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Gehlken: O-line is top offseason priority

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Blue Bolt, Jan 5, 2013.

  1. Blue Bolt
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    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    O-line Chargers' top offseason priority

    This will be another busy Chargers offseason.

    To fix some of their deficiencies, it has to be.

    San Diego has holes on its roster, either ones that were exposed last year or, with 19 players scheduled to become unrestricted free agents in March, that are about to open. The following are three top priorities on either side of the ball.

    Offense

    Offensive line: The greatest, most immediate challenge the next Chargers general manager will face is fixing this offensive line. Can it be done in one year? Center Nick Hardwick is the only starter who can safely be expected back. A left tackle must be found. Left guard Tyronne Green and right guard Louis Vasquez have expiring contracts. Right tackle Jeromey Clary will count $5.7 million against the 2013 cap if kept and $3.4 million if released.

    Running back: It's always been something with Ryan Mathews. Maybe, with two broken clavicles in about four months, he's just unlucky, luck that is bound to turn around in his fourth season. But the Chargers must protect themselves for the possibility it doesn't, adding someone who, at the very least, can complement him. Le'Ron McClain and Edwin Baker, a 2012 seventh-round draft pick, are the only other members of the backfield scheduled to return next season.

    Tight end: Randy McMichael served as an extension of the offensive line in his three seasons here. Last year, 60.1 percent of his 504 snaps came in pass protection. With the 33-year-old contemplating retirement and, if he chooses to continue playing, likely to be released, the team must find a blocking presence from its tight end corps. The asset is a strength of neither Antonio Gates nor Ladarius Green. Dante Rosario is a pending unrestricted free agent.

    Defense

    Cornerback: The Chargers could lose two durable starters. On the left side, Quentin Jammer has started 161 of 172 career games but will turn 34 in June. Right cornerback Antoine Cason, 26, has started all but three games the past three years. Shareece Wright and Marcus Gilchrist, both 2010 draft choices, are the only cornerbacks under contract for 2013.

    Linebacker: Takeo Spikes is unlikely to return next season, but there is uncertainty who'll fill his place as the strong-side inside linebacker. The hope was for Jonas Mouton to be ready, but with his zero defensive snaps after Spikes' second-quarter ejection in the season finale, it's clear he is not considered ready yet. At outside linebacker, Shaun Phillips and Antwan Barnes are among the team's unrestricted free agents.

    Strong safety: Three strong safeties made the Chargers' roster out of training camp. By year's end, Corey Lynch was the only one not to have suffered a season-ending injury, and he's set to become a free agent. Rookie Brandon Taylor underwent surgery Thursday to repair a torn ACL as well as some other knee damage. Veteran Atari Bigby missed the final five weeks with a torn hamstring. The Chargers will evaluate Taylor's strides in rehab and plan accordingly for 2013.
  2. MadMike
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    MadMike Well-Known Member

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    O-Line (2 Tackles and 1 Guard minimum thru draft and FA), then CB (2 at least one veteran starter, would like to see Trufant), then RB (Draft), then LB (Draft or FA), then TE (Blocking TE through FA), then SS (Hope for Taylor and Bigby to be back, but sign Jammer to play this position if he's willing).
  3. SuperCharger92
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    SuperCharger92 BoltTalker

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    I do not want to see Bigby back here for my sake. Worst tackler I've ever laid eyes on. I'd rather re-sign Jammer or Lynch for a 1-2 year deal and hope Brandon Taylor makes strides in rehab and camp.

    Wouldn't look far from FA either, there are some real good vet SS's that will be shopping around..
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. Ikeman83
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    Ikeman83 Werter Pöbel

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    Is it a certainty that Nick Hardwick can be expected to return? Dielman retired last season, we went 7-9 this year, Hardwick's already been paid, what's he playing for? Does he think that this is a playoff team next season? Personally, I think Hardwick is as likely to retire as he is to play this and next season.
  5. SuperCharger92
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    SuperCharger92 BoltTalker

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    Look at Reggie Wayne in Indy.. He's done everything for that franchise, has gotten his big contract, and after a 2-14 season, and his QB leaving the team, new coach and a rookie QB coming in, what made him stay? He certainly didn't think Indy would go 11-5 and be a playoff team did he? Hardwick I think will be back for sure..
  6. DenverBolt67
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    DenverBolt67 BoltTalker

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    I am not sure about that. Hardwick was rumored to be considering retirement last year, mostly because he was best friends with Dielman and it was said that what happened to Dielman scared him. So although I am not saying he will retire, it sure won't surprise me if he does
  7. SuperCharger92
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    SuperCharger92 BoltTalker

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    Well, why would we give him (I believe) a 2-3 year deal if we knew that? I think he'll play out his contract. Just my opinion, you guys may be right..
  8. DenverBolt67
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    DenverBolt67 BoltTalker

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    We did know that, and we gave it to him because he chose to come back. That doesn't mean he will be back again this year.

    http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2011/dec/28/chargers-hardwick-might-retire/

    That is the report from last year that said he was considering retirement. That is likely why we drafted a center last year who the team is projecting on replacing Hardwick, they know he won't be around much longer
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. AnteaterCharger
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    AnteaterCharger Calibrating Bolttalk, Podcast by Podcast Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    He might play another year but he's definitely on the clock towards retirement. Hence the brilliance of drafting Molk
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  10. SuperCharger92
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    SuperCharger92 BoltTalker

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    I know he's on the verge of retirement and that was the reason Molk was drafted and also because we didn't need a center to step in right away and could draft an injured center..

    But I just think he comes back 1 more year, Rivers will be here until 2014, so depending on happens with him and this organization, I don't think Nick wants to go out like this..

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