1. Welcome to Los Angeles Chargers NFL Football Podcast and Forum!

    Bolt Talk is one of the largest online communities for the Los Angeles Chargers. We host a regular Chargers podcast during the season. You are currently viewing our community forums as a guest user.

    Sign Up or

    Having an account grants you additional privileges, such as creating and participating in discussions. Furthermore, we hide most of the ads once you register as a member!
    Dismiss Notice

Chargers Team Report

Discussion in 'San Diego Chargers Hall of Champions' started by Concudan, Aug 3, 2011.

  1. Concudan

    Concudan Meh... Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 5, 2006

    The Chargers have done a nifty job, it seems, in adding some key players in this wacky, condensed offseason -- inside linebacker Takeo Spikes and safety Bob Sanders. Of course, they've let some familiar faces go as well in running back Darren Sproles and inside linebackers Stephen Cooper and Kevin Burnett.
    One Pro Bowler is back, but maybe not quite in the condition many expected.
    Tight end Antonio Gates played with grit last year, ignoring the pain of his torn plantar fasciitis in his foot. Gates finally had to shut it down and missed the final six games. But after an offseason of rest -- no surgery was required -- the hope that a healthy Gates would report to camp ready to go was misguided.

    Gates is at practice, but he's working on the side while on the physically unable to perform list. Seems that what ailed him in 2010 is still there. And Gates said part of that blame was because of the sport's labor unrest with its collective bargaining agreement.

    "This whole thing about the CBA put a damper on a lot of things," Gates said. "People say, 'Oh, he had the time off (his foot),' but when you're not in with the training staff that normally understands you and knows what it takes to rehab it right, it's difficult."

    The real chore is covering Gates, something rivals have been attempting for eight seasons.
    But last year it became easier for one reason -- Gates was on the sidelines starting in November. The plan was to rest Gates and let him get somewhat healthy so he could aid the Chargers in the playoffs.

    Trouble was the Chargers didn't make it, and Gates never slipped on the shoulder the pads.
    He said his offseason progress slid with not being able to work with a medical staff familiar with his injury.

    "I had to deal with guys that really didn't know me, didn't know what I was about, had to go and do their research ... so it was difficult," Gates said. "You take the bitter with the sweet. You understand what's at stake with the league, but you've still got to do the things that keep you as healthy as possible."

    It's imperative the Chargers have a fit Gates. Not only for his stellar production -- a team-high 10 touchdown receptions last year. Gates is also the only player with eight touchdown receptions in each of the last seven seasons.

    But it's what Gates does to make those around him better. With Gates exploiting the middle, it opens up the outside routes for Vincent Jackson and Patrick Crayton.

    With Gates forcing defenses to watch him on routes, it opens up the running game for Ryan Mathews and Mike Tolbert. With Gates as an option, it supplies Philip Rivers with a reliable safety value in case the downfield routes don't develop. Rivers has avoided numerous sacks by being able to dump the ball to Gates at the appropriate moment.

    But if he isn't able to go, all that goes down the drain. And just to be clear, Gates and the coaches don't think this will hamper him. But to be clearer, Gates wasn't shy about mentioning what a task it will be this year to stay out of the trainer's room.

    "People think it's an injury, but it's a pain tolerance," Gates said. "One day you might feel like you can run around and jump around. Next day, it's sore.

    "I think the main thing is to continue with the treatment and training staff. They will continue to do the things that are necessary for me to prepare, but yet get me the proper rest that I need."
    The Chargers, to a degree, displayed their concern by bringing back veteran tight end Randy McMichael. He stepped in when Gates was down last year -- the Chargers are hopeful he's not required as much in 2011.

    But that hinges on how much attention Gates' sore foot requires.
    CAMP CALENDAR: Aug. 6 -- FanFest and workout at Qualcomm Stadium; Aug. 22 -- Camp closes

    Wide receiver Vincent Jackson is looked upon as a diva by many in the game. But the Pro Bowler who has had his scrapes with the team over contracts said he noticed no ill will when he reported to camp. While he has frustrated the Chargers with his actions off the field, Jackson is a solid clubhouse guy with a great work ethic and the respect of his teammates.​
    "Honestly, when I came in it was a like reunion with your family," Jackson said. Guys welcomed me (with) open arms."'​

    --The Chargers used their first-round pick on run-stopping defensive end Corey Liuget to try and shore up the run defense. Although he's yet to sign and considering he didn't have an offseason to learn, it's questionable if he'll be a steady contributor. But the Chargers also chased away three of their best run-stoppers: inside linebackers Stephen Cooper, Kevin Burnett and Brandon Siler. That's a lot of experience and muscle heading out the door.​

    Instead, much will be asked of veteran Takeo Spikes, but also Donald Butler and Jonas Mouton. Butler was hurt all of last year; Mouton is a rookie.​

    Spikes is an inside linebacker and tackling machine coming over from the 49ers. That Spikes turns 35 this season might be a red flag. But he played last year for coordinator Greg Manusky, who is now handling that responsibility with the Chargers. It figures if Spikes' tank was tapped, Manusky would know about it.​

    -- Things aren't as big a mystery on offense; the Chargers seem primed to pick up where leaving off -- at one point last year Philip Rivers was challenging the 5,000-yard passing mark. Pro Bowl wide receiver Vincent Jackson is signed; running back Ryan Mathews should be better in his second year; Mike Tolbert should build on his coming out season of last year; tight end Antonio Gates is among the league's best at his position; the starting five offensive linemen are back.​

    -- Running back Ryan Mathews needs to prove that he gets it. Chargers coaches grew frustrated last year when, as a rookie, Mathews struggled to pick up pass protections and other nuances of the pro game. Then he showed up at camp, went through drills and was obviously not in the proper physical condition.​

    -- Good line from coach Norv Turner, when greeting the San Diego media in his press conference to kick off training camp. "I probably should repeat what I told a number of our players," Turner said, with the timing of a comedian. "With all sincerity, I missed some of you."​

    -- The Chargers' first camp practice open to the public drew some 3,000 fans. Many started lining up at Chargers Park three hours before the gates were opened.​

    -- The Chargers were pleased to get backup quarterback Billy Volek to return. The sides haggled over guaranteed money, but Volek agreed to a deal similar to the three-year, $9 million contract that expired following the 2010 season. It's just a year shorter.​

    "Having Billy back is great," general manager A.J. Smith. "He has been an integral part of our team, knows our system and has performed well when called upon. Billy is a true pro, always prepared and ready to step in if necessary."​

    -- RT Jeromey Clary is often a target of criticism from Chargers fans. But the front-office thinks otherwise in awarding him a four-year, $20 million contract.​

    "I'm so excited to remain a Charger," Clary said. "I love working with these guys and helping this team win. This contract will only increase my motivation and make me work harder. I didn't get into this game for the money. I want to win playoff games and hopefully a Super Bowl. I'm happy I get to pursue those goals with this team."​

    -- What does veteran inside linebacker Takeo Spikes bring to the team? Experience and a dose of nasty.​

    "He is an outstanding player," Smith said. "Takeo will bring his physical, aggressive style to our defense. I love his competitiveness and instincts. I believe he will be an immediate contributor."​
    Spikes is energized to do just that.​

    "One of the intangibles that I bring is my leadership," Spikes said. "Even though everybody is from different places across America, to me I feel like the great ones bring everybody together and believe in the same common goal, and that's to win a championship. That's why I'm in San Diego."​

    QUOTE TO NOTE: "It's a good feeling to be here on time and have a full year to contribute to the team." -- WR Vincent Jackson, after signing his franchised-designated contract, nearly one year after acrimonious negotiations prevented his appearance at training camp and being on the roster for most the season.​

    Attached Files:

  2. Concudan

    Concudan Meh... Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 5, 2006

    The Chargers have most of their housekeeping done in the personnel department, but where is top pick Corey Liuget?

    The team was counting on Leigut to contribute quickly as they move him into a starting role opposite Luis Castillo.

    The Chargers have a history of dickering with the first-round draftees, but really, what is the point on both sides this year. With the revamped collective bargaining agreement, the compensation for drafted players is pretty clear.

    --WR Buster Davis, a former first-round pick, was cut. Davis never could stay on the field with any consistency, troubled to avoid various injuries. That was his same reputation at LSU, but that didn't deter GM A.J. Smith from selecting him 30th overall.

    -- ILB Kevin Burnett had a career-year for the Chargers in leading them in tackles. But they decided his asking price was too high; Burnett wanted to stay. Burnett signed with the Dolphins.

    -- ILB Stephen Cooper has been a big part of the run defense, but he wasn't invited back either. Cooper is starting to show some wear and tear and the team was reluctant to bring him back with his knee issues.

    -- WR Malcom Floyd is still on the market, and the Chargers don't seem inclined to bring him back. Floyd would like be a No. 1 receiver elsewhere, and wants to be paid like one.

    EXPECTED BATTLE OF THE WEEK: Louis Vasquez vs. Tyronne Greene at starting right guard. This should be Vasquez's job, and it really is, with him starting seven games since being drafted in the third round of the 2009 draft. But Vasquez was nicked up last year and had to be spelled by Greene. Greene - who always seemed to have coach Norv Turner's blessings -- did well and now is being told to go for Vasquez's spot. This could be something to keep an eye on.

    OTHER BATTLE FRONTS: Ryan Mathews vs. Mike Tolbert vs. Jacob Hester as the third-down receiver out of the backfield: The Chargers are going to miss Darren Sproles, especially on third downs. He led the team with 18 receptions last year in that situation and has 44 over the last three years. Now what? Mathews, Tolbert and Hester will try and fill that role; each has shortcomings. In particular, Mathews has to prove he can handle pass-protection responsibilities.

    -- DE Corey Liuget has yet to sign.

    -- ILB Jonas Mouton is getting some reps with the regulars.

    -- WR Vincent Brown is in camp and will be given a shot at the No. 3 position with Malcom Floyd not expected back.

    -- CB Marcus Gilchrist will be asked to sit and learn behind Antoine Cason and Quentin Jammer; but they want him to be active on special teams.

    -- CB Shareece Wright is expected to challenge for a roster spot, especially if he shines on special teams.

    -- OLB Andrew Gachkar is at a position which is loaded with proven players, and Larry English. Gachkar's contributions likely come on special teams.

    -- T Steve Schilling is likely headed to the practice squad, depending on his camp.

    -- RB Jordan Todman is looked at as more as an insurance policy, but with Darren Sproles not coming back, he might get a longer look.


    --RB Ryan Mathews isn't hurt, but he still has work to do on conditioning.

    -- TE Antonio Gates will be cautious with his foot as he eases into practices. He opened training camp on the PUP list.

    -- OLB Larry English (foot) began training camp on the physically unable to perform list. He can be activated at any time. The 2009 first-round pick had foot surgery in the offseason.

    -- CB Antoine Cason underwent surgery Monday on a broken right finger, an injury the Chargers called "severe." Cason was hurt Sunday defending a pass to WR Patrick Crayton. Cason, a three-year veteran, has become one of the team's top coverage defenders and is also in the running to return punts with Darren Sproles (Saints) out of the mix.

    --WR Vincent Jackson (tendered at $11.933M; re-signed).



    --S Tyrone Carter probably won't be returning now that Eric Weddle has re-signed.

    --LB Stephen Cooper is likely headed elsewhere as durability has become an issue and the team is hoping second-year pro Donald Butler contributes.

    --LS James Dearth got hurt in one of his first practices and never saw the field; won't be back.
    --WR Malcom Floyd isn't quite a No. 1 receiver, but he is not far off. If another team pays him like one, he could exit.

    --DL Travis Johnson could be fighting for a roster spot in camp; if he makes it that far.

    --LB Brandon Moore will likely be pushed aside with other linebackers returning to health.

    --WR Legedu Naanee won't be brought back. He never showed the talent the Chargers had hoped for; offseason alcohol arrest doomed his chances.

    --LS Ryan Neill isn't in the team's plans with David Binn coming back; Neill played in two games.

    --S Paul Oliver will be back, but at the Chargers' price. He doesn't have much leverage of going elsewhere with sparse playing time.

    --S Pat Watkins isn't expected to be courted by the Chargers.

    UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (not tendered offers)

    --LB Darry Beckwith (not tendered as ERFA).

    --FB Billy Latsko (not tendered as ERFA).



    --RB Curtis Brinkley will be hard-pressed to make the team, especially with the team taking a running back in the draft.


    --CB Marcus Gilchrist (2/50): $3.956M/4 yrs, $2.107M guaranteed/$1.377M SB; 2011 cap: $719,200.

    --LB Jonas Mouton (2/61): $3.263M/4 yrs, $1.125M guaranteed/$873,360 SB; 2011 cap: $593,340.

    --RB Jordan Todman (6/183): 4 yrs, terms unknown.

    --T Stephen Schilling (6/201): 4 yrs, terms unknown.

    --LB Andrew Gachkar (7/234): 4 yrs, terms unknown.


    --DE Corey Liuget (1/18).

    --WR Vincent Brown (3/82).

    --CB Shareece Wright (3/89).


    --LB Antwan Barnes: UFA; 2 yrs, terms unknown.

    --DE Jacques Cesaire: UFA; 2 yrs, terms unknown.

    --OT Jeromey Clary: UFA; $20M/4 yrs, guarantees unknown.

    --CB Dante Hughes: UFA; 2 yrs, terms unknown.

    --WR Vincent Jackson: FFA; $11.933M/1 yr

    --TE Randy McMichael: UFA; $910,000/1 yr.

    --OL Scott Mruczkowski: UFA; terms unknown.

    --QB Billy Volek: UFA; $6M/2 yrs, $2.5M SB.

    --WR Kelley Washington: UFA; 1 yr, terms unknown.

    --FS Eric Weddle: UFA; $40M/5 yrs, $19M guaranteed/$13M SB.


    --T Brandyn Dombrowski: ERFA; terms unknown.

    --LB James Holt: Potential ERFA; terms unknown.

    --DT Ogemdi Nwagbuo: Potential ERFA; terms unknown.

    --RB Mike Tolbert: RFA (tendered at $1.8M with second-round pick as compensation); $1.8M/1 yr.


    --LB Travis LaBoy: UFA 49ers; 2 yrs, terms unknown.

    --S Bob Sanders: FA Colts; 1 yr, terms unknown.

    --LB Takeo Spikes: UFA 49ers; 3 yrs, terms unknown.


    --LB Antwan Applewhite: FA 49ers; 1 yr, terms unknown; RFA tender of $1.8M with second-round pick as compensation withdrawn.

    --LB Kevin Burnett: UFA Dolphins; $10M/4 yrs, guarantees unknown.

    --WR Craig Davis (released).

    --LB Brandon Siler: UFA Chiefs; terms unknown.

    --RB Darren Sproles: UFA Saints; 4 yrs, $6M guaranteed.

    --CB Donald Strickland (released).

    --LB Jyles Tucker (released).

    --TE Kris Wilson (released).
  3. BoltsFanUK

    BoltsFanUK Well-Known Member

    Sep 12, 2006
    Vincent brown is signed- apart from that good work :)
  4. Concudan

    Concudan Meh... Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 5, 2006
    Thanks, I will let the folks at Fox Sports know... :roflmao:
  5. BoltsFanUK

    BoltsFanUK Well-Known Member

    Sep 12, 2006
    ahh lol
  6. ThunderHorse17

    ThunderHorse17 Lone Wolf

    Apr 10, 2010
    That was alot to read, and some jus repeating what we have already heard.

    BUT my favorite part:

    --S Paul Oliver will be back, but at the Chargers' price. He doesn't have much leverage of going elsewhere with sparse playing time.

    Lost my guys Siler and soon Legs, at least we gonna keep POliver.

Share This Page