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Inside Slant - 05/01/08

Discussion in 'San Diego Chargers Hall of Champions' started by robdog, May 1, 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>
    <div class="inside-copy"><img class="alignleft" style="float: left;" src="http://i1.chargers.com/assets/175/32572_282wh.jpg" alt="hargers Assistant General Manager and Director of Player Personnel Buddy Nix has played a key role in the team's recent string of success in the NFL Draft." width="157" height="190" /> There was a shakeup - for the second straight offseason - on the second level of Chargers Park recently. What exactly happened is still not clear.</div>
    <p class="inside-copy">What is evident is that respected assistant general manager Buddy Nix is no longer with the club. The team said he retired in a press release which didn't include a comment from Nix.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">Nix said that retirement wasn't exactly the term that best fits his decision to leave an organization which could be on the verge of reaching the Super Bowl.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">"I've been working 47 years in this business and sometimes you stay at a place long enough that you need to make a change," Nix said.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> General manager A. J. Smith was quoted in a Chargers release as saying Nix "retired" and mentioned his "long, distinguished career in coaching and scouting."</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">But Nix said he's open to working again and had already fielded calls from several prospective employers.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">"There was no resignation that I know of," Smith said. "There was a retirement and then after that, we restructured.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">"I'm a little confused, too. We'll have to find out what went from a retirement to a resignation."</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">Nix is intent on working on his golf game, but he didn't close the door to other work as well.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">"I still feel like I'm 40, but I know I'm more than that," Nix, 68, said. "I've already had a several calls ... let's see what happens."</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">Nix was among the executives arriving from Buffalo - where he scouted for eight years - to turn around the woeful Chargers. He was hired in 2001 as director of player personnel and elevated to assistant general manager in 2003.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">"I think that I'm most proud of us winning,' Nix said. "When we went from 5-11 and that kind of stuff to be able to go to winning and expecting to win, that was big. And that was old (former general manager) John Butler's thinking."</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">The exit of Nix, who was under contract, prompted a revamping of the front office. The biggest change is Randy Mueller coming aboard.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">Mueller was the Dolphins' general manager the past three years but didn't survive the housecleaning in wake of the team's recent 1-15 season and Bill Parcells' arrival.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">Nix said he was unaware the Chargers were hiring Mueller, a 22-year NFL executive, but speculated "he will do a good job."</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">Before going to Buffalo as a scout, Nix was a longtime college football coach. His keen eye for talent can't be overlooked and his loss is a big one for the Chargers.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">Nix declined to provide any specifics on why he left. It was roughly 14 months ago then-coach Marty Schottenheimer was fired when team president Dean Spanos grew tired of what he termed the dysfunctional relationship between Schottenheimer and Smith.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">"I enjoyed my time there but it was just time to let somebody else do it," Nix said. "Let some of them young guys do it."</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"><strong>NOTES, QUOTES</strong></p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-The Chargers hoped to draft an offensive tackle high in the draft, but when that didn't materialize, they signed veteran L.J. Shelton to a two-year contact. "We took a different route to shore up the tackle position," Chargers GM A.J. Smith said. "I feel a lot better about the situation now."</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">Shelton can play guard or tackle. He started all 16 games at right tackle for Miami last season. Shelton's younger brother, Tim, is a basketball player at San Diego State.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-The Chargers' minicamp will be held May 2-4 at Chargers Park. This will be the first look many get of the Chargers' draft picks and the 17 undrafted free agents they signed. Three previously undrafted free agents made were in last year's opening-game lineup: TE Antonio Gates, ILB Stephen Cooper and LG Kris Dielman.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-C Nick Hardwick is still hobbling around in a boot after undergoing offseason surgery on his foot. The initial medical opinion form the team was that rest would heal an injury which cost him four games last year. But that wasn't the case and the late date of his surgery might prevent him from being ready for the opener. "Man, they really messed up with Nick," one of his teammates along the offensive line said.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">As was the case when Hardwick was down last season, veteran Cory Withrow is expected to replace him.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-The Chargers, no doubt, are a dynamite team. But does any other team have two top-level executives with 1-15 records on their resume? Randy Mueller, who was hired in the wake of Buddy Nix's departure, was with the Dolphins last year when they won once. And Ed McGuire, the team's salary-cap guru who was promoted to assistant general manager, was calling the personnel shots in 2000 when the Chargers went 1-15 the first year after Bobby Beathard's retirement.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"><strong>QUOTE TO NOTE:</strong> "That sounds awfully permanent. I don't know what I would do if I wasn't working." - Former Charges assistant GM Buddy Nix after the team announced he had retired in a press release.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"><strong>STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL</strong></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: None.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS: None.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">PLAYERS ACQUIRED</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-OT L.J. Shelton: FA Dolphins; terms unknown.</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">-OT Jeromey Clary: ERFA; terms unknown.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-WR Malcom Floyd: ERFA; terms unknown.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-CB Cletis Gordon: ERFA; terms unknown.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-CB Steve Gregory: ERFA; terms unknown.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-LB Marques Harris: RFA; tendered at $1.47M; terms unknown.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-DT Brandon McKinney: ERFA; terms unknown.</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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