moves.

But they exist and maybe they are interesting to you and you’d like to sound off about them.

So I provide for loyal readers a post where they may peruse the player movements of the San Diego Chargers…

Lets kick it off with a couple of topics…

1. What should the Chargers do with Lorenzo Neal?

2. Should the Chargers try to re-sign Michael Turner?

3. With the cap space the Chargers have (reportedly more than 20 million) what areas should they seek to improve?

4. How will the injuries to Philip Rivers, LT, and Gates affect personnel movements?

5. Chargers added a veteran middle LB to the mix on Sunday. Good move or bad? What does this say about Whilhelm and Cooper?



  1. danielbalc said,

    fell free to discuss any, all or none of those topics. If you’d like go ahead and throw out something else that might be intriguing to you.

    My take on those is this….

    We need draft picks… trade Neal while you can and get a 3rd rounder.

    We don’t need to spend huge money on Turner, we have a guy who spent the year on IR named Germaine Race who I think will be a quality back up.

    I think the Chargers need to get some more safety depth as well as Defensive line depth. All three of our starters at DL missed more playing time that I’d like. Shore that area up. And since Drayton Florence will be gone you need another DB (but I think this is the way to go in the draft since they’ll have time to develop behind Jammer and Cromartie).

    I think you should always draft a QB. not necessarily because of Rivers injury but you should just always be developing late round QB picks. You never know when a Tom Brady will appear. I am not concerned with the Gates or LT injuries.

    I like the move adding Derek Smith. This is a wiser acquisition than a Zack Thomas because smith probably has some more in the tank. I don’t think it reflects poorly on Matt and Cooper either, it’s a depth thing.

  2. Matt said,

    We need draft picks… trade Neal while you can and get a 3rd rounder.

    Is he under contract for next year? I assume so since you are talking trade. I don’t see any way he is worth a 3rd round pick to a team. Most teams don’t even use a full-back anymore. I would just keep him, I am sure he would sign at a considerable bargain to finish his career blocking for the best of all time and a chance to win the Super Bowl.

    Obviously it is very important to build depth at the line positions, both offensive and defensive. They would do well to draft a nose tackle that could come in and learn from Jamal as he is getting older.

    I assume McCree is gone and Weddle will be the starting safety next year. If this is the case they need help in their nickel and dime defensive package. I would love if they re-signed Florence, although, I do not think they will pay what another team will. He was great last year covering the slot reciever. Drafting a safety\corner to play nickel will be important.

    As for injuries, I am glad Rivers had the surgery right away he should heal in plenty of time. He is not mobile anyway so I have no concerns there.

    LT is of no concern, he will be ready to go.

    Gates needs to have surgery now and just get it over with so he can start rehab. It would be horrible if he decided to just let it heal on its own and it never got right and then have to have surgery much closer to the season where he would miss games.

    Super Bowl or bust next year.

  3. Show me the Money said,

    ” I would just keep him, I am sure he would sign at a considerable bargain to finish his career blocking for the best of all time and a chance to win the Super Bowl.”

    Ok so I am not good at figuring out how you guys get that line in there to show it is from a previous post but that is what Matt wrote.

    I don’t think he wants to be here at all. he wnats to go somewhere he can play.
    Check this article out.

    Again I have no idea how to set the link up. Sorry guys.

  4. Show me the Money said,

    oh nice it did the link for me.

  5. Matt said,

    As far as the article, I guess playing every down for a bad team is better than sharing time with a great team. I am suprised and would think the only thing left for Lo to do is win a Super Bowl.

  6. Pablo Honey said,

    What we don’t need:
    Lorenzo Neal
    Michael Turner

    What we do need:
    Depth at offensive line
    Depth at safety
    Depth at QB
    Depth at defensive line

    I am not too worried about the CB position because I think we have another star waiting in the wings in CB Paul Oliver who was our supplemental draft pick last year. He has great size and speed and I think he will do great as our 3rd CB next year.

  7. danielbalc said,

    Haven’t gotten many Chargers comments and with the draft just a few days away I thought I should throw out my prediction for the Bolts and their 27th pick.

    The reason why nobody is really good at predicting drafts is because none of us are smart enough to be NFL executives.

    We look at the biggest “need” on our team while the best NFL brains look at the big picture.

    Chargers are in a position where it’s easier to be able to see this because it doesn’t appear that they have any glaring needs.

    I heard some idiot on the radio talking about how the Chargers have to get a corner back to compliment Antonio Cromartie. I thought this was so funny because Jammer is a top 10 CB in the league (and much more solid than Cromartie). But he wasn’t a real fan of the team he was just going off of his sportscenter highlight reel knowledge.

    It’s even more frustrating when guys like “Hacksaw” are on the radio blabbing on and on about the big problems that Chargers have at running back now that Michael Turner is gone. give me a break.

    anyways back to my point. The Chargers don’t draft for the next season they drat for 2 or 3 years down the road. That being said I look at the Roster and thinking about where will need help in 2 years rather than this year.

    That being said I think you have to look at DT before you look anywhere else on this roster. Jamal Williams has been a beast for a long time on this team and still may have a couple seasons left, but he needs to rotate more and more.

    Taking a DT in the first round would not be a big surprise to me. The only other area I can imagine them going is secondary. While I expect them to add O-line and Secondary help in the 5th round (picks 160 and 166) and probably an RB with pick #192 (6th round) and finally a QB with their last pick #234 (7th round).

    # 27- DT Trevor Laws (Notre Dame)
    # 160 OG Andrew Bain (Miami)
    # 166 CB Coye Francies (Oregon St)
    # 192 RB Marcus Thomas (UTEP)
    # 234 QB Brady Leaf (Oregon). Yes, that’s Ryan’s little brother. hahahaha

  8. Pablo Honey said,

    My guess is we end up with quite a few more draft picks this year than we currently have. I expect the Chargers to either move their 1st rounder (27th overall) for a 2nd and 3rd this year, or move some of our early picks next year (2nd or 3rd rounders) for another 2nd this year. All that is just speculation though so I will go ahead and call the draft how I see it going down with the picks we currently have.

    #27 – ILB Curtis Lofton (Oklahoma) – Big time playmaker who doesn’t have all the measurables but is always making plays, i.e. Eric Weddle. Remember that we lost Cooper for the 1st 4 games this year.
    #160 – RB Chauncey Washington (USC) – Probably wishful thinking that he will last this long but he might because he split time at SC. Guy is loaded with talent though.
    #166 – CB Darnell Terrell (Missouri) – Antonio Cromartie type build, just a little slower. Apparently not the smartest guy though.
    #192 – OT Breno Giacomini (Louisville) – Great size, but is inexperienced.
    #234 – QB Xavier Lee (Florida State) – Prototype size and arm strength with great speed, but very raw.

    I agree that we are going to need a DT soon but I don’t think this is the year we pull the trigger.

  9. Out of thin air said,

    This is a guy they supposedly have shown considerable interest in…

    Tashard Choice
    RB | (5’10”, 215, 4.5) | GEORGIA TECH

  10. danielbalc said,

    I hear a lot of talk about running back. The talking heads make it sound like the hole left by Michael Turner and Lo-Neal is the Grand Canyon or something.

    This morning I heard them begging for Shaun Alexander.

    I said it at the top of this post and I’ll say it again. They aren’t going too high with a RB choice because they have a guy on IR (Race) and a guy on the practice squad (Buckley) who are are both signed through next season.

    These guys who’ve spent a year in the system will both be better suited for the role than an aged, set-in-his-ways, type of veteran (ahem Alexander, Dunn).

    That doesn’t mean we won’t draft an RB, we will, and we will probably also get one as an un-drafted free-agent, but my pick for back up RB next season (other than Sproles and Pinnock) is Race. Click his link on comment #1, read about him, add one year in the Chargers system and then try and tell me there is a better option out there for a back up to LT.

  11. danielbalc said,

    Pablo I’m with you on the FSU QB I just thought it would be funny to put in Leaf’s baby bro.

  12. Pablo Honey said,

    I definitely agree with you about Race, saw some of him in preseason last year and he looked fantastic.

  13. Pablo Honey said,

    In other football news, the Vikings have lost their minds. There is no doubt that Jared Allen is a monster DE, and I will be glad to see him out of the AFC West, but they gave up and awful lot and then gave the guy a huge contract with 31 mil. guaranteed.

    Keep in mind this guy’s history off the field. While he has been on the straight and narrow through the past season, moving him to Minnesota (where all there is to do is drink, same as KC) and handing him that kind of money is not going to help him stay on the wagon. And Allen is only 1 strike away from a full years suspension by the league.

    KC on the other hand, has to be ecstatic. They now have 6 of the first 82 picks in the draft, including the 5th and 17th overall! This move is going to set them up in the next 2 years so we had better watch our backs. Hopefully they end up taking one of the highly rated QBs and they end up being big time busts.

  14. danielbalc said,

    Minnesota is nuts. The single most unreliable position from year to year is Defensive End. Consider…
    Julius Peppers

    Jevon Kearse

    And how can we forget “Dat Dude” Marcellus Wiley who went from 13 sacks in 01 to 12 in the next 5 years of his career.

    If you get 3 or 4 solid seasons out of a defensive end you have made a great move. Michael Strahan and Reggie White are one in a million players. The Chargers and their scheme for Shawne Merriman are very fortunate, but he’s got a long ways to go to reach the kind of stats those two put up.

    BTW ESPN poll asks “who is the best pass rusher in the game today?” and gives these options…

    Jared Allen
    Dwight Freeney
    Patrick Kerney
    Julius Peppers
    Michael Strahan
    Osi Umenyiora
    Jason Taylor
    DeMarcus Ware
    Mario Williams

    but no Shawne Merriman? 39.5 sacks in 3 seasons can’t get you on that list? wow.

  15. out of thin air said,

    One word…Steroids!!!!

  16. danielbalc said,

    Julius Peppers…
    During his rookie season, Peppers tallied 28 tackles, 12 sacks, 1 interception, and 5 forced fumbles. With four games remaining in the season, Peppers was suspended for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy

    How did he make the list?

    Not one of the guys on the above list has had a better start to their career, because no pass rusher has ever had 39.5 sacks in their first 3 seasons.

    BTW there’s a big difference between starting out better than anyone before you and becoming better than everyone before you at age 40.

  17. out of thin air said,

    This should give SM incentive to play even harder this year.

  18. danielbalc said,

    You have a better chance of being killed by a shark attack then of accurately predicting a draft pick after the first round. But even with such drastic odds I didn’t flinch, I made my predictions and low and behold for the second year in a row …

    I actually got one of the Chargers draft picks!

    This was my prediction…

    # 27- DT Trevor Laws (Notre Dame)
    # 160 OG Andrew Bain (Miami)
    # 166 CB Coye Francies (Oregon St)
    # 192 RB Marcus Thomas (UTEP)
    # 234 QB Brady Leaf (Oregon). Yes, that’s Ryan’s little brother. hahahaha

    and this was the actual…

    #27 CB Antoine Cason (AZ)
    #69 RB Jacob Hester (LSU)
    #166 RB Marcus Thomas (UTEP)
    #192 CB DeJuan Tribble (BC)
    # 234 OT Corey Clark (Texas A&M)

    They didn’t draft a QB instead they picked one up off of waivers.

    The biggest shock is that they traded up for a running back (giving up a 2 next year) but it’s not as bad as it sounds. Assuming the Chargers have a year equal to last season the highest that 2 would be is 58 or possibly lower so they traded up about 10 spots. They are getting 2 pretty high supplemental picks next year because of Turner and Florence, so they didn’t really give up a lot.

    What’s strange is that they used their next pick on a runner as well. While I did think they would get two RB’s I didn’t expect them to be their second and third picks. I just didn’t think they were that desperate.

    I’m also surprised they only acquired 1 O-line and No D-line. You can find a capable o-line in free-agency but D-line is a very difficult position to find. I guess they feel good about Jamal playing a couple more seasons.

  19. Matt said,

    I love the first 2 picks. Cason is a real good player nobody really has heard of because he played on a bad team (Arizona has a football team?)

    And Hester is a nice blue-collar runner that will help fill the role of a Neal and Turner.

    The rest I don’t know too much about but I trust AJ Smith.

  20. Pablo Honey said,

    I’m with you Matt, great 1st 2 picks. Hester runs like and absolute beast. Both Cason and Hester are known for being outstanding leaders and extremely hard workers, good fits for our team.

  21. Matt said,

    Also how about SDSU QB O’Connell going before the likes of John David Booty and Andre Woodson and going to the Pats no less. Kind of a bummer he will not see the field for the next 10 years.

  22. danielbalc said,

    Hester seems like a Mike Alstott type of player. But the fact they they drafted Thomas with their next pick tells me that they aren’t as high on Pinnock as we might have thought. Even though he’s currently signed to a long term deal I can’t imagine the Bolts keeping LT, Sproles, Pinnock, Hester and Thomas. 5 RB’s seems like a lot.

    Presently the Bolts roster has 6 guys listed as a CB:
    Jammer, Cromartie, Gordon, Oliver, Cason and Tribble
    one guy listed as a CB/S:
    One guy listed as an FS:
    And one guy listed as an SS:

    That means at least one of the three rookies (counting Oliver) is going to have to learn the safety position and Weddle is going to have a huge role.

    Could Safety be something we look to add veteran free-agent leadership at?

    I think that Pats passed on better QB’s to take O’Connell because they have plenty of time before they’d need one.

  23. danielbalc said,

    Sportsline’s Mike Freeman digs up another piece of nothing, polishes it up and calls it a story simply in an effort to create disdain for San Diego and LT….

    and if you read the comments you’ll see it worked.

    Can’t anyone be objective, not just in writing, but in reading?

    I don’t see anything at all controversial about LT’s comments but the headline sure makes it sound controversial.

    “LT Glad to see the Patriots ensnared in spygate.”

  24. G Money aka Gary said,

    Chargers have great young talent, they just need to go out there every game and play till they can’t play no more!

  25. danielbalc said,

    G Money. Thanks for finding the blog. I’m very excited to have you on board for what looks to be an exciting upcoming Chargers season.

  26. Matt said,

    Enough about the ridiculous baseball team in town…..

    I am officially pumped for football season as the road to the Super Bowl begins Friday!

    Looks like we will be relatively healthy to start camp and this team should be exciting to watch all year.

    With the new pieces we have added and a year under our belts with the new coaching staff this team should be in the Super Bowl.

    I expect a full training camp write up soon!

  27. danielbalc said,

    Wow, that’s quite a the request.

    Why don’t you do another TC post?

  28. Out of thin air said,

    More important…”Will Paul now become a Cowboy fan”?

  29. Pablo Honey said,

    Chargers catch a huge break with Steve Smith getting suspended the first 2 games of the season, so we won’t be facing him in week 1. We should win this game no matter what but it helps that their best payer is out, now I’m not too worried about Gates being back week 1. The big question now: How much does Smith go for come draft night?

  30. Bruce S. said,

    Not to mention Brandon Marshall of the Broncos being suspended for 2 or 3 games as well. Chargers dodge him once as well.

  31. danielbalc said,

    I don’t know how huge of a break it will be. I felt that way last year about the suspended Rodney Harrison and the public humiliation of the Patriots being found out as cheaters. But those had no negative impact at all on the Patriots. Of course how were we to know that the football gods had a far greater karmaic justice in mind for the Patriots.


    Why isn’t this more publicized as the greatest choke in all of sports history?

  32. Matt S said,

    Shawne Merriman has ligament damage in his knee.


  33. Anthony said,

    Quick, someone make him his “supplement” drink!

  34. danielbalc said,

    This is the deepest team in the league. Except for linebacker during the first 4 weeks of the season (because Cooper is suspended).

    Fortunately the first 4 weeks of the season happens to be the easiest 4 weeks of our schedule (home against Carolina, at Denver, home against Jets at Oakland). Even if we were to stumble to 2 and 2 in that stretch we showed last year that a rough start can be overcome.

    Lets go pessimistic and suppose Merriman is out for the season, what does that mean to the team? Very little I think. This is the reason why the Chargers extended Carlos Polk. depth. obviously Polk won’t get to the QB like Merriman but he won’t allow the big play.

  35. Matt said,

    Click on the “water park” video.

    This is pure gold on so many levels.

  36. Anthony said,

    “Lets go pessimistic and suppose Merriman is out for the season”

    Uh that’s not being pessimistic. That’s reality. In fact, Merriman’s career may be over. Can’t feel bad for cheaters though.

  37. Pablo Honey said,

    Chargers signed Jyles Tucker to a 5 year deal worth around 14 mil. Clearly they believe he can be an adequate replacement for Merriman. My guess is that Merriman sits out this year and next year is his last as a Charger.

  38. Matt said,

    Merriman is going to play.

    In today’s day and age of priority #1 being making sure you get paid and take care of yourself this is an amazing decision.

    I would have wagered that Merriman would have been the least likely person to make this commitment to his team.

    This goes to show that everyone in that locker room believes they will win a Super Bowl this year and wants to put all their eggs in this season’s basket to get it done.

    One timeeeeeeeeee please!!!

  39. danielbalc said,

    I think it’s the right move. If his knee isn’t going to be getting any worse (and the Dr’s say it wont) and he can play through pain waiting till after the season to get surgery then it’s certainly the right thing to do.

    I think the Chargers can take advantage of this by using Merriman primarily on passing downs as a pure pass rusher. This works out very well because Tucker plays 60% of the plays and gains valuable experience while Merriman racks up the sack numbers and his endorsment dollars.

  40. Goldminers said,

    (and the Dr’s say it wont)

    Every doctor has told him he risks a career ending injury. It may be good for the team but bad for him. I’ll be surprised if he makes it through the entire season. Keep taken those fine supplements.

  41. danielbalc said,

    I’ve heard both that it could be career threatening and that it can’t get any worse. I’m assuming the truth is that it can’t get worse it doesn’t make sense any other way

  42. danielbalc said,

    Merriman denies being told that it can be career threatening. He also says he played 6 games on it last season.

    I agree with his decision. In days of old guys played with hurt everything. The medical community is now so corrupt that they will recommend surgery for virtually everything.

    Not that surgery wouldn’t help, but if he’s demonstrated that he can perform at a high level with this injury (6 sacks with it hurt last season) then he might as well go until he simply cannot go any more.

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