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Roster Strugles; Pass Catchers

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Concudan, Jul 20, 2007.

  1. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Training camp is now only days away, many people have looked at the San Diego Chargers and felt they are in a worse position now, than they were last season. Arguably the weakest position many feel is the Receiving corps. AJ Smith decided this was the off season to address that topic, taking LSU Wide Receiver Craig Davis in the first round of the draft. A move that puzzled many of the Charger fans who were expecting one of the ‘big’ name receivers who were still on the board.

    AJ Smith also took a Tight End, Scott Chandler in the fourth round of the NFL Draft, and a versatile Receiver from Boise State, Legedu Naanee in the fifth round of the draft. Coupled with the moves bringing in undrafted free agents it has been a busy off season for the Bolts receiving corps.

    Heading into camp, our rosters now boasts a group of sixteen pass catchers, five Tight Ends, and eleven Wide Receivers. They will be fighting for an approximate eleven spots on the active roster, and perhaps two spots on the practice squad. They will be competing with each other and veterans who try to remain on the squad. But the Challenge does not end midway through camp, or even after the first or second round of cuts. The scouting staff of the Chargers will be busy looking at the players cut from other squads during the same time. It very well could be that the players will end up having to compete against fresh faces before it is all said and done.

    Last season the Chargers active roster held seven Wide Receivers and four Tight Ends. This season the numbers will probably be very similar, with perhaps a few new faces filling some of the spots.

    Who are the ‘shoe ins’ for the team? Most of us know them, but you never know with the NFL, Pro-Bowl players have found themselves cut the following year in the past, as was the case recently with Hanik Milligan, who was a Pro-Bowl Special team’s player in 2005, and found himself cut and playing for the Cardinals in 2006.

    We can almost count on the fact that the following players will be back, it is neigh inconceivable that they would be cut, even given the hectic and unforgiving nature of the NFL:

    Antonio Gates, #85
    Leads the list of shoe ins. The best Tight End in the game will be back in bolts this season, I can’t think of anyone who would refute such a claim. His pass catching ability, and the focus defense have to give him makes him an irreplaceable cog in the offensive juggernaut that the Chargers field.

    Brandon Manumaleuna, #86.
    He will be back, his size, speed, soft hands and blocking ability made him and instant feature in the Chargers offensive scheme last season a fact that is highly unlikely to change in training camp this year.

    Vincent Jackson, #83,
    He is young, fast and on the rise. Vincent will be back in bolts this season as people expect him to make a push and become the number 1 receiver on the team.

    Craig Davis, #84,
    It would take a horrendous camp for Craig, the number one draft pick for the bolts this year to not make the team. I personally cant think of any time that a first round choice of a team did not make the roster, unless it was by the players choice.

    Malcom Floyd, #80,
    He is a young and improving Wide Receiver as well. He will make the team and provide solid depth. His performances in the ’06 season has all but ensured him a return trip to the bolts.

    Eric Parker, #88.
    His ’06 season was very good, his ’06 playoff performance left much to be desired. He however will return to the Chargers as the veteran receiver. He very well could be playing for his job in ’07 as the young receivers of the Chargers begin to assert themselves.

    That is 6 of the possible eleven positions, leaving 10 players to scrap it out for the remaining roster positions, or the runner up prize of a spot on the practice squad.
     
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  2. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    The Others;

    Scott Chandler, TE #87
    Scot Chandler ranks second in Iowa history among tight ends with 117 receptions for 1,467 yards, topped only by Marv Cook’s 126 grabs for 1,825 yards (1986-88)…His 117 catches rank 18th overall on Iowa’s all-time record list and his 1,467 yards rank 17th on the school career receiving yardage list.

    He has a large frame, and long arms like AJ Smith likes in a Tight end. He is reputed to have soft hands and has been a very successful third down receiver for the Hawkeyes as a starter, producing 27 first downs in 44 receptions over the last two seasons. He uses his body to shield the ball from defenders much in the way Antonio Gates does, another trait that AJ Smith seems to like in Tight Ends.

    Jarrett Hicks, #11
    He is a tall (6’ 2”, 210, 4.67) Wide Receiver that the Chargers picked up as an undrafted free agent from Texas Tech. He is said to be able to shield the ball well and has good hands. Knocks against him are his top end speed. Jarrett most likely, if he remains on the team will be as on of the eight practice squad players.

    Rich Musinski #12
    He played in NFLE in ‘06 and ’07 after seeing time in the training camps of the Titans in ‘04 and Patriots in ‘05. This year he agreed to a one year deal with the Chargers. His chances to make the roster are slim, but he has three years of camp experience and two of NFLE experience and that might give him a slight edge over first year players.

    Mark Simmons #13
    He is shorter than the average Wide Receiver that AJ Smith has typically brought in. Mark was an undrafted free agent who was cut by the Chargers in ’06, and spent the remaining ’06 season on the practice squad of the Montreal Alouettes of the CFL. Though he finds himself back with the bolts, his chances of making the roster are slim.

    Sonny Shackelford, #15
    Sonny is another undrafted free agent on the Charger’s camp roster. Sonny played at the University of Washington last season and was the teams top returning receiver. He has been praised by his coach for being ‘a coach on the field’. He is 6’ 1” and weighs 188lbs. Sonny will have to work hard to make a roster that has a lot of talent, but the Chargers over the last few years has been the team that gives the UDFA’s the best chance to play and make the roster.

    Legedu Naanee, #40
    Legedu is currently listed on the Chargers rosters as a FB/WR. This will help him make the active roster, but he will have to continue to display his speed and strength through our the camp. He as stated before was the Chargers fifth round draft choice, coming our of Boise State. Legedu currently wears the same number as OLB Kurt Kahui. Legedu has raised some eyebrows in mini camp with his speed and his strength has been commented on. He has played QB, RB, FB and WR in the past and there has been talk about lining him up at Tight End as well. Legedu’s versatility is the biggest factor to this young man making roster in ’07.

    Kassim Osggod, #81
    A consummate special teams player, Kassim caught the ire of new head coach in mini camp when Coach Norv Turner yelled at him for not hustling. Kassim is one of the players on the bubble. His special teams play may carry him though to the active roster, but if he doesn’t focus and hustle, he could find himself losing the position to a younger, hungrier player. His acting hobby has landed him roles in T-Moblie commercials and We Were Soldiers… He will need to rely more on that hobby if he continues to catch the ire of the Chargers new Head Coach.

    Greg Camarillo, #82
    Greg is entering his third year with the Chargers, he saw some special teams play towards the end of last season after being inactive for weeks 1-12. Greg spent all of 2005 on the Practice Squad. Greg has speed and soft hands, and runs very good routes. This is Gregs year, with the loss of Keenan McCardell in the off season, this year Greg can step up into the active ranks. Look for Greg to continue to impress the Coaches in Training camp with his hands and routes.

    Kelley Grifith, #46
    This is Kelley’s second go around with the Bolts, who waived him, in ’06, to later re-sign him to a two year Contract. Kelley is a utility guy, listed as a OT/TE, when he sees action it will be as an extra lineman, I do not look to see many passes thrown his way.

    TJ Cottrell, #89
    TJ joined the Chargers from the Minnesota Vikings. He has played in NFLE while with the Vikings. He was signed by the Chargers for depth following his release form the Vikings.

    There are the ten players on the camp roster who will struggle for the few remaining roster spots. We can predict and debate until September about who it will be. But they will lace them up and compete in camp for those spots. That my friends are where we win, we will see good camp battles, we will see people working to keep their job. This makes the team better and the camps more poignant in my opinion.

    Let us not forget that there are but 8 allowed practice squad spots available each year. These spots cannot be set until early September, so as the month of August closes out, we could see some drama as we try and anticipate what is going to happen to the players and the positions.



    That is my opinion, what is yours?
     
  3. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    It is, but the potential has to turn to skill and execution before it really means anything.
     
  4. Charger Dave

    Charger Dave Dead account

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    I swear I read that as "and does time".... Gotta stay out of those Vick threads! :icon_huh::blink::eek:hmy:
     
  5. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Not to mention the fact that we have a HOF Receiving Coach right now, who has been doing wonders with the corps since he has been here.

    Very good point Chispa.
     
  6. Ray Dahayder

    Ray Dahayder BoltTalker

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    Personally, I'm sooooo tired of hearing how our receiving corps is a "weak link". That will be the biggest surprise of the whole season. And Floyd is NOT a "fill in" or "backup" WR. This guy is going to be one of our top receivers. He's got great hands, he's 6'5", and he's put on 30 pounds of muscle, if I remember correctly reading something to that affect. He's going to be a top WR.

    Eric Parker may be the guy on the bubble. I think Camarillo has a very good shot at pushing Parker out the door.
     
  7. DefenseWins

    DefenseWins Well-Known Member

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    Suck up :icon_tease:

    ~~~~~~~~~~
    Floyd, VJ, Parker, Gates, Manu, Davis are definite locks. I rate Floyd over VJ at this point (pre-camp) - if he can just stay healthy this year (his added strength and improved conditioning should help - interesting that VJ went the opposite way in the off-season, "slimming down" some).

    Chandler is very probable - he would have to suddenly develop hands like D'Flo had last year to not make it.

    Naanee has a better than average chance given the round he was taken in due to his versatility, speed, and understanding of an offense (from playing QB). If he can tackle well (unknown), he could help to push Osgood out by taking that spot on STs too.

    The Rest:

    Osgood is definitely on the bubble this year big time - his ST skills may not be enough to keep him around this year as the overall talent levels rise and the number of receivers on the team may decrease as a result of the talent at other positions.

    Griffeth - versatility is a plus. If he shows well in camp, he could stay this go around. Think of him as a Manu-in-training.

    Camarillo - very good hands and nice routes, but he does not have great wheels. Above average special teams play and heart may help - might push Osgood out since Camarillo is the better receiver.

    The rest - haven't seen them, no opinion other than likely camp fodder and possiblely one practice squad spot to fight over.
     
  8. Thumper

    Thumper WHS

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    Final cuts are gonna be tough this year.
     
  9. Thread_Killer

    Thread_Killer Well-Known Member

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    That is very astute, DW. :yes:

    Floyd has the better receiving skills, more athletic, smoother coming out of his cuts, adjusts to the ball better, gets better separation...

    I'm really looking forward to the WR competition in TC.
     
  10. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    I can see that. I like Cama a lot, he impressed me a lot when I saw him play.
     
  11. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    HEY! You never know when you will need a good defense lawer! The way I tweak people's short hairs I probably will need one eventually!:icon_rofl:
     
  12. sdchrger

    sdchrger Well-Known Member

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    Stay away from my short hairs. :icon_eek: :icon_twisted:
     
  13. Thread_Killer

    Thread_Killer Well-Known Member

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    I thought you metrosexual guys shaved down there? :icon_shrug:
     
  14. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    I agree, Floyd impressed the shiza out of me as the year went on last season. He was one of the big reasons that we were able to come from behind and win in Cincinati. I have said it before and I will say it again; Floyd will be the big surprise this year, he may not become our #1 receiver, but he can become our second receiver.

    Chandler is in the mold of the Tight End that AJ seems to love. Soft hands, big frame, muscular, good speed. He also knows how to use his body to block the defenders from the ball. I know it is the coaches who make the call, but the fact that we kept 4 Tight Ends last season works in Scott's favor. I almost put him as a lock, but I want to see more. He looked very in minicamp.

    Naanee will be a Charger. The coaches will find a way to keep kim on the roster, I think they see too much ability to let go at this point. It very well could be Naanee who pushes Osgood to the curb as you suggest.
    Frankly given the attention Osgood got in minicamp I think Osgood already has an uphill climb to continue wearing bolts this season. Osgood has done well in the past as a Special Teamer, but I think the younger kids will have a great chance of taking that spot. Namely Naanee and Camarillo.

    Grifeth was on the roster all last year. As I said above he is an extra lineman. I think they will keep him as the fourth Tight End, but use him only in max protection situations.

    I admit it, I like Cam. I have heard about his speed before, but I think his 'game speed' is very good. His routes and comeback ability give him distance from the defenders. I see Cam making the team this season.

    11, 12, 13 and 15 are gone, camp foder unless something major happens. Cottrell I am not sure there is room for him on this roster, perhaps the practice squad but I dont know. All in all I think that the receiving corps will prove to be a strong asset, not a detriment to the team.
     
  15. DefenseWins

    DefenseWins Well-Known Member

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    I'm not a lawyer or a MILF, so quit with the suck up:icon_tease: :lol:
    Accurate description for Floyd TK :yes: In past TCs and OCSs you would always hear about the great, tough catches he made and last year he performed very well when given the opportunity in the regular season. Lofton has done an excellent job with him. You can add to your description two other things that presently seperate him from VJ - he always catches with his hands away from his body and he goes up for the ball consistently nabbing it at the high point. VJ's a bit of a lackadaisical, unfocused receiver at times, waiting for the ball to come down and catching it at chest level. Then there are those times, like in the Patsie game where he continued his long strides - right out of bounds blowing the TD opportunity. I do expect Norv to improve those aspects of VJ's play, staying on his case.

    There are several areas that the competition during TC is going to be great - WRs, DBs, LBs (#2 spots). Is it SeaHag time yet? :bolt::abq2:
     
  16. DefenseWins

    DefenseWins Well-Known Member

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    :blink:
    :icon_eek: That gives a whole new meaning to your rumoured "ball watcher" status....:yes:

    :icon_rofl:
    It's just amazing the information one can learn about their fellow posters... :eek:hmy:

    Thanks for the SDC warning TK:icon_toast::lol:
     
  17. DefenseWins

    DefenseWins Well-Known Member

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    You're right about last year... was thinking about when he was waived in '05, so call Chispa and sue me :p

    He could see time in the Jumbo packages as well and spell Manu if his recieving skills continue to improve.:yes:

    There is KMac's spot, a receiver he's similiar too (good routes/hands, marginal wheels). The Charger's need a variety of receiver "types" though and it could become a numbers game for him... which is where those ST skills could help. I wouldn't bet against him at this stage:no:
     
  18. Shamrock

    Shamrock Well-Known Member

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    LT said on Sirius this week that "you will be surprised" what you'll see out of production and formations from Antonio Gates this year. Norv's offense is going to set a new standard for a TE in the NFL.
     
  19. bigcarson50

    bigcarson50 Well-Known Member

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    last year was LT's year that redefines what a RB can do.

    This year will be AG's year to redefine what a TE can do.
     
  20. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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  21. Shamrock

    Shamrock Well-Known Member

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  22. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    You mean like when you got called out at Chargers.com by leisure for not giving me credit for the Cro pic picture?:icon_eek:

    And everyone aske leisure "Who is this Concudan guy?":lol:
     
  23. Shamrock

    Shamrock Well-Known Member

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    Poaching between friends is legal in my book. :lol: I never took credit for the photo .... not sure how I credited it.
     
  24. Shamrock

    Shamrock Well-Known Member

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    Link

     
  25. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    I didnt complain. Didnt stop L, but I didnt complain!:icon_rofl:
     

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