July 26, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers offensive tackle Jeromey Clary (66) and center David Molk (60) come off the field after practice during training camp at Charger Park. Credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE
By Travis Duncan
In combat, fighter planes would fly below altitude in order to bypass detection on "Radio Detection and Ranging" a.k.a radar.
The 2012 San Diego Chargers have been designated with variations of the under-the-radar description more than once this offseason.
Is that a good thing?
Or does it seem to imply the following: "flying just below the altitude of Mile High and Peyton Manning"
ESPN's Bill Williamson really did a nice job of highlighting this recently, when he wrote "One thing I'm certain of: The San Diego Chargers will be under the radar and they will love it. The nation has become tired of the Chargers. For years, San Diego has been a preseason darling. It has been a perennial popular early Super Bowl pick but has fallen short of the playoffs the past two seasons. As a result, not much attention is being paid to the team anymore. I expect this team to welcome the lack of attention and use it as a motivational tool. "
Williamson goes on to point out that the Chargers must win in order to save the job of Norv Turner.
We've heard that before.
SPORTS ILLUSTRATED's Peter King does one better, predicting the Chargers will need to win and win big in order to save the jobs of both Turner and general manager A.J. Smith.
King says the Chargers have the ability to win 11 or 12 games. But that Peyton Manning is Peyton Manning and there's no reason why the Broncos can't win double-digits either with a healthy Hall of Fame quarterback.
King in an online interview with Chargers.com boils it down into two key factors:
1. How well the front seven of the 3-4 defense does in a new scheme and
2. How does Philip Rivers mesh with new receivers Robert Meacham and Eddie Royal?
King points out that, (and many here would agree) the Vincent Jackson saga hung over this team and this offense for the last two years at least.
Regarding Eddie Royal, Rivers's said via CBS Sports, "[Royal] is real smooth in his rout running,”A lot of guys with his size (5-10, 185) and quickness can be a little herky jerky with their movements. He is really smooth, so he is a really big target.”
King said other factors to look for included was Ryan Matthews ready to take charge of the running back job, and is Antonio Gates as fully-recovered, as he says he is, from his knee injury.
If in fact the Chargers are under the radar, Williamson is right, Mr. Turner seems to love it:
"I have a better feeling of continuity with this group than I have felt over the last three years," Turner said Thursday.
"We had a lot of things that were distractions and could be distractions a couple years ago. Key players were holding out, there was the lockout, and players were leaving whether it be in retirement or moving onto another team "
The Chargers are giving Henderson, a 6-foot-8 offensive tackle, another chance at an NFL career. It's not pure benevolence, for the Chargers to take on the former third-round pick out of Florida State. Henderson has NFL ready talent, having started 28 games in three seasons for the Raiders from 2008-2010, but was a casualty of weight gain and the lockout last summer in Oakland.
As reported by the NEWS-PRESS of Southwest Florida, Henderson arrived at the lockout-shortened training camp last summer at 380 lbs.
Henderson then played indoor football for the Colorado Ice, making $200 a week. He lived with his grandparents, fired Drew Rosenhaus, hired a new agent and got a gig with the Chargers. He's now down to about 340 lbs.
Backup QB needed
Update: The Chargers announced Friday they have signed Boller to a one-year contract. The former first-round draft selection has eight years pro experience.
Backup Charlie Whitehurst is down with a knee injury so the Chargers are on the look out for a backup to Rivers.
Options could include, Billy Volek, J.P. Lossman and Kyle Boller according to NFL.com
Whitehurst said Friday he expects he be back in a couple of weeks.
Around the NFL
-Matt Moore is taking the snaps as the starting quarterback for the Miami Dolphins, as training camp opened this week. Rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill is officially a holdout and is projected as the No. 3 qb behind veteran David Garrard at this point.
-Former Atlanta Falcons Safety Ray Easterling had a degenerative brain disease associated with repeated concussions, an autopsy report concludes, the ASSOCIATED PRESS reports. Easterling died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in April.
That comes on the news that the NFL has launched a wellness program for current and former players. Commissioner Roger Goodell announced the program will include a mental health hotline