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Inside Slant

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Jun 24, 2006.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

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

    <img width="264" height="176" alt="Chargers GM AJ Smith" id="image1860" src="http://bolttalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/01/agsmithwtchplayers_300x200.jpg" />
    <div class="intro-copy">Chargers general manager A.J. Smith made a sweeping offseason move which could very well define his career as the Chargers' general manager in letting quarterback Drew Brees go and replacing him with Philip Rivers.</div>
    <p class="intro-copy">Smith declined to guarantee Brees the $10 million he eventually received from the Saints in a free-agent contract. Brees injured his shoulder in the regular-season finale and Smith wasn't comfortable bringing Brees back, despite the fact over the past two years he had lead the team to an AFC West title, 20 victories and been named a Pro Bowler and the Comeback Player of the Year.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy"> But with Rivers, the draft's fourth overall pick, waiting in the wings, Smith blew out Brees and went with the unproven Rivers.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">If Rivers shines and the Chargers make the playoffs for the second time in 11 years, no one will question Smith's wisdom. But if Rivers falters in his first year as a starter and Brees continues his career upswing with the Saints, many will argue how wise was Smith's decision?</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">Free-agent safety Marlon McCree was brought in to shore up a secondary which helped the Chargers to the NFL's No. 28 rating defending the pass. He'll likely land at free safety, which causes a spirited battle at strong safety between Terrence Kiel, Bhawoh Jue and Clinton Hart.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">Smith also thinks he did something in a below-the-radar fashion which could pay dividends. He acquired from the 49ers wide receiver Rashaun Woods, a first-round bust, for another first-round stinker, cornerback Sammy Davis.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">Woods' two years in San Francisco were derailed by injuries. With the Chargers' thin receiving corps - the Chargers let Reche Caldwell go to the Patriots - Woods will get a chance to contribute and resurrect his disappointing career.</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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