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Inside Slant

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Jul 8, 2006.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    Source: <a target="_blank" href="http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/chargers/home.htm">USA Today</a>

    <a title="AJ Smith" class="imagelink" href="http://bolttalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/04/24087.jpg"><img width="274" height="133" alt="AJ Smith" id="image2219" src="http://bolttalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/04/24087.jpg" /></a>
    <div class="intro-copy">Can A. J. Smith hit home runs in consecutive drafts? The Chargers' general manager hopes so.</div>
    <p class="intro-copy">Last spring, Smith snagged linebacker Shawne Merriman in the first round and he went on to lead the team with 10 sacks, make the Pro Bowl and be named the NFL's defensive rookie player of the year.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">This spring, Smith gambled on cornerback Antonio Cromartie in the first round. Cromartie has a tremendous upside, despite starting but one game in his career at Florida State.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">Cromartie is being asked to help a secondary that remains the team's weakest link.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy"> To that end, Smith also signed free-agent safety Marlon McCree, the former Carolina Panther.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">Safety Andre Lott, a free-agent acquisition on a much lower scale, was also signed. But after an impressive showing in the offseason workouts, Lott could be in the mix as well.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">The linebacker unit remains the same, but that could change. Inside linebacker Donnie Edwards remains on the trading block, and if he were to leave, Matt Wilhelm would be asked to fill his spot. Edwards has led the team in tackles in each of the past four years.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">Along the line, DeQuincy Scott, a backup end, wasn't re-signed. But not much tinkering was needed here with Pro Bowl tackle Jamal Williams (knee) expected to be fit. The Chargers are expecting more progress from ends Igor Olshansky and Luis Castillo.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">The Chargers basically stood pat with a defense that was ranked No. 1 in the NFL against the run. The moves they did made were on the back end, and not all that much was done there.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">In addition to McCree coming aboard, disappointing cornerback Sammy Davis was traded to the 49ers.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">But if Smith strikes gold again in Cromartie - and McCree plays as advertised - the secondary could be the team's most improved unit.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy"><strong>NOTES, QUOTES</strong></p>
    <p class="intro-copy">-Coach Marty Schottenheimer is looking forward to his short down time. "I'll have an occasion to visit relatives and have relatives visit me," he said. "I'm sure I'll find my way to the golf course a few times as well. We'll all get reenergized and refocused as we prepare to pursue the task in front of us."</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">-QB Philip Rivers is set to become the father of his third daughter any day.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">-The San Diego County Board of Supervisors is hiring consultants to study the feasibility of joining with the Chargers in building a new stadium. The club can speak to cities outside the county on Jan. 1.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">-RB LaDainian Tomlinson really has arrived. The Pro Bowler now has his own Nike shoe called "Scream LT".</p>
    <p class="intro-copy"><strong>QUOTE TO NOTE:</strong> "We've got a lot of talent on this team and we're all very focused. We're going to enjoy the down time, but we'll all be ready to get back to work when the time comes. We're excited about what's ahead of us." - QB Philip Rivers on the upcoming season after preparing for a short time off.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy"><strong>STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL</strong></p>
    <p class="intro-copy">FRANCHISE PLAYER: None.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">TRANSITION PLAYER: None.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (not tendered offers): WR Drew Haddad.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: None.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS: LB Howard Hodges; RB Calvin Murray.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">PLAYERS RE-SIGNED: LB Stephen Cooper; OG Kris Dielman; S Clinton Hart; WR Kassim Osgood; DE Jacques Cesaire; LB Carlos Polk; FB Andrew Pinnock; LB Matt Wilhelm.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">PLAYERS ACQUIRED: TE Brandon Manumaleuna; S Marlon McCree; TE Aaron Shea; CB Raymond Walls; WR Rashaun Woods.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">PLAYERS LOST: QB Drew Brees; WR Reche Caldwell; CB Sammy Davis; CB Jamar Fletcher; OG Bob Hallen; LB Ben Leber; TE Justin Peelle; DE DeQuincy Scott; OL Courtney VanBuren; S Jerry Wilson.</p>

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