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Life After Brees: Rebuilding or Advancing?

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

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

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    <img width="252" height="188" id="image2115" alt="Brees Sacked" src="http://bolttalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/03/Brees%20sack.jpg" />

    By Clint Muhe

    <img width="124" height="125" align="left" title="BoltTalk Content" alt="BoltTalk Content" src="http://www.bolttalk.com/images/bolttalkcontent28rs.jpg" />As we all know by now Drew Brees has decided to continue his career with the New Orleans Saints. Let us first thank Drew for his years with the squad and the success we enjoyed at the end of his tenure with the Chargers. Understandably many a Charger fan out there are perturbed, to say the least, regarding the decision to let Brees walk. Honestly who can blame the San Diego fans for being more than a little worried about another QB change after the last one we had, and I'm not talking about Doug Flutie. His name, regarded as blasphemy amongst all die-hard Charger fans, was Ryan Leaf. He is known as the greatest flop and most damaging decision by a sporting franchise since Babe Ruth was traded from the Red Sox to the Yankees. The curse of Babe Ruth was broken, but the lesser know Ryan Leaf curse is still very much alive. Until the Chargers can have a quality quarterback that holds a winning record in the post-season for more than a few years, the sour taste of Ryan Leaf will linger. The loss of Brees to the Saints is by all terms an unnerving situation for any Charger fan who has not forgotten the dreadful 1 and 15 season to start the new millennium. This has lead the fan base, and the media, to wonder whether the Chargers will slip back into the dregs of the AFC West with yet another young and inexperienced new quarterback. The question has not been: Will Philip Rivers improve the Chargers in this next season?; rather: Can Philip Rivers match the success of Drew Brees in this next season or will he be an out and out flop? With all due respect to Drew Brees, the franchise must now look ahead to the future. Leaving the question to be asked, will Philip Rivers help take the Chargers to the next level immediately, or are we rebuilding once again?

    In order to know where we're going, we must know where we've been. The Chargers have been on a relatively steady incline since Brees took the reigns. He had his hiccups, but generally Brees has been a very positive experience for the franchise. "From worst to first", announcer Billy Ray Smith said after the 04-05 season. What I can't seem to grasp is why Brees has received virtually all the credit over the past two seasons, and none of the flack. Let's try and look at this objectively. We have by most people's standards, the best running back and tight end in the NFL today. We have one of if, if not the best line backing core in the NFL, and the best run defense the charger's have had since Junior Seau and Rodney Harrison's prime. We have one of the winningest coaches in the history of the NFL. Yet the obvious fact that we have not one a playoff game with all of these ingredients is simply overlooked. I would be foolish to place all of the blame on Brees' shoulders, but he has taken next to know heat for the obvious let downs in recent years. Brees has undoubtedly one of the weakest long balls in the game today, and to compound matters is coming off a torn labrum surgery. Will that strengthen his already unreliable deep threat? Brees had his chances, many in fact, and has come up short (pun intended) more than once. The Charger's have a young, strong armed, confident, intelligent, proven winner (collegiately), and most importantly, healthy QB sitting in the wings. We're surprised they didn't spend the farm on resigning Brees?! We need only to look at the Jets' organization in disarray after the "paper-thin" Pennington fiasco. They killed themselves on cap space and got nothing in return, other than a good pick in this year's draft. Truly I'm surprised the Charger's didn't make a move this past off-season. In fact I wish they had! Imagine the pull we could have had last year with Brees coming off a pro bowl season and while still under contract. Can anyone say deep threat? We could have made a move for a legitimate #1 wide receiver or added a big piece to the O-line. No offense to Keenan but he is getting up there in age. Then we enter Air Corriel part two! Best offense in the league followed with a very much improved defense. Our hoping and praying just to scrape into the playoffs would be a thing of the past. The new question would be how far will we go in the playoffs? It all comes down to whether or not your franchise is playing to win, or just playing not to lose. A.J. Smith is playing to win!

    Why is it that we're all patting Brees on the back, saying thanks so much, and not treating him like all other players that opt to take the money over staying with the team that gave him his shot? Personally I'm shocked that there isn't more of an outcry regarding his decision to choose money over loyalty. Isn't he the one that said he wanted to stay in San Diego? Didn't the Chargers offer him a huge contract? The truth of the matter is, if Drew Brees wanted to be a Charger today, then he would be. I understand that he was upset the contract we offered him was incentive laden for next season. However, any good business decision is going to want to protect their investment. The Chargers' weren't willing to through another 10+ million at him for next season because no one even knows if he'll be able to play starting the season, or if he'll even be good enough to play at the high level he once did, ever again. Brees was a pleasure to watch when the offense was clicking on all cylinders, but how often did he win a game for us. The Offensive coordinator, Cam Cameron, entrusted Brees with the game winning drive as rarely as possible. Tomlinson always got the majority of touches down the stretch, for obvious reasons, but even when we were down by 10+ points Brees got the call rarely. All that says is that he was not to be trusted with the game on the line. He wasn't asked to win the game, because the coaches didn't think he could. Who could blame em'? Week one against Dallas they gave Brees four shots at the end zone and he came up empty! Brees was a solid starter, but he was not a star. For every Charger fan's out there I yell, "Give us a QB who can win a Super Bowl!" I'm not saying Rivers is the guy, but Brees was not, and it's time for the next era of Charger football to begin. So let the Brees blow out and watch the Rivers' flow through, because we stand at the Gates of a Super Bowl and I couldn't be more excited!
     

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