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Chargers depth at TE... the best in NFL?

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Blue Bolt, Jul 15, 2012.

  1. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    Chargers are loaded at tight end
    Gates says group is deepest in his 10 years with team
    by Michael Gehlken

    Chargers tight end Antonio Gates is entering his 10th NFL season.
    Even for him, he says, this is something new.

    One, two, three, four, five, six — right down the line, from the top of the depth chart to the bottom, the team seems to have a tight end who can step into the game and make an impact.

    “I’ve never been around this kind of group,” Gates said last month during the Chargers’ offseason workout program. “We all make plays. It’s our little motto.”

    So, then, it’s about to get interesting.

    Training camp is approaching with rookies reporting to Chargers Park one week from today. They’ll hit the field July 23, and veterans will report the 25th. The first full-squad practice will be on July 26.

    The Chargers have trumpeted their improved speed and depth after an active offseason in which they added 18 unrestricted free agents and seven draft picks. Depth breeds competition, and of all the roster spots that have been bolstered, no position may run deeper than tight end.

    Gates and Brad Taylor were the group’s only members when free agency began March 13.

    Then the Bolts hit the wire, re-signing Randy McMichael and Kory Sperry and bringing in Dante Rosario, who logged 21 of his 24 career starts with the Panthers. In the fourth round of April’s draft, they drafted Ladarius Green, whom Gates calls a “phenomenal athlete.”

    “It’s a real deep and really good group of tight ends,” quarterback Philip Rivers said last month. “I don’t think there’s a better group around. I know other offenses do a lot with that position, but we really demand a lot of them, from a formation standpoint, a motion standpoint. ...

    “It’s fun working with them. They can all do so much. They all complement each other so well. It’s a really good mix.”

    The tight ends blend experience — McMichael, in his 11th season, and Gates are the most experienced players on the Chargers offense — with youth. Taylor and rookie Green have no career NFL snaps.

    Sperry, who was a Division I recruit and two-time state champion in basketball during high school, has seen 283 snaps over the past two seasons.

    “The group at tight end, we could put together a heck of a road basketball team,” coach Norv Turner said. “When you look at Kory, they’re all good basketball players, and that tells you something about their athleticism. Rosario would be the power forward of the group, and he’s a guy who’s really impressed me with his ability to catch and his intelligence.

    “We’re going to be able to do some things out of multiple tight end sets. We’ve got a very good combination of different types of people in there.”

    The only question is, what happens now?

    Having six tight ends is good, but the Chargers can't keep them all.

    Gates, who calls Sperry and Taylor "under the radar," said his teammates don't need to worry.

    “Unfortunately, the way it’s structured, you dress 46,” Gates said. “You have a 53-man roster. It’s just so hard. ...

    “I’ve told them this: The one thing that I can say is that everyone in this room is going to be playing professional football this year.

    Whether or not it’s for the San Diego Chargers, I don’t know. Who knows? But I guarantee you everyone will be on someone’s roster. So talented.”
     
  2. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Green is gonna thrive under Gates' tutelage. :tup:
     
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  3. Moses

    Moses Can You Stand The Rain?

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    Certainly a deeper group than we've had in a while, not the best in the NFL though.

    Much as I hate to give them credit, New England has Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, Jake Ballard and Daniel Fells on their roster at TE, that's way better than any other team has.
     
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  4. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    Overrated. ;)
     
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  5. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

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    McMichael is so/so at best, but I'm a fan of Rosario.

    I have bad feeling Green will not be able to gain weight and he'll end up being moved to WR.
     
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  6. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    I can see that,but I'm not at all sure that's a bad thing.

    I think he could be a more motivated, although slightly slower, version of VJ.

    Does that count as a prediction?
     
  7. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    Hernandez isn't really a TE the way the Pats use him either...... a big WR is not a bad thing.
     
  8. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Agreed. I'm high on Green as a receiver, regardless of the roster title. Gates will only help him learn to post up.
     
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  9. AnteaterCharger

    AnteaterCharger Calibrating Bolttalk, Podcast by Podcast Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    Betting this will be the first time in nearly a decade we carry 4 TEs on the roster
     
  10. HEXEDBOLT

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

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    It's all an elaborate smoke screen to throw everyone off.
     
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  11. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    The genius of Norv is hard for mere mortals to comprehend.
     
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  12. boltfanatik

    boltfanatik Toxic Minority Member

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    This is all but 1 part in AJs master plan, Norv is just a puppet in case things go sideways;)
     
  13. rickochey

    rickochey BoltTalker

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    Interesting to say the least. The team is finally loaded all we need now is to let's see what kind of coach Norv really is.
     
  14. Ikeman83

    Ikeman83 Werter Pöbel

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    NE has better TE depth than we do. McMichael is just too slow to actually scare anyone/constitute a real receiving threat.
     
  15. Dublin Bolt

    Dublin Bolt BoltTalker

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    I agree but which 4?. I'm with most of you on Randy, I'm not sure he's got much left. I might go with Gates, Rosario, Green and Taylor.

    Taylor beats Sperry for his blocking ability, the other 3 TEs while fantastic receivers offer little in the blocking dept .
     
  16. boltssbbound

    boltssbbound Well-Known Member

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    Man, most of you would just jettison every solid vet we have. I'm glad you guys are making the decisions. McMichael is a solid vet backup. He's an excellent pass protector and a good run blocker. He runs precise routes and catches everything thrown his way. No, he does not have elite speed or quickness, but that's why he's a backup and not being paid more. Not every player on the roster is going to be a superstar. Some guys, like McMichael, just quietly do the work that enables the superstars to excel.
     
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  17. Ikeman83

    Ikeman83 Werter Pöbel

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    Your team has to have "role players" on it to be successful, because otherwise you can't afford the contracts for your stars. At the same time, the other side of the coin of supporting/affording your stars is the presence of young players. Ultimately, aside from your star players, you're balancing limited potential, coupled with experience and proficiency, with high potential, but low skills. If you don't develop young players, then you don't get the opportunity to have home-grown (i.e. loyal and less expensive) stars on your roster, however doing so comes with the opportunity cost of losing some of those steady but unspectacular veterans. To me, when you're looking at some of the guys on the team you have to ask yourself, has this guy peaked, and if so, which skills does he bring with him to make him better than a potential laden younger player?

    I don't know if McMichael will be on the team this year, simply because he now faces diminished athletic ability, and a skillset that isn't woefully difficult to replace.
     
  18. HEXEDBOLT

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

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    I'm still thinking the H-back is going to be reintroduced, another way to pound the defense and still move up-field in chunks with brute power is a wonderful thing. Gate's, Rosario, Taylor and Green, just my best guess.
     
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  19. AnteaterCharger

    AnteaterCharger Calibrating Bolttalk, Podcast by Podcast Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    I'm going to write a whole article on camp battles but my $0.02 is it'll be (in this order): Gates, McMichael, Rosario, Green. Rosario unless he just bombs his try out is a great addition. Green is too valuable and too needed to try and sneak onto a practice squad. And McMichael is a steady participant that deserves to be on the roster unless he slows down to nothing.
     
  20. HEXEDBOLT

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

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    People seem to forget about McClain which I believe would make McMichael expendable.
     
  21. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    Bull........ McMichael is the best pass protector and run blocker among the TEs. It's not even a contest. Not everyone can be a primary pass catcher, you know.
     
  22. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    A FB makes a TE expendable?.......... OK. :rolleyes:
     
  23. Ikeman83

    Ikeman83 Werter Pöbel

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    McClain is more of a threat as a ball handler than McMichael, and probably as good at blocking.
     
  24. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    It's a different position....... is that lost on everyone? :cautious:

    First, McClain takes Hester's job, then he takes Tolbert's job, and now he's taking McMichael's job too? Man, that's some genius FA signing by AJ. :roflmao:
     
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  25. HEXEDBOLT

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

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    we'll see when the season begins won't we??
     
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  26. CoronaDoug

    CoronaDoug Well-Known Member

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    You have to due to Gates injury.
     
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  27. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    If McMichael is replaced, it'll be because one of the other TE's stepped up his game, not because of a FB.
     
  28. AnteaterCharger

    AnteaterCharger Calibrating Bolttalk, Podcast by Podcast Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    Even assuming injury history (though Gates has looked better than at any time in the last three years), there's just so much talent and so much of a push for a two TE set, that it makes sense to carry four tight ends
     
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  29. HEXEDBOLT

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

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    Whatever, always an "IF".
     
  30. rickochey

    rickochey BoltTalker

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    yes, And this will give Clary a little more help on passing downs and rushing downs and ST and...
     
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