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Missing Pieces, how many are the Chargers away from the SB

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by AnteaterCharger, Jan 26, 2015.

  1. AnteaterCharger

    AnteaterCharger Calibrating Bolttalk, Podcast by Podcast Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    http://espn.go.com/espn/feature/story/_/id/12179331/how-many-players-away-super-bowl-team

    How close were the Chargers to being Super Bowl contenders?
    By Pro Football Focus
    [​IMG]
    8Above-Average Players Away
    Average
    Breaking Down The Roster
    To be considered a Super Bowl contender, 40 percent of the players who took part in at least 250 snaps (varies by team) have to be rated as good or elite. Here's how Pro Football Focus evaluated each of the Chargers' 32 qualifying players.*
    • Elite
    • Good
    • Average
    • Bad
    • 1
      • S Eric Weddle
      • NFL Average: 2
    • 4
      • CB Brandon Flowers
      • QB Philip Rivers
      • WR Malcom Floyd
      • RB Branden Oliver
      • NFL Average: 4.3
    • 21
      • TE Ladarius Green
      • OT King Dunlap
      • WR Keenan Allen
      • WR Eddie Royal
      • OLB Dwight Freeney
      • ILB Manti Te'o
      • ILB Andrew Gachkar
      • C Chris Watt
      • DE Ricardo Mathews
      • DE Corey Liuget
      • ILB Kavell Conner
      • OLB Jarret Johnson
      • DT Sean Lissemore
      • OLB Melvin Ingram
      • S Jahleel Addae
      • OT D.J. Fluker
      • DE Tenny Palepoi
      • TE Antonio Gates
      • C Rich Ohrnberger
      • CB Richard Marshall
      • S Marcus Gilchrist
      • NFL Average: 21
    • 6
      • RB Donald Brown
      • DE Kendall Reyes
      • G Chad Rinehart
      • G Johnnie Troutman
      • ILB Donald Butler
      • CB Shareece Wright
      • NFL Average: 5.8
    • Elite
      1
      • S Eric Weddle
      • NFL Average: 2
    • Good
      4
      • CB Brandon Flowers
      • QB Philip Rivers
      • WR Malcom Floyd
      • RB Branden Oliver
      • NFL Average: 4.3
    • Average
      21
      • TE Ladarius Green
      • OT King Dunlap
      • WR Keenan Allen
      • WR Eddie Royal
      • OLB Dwight Freeney
      • ILB Manti Te'o
      • ILB Andrew Gachkar
      • C Chris Watt
      • DE Ricardo Mathews
      • DE Corey Liuget
      • ILB Kavell Conner
      • OLB Jarret Johnson
      • DT Sean Lissemore
      • OLB Melvin Ingram
      • S Jahleel Addae
      • OT D.J. Fluker
      • DE Tenny Palepoi
      • TE Antonio Gates
      • C Rich Ohrnberger
      • CB Richard Marshall
      • S Marcus Gilchrist
      • NFL Average: 21
    • Bad
      6
      • RB Donald Brown
      • DE Kendall Reyes
      • G Chad Rinehart
      • G Johnnie Troutman
      • ILB Donald Butler
      • CB Shareece Wright
      • NFL Average: 5.8
    *Pro Football Focus uses its proprietary metrics to evaluate every player on every snap in every game. Each player's rating here is based solely off how his performance in 2014 compared to that of the peers at his position. For more methodology explanation, click here.
    THE INSIDE STORY
    Where NFL Nation agrees/disagrees with Pro Football Focus
    by Eric D. Williams, ESPN.com
    [​IMG]
    Brandon Flowers
    CB Brandon Flowers: A late addition to the 2014 roster after signing a one-year deal in June, Flowers served as a significant upgrade to San Diego's ailing secondary. The Virginia Tech product added toughness, versatility and playmaking ability to the back end of San Diego's defense. Flowers finished with 52 combined tackles, led the team with three interceptions and also totaled 10 pass breakups. After San Diego allowed 259 passing yards per game last year (29th in the NFL), that number dipped to 214 this season (fourth in the NFL). Flowers deserves a fair share of the credit for that.
    [​IMG]
    Philip Rivers
    QB Philip Rivers: PFF ranked four QBs -- Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Ben Roethlisberger -- as elite. Rivers also belongs among that group. Over the past two seasons, he's second in completion percentage (68 percent), fourth in touchdowns (63) and fifth in total QBR (69.3). Rivers played at an MVP level through the first half of 2014, with an 85.5 total QBR (second in the NFL, behind Peyton Manning) and 20 touchdowns (No. 3). Then a back injury, inconsistent pass protection and the lack of a running game (3.4 ypc, second-worst) led to a dip in his play. At 33 years old, Rivers can still perform at an elite level for a few more years. He's known for his toughness, having played in 144 consecutive regular-season starts, second only to Eli Manning (167).
    [​IMG]
    Branden Oliver
    RB Branden Oliver: With Ryan Mathews injured most of last season, Oliver received an increased workload and had his fair share of good moments. The undrafted rookie out of Buffalo started seven games and led the Chargers with 582 rushing yards. But he had just three runs of 20-plus yards on 160 attempts and averaged a paltry 3.6 yards per carry. Oliver has potential to rate as a good running back, but we need to see more of a sample size first.
    [​IMG]
    King Dunlap
    OT King Dunlap: In two seasons, Dunlap developed into an above-average left tackle, and as an unrestricted free agent, he should be San Diego's top priority this offseason. Dunlap played a career-high 1,000 snaps and gave up just three sacks and five quarterback hits on 625 pass attempts. Rivers is not the most fleet of foot, so the Chargers needs a reliable left tackle to protect his blindside. Dunlap consistently does that while also making his presence felt in the run game. The Chargers ran for more yards per carry (4.2) outside left tackle than in any other direction. Rivers said Dunlap should have made the Pro Bowl in 2014; he should be rated higher here.
    [​IMG]
    Antonio Gates
    TE Antonio Gates: At 34, Gates finished this season with 12 TDs, tied for the most among TEs with Rob Gronkowski and Julius Thomas. Gates finished with more touchdowns than elite-rated tight ends Greg Olsen (six TDs) and Jason Witten (five TDs) combined, while also totaling more receiving yards than Witten in 2014 (821 to 703). Sure, he's not exactly a mauler in the run game -- he ranked as PFF's fourth-worst run-blocking TE this season -- but Gates played in 72 percent of the snaps (721), which shows San Diego doesn't use him as a decoy. He remains one of the elite tight ends in the NFL.
    [​IMG]
    Donald Butler
    ILB Donald Butler: The University of Washington product, who signed a seven-year, $51.8-million contract extension the past offseason, was the third-highest paid linebacker in the league this season ($11.9 million). But his play didn't live up to the contract. Butler made very few impact plays and finished the season with one sack, three fumble recoveries and no interceptions. Eric Weddle took over defensive play-calling duties for Butler midway through the year as defensive coordinator John Pagano took Butler off the field on passing situations due to uneven play. He also failed to play a 16-game season for a third consecutive year, after dislocating his elbow against Denver in Week 15. "The sad thing was he was playing at a higher level before that injury and truly getting better," Pagano said. "He's got to get healthy and be ready to come back next year."
    Good News, Bad News
    by Sam Monson, Pro Football Focus
    Slot coverage snaps per reception allowed
    [​IMG]
    Good News: Signed almost as an afterthought after being released by the Chiefs, Brandon Flowers, PFF's No. 85 CB in 2013, rebounded in a big way this season. Through Week 11, he ranked behind only Chris Harris Jr. and Vontae Davis in PFF's cornerback rankings. Even with some poor performances down the stretch, he finished 15th overall. He allowed a reception from the slot once every 16.6 coverage snaps, a figure bettered by only Darrelle Revis.
    Bad News: Corey Luiget and Kendall Reyes continue to underperform along the defensive line. Luiget actually led the team with five sacks, which in itself is a problem, but neither player won much in the run game. Reyes actually had the lowest run-stop percentage of any 3-4 DE with 200 or more run snaps (3.8 percent).
    Slot coverage snaps per reception allowed
    [​IMG]
    The Best, Worst Values
    by Kevin Seifert, ESPN.com
    Best -- CB Brandon Flowers: Shortly before training camp, the Chargers signed Flowers to a one-year contract worth a total of $3 million. They got a pretty high-end performance out of it; he intercepted three passes and defended a total of 11 in 14 games. Those aren't Joe Haden numbers, but Flowers wasn't making Joe Haden money, either. The deal allows Flowers to become an unrestricted free agent after the season, which reduces its value to the Chargers, but they certainly got their money's worth in 2014.
    2014 Salary
    [​IMG]
    Worst -- RB Donald Brown: This past offseason, Brown signed a three-year contract that guaranteed a $4 million salary, which was the high end in a depressed market for running backs. As such, his three-start, 223-yard output -- at 2.6 yards per carry -- should be considered a deep disappointment. Teams find productive runners deep in the draft or via college free agency every year. The Chargers proved that this season with the emergence of rookie Branden Oliver, who added 582 rushing yards, despite making the rookie minimum of $420,000.
    2014 Salary
    2014 Salary

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Grading the QB
    by Kevin Seifert, ESPN.com
    Philip Rivers' performance dropped a bit from 2013, but overall, he remained a top-10 NFL quarterback in his 11th season. Most concerning were his 18 interceptions, the second-most in his career. Thirteen of those 18 came in the second half of the season, when Rivers played through several injuries that might have contributed to a performance dip. Despite his struggles down the stretch, Rivers still managed a 66.8 QBR (10th overall). He's signed for 2015 at the relatively affordable price of $15.8 million, but now might be a good time for the Chargers to extend his contract to avoid a possible franchise-tag scenario next year.
    Positional Needs
    by Eric D. Williams, ESPN.com
    Outside linebacker: Dwight Freeney is a free agent, and the Chargers could save $5 million against the cap by cutting Jarret Johnson (just one sack in 2014). So there's a chance neither player will return in 2015. If that's the case, Melvin Ingram and Jeremiah Attaochu -- who had six sacks combined this season -- have to create more havoc up front. Look for the Chargers (26 sacks in 2014, fourth-worst in the NFL) to add a few more bodies to the mix at this key position.
    Running back: The Chargers called a pass play 63 percent of the time this past season, the 10th-most in the league. The reason? San Diego could not get the run game going. The Chargers averaged 3.2 yards per carry on first down -- when defenses know offenses want to run the ball - which was second-worst in the NFL. Ryan Mathews once again failed to make it through an entire season healthy and will be an unrestricted free agent in March. The Chargers need an every-down running back who can grind it out between the tackles and take some pressure off Rivers.
    Offensive line: King Dunlap is a keeper at left tackle, but after that there aren't too many positives here. San Diego's depth was tested up front this season, with five different players starting at center and three different players used at right guard. The Chargers -- who gained 3.6 yards per carry on runs between the guards, 29th in the league -- need more talent along the interior of the line, especially with center Nick Hardwick likely to retire.
     
  2. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

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    On paper it's easy to say it looks bad right now, but money and draft picks spend in the right place could make us 10+ win team in 2015.

    Re-signing Dunlap and Flowers are a must. After doing that, and cutting Jarrett Johnson (no reason he deserves to make $7.5M this year), we could depending on how the contracts are laid out easily have enough money to bring in a big name FA like Rodney Hudson to shore up the center issue. Then draft La'el Collins at 17, either to play LG, RG, or RT and our O-line will be leaps and bounds better than 2014.

    Fixing the defense will be a more arduous task, but given our cap space in 2016 is WIIIDE open to the tune of $100M (before re-signing Dunlap and Flowers) we should have plenty of maneuverability in FA.
     
  3. gonzokrb

    gonzokrb Well-Known Member

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    Absolute must...
    Nose Tackle in FA or Draft, pass rusher, corner back, and building an OL. Keep Dunlap, Fluker and everybody else fight it out. We need a RT and G/C, more beef the better. We still need a running back that can play 16 games! Dominate the line of scrimmage and good things will happen
     
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  4. AnteaterCharger

    AnteaterCharger Calibrating Bolttalk, Podcast by Podcast Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    I imagine that Dunlap will resign, not for a 'break the bank' amount but a good sized raise, and he's deserved it. My guess is the team will add some mid-level starters/depth players and I still think Wiscyznewski and Sherard are the most likely. This is a FA class VERY deep in DL/3-4 OLB and OG/C talent. We could meet quite a few needs without necessarily breaking the bank. The concern for me will be if Flowers packs up and goes elsewhere, that means three starting DBs are gone (Wright/Gilchrist/Flowers) with only Verrett as the starter. That shoots CB up the "MUST FILL" list.
     
  5. Lance19

    Lance19 BoltTalker

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    I think that the criteria ("Super Bowl contenders") is a little problematic...
    how many of us thought of the (9-7) 2011 Giants as "Super Bowl contenders"
    as they lost 5 of 6 in November & December?

    Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 12.47.56 PM.png



    That said, the Chargers are probably 5 or 6 players farther away than they
    were in 2009...as the team ages, if TT doesn't bring in some significantly
    better talent (and his judgement re. Donald Brown hardly makes me overconfident)
    then this team should be expected to slip just a bit...from 9-7 to ~8-8.

    Hopefully TT realizes that this roster is not "on the verge of big success"
    and that another low-key off-season will not produce a winning roster for 2015.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2015
  6. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    I would hope that the low key off season was more a result of the fiscal nightmare that AJ left the team in, rather than his unwillingness to bring players in.

    In fact I think bringing in players like Freeney, Flowers, Dunlap etc show he is a willing participant in the free market pool. Or I hope it shows that.
     
  7. tito

    tito BoltTalker

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    I love the idea of picking up Wisnewski and we do need another decent OLB. I think WR is major priority and I would probably draft a RB by round three.

    I seem to be in the minority here, but I think offense needs the most help this offseason. Too many older guys are gone or close to it. Need to start refreshing that talent now.

    I don't know how Telesco is going to pull it off?
     
  8. NYCharger

    NYCharger BoltTalker

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    We have plenty of cap space and all of our draft picks. It'll be up to TT to identify and procure at least 5 or 6 quality starters and that's easier said than done, but it's far from an impossible task.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. SuperCharger92

    SuperCharger92 Winners Win

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    I still think there's a significant amount of needs on both sides of the ball. I don't think they can all be filled via free agency and the draft. There are a number of holes virtually everywhere on this team. Whether we're looking for a starter or depth/rotational pieces.

    RB - Need a starter. The draft class is loaded with a talent here, free agency.. not so much.
    WR - Need a starter. Floyd doesn't cut it anymore. Royal needs to be re-signed for sure, but he'll likely get a nicer deal elsewhere, which is unfortunate because he was solid for us. Draft is loaded with top end talent, free agency has some big names in it as well.
    LT - Rivers' blindside has been covered brilliantly by Dunlap the last 2 years. I think we certainly need to re-sign him.
    LG - Need a starter. Rinehart simply doesn't cut it here. It was sickening watching him for 16 games this year.
    C - Need a starter. I think if we are to tackle this need in free agency, you sign Rodney Hudson. Not only is he the top C available in free agency, he has experience and your taking talent away from a division rival.

    DE - Need a starter. Reyes isn't the answer anymore, clearly just a rotational piece.
    OLB - Depth is needed. With Ingram's injury history, Attaochu nicked up a bit last year, we need solid veteran players in behind them, possibly another top draft pick.
    ILB - Depth is needed. Andrew Gachkar should be re-signed without a doubt. Stepped up last year and is a key contributor on special teams.
    CB - Need a starter. Flowers should be the #1 priority this year in regards of UFA. We might want to dip into a deep free agent class or the draft to get another player to play outside so Verrett can play nickel CB or straight up draft/sign a nickel CB.
    SS - Need a starter. Just please, but a solid player along side Eric Weddle for once.
     
  10. HEXEDBOLT

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

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    It's to bad the team y'all want them to build will be playing in a different city for that same championship we always hoped for in Dego. Oh well, that's the way the cookie crumbles, build it Dean and knock them all out.
     
  11. Andres M188

    Andres M188 BoltTalker

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    Really interesting article. Loved it to be honest. As far as the moves TT has made, I can't hate him for em. The D. Brown move was obviously questionable but hey he took a shot. Better than what I could've expected from the previous GM. One thing about this team is, I keep wondering how good we could be if we were a 4-3 defense? As far as FA, I really wish the Chargers would make just one gamble on a big time FA that fit what we have on either side of the ball. Also, I keep thinking: Dublap + Iupati = Running Lanes for Miles. Thing about FA is that they can easily be busts that set us back years. Just glad I have no pressure other than Madden games when it comes to managing an NFL roster.
     
  12. Lance19

    Lance19 BoltTalker

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    I like Telesco, and obviously wish him very well...the success of my lifetime obsession rides on it...

    but for those who acted as if there was some night-and-day difference between AJ & TT,
    and that TT's drafts were golden...I think it's time to admit that--whatever talk we might do about potential--
    the reality is that the Chargers have not gotten a tremendous amount of high level, on field play
    from Telesco's first 12 picks. I specify "on field" because it seems to me that the ones good enough
    to actually play, seem to have missed a statistically abnormally high number of starts.
    Hopefully it's just a glitch...but after years of hoping on Buster Davis, Larry English...
    and maybe even Ryan Mathews (though I really hope not...I love the kid)...
    we sometimes are forced to admit that there's too much injury time to justify the roster spot...
     
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  13. Fossil

    Fossil BoltTalker

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    Excellent article, thanks for posting Anteater.
    Without nitpicking the details, I'd agree we're about eight elite/good players away from being contenders.
    Looking at it from a glass half full perspective, if we resign the key guys discussed above plus get Verrett and Woodhead back, our list shrinks to six. Looking at the PFF chart that says SB contenders are zero to three elite players away, it seems we aren't too far away.
    In fact, the outlook might look downright rosy if we have good re-signings, a good draft, good free agency, good improvement by key players (KA), and most importantly good health for once.
     
  14. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

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    Yeah I think Allen, Ingram, Verrett, Liuget, Attaochu, and even Te'o and Butler all certainly have the talent to be "good" players in the right situation. It all just needs to come together for them. Even DJ Fluker could be great in the right scheme, I'm just not sure this is it.

    I also would like to add that I think Dunlap should already be in the "good" category, and that Ryan Mathews, when healthy changes the look of our entire offense.

    And BTW Eddie Royal has been a TD machine for us. We have plenty of talent that just hasn't come together yet.
     
  15. OP Bolt

    OP Bolt BoltTalker

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    It was a fun article, but it doesn't really reflect the whole team - only the healthy team. It is useful to see how others have graded the portion of the team with the snaps, but it has to be put in a broader perspective. From the GM/HC point of view, will players returning from injury or backups provide an upgrade at their positions? Or, in terms of the article, how many of the missing 8 Above Average players are actually already on the team, and what would the shortfalls identified in the article look like if those players had not been injured?

    For example:
    • what does run defense look like if Carrethers and Geathers are healthy all year?
    • what does the offensive game look like with Mathews and Woodhead healthy all year?
    • what does pass defense look like with Varrett healthy all year?
    Clearly the GM has to balance a lot of issues related to contracts, money, injury history, on-field performance and so forth. I'd bet he has a much more detailed model of his team quality to include what it looks like considering multiple player losses based on FA decisions and players returning from injury. FA decisions and the draft board will be a reflection of that model. You and I may argue endlessly about needing to draft a bona fide NT with a high draft choice, but TT may believe he already has those above average to good players on the roster and the law of averages suggests they will play next year..., or, maybe not :).
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  16. JohnnyX

    JohnnyX 2017 Chargers Head Coach

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    Fluff story in January and NOT by Acce? I'm surprised and a tad disappointed. Contenders don't become contenders until they make the playoffs. Just do your job to get in and you'll have a chance. Regardless if most of your fanbase or local reporters tab you as a below average team.
     
  17. Moses

    Moses Can You Stand The Rain?

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    .

    One thing worth mentioning here, there are actually plenty of free agent RBs, such as:
    Mark Ingram
    CJ Spiller
    Knowshon Moreno
    Frank Gore
    DeMarco Murray
    Stevan Ridley
    Shane Vereen
    Darren McFadden
    Ahmad Bradshaw
    Justin Forsett
    Ray Rice
    Adrian Peterson (potentially)

    Not saying all of the above are good options, but some are.
     
  18. Pointyearedog

    Pointyearedog I only put idiots on ignore...

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    Just eight players, and 18 or 19 wins away from a ring...
     
  19. HEXEDBOLT

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

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    Too many to tell to know for sure.
     
  20. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    That number would be largely affected by whether we retain some key free agents.
     
  21. JohnnyX

    JohnnyX 2017 Chargers Head Coach

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    Is one of the pieces Luck, because you can have all the talent in the world. One bad play and your hitting reset on the 2015 Season.
     
  22. Brundlefly

    Brundlefly Well-Known Member

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    I'm pretty sure the Colts sign him to an extension
     
  23. SuperCharger92

    SuperCharger92 Winners Win

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    Mark Ingram - Injury prone
    CJ Spiller - Injury prone
    Knowshon Moreno - Injury prone, but like him on a cheap 1-2 year deal.
    Frank Gore - RB over 30, lot of miles on his legs
    DeMarco Murray - Ran behind a fantastic OL, he will most likely get top dollar, I'm not willing to pay.
    Stevan Ridley - Coming off ACL surgery, fumble problems.
    Shane Vereen - Limited back, mostly a receiver out of the backfield. Doesn't have a track record of carrying it between the tackles in the NFL consistently.
    Darren McFadden - Injury prone, not even close to what he 'used' to be.
    Ahmad Bradshaw - I like him on a cheap 1-2 year deal.
    Justin Forsett - Don't think the Ravens will let him walk.
    Ray Rice - Stop, no thanks, like we need a media frenzy in San Diego.
    Adrian Peterson (potentially) - Again, media frenzy.

    Just not a lot of solid options in free agency. I guess if you were to take a chance on a RB it would be Mathews because we know what he can do when healthy and how he fits this offense. Another player I'd roll the dice on is Spiller, he can take it to the house almost every time he touches the ball. I like
     
  24. The Lightning Will

    The Lightning Will BoltTalker

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    The Chargers missing piece is health. When we were healthy this year, we made the Seahawks look second rate.
     
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    • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
  25. The Lightning Will

    The Lightning Will BoltTalker

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    I wouldn't call my post optimistic. We were very good when we were healthy this year. Then we did what we do a lot - get injured. I don't see that trend changing. Look at all our draft picks for this year. Were any of those guys healthy? Why should I expect they will be healthy next year?
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2015
  26. Fouts

    Fouts I heart Deano!

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    After watching two real contenders todays superbowl, poor final calling not withstanding by seatle, I firmly believe we are 11 players on offense, 11 players on defense and a head coach away from sniffing a championship.
     
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  27. jackfrost

    jackfrost Well-Known Member

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    ...... so you're saying we are "good to go" on ST's though ?
     
  28. HEXEDBOLT

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

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    The Bolts might only be 8 players away from a SB but how many coaches away are they?????????
     
  29. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    That depends on if you hate everyone not named Norv or not...
     
  30. HEXEDBOLT

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2006
    Messages:
    14,277
    Ratings:
    +1,886
    I don't hate anybody, I mean even good old Colonel Klank who would be easy to hate.
     

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