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Why the Chargers won't be weaker in 2010

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Apr 3, 2010.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    [​IMG]

    By Bill Williamson
    ESPN
    3-3-2010

    There is no question San Diego has lost more personnel than it has gained as it attempts to rebound from a shocking playoff loss and stay among the elite teams in the AFC. Many Chargers fans worry the team has taken a step backward and could lose its grip as the four-time defending AFC West champion.

    Among the departed: Running back LaDainian Tomlinson (cut and signed with the Jets), cornerback Antonio Cromartie (traded to the Jets), special-teams ace Kassim Osgood (free agent/Jacksonville), defensive tackle Jamal Williams (cut, signed with Denver) and tight end Brandon Manumaleuna (free agent/Chicago).

    I don’t think the losses are as devastating as they appear on paper and San Diego will not take a dramatic step backward. With the right moves in the rest of the offseason, I think the Chargers will reaffirm themselves as the top team in the AFC West. Here’s why:

    All of the players who left are replaceable: None of the players who left were top-level performers on last year’s 13-3 team.
    • Tomlinson is a legend and will be missed, but his performance last year was not memorable. He had a career-low 730 yards, he didn’t have a 100-yard rushing game and the Chargers were ranked 31st in the NFL in rushing. An upgrade was needed.
    • Cromartie was a Pro Bowl player earlier in his career because he was an interception magnet. However, his interceptions have declined dramatically, he had issues in coverage and he was a major liability in the run game.
    • Third-year pro Antoine Cason will not be a big downgrade from Cromartie in coverage and he should help in ways Cromartie didn’t. Cason, the Chargers’ top pick in 2008, is a smart player who is trusted by his teammates. He is a ball hawk and doesn’t shy from run support. He has some work to do, but he won’t be a liability.
    • Williams missed all but one game last season with a triceps injury. The Chargers were moving on anyway.
    • Osgood will be missed on special teams, but his departure isn’t a devastating blow. He was a very good role player, but became too expensive for the Chargers to keep. It's time for another player to step up and become a difference-maker on special teams. The Chargers will survive this loss.
    • Manumaleuna is a fine blocking tight end, but he is not a player San Diego will be lost without. He was a role player.
    The team is keeping its best players: Many San Diego fans complained the Chargers haven’t been active in free agency. That is not accurate. The team has been very aggressive -- in keeping its own players. No team had as many key decisions to make in restricted free agency.

    In the end, San Diego put the high tender of first- and third-round picks on receivers Vincent Jackson and Malcom Floyd, linebacker Shawne Merriman, left tackle Marcus McNeill and running back/return man Darren Sproles.

    Unlike the group of players who left, these five players are essential to the team’s future success. San Diego made the right decision to make it virtually impossible for another team to sign any of these players.

    The team is prepared to improve in the draft: The Chargers will be adding new talent this year.

    San Diego’s top two pressing needs are nose tackle and running back. San Diego is in position to find quality new starters in the draft at both positions.

    In one of the shrewdest offseason moves, San Diego acquired the No. 40 pick in the draft when it traded No. 3 quarterback Charlie Whitehurst to Seattle. San Diego gave up the No. 60 pick. It also got Seattle’s third-round pick next year.

    San Diego now has the No. 28 and No. 40 picks in this month’s draft, giving it great drafting power. Both the nose tackle and running back classes are deep, so San Diego should get two good players. The additional picks also give the Chargers greater flexibility. They could decide to package the picks and move up in the first round to get a top nose tackle or running back.

    No matter what happens, the Chargers will get better through the draft. By the time the 2010 season starts, San Diego will be just as good as it was at the end of 2009.
     
  2. wrbanwal

    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

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    I think we'll miss Osgood
     
  3. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

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    We'll have a running game.

    And I agree wrbanwal, we will miss KO.
     
  4. Boltergeist

    Boltergeist BoltTalker

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    I'm a huge Osgood fan, but I don't think we'll miss him as much as I once did. We seem to have a lot of very able ST players and I think someone will step up into his role and do well. Guys like Hester, etc. have been doing a nice job.

    Our running game has no where to go but up. The combination of some young fresh legs and better, more consistent blocking will do us well.

    I have not been a Manumaleuna fan for the past 3 or so years...I think he seriously regressed after 06 and that has been one of the problems with our running game. He's a hard guy to motivate. Good riddance.

    Cro was an embarassing pansy to have on our defense. I was actually extremely happy when we got a 3rd or potential 2nd rounder next year for him. I don't care what he does for the Jets next year, he needed to leave and Cason will be an upgrade for us over what Cro gave us in 09.

    Overall this little write-up was pretty good. I hear way too many analysts talking about how we may be taking a step back next year and I don't really see it that way.
     
  5. NORV4LIFE

    NORV4LIFE NO MORE NORV!!!!!

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    They say that every year. Medai loves to hate on the bolts and then after all the hating is done and the bolts kick *** they pretend they had them as superbowl favorites all along...:icon_shrug:
     
  6. powayslugger

    powayslugger Feckless Slappy

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    I think we'll be able to replace LTs 730 yards...
     
  7. NORV4LIFE

    NORV4LIFE NO MORE NORV!!!!!

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    Yeh, Michael Vick rushed for more than that before :icon_rofl:
     
  8. bigmike.x.09

    bigmike.x.09 Well-Known Member

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    I'll tell you why we won't be worse next year -- we're the San Diego Super Fcuking Chargers! THAT'S why!!!
     
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  9. Eat My Boltage

    Eat My Boltage Well-Known Member

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    I don't think we will have a running game, unless we get a new attitude on the same o-line and a new commitment to the run that starts with the coaching. We didn't have last year or the one before.:icon_shrug:
     
  10. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

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    Well, we'll agree to disagree.

    I don't think the O-Line was the prob. Yes, they do have some room for improvement. The play calling needs to be a bit more creative too, besides 1st and 10 run up the gut, but the commitment is definitely there.
     
  11. NORV4LIFE

    NORV4LIFE NO MORE NORV!!!!!

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    Yeh norv was committed to run!! We just didn't execute well!
     
  12. NORV4LIFE

    NORV4LIFE NO MORE NORV!!!!!

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    We still have nate kaeding and still have 16 games in the regular season...
     
  13. cranberry

    cranberry BoltTalker

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