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Inside Slant - 03/14/08

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Mar 16, 2008.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    Source: <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/chargers/home.htm" target="_blank">USA Today</a>
    <p class="inside-copy"><img src="http://bolttalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/01/osgood.jpg" alt="Kassim Osgood" align="right" height="246" width="166" /> Think it's special being a Pro Bowl special teams player for two straight seasons? Some would say 'yes,' but the Chargers' Kassim Osgood says, "no."</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> Osgood, a wide receiver at San Diego State before signing with the Chargers as an undrafted free agent in 2003, is bent that his contributions are restricted to special teams.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> He wants to play catch with the Chargers' quarterbacks sometime other than in practice. But despite his wishes, Osgood had but two catches in his last two seasons - the same seasons he represented the AFC as its Pro Bowl special-teamer.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> "I'm getting typecast into being a special-teams guy," Osgood recently told the San Diego Union-Tribune. "That's not what I am. I'm a receiver who plays special teams. People are starting to doubt I can play. They're believing I play special teams because I'm not good enough."</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> Obviously the Chargers' opinion of Osgood isn't the same.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> The Chargers have drafted two wide receivers the past two springs - including their No. 1 selection of ex-LSU receiver Craig Davis last year. They also tried to shore up the position by trading for Chris Chambers before last year's trading deadline.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> Osgood? He gets his looks in practice, then the offensive coaches look the other way on game days.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> Osgood's frustrations are such that he said he has requested a trade so he can literally catch on with someone else.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> Chargers general manager A.J. Smith said he wasn't aware that Osgood was miffed.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> Osgood, who had 28 receptions in his first two years with the Chargers, is threatening to skip the voluntary offseason workouts to make his point.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> But he said once the season starts in earnest, he'll be there for his colleagues.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> "I play hard because I love my teammates and I enjoy winning," he said. "We win by dominating in three phases."</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"><strong>NOTES, QUOTES</strong></p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-Wonder if new LB Derek Smith will make any changes to his workout room? Smith, who was signed this offseason after being released by the 49ers, constructed a replica of the San Francisco workout room in his garage, ordering the exact weights and accessories that are used at the team facility.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-QB Philip Rivers returned to his family's home in Alabama to continue his rehab from having his ACL in his knee repaired. "The thing for me is having to be patient," Rivers said. "I'm ahead of the game, barring some crazy setback. ... Everybody's told me it's not the surgery and how it went. It's what are you going to do in rehab. The guys who go through the motions, it's going to be six months. The guys who go hard and get after it, they don't miss a beat."</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-Pro Bowl LB Shawne Merriman has been working with ESPN on its NFL show.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-New Denver safety Marlon McCree, who was recently released by the Chargers, will get a chance to click with his new teammate, John Lynch. The veteran Lynch lives in Del Mar and is hosting his annual charity golf tournament. McCree will be among the participants.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-The Chargers continue to explore building a new stadium in Chula Vista, which is some 15 miles south of Qualcomm Stadium.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"><strong>QUOTE TO NOTE:</strong> "He's got the ability to recognize a player's strengths and an uncanny ability to call plays, to know what the defense is going to give you. He's remarkable in that way." - Hall of Fame QB Troy Aikman on Chargers head coach Norv Turner, his former offensive coordinator in Dallas.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"><strong>STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL</strong></p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> TEAM NEEDS/OFFSEASON STRATEGY</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> The Chargers don't need much, the benefit of having a youthful team that advanced to the AFC Championship Game. Still, every team needs something and that includes the Chargers.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> With backup running back Michael Turner fleeing to the Falcons as a free agent, the Chargers need someone to caddy for LaDainian Tomlinson. The Chargers have Andrew Pinnock in the backfield now, but he is seen more as a fullback.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> So the Chargers could go in that direction in the draft at some point.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> They also need to look hard at both lines - on the interior on the defensive side and at the tackles on the offensive side.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> The Chargers also must decide if they want to package some later draft picks or future ones to have more play on the draft's first day. As of now, the team has but one pick in the first three rounds.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> They burned their second-round pick when trading for wide receiver Chris Chambers last year. Their third-rounder was part of the package to move up last year to draft safety Eric Weddle in the second round.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">&nbsp;</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> 1. Running back: The Chargers got spoiled with Turner, who would have been starting on many teams that didn't include an MVP in Tomlinson. But the Chargers don't figure to spend their first-round pick here.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> 2. Defensive tackle: Jamal Williams is a Pro Bowler and a complete stud in the middle of the team's 3-4 alignment. But after 10 years in the NFL, his body is starting to show its age. The Chargers have two decent backups in Ryon Bingham and Brandon McKinney, but they could definitely upgrade there.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> 3. Tackle: Shane Olivea was a former starter who was let go and the job has been turned over to Jeromey Clary, who graded well when taking over for Olivea last year. But the team seeks something more here.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">&nbsp;</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">FRANCHISE PLAYER: None.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">TRANSITION PLAYER: None.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: None.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (not tendered offers)</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-RB Tyronne Gross (not tendered as ERFA).</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-LB Marques Harris (tendered at $1.47M with 2nd-round pick as compensation) played in 15 games last year and started twice. He had 1.5 sacks while supplying depth behind Shawne Merriman and Shaun Phillips.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-RT Jeromey Clary stepped in and started the final six games, including all three in the playoffs. When Shane Olivea's play became inconsistent, Clary stepped in and the line had some of its best games of the season. He'll be back.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-WR Malcom Floyd is probably not coming back as it seems his window of opportunity with the club has expired. He had a hard time being active on Sundays and with Craig Davis, Chris Chambers and Eric Parker expected back next year, Floyd will likely to be elsewhere.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-CB Cletis Gordon saw some action in occasional dime packages with mixed results. But with Florence going and Gordon able to return punts in a pinch, he'll probably stay.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-CB Steve Gregory doesn't figure strongly into their plans; hard to say his status.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-DT Brandon McKinney had some decent spurts when filling in in the rotation of Jamal Williams, Ryon Bingham and himself. Considering Williams' age and health status, McKinney should be back.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">PLAYERS ACQUIRED</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-LB Derek Smith: FA 49ers; 2 yrs, terms unknown.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">PLAYERS RE-SIGNED</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-G Scott Mruczkowski: Potential RFA; 3 yrs, terms unknown.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-QB Billy Volek: UFA; $9M/3 yrs, $3M SB.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">PLAYERS LOST</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-CB Drayton Florence: UFA Jaguars; $36M/6 yrs, $12M SB.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-S Marlon McCree (released).</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-FB Lorenzo Neal (released).</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-OT Shane Olivea (released).</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-K Dave Rayner: Not tendered as RFA/Dolphins; terms unknown.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-RB Michael Turner: UFA Falcons; $34.5M/6 yrs, $15M guaranteed.</p>

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