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What, QB worry? Hey, it’s only May

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, May 27, 2010.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    By Tim Sullivan, UNION-TRIBUNE COLUMNIST
    Thursday, May 27, 201

    Philip Rivers’ primary, secondary and tertiary targets were marked absent. His blindside blocker was also indisposed.
    The Chargers’ $92 million quarterback reported to minicamp Wednesday without his top three receivers, without his Pro Bowl left tackle and without any symptoms of the stress that so easily afflicts his fans.
    “It’s May,” Rivers said, simply. “That’s my level of apprehension.”
    Nearly 16 weeks before they begin grunting for keeps in Kansas City, the Chargers reconvened with four high-profile players classified as holdouts and tight end Antonio Gates creating concern with a visit to a North Carolina foot specialist.
    Net effect: Almost nothing.
    Minicamp is to training camp as freshman orientation is to midterms. It’s an opportunity to get acclimated, to make impressions, to bond. But the real tests are down the road, and the people best equipped to perform in them can do so without benefit of brownie points.
    Wideouts Vincent Jackson and Malcom Floyd, tackle Marcus McNeill and linebacker Shawne Merriman all aired their contract issues in absentia Wednesday. Each of the four is a restricted free agent who has so far shunned a 2010 tender offer exceeding $3 million. As Rivers implied, what that means in May is not much.
    “It wouldn’t be in my Top 10 of concerns for us getting ready for the season,” Chargers head coach Norv Turner said.
    (Asked to reveal that Top 10, Turner smirked. “That’s why you don’t make a statement like that,” he said.)
    Some of the quarrelsome quartet can be expected to cave before June 15, when league rules allow the Chargers to ratchet up the pressure with reduced offers to three of the four. (Because the tender offer to Merriman already reflects a minimum 10 percent raise, the Chargers can go no lower.)
    None of the four appears in line for alternative employment that would pay him what the Chargers are offering, which is roughly equivalent to what the President of the United States could make by serving two four-year terms.
    Rule of thumb: When a professional athlete leaves money on the table, it’s a tip for the waitress.
    It’s certainly possible that one or more of the disaffected Chargers could overplay his hand, misjudge the marketplace or allow A.J. Smith’s brusque bargaining style to intrude on common sense. Yet the NFL career is so brief, and the threat of a 2011 lockout such a cash-flow concern, that pride is probably going to take a back seat to practicality.
    One agent who does not represent any of the Chargers’ restricted free agents said Wednesday that less than a handful of NFL holdouts have made any meaningful gains by withholding their services. Teams tend to hold the line on the theory that a single exception would create an epidemic.
    “Players think (the holdout) has some value,” the agent said, “but they don’t have a global view. … There’s no sensible reason why you wouldn’t sign, but probably 50 percent of the agents out there don’t understand the collective bargaining agreement.”
    Through his cryptic Twitter complaints, Merriman has made the most noise among the Chargers holdouts. But the more interesting dynamic involves McNeill, whose leverage includes the responsibility of protecting Rivers’ back and whose agent, Alvin Keels, is a believer in brinkmanship.
    Keels’ client Andre Smith was the highest unsigned pick in the 2009 draft until he ended his holdout four days before the Cincinnati Bengals’ final preseason game. Like McNeill, Smith is an offensive tackle.
    “If u go to GOD w/ a thimble, u cn only bring bac a thimbleful,” McNeill told his Twitter followers on Sunday. “I will receive (sic) exactly what I ask for.”
    How hard a line the Chargers will take with McNeill will be, at least in part, a function of their faith in Brandyn Dombrowski. The former San Diego State guard logged most of the snaps at left tackle during Wednesday’s drills, but blocking Rivers’ blindside in minicamp is a much different gig than doing it in a game.
    Quarterbacks typically wear red jerseys when practicing against their teammates as a reminder that they are not to be trifled with, much less tackled. But once the games start — even preseason games — the quarterback is in play.
    “Even when I was playing right tackle, I was worried about it,” Dombrowski said. “I always had it in the back of my mind. No matter where they come from, they’re 285-plus (pounds). If they hit him, they’re going to hurt him.”
    The left-handed Dombrowski says he’s more comfortable on that side of the line, but has discovered significant stylistic differences between guard and tackle.
    “On the inside, you’ve got bigger guys, so you want to attack them right away,” Dombrowski said. “If you get those guys moving, they’re 350-plus (pounds), and you don’t want them getting a head of steam on you.
    “At tackle, you’re dealing with quicker people. They’re a little bit smaller and you have to be more patient with these people on the edge. That’s the thing I’m trying to learn: to be patient.”
    Since it’s May, patience is permissible.

    Video.... http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/...an/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter
     
  2. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

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    This is where AJ's history of not being bullied by stars will pay off. Suspending Gates in 05' has had a lasting affect to this point, so McNeil has to know he can't force his way into a top 5 OT deal.


    That said, this is clearly the Chargers organization being cheap in an uncapped year, and it worries me that we'll soon become the Padres with the lowest payroll in the league.
     
  3. Savage Lizard

    Savage Lizard Charger fan at 7000'

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    My glass is always half full, so I look at it as the Chargers being prudent and hanging back until they know what the new labor agreement looks like. If you don't have to sign those guys now, why not wait until you know what the new NFL landscape looks like?
     

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