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Inside Slant

Discussion in 'San Diego Chargers Hall of Champions' started by robdog, Mar 26, 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>
    <div class="intro-copy">Can new safety Marlon McCree be one of the keys to fixing the Chargers' leaky secondary?</div>
    <p class="intro-copy">Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips is optimistic he can do just that.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">"He's really at the peak of his career right now," Phillips said. "He's got a lot of good things going for him. He's going to be a great addition because he's going to make plays. He's led his team in tackles, in interceptions. He's done all of those things. He's experienced."</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">The Chargers have experienced a shaky pass defense for years. Last season it finished 28th in the league with only 10 interceptions.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">McCree, who came over from the Panthers, is looking to change that. And he looks for his change of cities to produce a championship, something the Panthers nearly accomplished last year before losing in the NFC Championship Game to the Seahawks.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy"> "The Chargers are a playoff-bound team," said McCree, of an organization that has made the playoffs once in the past 10 seasons. "They have a great opportunity to win the Super Bowl. I think they represent a winning organization. They have all the pieces in place. I'm happy, thrilled and honored that they also had interest in me to come in and help this organization win a championship."</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">McCree, who had three interceptions last season, has the versatility that allows him to play free or strong safety. At strong safety, he would have to supplant Terrence Kiel; at free safety, Bhawoh Jue.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">"It doesn't matter which spot I play," McCree said. "The coaching staff has told me that I'm going to have to compete. I'm looking forward to that competition. Whatever they need me to do, I'm willing to do it. I'm happy to do it. I just want to help this team win a championship and I think we'll be able to do that."</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">What McCree should be able to do is reach a comfort level fairly quickly, in that he sees familiar faces in secondary coach Brian Stewart and old teammate Keenan McCardell. Stewart was on the Texans' staff when McCree played there and McCree and McCardell were on the Jaguars together.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">"Brian is a great defensive backs coach," McCree said. "He teaches things very well and makes things very easy to understand. I'm excited about getting to play with him."</p>
    <p class="intro-copy"><strong>NOTES, QUOTES</strong></p>
    <p class="intro-copy">-With the Chargers signing free-agent TE Aaron Shea, it was clear they wouldn't be bringing back Justin Peelle. Peelle then signed with Miami. The 6-3, 248-pound Shea is entering his seventh season. His career totals: 97 catches for 851 yards and seven touchdowns. He's played in 65 games with 30 starts.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">-The Chargers have started their 15-week off-season workout program at its facility. LT Roman Oben isn't participating as he continues to rebound from foot surgery.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">-Chargers owner Alex Spanos, on NFL commission Paul Tagliabue's retirement: "He oversaw the greatest period of growth in league history and was able to maintain labor peace at the same time, which to me was his greatest accomplishment. Both the owners and players as well as the fans are enjoying the rewards of his leadership."</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">-Chargers general manager A.J. Smith doesn't have any free-agent visits planned.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy"><strong>QUOTE TO NOTE:</strong> "The last time I left here a lot of people were saying it would be a cold day in you-know-where when they would want to see me back." - Ex-Chargers coach Bobby Ross, who was in San Diego recently during a rare cold spell.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy"><strong>STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL</strong></p>
    <p class="intro-copy">TEAM NEEDS</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">Secondary: Although the Chargers have snagged former Panthers safety</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">Marlon McCree, the team still needs help on the back end, especially at cornerback.</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.</p>
    <p class="intro-copy">PLAYERS LOST: QB Drew Brees; WR Reche Caldwell; OG Bob Hallen; LB Ben Leber; TE Justin Peelle; DE DeQuincy Scott; OL Courtney VanBuren; S Jerry Wilson.</p>

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