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San Diego Chargers roster struggles

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Jul 9, 2008.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

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    By Curtis Egan
    <em>BoltTalk Staff Writer</em>

    <img class="alignright" style="float: right;" src="http://i1.chargers.com/assets/178/33103_600w600h.jpg" alt="Chargers Helmet" width="274" height="179" />The sound of thunder over the horizon does not herald sudden summer storms which are a rarity to southern California. It is the sound of another season of Charger football about to start.

    A season Charger fans can truly look forward to, most of the starting positions are set, more young talent is being brought in to fill in the depth in the roster. This is something no fan should overlook as Chargers General Manager AJ Smith has been able to procure 15 starting players since 2004, and continues to find diamonds in the rough in free agency while finding tomorrows stars via the draft.

    The Chargers are looking to head into a 2008 training camp that will prepare them for yet another championship run. They have already have two draft picks signed to four ear contracts, Running Back Marcs Thomas, and Tackle Corey Clark. This leaves just here picks to be signed prior to training camp.

    Training camp begins July 25, and run through August 4. The schedule has been published at Chargers.com, and is listed below:
    <ul>
    <li>July 25 - 4 PM</li>
    <li>July 26 - 10 AM</li>
    <li>July 26 - 4 PM</li>
    <li>July 27 - 4 PM</li>
    <li>July 28 - 4 PM</li>
    <li>July 29 - 4 PM</li>
    <li>July 31 - 4 PM</li>
    <li>August 1 - 4 PM</li>
    <li>August 2 - Fanfest (Time TBA)</li>
    <li>August 5 - 4 PM</li>
    <li>August 6 - 7 PM</li>
    <li>August 8 - Miramar (Military Only, Time TBD)</li>
    <li>August 11 - 4 PM</li>
    <li>August 12 - 4 PM</li>
    <li>August 14 - 4 PM</li>
    </ul>
    The Chargers are set at most starting positions, and the few that could see change before the opening of the season could be due to injuries. Even if those injuries were suffered by players during the 2007 season.

    While Chargers star Quarterback Philip Rivers, and Running Back LaDainian Tomlinson appear to be ready to play, premier Tight End Antonio Gates is still slowed by his toe injury. The Chargers appear to be willing to let Gates come along at his own pace, and rely upon the man mountain Brandon Manumaleuna, second year pro Scott Chandler, and undrafted free agent John Tereshinski to fill Gate's shoes.

    Tereshinski is a player with a motor who could find a spot on the roster due mainly to Gate's ailing toe. He is a player ho can block play special teams and lay a wicked hit on the opposing players:

    <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KjPSb8bM2Bw">John Tereshinski Lays a Block on Florida State</a>

    The Wide receiver position is one that is pretty set, but could see some shake up in camp if not before. Rumors abound as to the fate of Eric Parker. It is widely held that Chris Chambers, and Vincent Jackson make Parker expendable, and new sources are trying to guess which team Parker will be paying for, and few if any are betting on it being the Chargers.

    Another situation to be watched is that of Kassim Osgood who made his desire to line up more at wide receiver known in a very public manner this off season. It quickly grew into a feud with AJ Smith, and those feuds are not often won by special teams players, even a stand out such as Osgood.

    The Chargers made several moves so far in the off season, including the release of Marlon McCree, Lorenzo Neal, and Shane Olivea. They also informed Wide Receivers Coach James Lofton they were going in a different direction and did not tender an offer to Running Backs Coach Matt Simon.

    The direction the team took concerning the wide receivers coaching position was to bring in Charger Great Charlie Joiner. Joiner is the Chargers' all-time leading receiver. This will be Joiner's second stint as a Chargers' Wide Receiver coach, he also served in that role from 1987-91.

    Joiner played a total of 18 seasons in the AFL and NFL with the Houston Oilers (1969-72), Cincinnati Bengals (1972-75) and Chargers (1976-86). He was a fourth round draft pick of the Houston Oilers in 1969.

    I was surprised to find that he was rafted as a defensive back, not a wide receiver. However by the time he retired on Jan. 12, 1987, it was as the NFL's all-time leading receiver with 750 career catches.

    He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1996. Joiner's final career totals included 12,146 yards and 65 touch downs. At the time of his retirement, Joiner's 239 career games played were the most-ever by an NFL wide receiver.

    Joiner played 11 seasons in San Diego (1976-86) and finished his career as the team's all-time leader with 586 career catches. He was a three-time Pro Bowl choice, Joiner was inducted into the Chargers' Hall of Fame in 1993. His 9,203 receiving yards ranked him second in team history behind Lance Alworth while his 47 touchdown catches ranked him third behind Alworth and Gary Garrison. He was selected as the team's Most Inspirational Player seven times and he was honored by the City of San Diego on "Charlie Joiner Day" in 1984 and '86.

    Joiner was not the only pickup the Chargers made in the off season. One pickup that AJ Smith made was to ensure the Chargers had quality depth at the center position, given that Nick Hardwick was coming off of a foot injury of his own. To that extent Smith brought in Jeremy Newberry to add veteran quality depth. Now with joining the Chargers Newberry will have played for all the California NFL teams, as he has had previous stints with the Raiders and 4'ers.

    The Chargers also picked up veteran offensive tackle L.J. Shelton, signing him to a two-year deal. They signed free agent wide receiver Marco Thomas, and brought in wide receiver/punt returner Mark Jones.

    One of the most shocking movements came in the front office though, as long time AJ Smith confidant Assistant General Manager/Player Personnel Director Buddy Nix announced his retirement. The move raised several questions amongst Charger fans, to which there have been little answers beyond speculation available.

    The Chargers hired former Saints and Dolphins General Manager Randy Mueller as Senior Executive; added title of Assistant General Manager to Executive V.P. of Football Operations Ed McGuire. They promoted Jimmy Raye to Director of Player Personnel while promoting John Spanos to Director of College Scouting. They continued their front office shake up by promoting Mike Biehl to Assistant Director of College Scouting; Tom McConnaghey, to national scout; and promoted Chris Hobbs to Executive Assistant - Player Personnel.

    In twenty days the Chargers are going to open training camp and all the players will begin to compete for the precious few roster spots, and if they cant get those, they will claw, kick and fight to get one of the precious few practice squad positions.

    Many players however can hear the dull scraping sound of the Turk as he sharpens his Falchion in preparation for making the cuts that will come in mid to late August. If this sound inspires them to strive harder, then this could be a good thing. One thing is certain, the 2008 training camp should bring some interesting roster struggles, and provide a much needed breath of football into the spirit of the famished Charger fans.

    Roster Struggles; receivers will be posted August 1st. The subsequent posts, Defensive backfield, Offensive backfield, line backers, and BEEF will follow after that.

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