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Inside Slant - 06/16/07

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Jun 16, 2007.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

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    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://i2.chargers.com/assets/178/33051_699w393h.jpg" title="Eric Parker makes a catch during mini camp." alt="Eric Parker makes a catch during mini camp." align="left" height="201" width="261" /> Is it a concern if the receivers coach is better known than any of the receivers?</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> That's one of the few questions dogging last season's highest-scoring team. With veteran Keenan McCardell no longer in the picture, what is the identity of the team's receiving corps?</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> Can Vincent Jackson turn potential in to production? Can Eric Parker erase the nightmare that was the playoff loss to the Patriots? Can Malcom Floyd avoid the trainer's room? Can rookie Craig Davis, the team's top pick, have an immediate impact?</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> All that will play out. What's obvious is that general manager A. J. Smith is somewhat confident the crew on the roster will be good enough.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> "I just think that they are good players, and we're very happy with where they are," Smith said.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> Smith has had the golden touch in flipping the Chargers' roster from one filled with marginal talent to one of the most talented in the NFL. So if he's OK, one guesses everyone else should chill, too.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> "The only thing that Malcom needs is maybe to stay healthy," Smith said of Floyd. "But the talent is immense. We think he has a bright future.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> "Vincent, last year, I would kind of call a breakout for us, meaning the Chargers and not so much league-wide. But I have a feeling that if he could put back-to-back (good years) together then I think more people around the league will start paying attention to a young receiver - Vincent Jackson of the Chargers."</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> What defenses already pay plenty of attention to are the team's two All-Pro weapons: running back LaDainian Tomlinson and tight end Antonio Gates. The presence of those two lessens the stress put on the receivers. That said, if someone can emerge from that bunch, it's possible Tomlinson and Gates could be even more lethal - now that's a scary thought to opposing defensive coordinators.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> Jackson, who is entering his third year out of Northern Colorado, had a dynamite second half. Of his 27 catches, 20 came in the last seven regular-season games. He finished with six touchdown receptions.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> Floyd had the team's best single-game showing with 109 yards receiving in the dramatic comeback win at Cincinnati. But three weeks later his season was derailed by an ankle injury.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> "That's part of life and part of football, and you have to battle adversity and make sure it doesn't tear it down," said Floyd, the only other Chargers wide out, besides Jackson, to catch a touchdown pass last year - Floyd had three.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> "I just knew they had confidence in us after how we performed last year. They have seen us grow over the years and they do have faith in us that we will go out there and make big plays."</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> The stage is all theirs.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"><strong>NOTES, QUOTES</strong></p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-TE Antonio Gates said the transition from Marty Schottenheimer to Norv Turner has been smooth because of the players. "The character guys were already in the locker room, and a whole bunch of pieces were back from last year's team," he said. "The foundation has pretty much stayed the same. We know what's expected from us. We have a group of guys in this locker room that are willing to put the time and preparation in to achieve the goal."</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-As the NFL's MVP, there is no more popular Charger than RB LaDainian Tomlinson. That was proven when countless media members were crowding his corner of the locker room where Tomlinson dresses after a minicamp practice. It's also the area where most the team's cornerbacks dress. So to lessen the flow of those wanting a piece of Tomlinson, CB Quentin Jammer put up a velvet rope near Tomlinson's cubicle, with a sign saying it cost $100 to enter the VIP area. When Tomlinson saw it, he broke into a chuckle. "That's about what I expected from him," Jammer said. "He laughed. He's just LT; that's all you can say." Tomlinson eventually spoke with everyone needing something from him.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-QB Philip Rivers isn't fretting the lack of a big-name wide out as a target. He's optimistic consistency will find Vincent Jackson and Malcom Floyd. "I'm excited about them," he said. "They're both big, strong, fast guys. To me, they're real streaky. When they get hot, they're really hot. From what I've seen this off-season, they've tried to become more consistent performers on an every-down basis, and I think they've gotten a lot better at that."</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-Coach Norv Turner had an old friend take in part of the team's recent minicamp - John Robinson. Turner coached under Robinson at USC.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-The Chargers ended their minicamps in good health. LB Shawne Merriman, though, is still being cautious with his work after undergoing off-season shoulder surgery. Rookie LB Anthony Waters (knee) was also limited in some of his drills.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"><strong>QUOTE TO NOTE:</strong> "This is a solid, solid football team with great character." -- New Chargers coach Norv Turner on his impression of the squad after the team's final minicamp.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"><strong>STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL</strong></p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> MEDICAL WATCH: No updates.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">FRANCHISE PLAYER: None.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">TRANSITION PLAYER: None.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (not tendered offers)</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-LB Randall Godfrey (not tendered as UFA).</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-S Terrence Kiel (not tendered as UFA).</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: None.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS: None.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">DRAFT CHOICES SIGNED</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-TE Scott Chandler: 4/129; 4 yrs, terms unknown.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">PLAYERS RE-SIGNED</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-DT Ryon Bingham: ERFA; teams unknown.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-WR Greg Camarillo: ERFA; 1 yr, terms unknown.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-OG Kris Dielman: UFA; $39M/6 yrs, $18M guaranteed.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-WR Malcom Floyd: ERFA; terms unknown.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-LB Marques Harris: ERFA; 1 yr, terms unknown.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-OT Cory Lekkerkerker: ERFA; 1 yr, terms unknown.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-LB Shaun Phillips: Potential RFA; 6 yrs, terms unknown.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-LB Carlos Polk: UFA; 2 yrs, terms unknown.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-DE Derreck Robinson: ERFA; terms unknown.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-RB Michael Turner: RFA; $2.35M/1 yr.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-C Cory Withrow: UFA: 3 yrs, terms unknown.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">PLAYERS ACQUIRED: None.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">PLAYERS LOST</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-LB Donnie Edwards: UFA Chiefs; $13.5M/3 yrs, $7.5M SB.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-LB Steve Foley (released).</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-WR Az-Zahir Hakim: UFA Dolphins; terms unknown.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-OT Leander Jordan: UFA Falcons; terms unknown.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-TE Ryan Krause: Not tendered as RFA/Browns; terms unknown.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-WR Keenan McCardell (released).</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-TE Aaron Shea (released).</p>
     

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