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TRAINING CAMP Chargers: No help needed?

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Jul 24, 2007.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    TRAINING CAMP Chargers: No help needed?


    <!--ClickabilityRefresh=10m--><!--- SAFE:SafeMode --->
    With its roster loaded, team standing pat in quest for championship

    By Kevin Acee
    UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER

    July 24, 2007

    Even as the Chargers prepare to begin training camp this week with a new head coach – the first NFL team to do so after a 14-2 season – fans have been less concerned with what is new than with what is not.

    The Chargers are the only NFL team not to sign a veteran free agent this offseason.

    Fellow AFC contenders Denver and New England were busy. The Broncos went nuts, adding nine veterans, including cornerback Dre' Bly. The Patriots made news all offseason, especially with their draft-weekend trade for receiver Randy Moss.


    “You go to the market when you have losses or you're unhappy with the people you have,” Chargers General Manager A.J. Smith said.
    The Chargers lost just four starters from last season – Donnie Edwards, Randall Godfrey, Keenan McCardell and Terrence Kiel. Edwards and Kiel had long not been a part of the '07 plans, and McCardell and Godfrey were starters in name only by the end of last season.
    And the Chargers are extremely pleased with the people they have.
    They are not the only ones.
    Bill Polian, president of the defending Super Bowl champion Indianapolis Colts, has called the Chargers the NFL's most talented team.
    The Sporting News ranked teams by position this offseason and determined the Chargers have the best running backs and tight ends in the AFC, were second-best at guard, center and linebacker and third at defensive end and offensive tackle.
    Scouts Inc., which ranked each team by position for ESPN.com, said the Chargers have the NFL's best running backs, tight ends, linebackers and offensive line. “I appreciate the accolades,” Smith said. “I'm absolutely excited about the players we have. I'm excited about the talent level. I think we're well-rounded. I think we're playoff-caliber. Now, that's nothing but words. You have to prove that.”

    Smith is aware the Chargers return 18 starters from a team that had the league's best record and was just six points from being undefeated. But an untimely end – a playoff-opening loss that Smith has at various times in the past six months called “embarrassing,” “humiliating” and “unacceptable” – has tempered the outlook for now.


    The past three years have not only left Marty Schottenheimer without a coaching gig but left the Chargers without satisfaction. (Those two things, of course, have much to do with each other.)
    “I think we have a very good football team,” Smith said. “We have a playoff-caliber team. I'll stop there, because we've been to the playoffs twice (in the past three seasons). We're 0-2.”
    There is, in fact, a feeling throughout the organization that nothing matters but the playoffs.
    Still, there are 10 or so games they have to win before January. And before that, there is training camp, with some story lines that will have a bearing on just how good this stacked team is:
    Taking over

    The hiring of Norv Turner to replace Schottenheimer was widely considered a step back. But no one can deny Turner has never had an assemblage of talent like this one, and neither is there anyone who denies his wisdom in running an offense.

    Players say they have been impressed by the way he conducts meetings and practices, and those on offense have no doubt he can manage a game. The staff around him also has been well-received by players.
    How all the principals continue to meld and how different new coordinator Ted Cottrell's defense actually looks will begin to take shape in August.
    Taking over II

    Edwards is gone. Matt Wilhelm's career has begun in earnest.

    Wilhelm is entering his fifth NFL season since the Chargers made him a fourth-round pick in 2003. To this point, he has been a seldom-used backup and a good special teams player.
    Awarded with a new five-year contract last December, Wilhelm is now charged with replacing Edwards, who led the team in tackles each of the past five seasons and led the team in interceptions twice. Wilhelm is 25 pounds heavier than Edwards and 2 inches taller. He will be more physical. The question is how savvy he can become and how quickly.
    Hart to beat

    Clinton Hart's time has also come.

    It would take a phenomenal camp by Bhawoh Jue or rookie Eric Weddle to mix things up at safety, where Marlon McCree will return at free and Hart is set to succeed Kiel at strong.
    Hart, in his fifth NFL season and fourth with the Chargers, can find the ball and catch it better than anyone else in the secondary. He has gained about 15 pounds in an attempt to become more of a physical presence. Now is his chance to make his coaches, teammates and fans feel good about a defensive backfield that has long been a source of consternation.
    Reinforcement

    Cornerback Drayton Florence will certainly leave as a free agent after '07, but he is too good to be supplanted by Antonio Cromartie just yet. Thing is, Cromartie is good enough to start, too.

    A stellar camp by Cromartie will put pressure on Florence and only make the secondary stronger.
    Comeback

    Fan favorite Darren Sproles is healthy after missing 2006 with a broken leg, and he has been working harder than ever to get faster and more reliable with his hands.

    Will it be enough?
    While his every move elicits gasps from fans who watch camp workouts, Sproles is more quick than fast. Quick might not be enough to regain his job returning punts and kicks considering the other options the Chargers have. And certainly, if he has trouble fielding the ball, he's out. If he's not a returner, he's not a Charger.

    :tup: :bolt: :flag:

    http://www.signonsandiego.com/sports/chargers/20070724-9999-1s24chargers.html
     
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  2. Electric Chair

    Electric Chair Well-Known Member

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    Let's get this mother started!!!!!!!
     
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  3. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    ZACTLY!
     
  4. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    :icon_banana: :abq2: :abq1: :icon_banana: :icon_party:
     
  5. TBF

    TBF BoltTalker

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    Edwards...Replaced by Wilhelm!

    I see this as a long term upgrade...Initially, he may have to weather the storm but as he gets his legs, I look for this to be a bonus upgrade. Let us not forget that Dobbins and Waters are waiting in the wings and pushing him to his best.

    Godfrey...Good veteran but replacable. My only concern is that we lost two Inside guys, but Cooper and Wilhelm can fill the need.

    McCardell...He was at the end of his carrer, EP, VJ, Buster, and Floyd will step up and fill those shoes. I don't see this loss as a problem.

    Kiel...Glad to have him gone. We have Hart and Weedle who are going to battle thier asses off for this position.

    I don't see any major losses...
     
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  6. SanDiegoRon

    SanDiegoRon BoltTalker

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    3 phriquen days....

    :nana_dance:

    lookin forward to "my boy" :foley53: kickin azz,....
     
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  7. WonderSlug

    WonderSlug Well-Known Member

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    Even though Godfrey was "my boy" (adopted Charger) last year, his replacement(s) are a significant improvement. In essence, younger, stronger, faster versions of his Jerry Porter knockout style.

    Kiel. Um.... all that cough medicine made him slow and out-of-place most of the season. Whether it's Hart or Weddle at the SS spot, there will be a big improvement seen.

    Keenan was also somewhat of a favorite of mine, but after he pulled a Claude Reins for most of last season, the Bolts learned he was muy expendable and could give the younguns a chance to move up.

    Donnie? Uh, he had a better 2006 than that horrible 2005. However, his average of 100+ tackles each year for the Bolts are still overrated since most of the time, the runners were funneled inside by design and other teams often ran right at him knowing he usually wouldn't stop any RB in his tracks. Once people see LT and Turner bowl him over or shift their feet as he tries to grab their shoestrings, maybe people (like that FootballOutsiders group) will see how the tackle stat is worthless without determining where they occur. Nevertheless, as with Godfrey, the young ILBs we got will be an improvement in the long run.

    Too bad that D'Flo has a 90% chance of being a non-Charger in 2008, as it would have been nice to have a DB package that featured Jammer, D'Flo, Cromartie, and Oliver to go with McCree and Hart/Weddle once Oliver and Weddle get rid of that "new car" smell.
     
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  8. Trumpet_Man

    Trumpet_Man Well-Known Member

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    If our ILB's do not have the mentality to knock the **** out of people, get the fuc off my field.

    Donnie Edwards pisssed me off in that respect. He had no balls to knock people the fuc out.
     
  9. WonderSlug

    WonderSlug Well-Known Member

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    Well... we know Dobbins likes to knock people out.

    Waters too! (Especially if they throw rocks at him! :icon_tease: )
     
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  10. super_deluxe

    super_deluxe World Class

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    I'd like to see Weddle do extremely well in coverage so he could move to free and McCree could move to strong.
     
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  11. exodus

    exodus Well-Known Member

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    I feel pretty confident with our ILB's. But that's mostly because the focus is going to be on the OLB's. But whatever. It takes pressure off of them and let's them get up and running quicklier??? Faster. Yes. WE will win the superbowl.
     
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  12. Steve

    Steve BoltTalker

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    There is a good chance Coop and Wilhelm will be an upgrade. In truth, Cooper was in the game a bunch last season. He made some nice hits and a few big plays. There is a limit to how much any ILB is going to be able to make big, game changing plays. The guys moving forward, or back in a position to watch the ball come to them are going to have the best chance of that. They have to help shore up the run D, and make some nice drops in coverage. If they do that, they should be able to come up and really stick the WR and have them hearing footsteps.
     
  13. Trumpet_Man

    Trumpet_Man Well-Known Member

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    The WILB by design in a 3-4 is suppose to make a majority of the tackles on the team because plays are funneled to the brother.

    If the teams tackle leader is not making game changing plays, he needs to be replaced plain and simple.
     
  14. Steve

    Steve BoltTalker

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    Name 1 ILB in football today who makes Game Changing Plays? Name some including hall of famers who make tons of game changing plays? Donnie madea lot of tackles 3-5 yard downfield. Someone needed to make those plays, but I would not say any of those where game changing plays. You want to turn the game around, make them in the other teams backfield.

    ILB catch what spills through the DL, but unless you are going to blitz them all the time, they usuaully tackle the RB 3 yards downfield. If you want a game changing tackle, it better be behind the other guys line. We haven't had a guy do that since Jr was playing WILB (in our old 43).

    We do less funneling to the ILB then some teams do. In a classic 34 team, the DL take on and defeat the run blocks (called 2 gapping). We do some of that, but most of the time, we ask our DL to attack and hold a gap (called 1 gapping). In a lot of ways, our 34 is very similar to the 43 D that is used by a lot of teams. We are not necessarily as agressive about it, and we sometimes get into a bit more trouble because we are a bit smaller inside, but it works OK.

    The best part of replacing older players lately is that while we don't always have some all world younger guy, we generally have someone who has shown great promise and a promising rookie or 2 waiting in the wings.
     
  15. exodus

    exodus Well-Known Member

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    Aren't Ray Lewis, Urlacher and Seau ILB's:icon_shrug: :unsure:
     
  16. TBF

    TBF BoltTalker

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    Hard to argue...But w/out dimmenishing the importance of the position, they are gap fillers...

    Of course you want the best you can get, but this is not a flashy, game changing position unless that person is horrible. Meaning, they can hurt you more then they can help you.

    TBF
     
  17. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

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    monsieur Moss, meet Mssrs. Cooper and Wilhelm.
     

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