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Draft homework already under way

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Jan 22, 2009.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    Wednesday, January 21, 2009
    By Kevin Acee

    MOBILE, Ala. – The Chargers have holes.

    They have more holes than they thought they would and certainly more than they have had in recent offseasons.

    And because there will not be a departure from A.J. Smith's philosophy of staying away from big-name, big-money free agents – “We have too many of our own players to get done,” Smith said – the draft is where the Chargers will look for fixes.

    So here to southeastern Alabama the team's scouts, coaches and personnel people descended this week to watch Senior Bowl practices and talk to prospective draftees.

    Yes, they talked to USC linebacker Rey Maualuga and Mississippi offensive tackle Michael Oher and Missouri safety William Moore – just as they'll talk to a hundred other players between now and the draft, more than three months away.

    The Chargers did come here, just as they will go to next month's NFL Combine and March's various pro days, with a more clearly defined sense of purpose than in recent years – at least at the top of the draft.

    They pick 16th in the first round, higher than they have since 2005.

    With that pick, there is less unknown.

    “You have a better grasp of the most likely players,” Smith acknowledged.

    If Smith and his staff do a good job evaluating, they'll get at least one of the starters they desire – on the offensive line at either right tackle or right guard, a good coverage linebacker or a safety – with that first pick.

    “We'll probably have a better opportunity to be staring at a really good player at any position,” Smith said. “It should be a nice spot before the run comes at certain positions. It fits you in there to get done what you want to get done.”

    But not all that ails the Chargers can be fixed with one pick.

    So it would not be a surprise at all to see Smith trade up in order to acquire a second-round pick. In fact, considering the Chargers' needs, it might be more surprising if he doesn't do so.

    The Chargers last year traded their 2009 second-round pick to New England to move up and take Jacob Hester, but they possess at least one extra third-round pick and one extra fourth-rounder this year, depending on what they are awarded as compensatory picks for losing Michael Turner and Drayton Florence to free agency in 2008.

    “We still have ammunition,” said Smith, who also traded up to get Eric Weddle in the 2007 draft.

    A.J. ON LT

    Smith empathized, yet was typically unmoved by the sentiments expressed by LaDainian Tomlinson on his Web site Wednesday.

    Tomlinson's statement was actually not anything different than what he had said in previous weeks on the topic of his time in San Diego possibly coming to an end.

    The statement read:

    “I have been getting a lot of messages on my site regarding me leaving San Diego. I feel that I need to make it very clear that I have NO intentions of leaving San Diego. San Diego is where my career started and where I'd like it to end. I have nothing but love and the upmost (sic) respect for this team, the players, and the Spanos Family. Me being traded is completely out of my hands. I have ABSOLUTELY no control in that decision making. All I can do is wait and see how it all plays out. As for now, I am a Charger and will be until I am told otherwise.”

    Smith, who has acknowledged he is contemplating whether to release or trade Tomlinson or renegotiate his contract, was later asked about Tomlinson's statement.

    “My first reaction was we both have similar feelings,” Smith said. “I have no intentions of leaving San Diego. San Diego is where my GM career started and where I'd like it to end. I also have nothing but love and the utmost respect for this team, the players and the Spanos family. I have absolutely no control over how long I will be with the Chargers.

    “As for now, I am the Chargers' GM, and I have major decisions to ponder for the organization now and in the future. My recommendation to Dean Spanos will be what's in the best interest of the team – both short and long term. That's my job. That's what Dean hired me to do.”

    COACHING CAROUSEL

    The Chargers could essentially swap tight ends coaches with division rival Denver.

    The Broncos have hired Clancy Barone, who was fired by the Chargers last week. And before leaving Mobile, head coach Norv Turner interviewed Pat McPherson, who spent the past 11 seasons coaching the Broncos before being let go in the coaching change there this month. McPherson coached the Broncos quarterbacks from 2003-06.

    Turner still has one candidate for the tight end job to interview, and Turner must still make a decision on his new offensive line coach.

    The Chargers on Wednesday hired two defensive assistants, adding Greg Williams to assist John Pagano with linebackers and Cris Dishman to assist Steve Wilks with defensive backs.

    Williams had been a graduate assistant at the University of Pittsburgh. Dishman played cornerback for 13 seasons in the NFL, including for Turner in Washington. Dishman, twice a Pro Bowler, has been coaching defense at Menlo College since '06.
     
  2. Ride The Lightning

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

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    :lol:

    I'm sure that AJ quote will get the masses good and riled up.

    inb4 shitstorm
     
  3. Showmeyourbolt

    Showmeyourbolt Well-Known Member

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    AJ is a prick. It amazes me that people want a 29 year old LT, who has put far more on the line for this team than Smith has, to shut up and take a pay cut when he's dealing with a GM who seems to have the maturity of a ten year old. I seriously haven't seen a person in as high an office as Smith act like such an immature ******* in quite some time.

    Try staying above the fray by keeping your mouth shut with the media Smiff, the same thing you ask your players to do, ***.



    Also, we don't need to trade up. We need all of our third and fourth round picks to pan out in order to fill up all of the holes on defense. Trading a third and a couple of fourths for one second rounder would be a mistake IMO.
     
  4. AnteaterCharger

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

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    I'm sorry but if it wasn't for Smith, LT would be considered the best player to play on one of the worst teams in the NFL. Smith turned this team from a laughing stock into one of the best in the league. LT got his 3/5 of his line, his QB (to take teh pressure off of him), the WR corps and his blocking TE directly from Smith's hand. So let's not go all in on LT's nuts, he's done alot for this team but since we've been moving to a more passing team he keeps whining like crazy. I want to keep him but I trust AJ with this team.

    Agree with not trading up, I'd rather trade down unless there's some gem staring at us in the face. No more huge trade for players liek Weddle and Hester
     
  5. Gridreaper

    Gridreaper BoltTalker

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    ...I still can't believe how stupid that was. Pats fans are :icon_rofl::icon_rofl: and it pisses me off :tdown:
     
  6. AnteaterCharger

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

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    Weddle and Hester might still turn out to be good players but still they are not stud stars that such a trade would suggest. And I still like Weddle but he isn't worth four picks
     
  7. Gridreaper

    Gridreaper BoltTalker

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    ...Exactly! Both of those guys would have lasted until later in the draft. If they didn't...so what! They are not bigtime studs and it's just plain stupid to give up so much to get them. For someone who cherishes building through the draft, trading down and compensatory extra picks, Like AJ does, I was shocked when he pulled off both of these blunders.
     
  8. ESCOBAR 92113

    ESCOBAR 92113 BoltTalker

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    i agree that both the weddle and hester picks were a stretch so early in the draft. i did however see some improvements in both players torwards the end of the season. especially Hester...hopefully they will pan out to be nice,solid players.
     
  9. Savage Lizard

    Savage Lizard Charger fan at 7000'

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    I can't believe the amount of crying that still goes on after these two picks.

    Draft picks are a means to acquiring players. You use them as necessary to get the guys you want. You can select guys with them, trade them for guys, or whatever combination gets you to where you want to go. Weddle is the only guy drafted in 2007 that is starting. All the other guys are special teams, part time players, or not playing at all. In 2008, we had five picks and one got cut and another went to the practice squad. It's a lot harder for a draft pick to make the team now than it was five years ago.

    A.J. wanted Weddle and Hester, and he did what he needed to do to get those guys. Draft picks are just chips.
     
  10. Gridreaper

    Gridreaper BoltTalker

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    ...So you should just deliberately throw away chips when you don't need to? There were a lot of football experts really scratching their heads when AJ pulled off these moves. In their own words, "we'll give him a pass based on what he's accomplished in the past". Look at who was still available after they reached for Hester. Tashard Choice was just one of several good backs and I think he went late in the 4th. He didn't need to give away picks to get Hester. I'm pretty damn sure he would have still been there.

    Oh, and as a fan, I've earned the right, just as others have, to cry about whatever I'm not happy with. If you agree with AJ's picks, that's your choice. I for one thought he messed up. There are no statute of limitations in football so I'll do it for as long as it bothers me.
     
  11. AnteaterCharger

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

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    I maintain that WEddle and Hester were acquired for so many draft picks because AJ thought he was finding the final few pieces to complete the team and because of such, a plethora of draft picks aren't necessarily needed. Hester's the prime example - we were already the best team talent wise, we had so many great pieces here so drafting a fullback and spending a high draft pick to grab him wasn't such a bad thing. Find me a person who at the 2008 draft thought we'd have the number of flaws we currently do, adn tehy're either lying or nostradamus.

    Now that we have holes to fill I don't imagine we're going to start throwing draft picks around like we have been in the past when we needed to fill lots of holes and AJ regarded draft picks as almost sacred
     
  12. Gridreaper

    Gridreaper BoltTalker

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    ...Well let's hope so anyway :icon_shrug:
     
  13. RM24

    RM24 BoltTalker

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    I'm just imagining a starting 4 LBer corp of Phillips, Maualuga, Coop and Merriman..... :yes:
     
  14. Savage Lizard

    Savage Lizard Charger fan at 7000'

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    Fine, keep banging your head against the wall. The draft is over, we have the players we have.
     
  15. Savage Lizard

    Savage Lizard Charger fan at 7000'

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    You do what you think you need to do to get the players you want for your football team. I could give a **** what "experts" think. If Mel Kiper and Todd McShay are such geniuses, why aren't they working in an NFL front office?
     
  16. Savage Lizard

    Savage Lizard Charger fan at 7000'

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    And just to be clear, all I said was "I can't believe the amount of crying that still goes on after these two picks." I didn't say people can't piss and moan about it, I just said I can't believe people still are.
     
  17. Gridreaper

    Gridreaper BoltTalker

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    ...What you THINK you NEED to do. Is it just possible that he thought wrong? Oh and it went well beyond just Kiper and McShay. A lot of GMs, most of the analists, so on and so on. Anyway, I feel one way and you feel another. No big deal...I will now return to my head banging.

    :banghead: :banghead:
     
  18. nickelbolt

    nickelbolt Fuggedaboutit

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    Maualugalugaluga looks like he's just gonna fatten up. I know he's fast and I know he's fearless.

    But for some reason I have this image of him eating his way out of the league. :lol:

    Brian Cushing just seems to me like he's a better all around player.

    Am I completely nuts? :icon_shrug:
     
  19. Savage Lizard

    Savage Lizard Charger fan at 7000'

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    Sure it's possible, but there is really no way to know for sure. Nobody knows who would have went where if things didn't shake out how they did.

    Anyway, as for the "experts," people get all hung up on "value" around draft time. Value doesn't mean much if you get the guy(s) you want. You don't get extra points or anything for getting the best value in the draft. And I'm sure if I had the time and inclination, I could find a bunch of great "value" picks who didn't do dick in the NFL.

    Both players are barely into their NFL careers, so if they both turn out to be good players, it won't matter how we got them.
     
  20. clontarf_bolt

    clontarf_bolt Well-Known Member

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    no your not nuts, well maybe about the fat remark but not about prefering Cushing! :icon_rofl:

    lots of people are saying Cushing's a more complete player
     
  21. BoltzRule

    BoltzRule Well-Known Member

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    Don't want Cushing.
     
  22. Sydalish

    Sydalish Addicted to Sports

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    por que no?
     
  23. BoltzRule

    BoltzRule Well-Known Member

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    He's injury prone and the rumors of him being a former roider (probably why he's injury prone). Plus I'm not big on a lot of USC players. Only way I'd be fine with him is if we don't pick him in the 1st round, but he'll most likely be a late 1st so that won't happen.
     
  24. Sydalish

    Sydalish Addicted to Sports

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    good to know! just say no to roids~
     
  25. AnteaterCharger

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

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    Cushing has much better pass rush skills and blitzing but yeah I hear the Roid rumors and his injury history worries me. Malauga just screams "New Junior Seau" to me in his speed, ferocity and leadership. I think combining him and Cooper would give us two outstanding ILBs.
     
  26. Showmeyourbolt

    Showmeyourbolt Well-Known Member

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    I agree with you. There area lot of USC honks in SoCal who would disagree completely, but I don't think Maullahglahlagldkfsdu is the be all and end all in this draft.
     
  27. AnteaterCharger

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

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    I think he should be at the top of our short list for that pick. I think Laurinitis should be there along with Raji and Oher and a few others
     
  28. nickelbolt

    nickelbolt Fuggedaboutit

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    I think Laurinitis would be a HUGE mistake.

    I didn't see anything from that guy to make me think he'll be more than a poor man's Wilhelm in the league. Plus, he skipped the Senior bowl. Big mistake IMO. I think he'll be a big time combine success, but missing the Senior Bowl kind of speaks to his unwillingness to compete.

    He said he skipped because Tressel told him he didn't need to be there. WTF is that Bullshiit?
     
  29. boltmanbz

    boltmanbz Well-Known Member

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    actually when u know ur getting 2 extra picks you can easily trade back up in the 2nd round if you like i guy there, giving up a 2nd rounder is no big deal, plus everyone will be talking about how great it was after Hester shows us what he is made of
     
  30. boltmanbz

    boltmanbz Well-Known Member

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    sure does, the guy is a stud, there arent much bad things you can say about the guy cause he is one hell of a linebacker and we would be lucky to have him on our D
     

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