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AFC West Football Capsules

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Thumper, Sep 2, 2006.

  1. Thumper

    Thumper WHS

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    AFC West Football Capsules

    September 2, 2006
    By Kyle Baillargeon
    PA SportsTicker Staff Writer

    SAN DIEGO CHARGERS

    Biggest Changes: Philip Rivers is now firmly entrenched in the role of starting quarterback after the team let Drew Brees sign with the New Orleans Saints in the offseason. Free agent addition Marlon McCree is versatile enough to play either free safety or strong safety. Assuming his knee can hold up, first-round pick Antonio Cromartie should bolster the cornerback position or start at nickel back. Cromartie and McCree were brought in to help a pass defense that ranked 28th in the league in 2005.

    Positives: LaDainian Tomlinson and Antonio Gates are two of the premier offensive players in the NFL, and along with Keenan McCardell, they give Rivers the targets he'll need to succeed in his first year as the team's starting quarterback. In 2005, Gates led all tight ends in receiving yards and touchdowns, while Tomlinson was fifth in the league in total yards from scrimmage despite being slowed considerably by a broken rib late in the season. Defensive Rookie of the Year Shawne Merriman made an immediate impact to the linebacking corps with 10 sacks and two forced fumbles in 15 games. The defense led the league in run defense in 2005. If the secondary can improve, the Chargers should have a very formidable defense.

    Negatives: The most critical position on any offensive line is left tackle, as it protects the quarterback's blindside. Starter Roman Oben suffered a foot injury in 2005 and could not participate in minicamps. Should injuries continue to affect his play, the Chargers are left with rookie Marcus McNeill and journeyman Leander Jordan to protect Rivers. Tomlinson has been such an integral part of the team's offense over the last five years as both a rushing and receiving threat that the coaching staff needs to be careful of overusing him. The team can't afford to mortgage Tomlinson's future in order to compensate for Rivers' inexperience.

    On The Spot: Rivers has to prove that general manager A.J. Smith made the right choice by letting Brees go. If Rivers struggles, it could be a long season.

    Prediction: The Chargers have a strong group of young impact players on both sides of the ball, specifically offense. But if Rivers doesn't succeed and the secondary doesn't improve, last year's record of 9-7 will be tough to repeat.

    Tidbit: Tomlinson's only season of fewer than 339 rushes came in 2003, when he had 313 carries and 100 receptions.


    Click here for the full article.
     
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  2. BFISA

    BFISA Well-Known Member

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    I agree with this-

    "Prediction: The Chargers have a strong group of young impact players on both sides of the ball, specifically offense. But if Rivers doesn't succeed and the secondary doesn't improve, last year's record of 9-7 will be tough to repeat."

    Those "if's" mean everything. I have every confidence that Philip will do well, and I think the secondary will improve, but if not, could be a long year.
     
  3. HEXEDBOLT

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

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    Damnit you stole my take but I can't agree more.:icon_toast:
     

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