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Dealing with absolutes

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Concudan, Jan 23, 2009.

  1. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Charger fans are often times a black and white bunch. They deal in absolutes, perhaps because that is the easiest thing to do or that is where our comfort zone is at, or even because that is how easy things are in the Madden games.

    But absolutes are rarely of any use in the chaotic currents of the NFL. Biggest on the board of absolutes is the draft. The imperfect, perfect science that is the NFL draft can often times drive fans of any team crazy, and to be honest we Charger fans have become a bit spoiled of late by the exceptional talent brought into the team.

    Take for example, the current GM of the Chargers, and arguably the best GM to ever look over the Bolts, AJ Smith has done very well by the team bringing in players who have become big names in the NFL the likes of, Philip Rivers, Shawne Merriman, Luis Castillo, Antonio Cromartie, Darren Sproles and more, he also is known for trading picks for players who are little used in their first season. Jacob Hester, Paul Oliver, and others fill this spot. Buster Davis is a player that AJ took that looks to be living up to his first name however, BUST. So does the bust of Davis, the slump of player production in the 2008 season indicate a waning of AJ Smith’s prowess or control? I would say not.

    Again, we fans are dealing in absolutes. We see draft picks traded away and we expect to see a player breaking records by the third week of the season. How realistic is that though. I for one see it as a good thing that the Chargers are to the point where they can draft a player and NOT throw them to the wolves right away. We have a luxury that most teams do not have, that is to allow players to come in, and play sparingly and learn with little pressure. We can bring young players along allow them to learn behind others before throwing them in the mix. In 2007 that appeared to be the best way to do things as Antonio Cromartie took over the Starting Corner position and lead the league in interceptions after starting only 8 games.

    But for all his strengths AJ Smith is not perfect, and never in the NFL Draft can you use the term perfect. Players who should be league legends crash and burn with little or no fan fare. Players who are taken in low rounds and should fade into obscurity end up being world beaters. The NFL Draft is a gamble more than a science. College is much different from the Pros. Some players just can adapt. Others are hindered by no longer being the biggest, fastest or most talented fish in a small pond. Some players just don’t have the caliber of competition in college. Others get the money and the bling bling blinds them. There are a plethora of reasons that a player can excel or faultier. Rarely is it due to where or when they were taken in the draft.

    So if you want to discuss AJ Smith and his value to the Chargers, do not look at what players he took last year, the year before or even before that. Look at the history of the Chargers in blocks. Is the team that we cheer for today more talented and capable than the team we cheered for 10 years ago? What about 15?

    When looking at the players, give them time. For one Jacob Hester has been labeled by some as a bust, largely because of the draft picks spent on him, also because of his playing time and production on the field during the 2008 season. But I think it would be prudent to give the kid some time to develop and see what he is doing for us next season or the season after that. Some players make an impact right away and carry it on throughout their careers. Others need time to develop into star players.

    So before you determine that the GM needs to be sacked, that the team is in decline, or that we will never win more than 8 games again, because that is how many the Chargers won in 2008, stop and thing a moment. Are you dealing with absolutes? If in fact you are, is it justified? I only ask because I am probably one of the ones who is most guilty of dealing with absolutes.

    When we drafted Philip Rivers I thought we needed someone else, maybe a stud receiver or a big beefy lineman. But I went to training camp to see what the new QB could do. First pass he threw that I saw flew into the ground about 6 feet in front of him. OMG! I knew he was a bust! He did not play well in preseason, did not play well the following seasons camps or preseason’s. So when the Chargers sent Drew Brees packing I was absolutely sure we were in trouble. Man has a plate of crow ever tasted so good? Rivers excelled and became a better QB than the one he replaced. But I was dead sure that the Chargers made a mistake, when it was me who made the mistake. I dealt in absolutes and did not give Rivers the time to develop into the QB others knew he could be.

    Then it happened again! We drafted a cornerback out of Florida who played very few games in college and was injured his last season! OMG! What was AJ Smith thinking! Again, the absolute syndrome got me. I called a good friend in San Antonio right away and began cussing AJ Smith out. People told me what a talent the kid was. I didn’t buy it. But come time for training camp I went to see. That is when I caught this picture of him:

    [​IMG]

    Yeah my eyes were opened a little bit, but began to close as he did not play during his rookie season. Then the 2007 season started and he still wasn’t starting. The kid could jump but was that it. Maybe I was right all along. But no, 8 games into the season he started and here was the picture then:

    [​IMG]

    8 games as a starter and he lead the league in interceptions. The year had arguably the best production from a Chargers secondary that I have ever seen. So Maybe AJ was right. The jury is still out on that one as in 2008, though playing through injuries Cromartie’s production drastically fell off. So rather than delve back into absolutes I am taking the wait and see approach.

    We have some changes heading our way. The team is going to go through some modifications. Some we the fans are not going to like. Some we may, but I know for one I am going to try and avoid the absolute syndrome. Black and white is nice, but life should be in color!
     
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  2. Showmeyourbolt

    Showmeyourbolt Well-Known Member

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    I liked the Cromartie pick and still do. I think that keeping him is a priority. I don't understand what this thread has to do with anything else though?
     
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  3. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Just me rambling. I see a lot of fans right now dealing with absolutes.

    About AJ, the team, Norv, what have you. It usually ends up being a flawed way to approach things IMO.
     
  4. auctoritas

    auctoritas BoltTalker

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    Absolutes are easy and are the product of being too lazy or dogmatic to account for nuance and conflicting evidence. It is easier to conceive of a world entirely in black and white, where good and bad, right and wrong are plain and easily identifiable, but that is simply not the way things are. This however does not mean that good and bad don't exist, but rather that they rarely exists in one person, thing or idea alone without the other.
     
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  5. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

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    "Only a sith deals in absolutes."

    [​IMG]
     
  6. SD Native WY

    SD Native WY Well-Known Member

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    Typical dreamer.:kisskiss:
     
  7. RipTheJacker

    RipTheJacker Well-Known Member

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    Just look at his drafts as a whole

    2003 was a joke, with only Scifres being worth anything
    But then the famed 04 draft
    Rivers - Awesome!
    Igor - Bust/gone
    Hardwick - Average player
    Keading - Better than average, although still nothing special
    Phillips - Good player
    D. Ball - Crap/Gone
    Turner - Amazing, but still gone
    Krause - Crap/Gone
    Binghom - Average player at best
    Olivea - Crap/Gone
    Joseph - Crap/Gone

    So really, the shining moment of AJs career was a draft that produced 2 good players and a kicker that are still on the team 4 years later?

    Seems pretty average to me

    Add in the fact that he is an Absolute, immature jackass, it all adds to him being a below average GM who is living off 1 good draft pick (rivers)

    He can easily be replaced at this point
     
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  8. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

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    "Easily be replaced"?

    Who do you have in mind Rip?
     
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  9. BLITZED56

    BLITZED56 Well-Known Member

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    I also thought letting Bree go was a mistake. I thought they should have kept Brees and drafted Gallery. Thank god I'm not the GM! However I hit the nail on the head the next two drafts as I wanted Merriman in 05 and Cro in 06.

    As far as Hester, he got better with every game so I look forward to see him continue to develop. Bottom line you need to wait at least 3 years until you evaluate a draft class. Certain positions are going to develop faster than others.
     
  10. RipTheJacker

    RipTheJacker Well-Known Member

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    What about Jimmy Raye??

    JIMMY RAYE
    [​IMG]
    Director of Player Personnel
    Jimmy Raye was named the Chargers’ director of college scouting on June 8, 2000. He oversees and coordinates the team’s college scouting efforts.

    Raye spent four years (1996-99) as a scout. He originally joined the Chargers June 1, 1996, after spending the 1995 season as an offensive assistant-quality control coach for the Kansas City Chiefs.

    Raye’s NFL career began in 1991 when he signed a free-agent contract with the Los Angeles Rams. He spent the entire 1991 season on the Rams’ roster and later attended training camps with the Chargers (1992) and Houston Oilers (1993).


    If not him, what about bringing back Nix? Or How about randy Mueller who voted GM of the year in 2000, and is now a senior executive here in SD
     
  11. BLITZED56

    BLITZED56 Well-Known Member

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    You have some good points but don't forget about the undrafted FA's. IE Gates, Cooper, Welker (even though he's gone) etc.
     
  12. SD Native WY

    SD Native WY Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I posted this on your personal site also.

    I thought I could like you. You are nothing more than a PUNK. Seems like its gotta be about you. Sorry.......... IMO
     
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  13. RipTheJacker

    RipTheJacker Well-Known Member

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    We got very lucky with Gates, VERY lucky. He was offered deals from almost every team and the only reason we got him is because of our TE Coach, Tim Brewster, who gates really liked.

    AJ could of easily used a 7th rounder on him to make sure we got him, but he got lucky anyways

    Coop was actually off many teams draft boards because he of something VERY stupid he did before the draft. He actually should of been arrested for possession of steroids, with intent to distribute after being caught with 1000 pills (yes 1000!)
    http://archive.southcoasttoday.com/daily/01-03/01-22-03/c01sp106.htm

    But still, even with those guys, why such a poor track record of draft picks, especially late rounders?
     
  14. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    :icon_eek:
     
  15. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

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    I think SDNNY is taking this vendetta against Conc too far. Seriously, wtf?
     
  16. BLITZED56

    BLITZED56 Well-Known Member

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    Wow, I didn't know about Coop getting busted with the roids.

    As far as AJ the next year or so will be very telling when it comes to his tenure with the team. With the draft coming up, what transpires with LT, all the FA's etc. For the most part IMO I think he's pretty solid. I will say thought every time he opens his mouth lately I want to put a sweaty sock in it. His ego is growing really old.
     
  17. turbo_turtle

    turbo_turtle In Disguise

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    Please guys let us keep this thread about dealing with absolutes not about another poster.
     
  18. CoronaDoug

    CoronaDoug Well-Known Member

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    Considering our success over the last few years I am behind AJ. Do you remember the years between Fouts and Humphries? How about the Gilbride/Jones/Riley years? Maybe we all forgot how great of a drafter Bobby Bethard was? :no:
     
  19. HEXEDBOLT

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

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    I didn't know that AJ was supposed to be party buddies with the player's. Just because he doesn't sugar coat things doesn't mean he dislikes LT. I'd rather a man be truthful and to the point rather then tell me what I want to hear.

    AJ's job is to try and win a championship and not kiss LT's *** on Broadway. He will have to make decisions that aren't well received in the Bolt community, hate all you want but the day we win the Lombardi y'all will be lovin it.
     
  20. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Wanna talk absolutes? How about the absolute fact that it's AJ's way or the highway? How about the absolute fact that he let Brees & MT walk for freaking comp picks? How about the absolute fact that he has to give up more for less because his egomaniacal attitude has alienated most of his peers in the NFL?

    He'll be here for awhile yet as will Norv. This year's draft & FA are going to tell me an awful lot about what AJ has learned from this season & how he plans to move the team forward. We're not 1 player away from a SB, as his trades for Weddle & Hester would suggest was his thought process. I'm still not clear what his plan for bringing a championship to SD is. I think his boss needs to have that cleared up, don't you? :icon_shrug:
     
  21. wrbanwal

    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

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    Nice article, but in what context is absolute being used?


    If we are deal with moral absolutes (certain actions are absolutely right or wrong, devoid of the context of the act), then the only conclusions can be drawn from past performance.

    In that case we can always play the hindsight card and label so & so a bust years after the fact.


    If we want to think in black & white then we have to compare AJ's track record with other GMs record in the same context. In other words, compare other GMs at the same point in their career).


    I'd do some fact checking but I'm to f'ing lazy


    :bolt::bolt::bolt:
     
  22. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    1) What is wrong with this? He is the boss, he was hired to build this team and that is what he is doing. Should he allow players to dictate what is done, perhaps the fans? No. Is he rough at times... Yes. Does he have to be a touchy feely guy? No. So what is the problem here?

    2) So should we have signed Brees and MT to large contracts in the HOPE of getting something more than we did for them? As far as Brees goes he was offered a contract and took the one with more guaranties. I understand that and would have done the same. But Brees was not 'allowed to walk', he decided to walk. Buck, this is from someone who was branded the biggest Brees lover on the face of the planet.

    As far as MT goes, backs with more exposure was being traded for much less. Look at McGahee(sp?). There would have been no big picks offered for MT.

    So what did you want to see done with these two. Please keep in mind the salary cap implications and signing them to trade them affects our cap even after the trade. So please enlighten me as to what we should have done.

    3) I scratch my head every time I see people complain about trading draft picks away. I want everyone who has this beef to go back and look at the turnover we have had in the AJ era. Then look at how many holes each year we have to fill. Then consider the cost of signing each draft pick.

    If you do this you will see that there are NEVER a lot of holes to fill. So we are in a position that if we keep all those picks you guys don't want to give away, we have to PAY those players who will not make the team anyway. There is just not enough roster spots.

    So AJ trades picks away. Good! Don't waste team money on picks that will not make it past August. That is SMART, not some move of an egomaniac.

    As far as the trades to get Weddle and Hester. First off are you seriously judging Hester off of one season? If so this is exactly what I am referring to. You can not judge a player off of solely their rookie season. They may be ROTY, then crash and burn. They may suck then become all pro. As far as Weddle goes, he is still playing well. First part of the 08 season the talk from the players was that Cottrell had them playing out of position. That includes Weddle.
     
  23. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Business at times require compromise. AJ does not have to be the dick that he is all the time. Remember something - his JOB is to bring in players & staff to win a championship. I haven't seen one yet - have you?

    As for Brees & MT, we could have gotten more than a 3rd for either one. Look at the contracts that they both signed - you're gonna tell me that we couldn't have done better.

    With Brees, AJ knew that PR was gonna be the guy. So why not trade him the year before when he was worth something to us, before the shoulder injury.

    As for MT, I never would have let him walk. Atlanta got a stud RB & yes, I think he could have brought more than we got for him.

    And finally, I'm not giving up on Hester or Weddle. I do believe that players just as good, maybe even those exact players, could have been had in later rounds without giving up anything extra.

    Like I said earlier - I'm still trying to understand AJ's plan for bringing a championship to SD. Norv? Cottrell? No play in FA when you've stated that you're only a player or two away?

    One great draft doesn't make you a HOF GM. He just thinks that he's one.

    "Lord of no Rings". :icon_rofl: :icon_rofl: :icon_rofl:

    One more thing - I've never been one to drink the AJ is GAWD kool-aid. This coming from me is nothing new. I just hate seeing him ruin a potentially championship-caliber team.
     
  24. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Since President and CEO Dean Spanos named Smith as his general manager in 2003, the Chargers have won 50 games, including a franchise-record 14 in ’06.

    I think it is funny how you just flatly look at the picks and say "Oh bad, look not here" When were those 'bad picks' taken?

    Lets see shall we? Yes lets do...

    Igor - Bust/gone 2nd round. has played well for us, struggled last season.

    Hardwick - Average player Average? Perhaps in the draft anuals according to RIP, but to no one else. 3rd round player, starter since his arrival...

    Keading - Better than average, although still nothing special. Wow, what are you looking for RIP? How many kickers in the NFL are more accurate that Keading? 3rd rounder

    Phillips - Good player 4th round starter. Nothing shabby about this pick.

    D. Ball - Crap/Gone 5th round utility back up. Played in role situations until let go. Nothing wrong with that pick. I am failing to see your point thus far. Are you seriously expecting HOF'ers in every pick? :lol:

    Turner - Amazing, but still gone, yeah he is gone, a product of running behind the best RB in the game. Get over it. 5th round.

    Krause - Crap/Gone a promising 6th rounder who could not stay healthy. Thats the way it sometimes happens. Life goes on.

    Binghom - Average player at best a 7th rounder who is average. Wow, never heard of that before! :icon_rofl:

    Olivea - Crap/Gone 7th round, When playing Olivea started at left tackle all but one game. McNeil was a big improvement and made Olivea expendable. We got our use form Olivea GOOD PICK!

    Joseph - Crap/Gone last pick in our 2004 draft and you are surprised he isnt all pro? The draft as I said is a gamble not a science.

    Sorry I fail to see how this all backs up your AJ hate. You can hate on whom ever you want. But I dont see any facts backing up your stance on the draft picks you decided to highlight...
     
  25. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Let me ask you this. Why did Gates resign with us? His agent didnt want him to. AJ spoke to Gates AND HE SIGNED THAT VERY DAY! Why did Deilman stay with us? Phone call from AJ and he turned down a MUCH BIGGER CONTRACT to stay with us.

    I think many of you are buying into the media hype and fan perception on this. Nothing wrong with that, just we dont always have all the right info.

    I dont knwo if we could have gotten more than a 3rd. Maybe a 2nd for Brees, but they did try trading Brees the year before and none of the offers were what we wanted. Same with MT. People made offers for MT and they were not good enough. We would not have gotten a high pick for MT. He was largely unknown to most of the league. They knew he was good as a fill in change of pace back, but not that he could go a full season. So no, I dont think we would have gotten stellar picks for either.

    They tried. No takers willing to part with what AJ wanted. He tried on draft day to trade Brees. What do you want, to offer Brees up for just anything?

    As for MT, I never would have let him walk. Atlanta got a stud RB & yes, I think he could have brought more than we got for him.[/QUOTE]
    Well that is not your call. To keep him would have been very cap restrictive. You go with what you can. This isnt Madden.

    Cool. Maybe yes, maybe no. Still w could not have used all the players for those picks. Why waste money?

    Lets see, since Bobby Ross no coaches until Norv have given us a chance to return to the dance. What is there to not see about that? That is a simple fact, in your face and plain as day. I think you are closing your eyes to the 'plan'.

    I think he has had all good drafts. Do you know what AJ thinks or are you making an assumption based on what you read?

    Cute. Well we are closer to a ring the last 2 seasons than ever before. Onward and upward, right?

    Anyone who says AJ is gawd is largely playing. IMO he is the best GM the Chargers have EVER had.

    He is not ruining what he built. You can disagree, that is fine. But I think you are being a bit chicken little-ish with that last line. The sky is not falling. Not yet.
     
  26. CoronaDoug

    CoronaDoug Well-Known Member

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    I can go on for days about this one but I am sure my opinion has been stated far too many times on this subject:deadhorse:. :lol:
     
  27. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    :lol:
     
  28. CoronaDoug

    CoronaDoug Well-Known Member

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    Come on Conc, you have to say that Bobby Bethard always gave us great entertainment value during the draft! :icon_rofl:
     
  29. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    I know I invented a few new curse words during his drafts...
     
  30. CoronaDoug

    CoronaDoug Well-Known Member

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    Everyone seems to forget how bad things were for us. Compared to the past GM's AJ is GAWD!! (minus drafting Kaeding of course) :icon_toast:
     
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