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Inside Slant

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Apr 15, 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>
    <div class="intro-copy">The team's patience with cornerback Sammy Davis is over.</div>
    <p class="intro-copy">Davis, a former first-round pick, was peddled to the San Francisco 49ers for another first-round bust: wide receiver Rashaun Woods.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">The Chargers had long believed that Davis and safety Terrence Kiel - a second-round pick in Davis' class of 2003 - would help form a solid secondary.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">But while Kiel was mildly effective, Davis was dreadful.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy"> Davis made 30 starts and had three interceptions. But he never did get over the wide-eyed look of being potentially overmatched on every snap.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">The Chargers wrote off a shaky rookie season as him being part of a 4-12 pileup. But Davis would eventually lose his starting job opposite Quentin Jammer to Drayton Florence.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">Davis, who started four games in 2005, tumbled more on the depth chart after injuries and lost his nickel spot to Jamar Fletcher.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">Fletcher wasn't anything special. But even with the Chargers not inviting Fletcher back, they didn't want to keep Davis.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">In Woods, the Chargers gets a pass-catcher who spent most of 2005 on injured reserve with a thumb injury. But he'll get a look from the Chargers, a team desperate to upgrade the depth.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy"><strong>NOTES, QUOTES</strong></p>
    <p class="intro-copy">-Chargers general manager A.J. Smith not only moved CB Sammy Davis, but he has put ILB Donnie Edwards and DB Hanik Milligan on the market as well. The contract of Edwards, the team's leading tackler the past four years, expires after this season. The Chargers aren't interested in another deal.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">Akbar Gbaja-Biamila, who was out of the NFL last year after being cut by the Raiders in camp, will get a look at OLB on the strong side. The Chargers lost Ben Leber from that spot in the off-season, though his replacement, Shawne Merriman, wasn't shabby.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">-LT Roman Oben is hopeful of being fit by training camp. It's obvious he won't be at full speed at the mini-camps as he rebounds from two foot surgeries. The Chargers are thin at left tackle, a position that takes on added importance with first-year starting QB Philip Rivers.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">Speaking of Rivers, him taking over was Masters' champ Phil Mickelson's concern recently. Mickelson, a huge Chargers fan, wanted his team to keep Drew Brees.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">-RB LaDainian Tomlinson is staying status quo with his off-season workout routine: "You know, I approach it pretty much the same way. I don't feel like I need to change anything right now."</p>
    <p class="intro-copy"><strong>QUOTE TO NOTE:</strong> "He is just as competitive as I am." - RB LaDainian Tomlinson, on what he's learned in two years of being QB Philip Rivers' teammate.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy"><strong>STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL</strong></p>
    <p class="intro-copy">TEAM NEEDS</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">1. Cornerback: The Chargers were the top-ranked team against the run last season, but defending the pass they finished near the bottom of the league once again at No. 28. The Chargers' brass once said the lack of production on the back end was because of a tepid pass rush, but that's no longer the case. Despite having three first-rounders at this position - Quentin Jammer, Sammy Davis and Jamar Fletcher - the pass coverage continues to be the team's Achilles' heel.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">2. Offensive line: Despite finishing in the top 10 of every critical rushing category, the Chargers thought so little of their line play that they fired offensive line coach Carl Mauck with one year left on his contract. General manager A.J. Smith is looking hard at adding depth at both tackle spots, especially on the left side.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">3. Wide receiver: Keenan McCardell, the Chargers' top wideout, is heading into his 15th season. The team did not mind seeing Reche Caldwell, a second-round bust, leave for New England. There is hope for Vincent Jackson - if he can stay healthy - and Eric Parker has proven he can be a reliable No. 2 or No. 3 receiver.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">FRANCHISE PLAYER: None.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">TRANSITION PLAYER: None.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: CB Jamar Fletcher.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (not tendered offers): WR Drew Haddad.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: LB Matt Wilhelm.</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.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">PLAYERS ACQUIRED: S Marlon McCree; TE Aaron Shea; WR Rashaun Woods.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">PLAYERS LOST: QB Drew Brees; WR Reche Caldwell; CB Sammy Davis; OG Bob Hallen; LB Ben Leber; TE Justin Peelle; DE DeQuincy Scott; OL Courtney VanBuren; S Jerry Wilson.</p>
     

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