Thursday, May 31, 2012

San Diego Chargers Roster Breakdown: Quarterbacks

Continuing our look at the Chargers depth at the moment, we move on to quarterbacks.

Losses: Billy Volek

Signed: Charlie Whitehurst, Jarrett Lee

Returning: Philip Rivers

Projected Starter; Philip Rivers

The Chargers will once again be helmed by Philip Rivers. Yes, he had a down year last year, but he should bounce back fine. He has proven before that he can create chemistry quickly with receivers, which he will need to do given the new look the receiving corps will have. Rivers is a deep ball quarterback, and new addition Robert Meachem, while not a Vincent Jackson, should see plenty of deep passes.

Charlie Whitehurst is back on the sidelines as the backup after his Seattle experiment. He should do ok, but losing Billy Volek hurts. It was a move that made sense, but Volek was one of the best backups in the league. Whitehurst won't be able to do everything that Rivers can do, but he should be able to step in for a game or two and play decent football. Who knows, maybe the Chargers can trade him again.

The last member of this list is former LSU quarterback Jarrett Lee. I really don't expect much out of him. He couldn't ever really keep the starting job at LSU, so it will only be harder in the NFL. I expect him to stay on the roster until the end of the pre-season, but unless he really wows the coaches, expect him to be cut.

Monday, May 21, 2012

San Diego Chargers Roster Breakdown: Running Backs

Is Ryan Mathews on the verge of a
breakout season?
Charger Madness will be featuring position breakdowns for the entire team over the next several posts. Today we will be breaking down the running backs.

Losses: Mike Tolbert

Additions: Le'Ron McClain, Edwin Baker, Michael Hayes, Mohamed Marah

Returning: Ryan Mathews, Jacob Hester, Curtis Brinkley

Projected Starters: Ryan Mathews (HB), Le'Ron McClain (FB)

By and large, the Chargers will have a good ground game this year. Perhaps one of the most underrated acquisitions for the Chargers in free agency was Le'Ron McClain. Here is a player by player breakdown of the Chargers running backs as they now stand.

Ryan Mathews: Mathews is a player who seems to be right on the edge of doing some great things. He does have injury issues, but he has potential to be great. With the departure of Mike Tolbert, Mathews is going to have more of a lone wolf role this year. I expect McClain, Hester, and company to all get some carries, but the team will be asking for more from Mathews. He enters the season as the firm starter for the Chargers. A 1200 yard season sounds reasonable. Throw in around 40-50 catches again, and he should be a serious threat for the Chargers.

Le'Ron McClain: McClain is set to be the starting fullback for the Chargers and will be blasting holes for Mathews to run through. McClain can hold his own carrying the ball and will most likely see more carries the closer the team gets to the goal line.

Jacob Hester: Hester is a true team player that came back at a reduced price and role to stay a Charger. He will still see some carries but will be most valuable on special teams. He will be the backup to McClain at fullback and can contribute on the ground in a pinch.

Curtis Brinkley: At the moment, Brinkley is the backup to Mathews. He did well last year during limited carries, but he is clearly the backup. I look for him to have a chance to once again step in for a game or two due to Mathews propensity to get injured. All in all, he is a decent backup for the team.

Edwin Baker: Baker was the final pick for the Chargers in the 2012 NFL Draft. He excelled in pass blocking and is a tough and hard runner. While he doesn't have the best top end speed, he can contribute in  a number of ways. He may be a special teamer this year, but he has a chance to knck Brinkley down the depth charts.

Mohamed Marah: Marah is most likey a camp body at this point. The team is already set at fullback, so there seems to be little need to keep him around. The thing about Marah that may keep him around is his defensive experience, which could translate well into a solid special teams performer. He played fullback his first two years of college before switching to defensive end. He is a versatile player. Players like him are always a question mark. It really just depends on his potential and how the Chargers use it.

Michael Hayes: This is another intriguing prospect brought in for the Chargers. Hayes had great success while at Houston, but some wonder how much of that was from the passing game being so dangerous. I tend to think that he is a good player, at least collegiately, but he is not a hot commodity in camp. He will have to fight his way onto the roster, but he may end up as a practice squad player.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Slow Content

First off, thanks to those of you who visit Charger Madness. You may have noticed that content has been slow lately. I apologize for that. During the summer, I work as a server at a restaurant back home. At the moment, we are understaffed, so for the next week or two, I am working everyday. Once we get a few more servers trained, things should start to pick back up.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Why is Don Coryell Not in the Hall of Fame?

The NFL Hall of Fame is where the league places those individuals who have achieved a superior level of greatness at their position or have revolutionized the game. It is a way to honor the achievements and success of these people while acknowledging what they have meant to the NFL. When looking at the members of the Hall of Fame, one can't help but feel amazed and in awe. Yet when examining the list of coaches in the Hall of Fame, one name seems to be missing. It makes no real sense as to why it wouldn't be there. Don Coryell is not in the Hall of Fame.

Coryell was an inovative genius. While not the creator of the I formation, Coryell was a pioneer of it, helping John McKay run the offense at USC in 1960. He is given credit for developing the vertical passing game into what it has become today, with the likes of Joe Gibbs, Mike Martz, and Ernie Zampese winning Super Bowls employing similar systems. He also tutored Al Saunders, Jim Hanifan, and Rod Dowhower. Even further down the line comes Norv Turner and Dan Henning, who tutored under Zampese and Gibbs respectively. John Madden was a student of Coryell while he coached at San Diego State and considered Don to be one of the biggest influences on him as a coach.

Coryell's Chargers were one of the most successful offensive teams that the NFL has ever seen. Quarterback Dan Fouts spearheaded Coryell's devastating passing attack with the likes of Kellen Winslow and Charlie Joiner. All three are in the Hall of Fame today in part because of the system that Coryell brought to the team. Winslow revolutionized the tight end position to what we are seeing today with the likes of Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham.

The simple fact that Coryell is not in the Hall of Fame is unfathomable. We are talking about a man who revolutionized the game of football not once, but twice. As Dan Fouts stated, "He influenced offiensive and defensive football because if you were going to have three or four receivers out there, you better have an answer for it on the other side of the ball". The system that Coryell created forced teams to devlop new ways to handle the situations presented by the Chargers offense. Fouts brought up a great point by asking who had really heard of a nickel or dime defensive package before Air Coryell?

Some will argue that Coryell doesn't deserve to be in the Hall of Fame because of his 3-6 playoff record and the way his defenses performed, but those are things that can be overlooked. I know that there are players who deserve to get in that have been waiting for some time now, but Coryell deserves a spot for all of the ideas and concepts that he contributed to the NFL that make it so successful today. His influence as a coach cannot be ignored anymore. The man was far to successful to not be in the Hall of Fame. The best news was that he finally did make the final 15 cut in 2010, but he has yet to advance farther than that. Former coaches and players like Madden, Gibbs, and Fouts will continue to lobby for his placement in the Hall of Fame.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Seau's 55 to be Retired

The San Diego Chargers have announced that Junior Seau's number 55 will be retired. Seau, who tragically ended his life with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest, is the most accomplished and decorated defensive player in Charger history. Seau, who was drafted 5th overall in the 1990 NFL Draft, played for the Chargers until 2003. Seau had an outstanding 20 year career and ranks only behind Clay Matthews at the linebacker position for most career games. He is a sure fired first ballot lock for the Hall of Fame. Seau went to 12 straight Pro Bowls as a Charger. Seau joins Lance Alworth and Dan Fouts as the only Chargers to have their numbers retired. Fouts wore 14 while Alworth wore 19. Seau's number will be retired September 16th.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Ladarius Green Signs 4 Year Contract with the San Diego Chargers

The San Diego Chargers are wasting no time signing the 7 draft picks from the 2012 draft class. The latest member of the class to sign is Louisiana-Lafayette TE Ladarius Green. Green, who stands at an imposing 6' 6'', is a powerful player who has great body control and is likely to be groomed as a replacement for Antonio Gates. Green should see time on special teams and in the red zone. It will be interesting to see how the Chargers get him onto the field. He can split out wide just like Gates and could really stand out through camp. The only members of the 2012 draft class yet to sign are Edwin Baker, Brandon Taylor, and Johnnie Troutman.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

San Diego Chargers Sign 3 Draft Picks

The San Diego Chargers have offically signed three of their draft picks to contracts. Melvin Ingram is joined by second round pick Kendall Reyes and seventh rounder David Molk, both of whom also signed. Ingram was the 1st round pick of the Chargers. He played defensive end while at South Carolina and is expected to be a pass rushing 3-4 outside linebacker for the Chargers. Reyes has the size to move inside in nickel formations but will primarily be a rotational defensive end this year for the team. Both of these two should make an immediate impact for the Chargers on defense. Reyes signed a 4 year contract while Ingram signed a 4 year deal with an optional 5th year.

Molk, who was an All-American center for the Michigan Wolverines also signed a 4 year deal. This still leaves Johnnie Troutman, Brandon Taylor, Ladarius Green, and Edwin Baker unsigned. The team will hold a rookie only mini camp from May 11-13.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

AFC West Quarterback Rankings

Chargers fans get to see this matchup twice a year now.
No position can be as big of a game changer as quarterback. How well a quarterback plays often determines who wins and loses. Here is the breakdown on the starting quarterback situations for each AFC West team.

1) San Diego Chargers

There is no doubt that Rivers is the cream of the crop in the AFC West. I know that Peyton Manning has been added, but until we know for sure how he throws in a game situation, Rivers is still the best. Last season was a rough one for Rivers, but it happens. He may have the best supporting cast in the AFC West around him too. The offensive line will return all of the pieces that protected him so well at the end of last season. Better yet, they added quality depth to the line. Look for Rivers to have 2 great duals against new Bronco Peyton Manning and return to form.

2) Denver Broncos

Peyton Manning is the guy that Elway wanted. Tebow got thrown under the bus and now Peyton is in charge. If he fully recovers from the neck surgeries, look out. He may not have the best supporting cast around him, but he will have control of the offense like he had in Indy. With young developing players like Eric Decker and Demaryious Thomas to work with, Manning isn't in a talent vacuum.

3) Oakland Raiders

Carson Palmer is a real unknown. What does he even have left? He was all over the place last year, so a full off-season with the team can certainly help. His supporting cast is not very strong at all, especially at tight end, but he is a veteran with good experience. It will be interesting to see how this pans out with a full season. It is critical that Mcfadden stays healthy all year.

4) Kansas City Chiefs

How many more chances is Cassel going to get? He has been hit and miss the last few years, and is most likely on a short leash. He does have great talent around him with Baldwin, Bowe, and company. Cassel has to show that he can be the franchise quarterback he was thought to be. Expect the pressure to be on him from the get go.

Monday, May 7, 2012

San Diego Chargers Cut Travis Laboy

Travis Laboy was brought in last season to help Manusky set up the defense the way that he wanted to run it. He was to be a rotational player behind Larry English and Shaun Philips. That was the plan at least, but injuries pretty much erased that. Laboy saw more snaps at linebacker than any other Charger last year, but the team saw him as an expendable piece to say the least. With the drafting of Melvin Ingram and the signing of Jarret Johnson, there just really wasn't any room for Laboy. Everette Brown was also let go early in the off-season. All in all, Laboy did what a backup was supposed to do. He ended the season with a stat line of 38 tackles, 1 sack, and 1 forced fumble. By cutting him this early, San Diego has made it clear that Larry English is going to get one more shot to stay on the team. This move still leaves Philips, Johnson, Ingram, English, and Barnes at outside linebacker for the Chargers. Laboy will now have all summer to try and latch on somewhere else. Laboy did a commendable job stepping in and we here at Charger Madness wish him well wherever he ends up.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Chargers Depth on Defensive Line is a Big Plus

The San Diego Chargers struggled defensively last year. The team failed to generate much of a pass rush at all, with the only real noteworthy performance belonging to Antwan Barnes, who recorded 11 sacks. The team did a good job adding quality players through the draft to help the defense, but there are still lots of questions that remain about the unit as a whole. Perhaps the biggest bright spot for the defense is the depth and talent of the defensive line. The unit features good starters and depth. Here is a more in depth look at the 2012 Chargers defensive line.

Defensive End
This may be the better part of the unit.

 Luis Castillo is back from the broken leg he suffered last season and should play at a high level again. He has been a consistent player for the Chargers. The one year contract that he has been signed to benefits the Chargers in the fact that they are getting a one year test run with Castillo for a minimal investment. Cesaire is another quality veteran lineman for the Chargers. With Cory Liuget coming off of his rookie year and new addition Kedall Reyes, this unit will feature a deep rotation with a good mix of youth and veteran experience.

Defensive Tackle
Still a very strong unit.

Antonio Garay will be back to anchor the line for another season, but he will have some serious competition and help from up and comer Cam Thomas. Thomas, a 5th round pick from 2010, has turned into a very capable lineman who should work his way into the starting role very soon. Thomas also was the leading sack man for the defensive line with 4 sacks last season. Add Vaughn Martin into that group and you have a very deep and talented rotation at nose tackle.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Remembering Seau

The death of Junior Seau is nothing but tragic, regardless of how you look at it. A man gone in the prime of his life. Seau will be remembered for his tough play but kind and compassionate heart. His charity involvement has impacted the lives of many. He became a fan favorite wherever he went, wether that be San Diego, Miami, or New England.

There is no way to know yet if Seau suffered brain injuries due to football that may have contributed to his suicide. It is a question that has been weighing heavily on everyone as of late, and rightfully so. Brain injuries are having a terrible effect on former players. Just stop and think how many lawsuits the NFL is facing due to the issues associated with these brain injuries. The league waited far to long to act on information and is now paying a price for it. I do have to commend them for stepping things up now, but the damage has already been done. Countless players are going to have to face very tough times as they cope with these injuries. It is very likely that Seau had issues that we didn't know about. He was a tough and fierce competitor. Until the facts are in though, we know very little as to what happened.

Yet even with all of the uncertainty, all of the confusion, we still don't know the truth yet. For the time being, let us focus on the memory of Seau and let the data come to us. Remember the man who helped so many in the San Diego area. Remember the man who played football for 20 years, who everyday approched the game with a love and a passion that most of us only wish we could have for our job. This is a time to grieve and a time to reflect. You will be missed Junior.

Thursday, May 3, 2012


Things may be a bit slow for the next day or two as I move out of my apartment. Expect something by Saturday at the latest.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Chargers Legend Junior Seau Found Dead

Former Charger, Dolphin, and Patriots linebacker Junior Seau was found dead Wednesday morning in what appears to be a suicide. He was found by a housekeeper with a gunshot wound to the chest, which is very similar to how former Chicago Bear Dave Duerson committed suicide. Duerson shot himself in the chest so as to preserve his brain and allow it to be studied. Seau is now the 8th member of the Chargers 1994 Super Bowl team to pass away.

Seau was a standout linebacker at USC and wore the famed 55 as part of the famed Club 55 while at USC. He is part of a long legacy of talented linebackers to come out of USC, with names such as Jack Del Rio, Willie McGinest, Chris Claiborne among others. Seau was a first team All-American in 1989. Seau was drafted 5th overall in the 1990 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers. Seau played with the Chargers until he was traded to the Miami Dolphins in 2003. While with the Chargers, Seau was named to the Pro Bowl 12 times while a Charger in one of the most dominant stretches at any position. Seau went to the Pro Bowl every year from 1991 through 2002. Seau was also a 10 time All-Pro. He was a key member of the Chargers 1994 Super Bowl run that saw them lose to the San Francisco 49ers. Seau finished his career with the New England Patriots before retiring in 2010. Seau played in the 2007 Super Bowl loss for the New England Patriots. Seau was voted to the Chargers all 1990's team and is enshrined in the Chargers Hall of Fame. Seau's name will one day be in Canton.

Seau will be remembered as a fan favorite who wowed with his superb play. He leaves behind a lasting legacy in the Junior Seau Foundation, which is a charity designed to empower and educate young people caught in a variety of circumstances. He also worked within the Samoan community in San Diego. Seau was 43 years old. Seau leaves behind 3 children and a legacy of excellence. Seau will be missed by fans and people all over the country.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

San Diego Active with Undrafted Free Agents

The Chargers are wasting no time getting undrafted rookies. With the offseason roster expanded from 80 to 90 players, teams are adding more than they ever have before. The Chargers have reportedly brought in a total of 21 undrafted free agents. Check out the link at the bottom of the page for a full list of the signings. Most of these guys won't really make the team, but it will be interesting to see who does. Welcome to the NFL, your journey starts now.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Grading the San Diego Chargers Draft

With the draft officially wrapped up, it is time to take a look at just how well the Chargers did. This will include both an overall ranking and a ranking for each pick.

Round 1, Pick 18: Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina (B+)

I am really not sure about this pick. If he is as talented as everyone says he is, then great for the Chargers. My biggest concern is how he handles the transition to OLB. I know that he has played it some in the past, but he is used to playing with his hand in the dirt. I hope that his cover skills are decent, because I really don't want to see a first round pick used on a situational pass rusher. That being said, I do believe that he can contribute to the pass rush. I would like to see him get in and make a difference. We will just have to wait and see how he does. The only thing that is certain is that there is going to be some serious pressure on him to contribute from day one, especially considering the way he fell on draft day.

Round 2, Pick 49: Kendall Reyes, DE/DT, Connecticut (A)

Reyes flew under the radar a bit, but he has serious potential. Any time a team can grab a versatile lineman like Reyes, it is a good thing. He has the size to move in and play DT in a pinch or in nickel schemes, but projects as a defensive end. With Cesaire and Castillo both aging or coming off injury, Reyes should be a factor for the Chargers as a rotational player who eventually starts opposite Corey Liuget. He didn't record a high number of sacks in college, but that isn't that important in a 3-4 scheme. He has the ability to handle double teams but also possesses the agility to split the double teams.

Round 3, Pick 73: Brandon Taylor, SS, LSU (B)

This was an area that the Chargers needed to address and they did. Taylor needs to develop his coverage skills, but he does bring a physical presence to the defense and the position. He was the quarterback of LSU's defense. This wasn't a very deep class at safety, so we will see how this pick pans out. There isn't a huge amount of pressure for him to be effective from day one, especially with Atari Bigby already on the team. It will be interesting to see what the team plans to do with Stuckey now that they have Taylor and Bigby.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Rounds 5-7 Reactions for the San Diego Chargers

With the draft finally wrapping up, here is a look at the Chargers draft picks from rounds 5-7.

5th Round, Pick 149: Johnnie Troutman, G, Penn State

Troutman is a big guard from Penn State who plays strong. I will say that he was ranked lower than several available guards according to several evaluators. Still, he seems to fit the mold of what the Chargers want in a lineman. I don't see him being a serious challenger for the LG spot, but he should provide some extra pressure.

7th Round, Pick 226: David Molk, C, Michigan

Molk is another classic Big Ten lineman who should add quality depth to the Chargers offensive line. Brady Hoke changed the culture at Michigan, bringing a tough and physical nature back to the program. Molk is an intelligent lineman who has great footwork. He doesn't have the best physical abilities, but you don't win the Rimington Award for no reason. The Chargers may have struck gold in the 7th round.

7th Round, Pick 250: Edwin Baker, RB, Michigan State

Just when the draft was set to end, the San Diego Chargers addressed one of their biggest remaining needs. Edwin Baker has been a productive back for the Michigan State Spartans. Baker isn't a flashy runner, but he is a good threat coming out of the backfield and is already a good pass blocker. Baker should find his way onto the field on third down and maybe on special teams.

All in all, the third day of the 2012 NFL Draft seems like a successful day for the Chargers. They added key depth on the offensive line and the backfield.

Chargers Fans, Say Hello to Ladarius Green

With the 110th pick of the NFL, the San Diego Chargers have selected La. Lafayette tight end Ladarius Green. Green has a big 82 inch wingspan and rarely drops passes. At a lanky 6' 6'', 236 pounds, Green can become a hybrid type tight end who can line up both on the line and outside. He clocked in at a 4.53 in  the 40 yard dash, so he has speed to matter, even more than some of the wide receivers. Green should make Rivers happy with his ability to go up and get the jump ball. With time to learn from Antonio Gates, Green could develop into a dangerous weapon for the Chargers. Green is a quality addition to the Chargers who can learn from one of the best, contribute immediately, and eventually become a starter.

Day 3 Starts Now

The 3rd day of the 2012 NFL Draft is underway. This day can make a team's season spectacular. This is the time to find gems late, think Tom Brady in the 6th round. San Diego still needs some pieces and could really use some quality depth. Injuries have decimated this team the last 2 seasons. This is where a team really develops the back half of their roster and finds project players. I look for the Chargers to add a running back, maybe a Robert Turbin type back. Adding some more depth a cornerback and on the offensive line. The Chargers, barring trades, have a pick in both the 4th and 5th rounds and two picks in the 7th. They traded their 6th round pick to the Miami Dolphins to move up from 78th to 73rd in the 3rd round. Stay tuned for reviews of each new Charger.

Friday, April 27, 2012

San Diego Adds LSU Safety Brandon Taylor

The San Diego Chargers have traded up to the 73rd pick to take LSU safety Brandon Taylor. Taylor had 71 tackles, 5 pass breakups, and 2 interceptions for the Tigers last year. Taylor will bring a physical nature to the position and is an intelligent player. Bigby was brought in to be a short term solution. Taylor slipped down some boards and should be a good investment for the Chargers.  The Chargers swapped third round picks with the Dolphins to move up from 78th and also packaged a 6th rounder (183rd).

San Diego Chargers Select Kendall Reyes 49th Overall

The San Diego Chargers have selected Connecticut DT/DE Kendall Reyes. Reyes was a team captain for the Huskies. The Chargers will play him at DE. Expect him to rotate in with last years first round pick Corey Liuget and to eventually take the place of either Jacques Cesaire or Luis Castillo. People have wondered about his consistency at times, but he should be a good addition to the team. With Cesaire, Castillo, Garay, Martin, Liuget, and Thomas, the Chargers may just have a great defensive line. Reyes didn't put up a ton of sacks, but that isn't a huge deal for a 3-4 end. He has enough flash to split the double team and has great strength to bull rush his opponent. All in all, a very solid pick.

What Do the Chargers Do Now?

Since the Chargers at least feel like they got their pass rusher in Melvin Ingram at 18th overall last night, we now have to wonder what route the Chargers are going to take. Will it be a guard to compete for the LG spot, another pass rusher, or someone for the secondary? It is possible that a player like Amaini Silatolu or Zach Brown may fall to them or they may trade. At any rate, tune in tonight for the second and third rounds of the 2012 NFL Draft. A.J. and company should at least make it interesting.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

With the 18th Pick, the San Diego Chargers Select Melvin Ingram

Say hello to the newest member of the San Diego Chargers. With the 18th pick, the Chargers selected South Carolina DE Melvin Ingram. Ingram was a player who was supposed to go much higher according to some mocks who was there at 18. My biggest concern about Ingram is how do we play him? Can he be an every down linebacker or will he end up a situational pass rusher. I am just not sure how to rate this pick. For the time being, I am just going to have to trust A.J. yet again. I have no problem eating my words. With Shea McClellin going to the Bears just one pick later, coupled with the immediate need for improvement in the pass rush, the pressure will be on Ingram to produce from day one. Welcome to the NFL.

The First 10 Picks of the 2012 NFL Draft

Talk about an interesting first several picks in the 2012 NFL Draft. With the first two picks being locked, it seemed things were going to be a little lacking in the excitement department. All in all, 4 of the first 5 picks were traded. Here is the recap.

Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III went 1-2 and surprised nobody. About half an hour before the draft started, the Vikings traded the 3rd pick to the Browns, who selected Alabama do it all back Trent Richardson. Minnesota selected Kalil at 4 and Jacksonville moved up to 5th and finally got a receiver in Justin Blackmon. Dallas moved up from 14th by trading with the Rams and got LSU standout Morris Claiborne. Tampa Bay ended up with Mark Barron from Alabama and, in a move that shocked nobody, the Dolphins selected Ryan Tannehill.  Rounding out the top 10 were the Panthers, who selected Luke Kuechly, and the Bills, who added Stephon Gilmore of South Carolina.

Biggest Surprises: St. Louis traded down yet again and the Cowboys paid a big price to move up. St. Louis gave the Cowboys the 6th pick while gaining the 14th overall pick and the 45th pick (2nd).

Riskiest Pick: This is easily the Dolphins. Tannehill is a quarterback with a ton of question marks. It will be interesting to see how he does in Miami.

Take it to the Bank: Both the Colts and the Redskins got their quarterbacks. Both of these guys are going to be great to watch and should make an immediate impact on two terrible teams. The same can be said for the Panthers and Kuechly. Kuechly will be a productive and intelligent player for the Panthers who will be a tackling machine.

Charger Madness Big Board: Top 10 Prospects

With the draft set to begin in just over two hours, here is the Charger Madness Top 10 Prospects Big Board.

1) Andrew Luck
2) Robert Griffin III
3) Morris Claiborne
4) Justin Blackmon
5) Trent Richardson
6) Matt Kalil
7) Mark Barron
8) Fletcher Cox
9) Luke Kuechly
10) Riley Reiff

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Chargers Draft Prospects: Duke Ihenacho

Duke Ihenacho is a player who has certainly turned some heads while at San Jose State. He has spent time at both linebacker and safety and brings a good skill set. Could the Chargers be willing to take a pass on players like Harrison Smith and Mark Barron?

Position: SS
Weight: 213 lbs.
Height: 6' 0''

Pros: Duke Ihenacho is a player who has experience at both linebacker and safety, just like Notre Dame prospect Harrison Smith. Ihenacho is very aggressive when coming up against the run and has a long lean frame. He has the ability to time snaps and get a good jump on opponents which makes him a backfield menace.  Duke has high enough speed to handle working in the secondary but the mentality to play linebacker and make the big hit. he is a smart and productive player who was an All-WAC player at both linebacker and safety.

Cons: His aggressive play can cause him to overract and be caught out of position, especially on good play fakes. He doesn't have great agility and may be a liability in man coverage at this point in his career. His top end speed isn't anything too impressive, but he should make a difference.

San Diego really needs a thumper who can come up and provide run support. The AFC West figures to feature a deep running game yet again, so the Chargers need all the help they can get. Could he be the physical force the Chargers have been looking for since the departure of Rodney Harrison?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

How Will the 2012 Charger Madness NFL Mock Draft Hold Up?

With the draft just two days away, I thought it might be good to see how my draft holds up against both the actual draft and a few other drafts. Following the draft, I will post the results and we will see just how I stacked up. If you have a draft you would like to submit, just send me and email and we can see about getting it on the site.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Chargers Draft Prospects: Marvin McNutt

The move to a pass happy NFL has seen the need for receivers increase more and more over the last several seasons. Even though the Chargers have added quality players through free agency in Robert Meachem and Eddie Royal, it could never hurt to add quality depth through the draft. Iowa receiver Marvin McNutt is a player who is grading out somewhere around the 5th round but has some great potential.

Position: WR
Weight: 216 lbs.
Height: 6' 3''

Pros: McNutt is a prospect who has good height and can use his long arms to beat press coverage. He is a strong receiver who can make the catch away from his frame and always knows where the sticks are. McNutt is a long stider who can build up a good head of steam and has soft hands. While he has only been playing receiver for about 3 years, McNutt has shown plenty of potential, leading Iowa in receiving the last two seasons. He leaves Iowa with several school records.

Cons: McNutt isn't a speedy deep threat, having only average speed. He still needs to improve his route running. He has a tendency to round his routes off and tip the defensive backs off to his route. McNutt needs to continue to focus on learning the position. McNutt also has injury concerns, fighting both wrist and shoulder injuries last season.

McNutt is a bigger receiver who seems to fit the mold of a Norv Turner receiver who very well may have a future in San Diego.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Official 2012 San Diego Chargers Schedule

Here is the official 2012 regular season schedule for the San Diego Chargers.

Week 1: September 10th at Oakland Raiders  ESPN (MNF)
Week 2: September 16th vs Tennessee Titans CBS
Week 3: September 23rd vs Atlanta Falcons FOX
Week 4: September 30th at Kansas City Chiefs CBS
Week 5: October 7th at New Orleans Saints NBC
Week 6: October 15th vs Denver Broncos ESPN (MNF)
Week 7: BYE
Week 8: October 28th at Cleveland Browns CBS
Week 9: Novemer 1st vs Kansas City Chiefs NFLN (Thursday Night Football)
Week 10: November 11th at Tampa Bay Buccaneers CBS
Week 11: November 18th at Denver Broncos CBS
Week 12: November 25th vs Baltimore Ravens CBS
Week 13: December 2nd vs Cincinnati Bengals CBS
Week 14: December 9th at Pittsburgh Steelers CBS
Week 15: December 16th vs Carolina Panthers FOX
Week 16: December 23rd at New York Jets NBC
Week 17: December 30th vs Oakland Raiders CBS

Charger Madness 2012 NFL Mock Draft 2.0 17-32

17) Cincinnati Bengals- Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama

Kirkpatrick will bring some much needed help to the secondary. I know that the team signed Terence Newman, but they only signed him to a one year deal. Kirkpatrick is the best corner after Claiborne. This is a team that surprised last year and now needs to add a few pieces to ensure that they remain competitive.

18) San Diego Chargers- Shea McClellin, OLB, Boise State

McClellin has skyrocketed up draft boards and could very well be the kind of pass rusher the Chargers need. I know that Mark Barron is still on the board, but pass rush is a much more critical need for the Chargers. I had Cordy Glenn being selected here before, but I think pass rush is the biggest issue the team faces. I wouldn't be surprised to see the Chargers trade down a few picks to take McClellin.

19) Chicago Bears- Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor

I know that the Bears added Brandon Marshall, but they could still use some help at receiver. Wright would be a good receiver to bring into the Bears organization. He is a quick receiver (40 time at the combine not withstanding) who can be a great player for the Bears who can stretch the field and work underneath.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Chargers Draft Prospects: Adonis Thomas

Thomas actually isn't expected to be drafted in the draft, but you never know with how things can break down in regards to the late rounds of the draft. Still, Thomas should be a highly intriguing undrafted free agent.

Position: RB
Weight: 185 lbs.
Height: 5' 9''

Pros: Thomas is an incredibly versatile back who has extensive experience coming out of the backfield as a receiver. Toledo utilized his talents very well. Even though he missed a handful of games with a broken bone in his arm, he still produced at a high level and was a big part in Toledo's great games this year. He has great agility and acceleration, often leaving defenders grasping for air while at Toledo. For all the bigger he is, he can be surprisingly effective running between the tackles.

Cons: Thomas doesn't have great top end speed. That may be the thing that holds him back the most. He also has injury concerns, which may cause teams to pass on him. Thomas also has happy feet and tends to try and dance around to much at times, which causes negative plays. He also doesn't have much of a power  game to him. As to be expected of most rookie backs, he also struggles in pass protection.

Thomas has a lot of upside and could be the replacement for Sproles that the Chargers have been looking for since his departure. He may be a late pick or a free agent pick up, still, keep an eye on him regardless of where he goes (if he goes).

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Chargers Draft Prospects: Brian Quick

The Chargers have done a good job bringing in a talented group of receivers in the wake of the Vincent Jackson departure, but I would not be surprised to see the team take a look at several of the bigger receivers in the draft this year. San Diego has done a good job finding talented receivers the last several years, and one they may look at heavily is Appalachian State prospect Brian Quick.

Position: WR
Weight: 220 lbs.
Height: 6' 4''

Pros: Quick is actually quick for a big guy. He has deceptive speed and can use his physical size to get a great release off the line against smaller defensive backs. He has strong hands and can readjust well to bad passes and can manipulate his body to make the catch. He is an active blocker in the running game and is willing to do the dirty work to ensure success. He has the power to break tackles underneath. When combined with his speed, he is a threat each time he has the ball. With good acceleration and agility, Quick can become a special talent.

Cons: The biggest knock on Quick is his route running. If he can't blow by a defender or use his athleticism to overpower a defender, he can become neutralized on a play.  He needs some serious work in this area, but it should come with time. It was rumored that he didn't actually have any position coaching while at Appalachian State. He needs to keep his legs moving while blocking instead of just hitting the person across from him. He does have some concentration issues, but these should be something he can overcome.

Quick brings a great skill set to the table and should be drafted within the first three rounds.  It is interesting to note that Quick was one of only two remaining players on the Appalachian State team last year that upset Michigan in 2007.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Chargers Draft Prospects: Michael Egnew

Athletic tight ends are becoming more and more necessary in the NFL today. The Chargers are already crowded at the tight end position, but they could still bring in a rookie through the draft. With that in mind, here is the Charger Madness profile on Missouri tight end Michael Egnew.

Position: TE
Weight: 252 lbs.
Height: 6' 5''

Pros: Egnew is basically a very tall and slightly slower receiver. He has great height and length. Egnew has enough speed to really make a defense pay and can line up in the slot. Egnew has good situational awareness, always knowing where the marker is. He can adjust well to low balls and works the sideline well. Even with all of his speed and finesse, Egnew is a player who doesn't shy away from contact. He has the ability to truck smaller defenders in the secondary. He is a matchup nightmare waiting to happen if used properly.

Cons: Egnew didn't do a great job blocking while at Missouri. He is an effort blocker and most likely won't be asked to do too much blocking in the NFL. If he can improve, then all the better for him. His routes could use a bit more work, with some added crispness needed. There is the potential for him to add some mass, especially in the upper body.

Egnew is part of a new generation of tight ends that are taking the NFL by storm. Egnew was a basketball star in high school, as so many of this new breed were. He has good potential and could develop well learning from Antonio Gates. The best part is that he is grading out only in the 3rd or 4th round. He has the potential to be available later in the draft and could be a great investment.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

San Diego's Biggest Needs

With the draft basically a week away, lets take a look at the Chargers biggest needs after free agency.

1) Pass Rush: This is the biggest area that the Chargers still need to address. The good news is that there are a large amount of prospects available at several stages of the draft. The team could take a player like USC's Nick Perry or Illinois one year wonder Whitney Mercilus at 18, trade down into the later part of the first round and take a player like Shea McClellin. Still further down the draft are prospects like Zach Brown of North Carolina, Vinny Curry from Marshall, and Jonathan Massaquoi from Troy. The Chargers are setting pretty good in regards to addressing this need.

2) Both Lines: The Chargers have done a good job for the most part in addressing the needs on both sides of the ball with these areas. Still, the Chargers should be looking to take a proactive approach with these positions. Antonio Garay and Luis Castillo aren't getting any younger, so some additional depth with the potential to join the rotation would be a wise move. The offensive line is a bit better, especially after the resignings of Jared Gaither and Nick Hardwick. Still, the team may want to target someone it the draft to compete for the open battle at the left guard position. Players like Georgia mountain Cordy Glenn, Northwestern State prospect Amaini Silatolu, and Iowa State player Kelechi Osemele, just to name a few, could add some key depth to the Chargers offensive lines.

3) Depth in General: The biggest reason that most people point to for the Chargers recent lack of success is the massive extent of injuries that the team has had to deal with over the last couple of years. With this in mind, the Chargers need to ensure that they are developing the back half of the roster well. This could be the difference between making the playoffs or having another bad season. The Houston Texans are a perfect example of this. How many seasons did they have a great first team offense only to struggle constantly with injuries. I know that the defensive changes helped, but the development of that back half of the roster made a huge difference.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Chargers Draft Prospects: Vinny Curry

Pass rushers are at a premium in the league today. A team can never have enough pass rushers. Having a good rotation and reserves is critical. With that in mind, here is the next Charger Madness draft profile for Marshall star Vinny Curry.

Position: DE/OLB
Weight: 266 lbs.
Height: 6' 3''

Pros: This guy can flat out play ball. He might not be the fastest, but he gets the job done. He is a smart player and has the strength to bull rush opposing linemen. He does a good job getting under an opponents pads to push them around. He has good techniques and can approach rushing the passer several different ways. He is a team leader both on and off the field and seems to have great character. He is a strong tackler and does a good job spinning off the pile to get the ball carrier. Curry also is always flying to the ball and doesn't hesitate to throw himself into the pile. He also has a propensity for causing fumbles, recording 7 last year.

Cons: The big issue with him is that he seems to fade down the stretch during the course of a game. This can be overcome with better conditioning. he will most likely need some time to transition from DE to OLB, and his zone skills will probably take some time to develop. He needs to rein in his playing style a bit because he sometimes ends up playing out of control. Discipline will fix those minor issues.

Curry is a prospect who seems to do just about everything right both on and off the field. His level of competition was much better than people think. He has a lot of potential and what seems like very few weaknesses.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Chargers Draft Prospects: Zach Brown

Zach Brown is a prospect that has scouts scratching their heads. On one end, he is an incredibly gifted athlete who possess impressive speed for a linebacker. On the other, there are questions about his instincts and physicality. With all of this, Brown is sure to be all over the place on different draft boards.

Position: OLB
Weight: 244 lbs
Height 6' 1''

Pros: Brown has one of the most coveted assets in a pass rushing linebacker, which is pure speed. He clocked in at a 4.44 in the 40 yard dash at the combine. That kind of speed can't be taught. He has the ability to recover when beat and still have an impact on the play. He can be a sideline to sideline force against the run game and has a great burst to get into the backfield. He reacts quickly when the ball is in the air or on the ground, using his athleticism to be a huge threat on fumble recoveries and interceptions.

Cons: For his size, he is not very physical at all. He doesn't have much in terms of pass rush moves outside of just using his speed. If he were to develop some techniques, he would be a great rusher. For now though, he is a one trick pony. If he fails to get by a blocker with his speed, he is in trouble. Opposing linemen are able to stalemate him if he doesn't get by. His read and react skills leave much to be desired, but this can improve with time. He doesn't have as much strength behind his tackles as you would think a person his size would have.

Brown is a player who has amazing potential, but would need some great coaching to reach it. If he can improve his read and react skills and maybe get a bit more physical, he can develop into something special. I look for him to last no later than the 2nd round.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

San Diego Signs 2

Two more free agents have joined the San Diego Chargers as of yesterday. One is a familiar face, the other new. FB Jacob Hester has returned to the San Diego Chargers even though the team signed Le'Ron McClain during free agency. Hester, who was a 3rd round selection, from LSU, of the Chargers in the 2008 NFL Draft, will see time on special teams and may be rotated in as a goal line back. It is nice to see Hester return to the Chargers.

The other signing was one that fans had been hearing about for awhile now. Tackle Mario Henderson officially joined the Chargers. Henderson, who was cut by the Raiders last year because he showed up to camp out of shape, will provide depth to the offensive line. He has experience at both left and right tackle. Henderson, a 4th round selection in the 2007 NFL Draft, appeared in 44 games, of which 28 were starts, for the Raiders. Henderson played college football at Florida State University.

In other news, long snapper Mike Wendt and guard/tackle Brandyn Dombrowski signed their one year contract tenders. Wendt was an exclusive rights free agent while Dombrowski was a restricted free agent,

With the draft only a handful of days away, these signings free the Chargers up as to how they approach the draft. By having depth at certain positions, the team can focus on other areas of the team.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Chargers Mock Draft 2.0 Picks 1-16

1) Indianapolis Colts- Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford

Same as last time. The Colts are going to get their replacement to Peyton Manning. Luck has everything that a team could want in a franchise quarterback. It almost seems unfair that the Colts get the chance to draft two franchise quarterbacks back to back.

2) Washington Redskins- Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor

Remember what we said about Andrew Luck? Pretty much the same things applies Robert Griffin III. He brings great athleticism to the position and can make all the throws needed in the NFL. Washington fans are finally getting a franchise quarterback after waiting for so many years.

3) Minnesota Vikings- Matt Kalil, T, USC

The Vikings picked Christian Ponder last year, and now they have to build around him. They have decent  receivers and a great running game, so the biggest issue is keeping Ponder upright. Kalil is a dominate tackle who should be a cornerstone for the Vikings for years to come.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Chargers Draft Prospects: Mychal Kendricks

A versatile player is always a good thing for any team to have. With that in mind, here is the draft profile for California ILB Mychal Kendricks.

Position: ILB/OLB/SS
Weight: 240 lbs.
Height: 5' 11''

Pros: Kendricks is an athletic and versatile player who played both inside and outside linebacker in college. There is also talk of him being able to transition to SS in the NFL.  Some wondered if he had the speed to play that position, but he put that to rest by running a 4.47 40 yard dash time. He has great awareness and generally does a good job staying at home. He is a high motor player who goes all out on every play. He is an effective tackler who hits hard despite his size and plays downhill. Kendricks possesses good footwork and has a great closing burst.

Cons: His biggest knock is his size. At only 5' 11'', many scouts are wondering if he can hold up at inside linebacker. He is somewhat stiff in the hips and can get engulfed by blockers and end up knocked back on his feet. He needs to make sure he wraps up better with tackles instead of always going for the big hit. He also has some concerns with injuries, injuring both his shoulder and thumb last season. Even with this, he still earned the PAC-12 Defensive Player of the Year. He doesn't have the best change of direction ability, which could really hurt him if a team wants to transition him to SS.

Kendricks is a player who, regardless of where he goes or what position he will play, will contribute to a team in a variety of ways. He is an intriguing prospect who should be on the Chargers radar. With his potential to play SS, he might be able to learn under Atari Bigby and compete with Stuckey for playing time. He should immediately contribute on special teams. He seems like the kind of player who will be nipping at the heels of those above him on the depth chart. Competition is always a good thing for a team, both internally and externally.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Chargers Draft Prospects: Kevin Zeitler

Next up is Wisconsin's All-American guard Kevin Zeitler. While he played right guard in college, he has the strength and power to play either side.

Positon: G
Weight: 314 lbs.
Height: 6' 4''

Pros: What is not to like about this guy? He is a physical mauler who is a beast in the trenches. he played in a zone scheme at Wisconsin, but I see him as a fit in any system. He spends a lot of time studying film and is a relentless worker on the field and in the weight room. He pays attention to all the details and does things by the book. He has great strength to move defenders out of the way and seeks out contact at the second level. He comes out of his stance strong and can maintain outside leverage well. He also can handle doubling up on the NT and is great at using his hands in pass blocking to reset and keep defenders at bay.

Cons: There really isn't much that this guy does bad. He isn't the fastest lineman and doesn't have the greatest agility. Most of his other issues seem to be things that can easily be changed with coaching. He has a tendency to push smaller defenders away instead of wrapping them up. This can allow those defenders to come free and make a play. The other big issue is that he tends to duck his head at times. If he can fix these technique issues, he should be fine.

I know that he played right guard, but I can see him playing both sides. He is a perfectionist who plays mean and should be a great pickup for any team. He is projected as high as a late 1st rounder to a 3rd round prospect.

Saints Penalties are Upheld and Joe Vitt Sitting Pretty

In an announcement that surprised nobody, Commissioner Goodell has upheld the suspensions he originally handed down to the New Orleans Saints. I know that the Saints had every right to challenge and appeal the ruling, but did they really think that they would get anything major changed? I know that there is talk of the Saints receiving the 2013 second round pick back, but I expect them to still pay a heavy fee for their actions. I have to give Goodell props for sticking to the punishment. The Saints better prepare for a rough year. It also appears that Parcells is out of the running to be the interim head coach for the Saints and it appears that assistant head coach/linebackers coach Joe Vitt is who the team is leaning towards.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

San Diego Chargers Draft Picks

With the draft just a handful of days away, here is a look at all of the picks that the Chargers have.

Round 1: 18th
Round 2: 49th
Round 3: 78th
Round 4: 110th
Round 5: 149th
Round 6: 183rd
Round 7: 226th
Round 7: 250th

With these picks, San Diego is in a prime position to trade down in the first round, either to a team looking to get back into the first round or someone looking to move up a few spots to lock up a player like Alabama safety Mark Barron or Notre Dame receiver Michael Floyd.

Monday, April 9, 2012

New Free Agents Receive Jersey Numbers

The San Diego Chargers have been very active in free agency even if they haven't been making the biggest splashes. They have added a number of quality players at several positions that will either start or provide great depth. One of the more interesting issues that comes up after the ink has dried is the issue of jersey numbers. Some players are attached to certain numbers, having used them their whole career. The issue ends up that a player on the new team already wears that number. At this point, there are two solutions. First, accept a new number and start a new chapter. Second, pay for the number. This is always an interesting case because it doesn't have to be just cash. Just ask how good this can be for former Giants punter Jeff Feagles. Feagles swapped numbers twice in New York, earning a paid vacation to Florida for his family (Eli Manning/10) and a renovated kitchen (Plaxico, 17, never paid). Here is the list of new free agents and their new numbers and extra information when possible.

#6: Charlie Whitehurst, QB (same number he wore with team before trade to Seattle)
#11: Eddie Royal, WR (wore number 19 in Denver)
#12: Robert Meachem (wore number 17 in New Orleans)
#13: Roscoe Parrish (wore number 11 in Buffalo)
#27: Atari Bigby (wore number 20 in Green Bay and number 27 in Seattle)
#33: Le'Ron McClain (wore 44 in Kansas City and 33 in Baltimore)
#41: Nick Polk (was a member of the team who missed all of last season)
#50: Ricky Elmore (wore number 57 with Green Bay)
#58: Demorrio Williams (wore number 51 in Atlanta and 53 in Kansas City)
#87: Michael Spurlock (wore numbers 17, 81 in Tampa Bay and 18 in San Francisco)
#88: Donte Rosario (wore number 88 in Carolina and 49 in Denver)
#96: Jarret Johnson (wore number 95 in Baltimore, used by Shaun Phillips)

Chargers Draft Prospects: Whitney Mercilus

Next up for the Charger Madness draft profiles is Illinois one year wonder Whitney Mercilus. Mercilus was a one year starter, and boy did he make the best of it. He has climbed higher and higher on many draft boards and is expected to be selected sometime in the bottom half of the first round. Many mocks have him being selected by the Chargers.

Position: DE/OLB
Weight: 261 lbs.
Height: 6' 4''

Pros: This guy has great acceleration and possesses pure speed for the position, perhaps his biggest upside. Mercilus has great hand use and is a pain to block, possessing the wiggle to worm his way to the quarterback. This flexibility allows him to gain good positioning against linemen. He is a player who doesn't shy away from contact and is very physical in the trenches. He is a very good tackler and does a great job wrapping up ball carriers and bringing them down. His length allows him to make a reach and have an impact on the play and has good hand placement. He finished the season with 16 sacks (1st in the nation), 22.5 tackles for loss, and 9 forced fumbles (school record and 2nd in NCAA history).

Cons: People will knock that he only had one year of starting experience in college, but when he got the chance, he produced. He doesn't focus on technique to much and is still developing his snap anticipation. He doesn't have the best hips and tends to play high. My biggest concern is his lack of change of direction ability. If he is going to play OLB, he will have to react to the play and recover quickly at times.

Whitney Mercilus is a player who has great potential and should hear his name called early. While he would be learning a new position if he is selected by the Chargers, he has the potential to become a great pass rusher. With his ability to force fumbles and efficiency as a tackler, he should be able to develop into a player who can play every down. This would be a great pickup for the Chargers. What is best is that the team may be able to trade down to select him somewhere around the early 20's. That would be a win/win for the team.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Bill Simmons View on the Battle to Change the Culture of the NFL

Bill Simmons at has a great piece on the uphill battle that player safety faces in trying to change the culture of the NFL, as well as a critic of the actions of the league to date. This is a great piece. Check it out through the link below.

Tapes of William's Pre-Game Speech Could Be Final Nail in the Coffin

It just seems to be getting worse for Gregg Williams and company. With the recent release of the audio/video for Williams pre-game motivational speech before the 49ers game, the evidence and extent of the bounty system in place in New Orleans. The audio is disturbing. I know that some players are saying that it isn't that bad, but I have to disagree. I can excuse the example of taking out the head and killing the body as an example, but to specifically mention going after a player's ACL is disgusting. Saying that you are going to go after a player in any way like that is beyond comprehension. It is one thing to play the game physically and try to be a punisher on defense, but to target like that is beyond belief. I know that teams do this more than we want to believe, but this goes beyond the idea of certain players taking this actions. To have a coach basically say that he is personally going to pay for the first hit on Alex Smith is just wrong. This raises the question of how in the world Sean Payton couldn't have known about this. I doubt that this is the first speech that went like this, and this guy is under you. How could you not have known?

People can argue the morals of Pamphilon releasing the tapes without the consent of Steve Gleason, the fact remains that what was stated is horrible. I think that he had an obligation to report this. People will question the release of the tapes, if they should have been given to the league offices or held, but in the end, it is a moot point. Pamphilon may well have opened himself up to a lawsuit or two, both from Gleason and the Saints as an organization.

Williams can forget ever being in the NFL after this. Just imagine the fan outrage if this guy gets back in. I don't see him getting a job in football at the collegiate level either. Teams have to worry enough about rouge boosters paying players. Why bring in a coach with a reputation like Williams? I will say that Williams was a great coordinator and was a big part in the Saints turnaround and their Super Bowl win. All of that doesn't matter anymore. Williams has soiled what should have been a great legacy. He may get a job, but his reputation is destroyed.

I don't always agree with the way that Goodell player safety issues, but this time he got it right. This should never be allowed to happen.

For those of you who want to listen to the audio, a link is provided below. Be warned, this is neither workplace or children appropriate and the language is strong to say the least.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Spurlock Joins the Chargers

It appears that the Chargers are adding even more depth at wide receiver and returner with the signing of former Buc Micheal Spurlock. Spurlock has spent time with several teams in the league and is mainly a return specialist. His most memorable moment came in 2007, when he returned a kickoff 90 yards against the Atlanta Falcons for the Bucs. It was the first kick returned for a touchdown in Buccaneers history. At that time, the team had already been in existence for 32 years. San Diego appears to be stockpiling depth at reciever and returner. This now gives the Chargers 4 viable options in the return game with Eddie Royal, Micheal Spurlock, Roscoe Parrish, and Richard Goodman. I have to think that at least 1 if not 2 of these players will be cut before the start of the season. If I am Richard Goodman, I am on my toes.

Luis Castillo Returns

The San Diego Chargers have announced that they have signed DE Luis Castillo back to the team on a 1 year contract. Castillo missed all but part of the preseason opener last season with a broken leg. The team cut his in a salary cap move. He rejoins the team on a much cheaper deal. Catillo is a former first round selection for the Chargers and rejoins Antonio Garay in resigning with the team. It appears that the Chargers defensive line will look much the same as last year with Garay and Thomas holding the middle and Castillo, Martin, Cesaire, and Liuget on the ends. It will be interesting to see if San Diego is pleased enough to offer Castillo a long term deal at the end of the season. By signing him to a 1 year deal, they ensure that they are making a minimal investment given his injury and can possibly gain a maximum reward of Castillo returning to form. This is a smart move by the Chargers.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A Look Ahead: Biggest Games on the Chargers Schedule

While the official schedule has not been set, teams do know who they will be playing. With that in mind, here are 5 games to watch this season.

1) Denver at San Diego

I know that this game will happen twice this year, so lets go with the Chargers home game against the Broncos. This game has serious draw. With the exception of the Patriots, no team vexed Manning more while in Indy than the Chargers. Rivers gets to dual with Manning at home. Denver is possibly the only team in the league that will look so different and is a division rival. What is there not to like?

2) Baltimore at San Diego

The Ravens are one of the most physical teams in the NFL. This game will be brutal, regardless of the final score. The Ravens are one of 6 teams the Chargers play that were playoff teams last year. The Ravens advanced the farthest of any of the 6. With the influx of former Ravens on the team, expect this to be a great battle.

3) San Diego at New Orleans

I know that the Saints defense is going to be hindered during at least part of the season, but we don't yet know when the Chargers will be playing the Saints. What we will have is two great offenses going toe to toe. This game should be an offensive highlight reel waiting to happen. New Charger Robert Meachem gets a homecoming game against his former team and the Chargers face former quarterback Drew Brees.

4) San Diego at New York Jets

These two teams have produced some good games the last few years, and there is a bit of bad blood. We get to hear Rex Ryan run his big trap for a whole week about this game, which is always entertaining. What is most intriging is that San Diego just may end up facing Tebow this year after all.

5) San Diego at Tampa Bay

This game has been on the radar ever since Vincent Jackson signed with the Bucs. While the Bucs took a step back last year, this is still a very talented team with plenty of youth. The Chargers should be looking forward to this one, especially after all of the headaches that Jackson caused the last two years.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

San Diego Chargers Add More Depth at Receiver

The Chargers have added yet more depth at the receiver position today, signing former Bills receiver Roscoe Parrish to a 1 year contract. Parrish was mainly a punt returner for the Bills. Parrish is injury prone, having missed a total of 22 games the last 2 seasons. He missed 8 in 2010 due to a broken wrist and 14 games in 2011 due to an ankle sprain. It seems that Parrish will be injury assurance for new Chargers receiver Eddie Royal. Parrish was selected in the 2nd round (55th overall) in the 2005 NFL Draft. Parrish was a speedster who impressed the Bills with a 40 yard dash time of 4.37 seconds. He struggled with injuries throughout his career with the Bills. At worst, he ends up on IR while only having a 1 year contract. This is a great value pickup due to his return ability and cheap price. The odd man out may be Richard Goodman, who was expected to be the backup returner. I would imagine a position battle between these two in camp.

Chargers Draft Prospects: Jonathan Massaquoi

This draft seems to be full of potentially great pass rushers. There are the obvious big name guys we have all been talking about such as Nick Perry, Whitney Mercilus, and others. Looking a bit deeper into the draft, we find Troy prospect Jonathan Massaquoi. Massaquoi is a talent that many feel is better than what some think.

Position: OLB
Weight: 264 lbs.
Height: 6' 2''

Pros: Massaquoi has great size at the position but also has good flexibility, being able to change direction quickly. He possesses good stunting and twisting ability, being able to come after the quarterback. His long arms allow him to recover when he over-pursues or gets caught out of position. He is able to get into the backfield and blowup running plays and has good awareness. He is a player who is willing to spend the time in the weight room, adding 50 pounds since his senior year of high school.

Cons: For all of his ability and awareness, he does seem to get caught out of position. He can play overagressively and needs to develop more discipline when playing assignment football. He played out of position in a way at Troy, playing DE in a 3 man front. Still, he produced good numbers in his 2 years. He leaves production on the field an can disappear for stretches of games. The biggest weakness is his weakness in his read/react ability.

Massaquoi is a player who just may be starting to scratch the surface of his potential. He may have a rough time transitioning to OLB, but the potential and talent are there. With his athleticism as his biggest asset, he should be an intriguing prospect.

New Uniforms Unveiled Today

Just a heads up, the new Nike uniforms are set to be unveiled at any moment. It should be noted that these may not be as radical as we think for two reasons.

1) The NFL only allows teams to redesign their uniforms every 5 years.

2) Each team gets the final say in what their uniforms look like.

Stay tuned for updates on the new uniforms. New team gear from Nike goes on sale April 26th, the first day of the draft.

Here is ESPN's uni watch page.

Update: Here is a look at the new uniforms

Monday, April 2, 2012

Optimum Scouting 2012 Small School Prospects List

As you may have seen, Charger Madness has profiled a few small school corners recently. Players from smaller schools don't always get as much attention as they deserve. Year in and year out, players from these schools impress teams and can make a huge difference. Seriously, take a look at the roster for any team and you will be surprised at the amount of small school guys on them. With that in mind, the staff at Optimum Scouting have put together a great list of small school prospects, complete with draft round grades, at their website. To take a look, just click on the link below.

The Missing Pieces

With the first wave of free agency done with, the next focus for teams is the draft. Each year, there always seems to be a piece that a team needs, and the Chargers are no different. This year, the Chargers have needs at three areas that stand out.

1) Pass Rush: This is what people see as the biggest need for the team, and that argument can certainly be made. The team as a whole only had one player, Antwan Barnes, record more than 4 sacks. Barnes was responsible for 11 of the teams 32 sacks, which was good enough for 23rd in the league. That number has got to improve. Since San Diego runs a 3-4 scheme, that pressure has to come from the linebackers. With prospects like Whitney Mercilus and Nick Perry available, San Diego may look long and hard at upgrading this position in the first round.

2) Offensive Line: With the resigning of Hardwick and Gaither, the offensive line situation improved greatly. Still, the team could still use help. The LG spot is still up for grabs. I know that A.J. Smith has talked about allowing Tyronne Green and Brandyn Dombrowski the chance to compete for the starting job, but I wouldn't rule out a rookie being drafted and thrown into the mix. As much as the team has endorsed Clary on the right side, the public perception is not the same. Bringing in a lineman who could play both guard and tackle would both provide key depth and a challenge for both positions.

3) Secondary: Chargers fans have long been looking for an answer at SS. We have seen a revolving door of players come through and try to fill the position. Bigby seems like another player who may fill in for a season or two (I hope he is as good as A.J. thinks he is). There has been talk of moving Jammer to safety at some point to close out his career, which I think would be a good move for all parties involved. Either way, the team could stand to add some depth and talent in this unit. With the exception of SS, the starters are all good. I expect the team to either draft a safety high or find a hybrid corner/safety player at some point in the draft.

With the draft right around the corner, we will soon find out the team's plan. Will this be the year that A.J. gets it right, or will we once again be scratching our heads?

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Chargers Draft Prospects: Trumaine Johnson

We have featured a few corners already, but with the uncertainty of Jammer being around much longer, the Chargers should be looking to add depth and future starters in the draft. One intriguing prospect is Montana cornerback Trumaine Johnson.
Position: CB
Weight: 204 lbs.
Height: 6' 2''

Pros: Johnson has great height, measuring in at 6' 2''. That height would come in handy having to cover big receivers like the Chiefs Baldwin and Bowe. He is very fluid in his movements and excelled in man coverage during college. He can break underneath routes and come up with the pick and can go up and get a high ball. He has good strength and can use his size to throw around smaller players, also doing a good job a disengaging from blocks to get at least a hand on the ball carrier. He was able to often times shut down his end of the field with his presence, making quarterbacks look elsewhere for a receiver.

Cons: The biggest red flag with him is his speed. He was clocked at anywhere from 4.50 to 4.60. Against faster receivers, he may not hold up. He also doesn't break down on tackles as much as you would like out of a player his size. This causes him to whiff at times. Johnson also doesn't have much to show with zone coverage. He can lose the ball when it is in the air at times. Johnson competed at the FCS level, so questions remain about the level of competition he faced and if it could prepare him for the NFL.

Whoever drafts him better hope that his game speed is better than his 40 time. That being said, this kid should be able to step into the rotation on nickel and dime packages and contribute on special teams.