Since the draft all has been quiet on the western front with the Chargers and the league in general if you put aside all the legal bantering. So, a quick moment to look back at the draft, the rumors and where it all becomes pertinent once the season starts.
Starting with the draft, thegregone is holding his opinion on the subject. The good news is Corey Liuget looks to be a solid pick. Every mock draft I saw had him going higher than he did in the draft. All reports say he is very powerful, has a nonstop motor and will be a good option as a defensive end although he is listed as a defensive tackle. His nickname is ‘Legit’ and we’re all hoping he lives up to it. This pick did come as a surprise considering the fact that the third best cornerback, Prince Amukamara was there as were defensive ends Cameron Jordan and Muhammad Wilkerson. The knocks are that he lacks explosion and lower body strength, doesn’t hold the double team well and only has an average bull rush. These are all things that can be taught. New defensive coordinator Greg Manusky was the most sought after coach at his position this offseason and if that is who he wanted, and we know he had plenty of say in the matter, I trust his judgement. Todman looks like a steal if he is as good as advertised and locals are thrilled with San Diego State wideout Vincent Brown. I think the Chargers did well addressing special teams, first by firing special teams coach Steve Crosby, then by adding depth to the third unit by drafting players in the last rounds to fill out the special teams. I was disappointed the Chargers let Casey Matthews get away but again, in Manusky we trust…
Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith has come out and backpedaled on his statements that he wants to be traded to the Chargers or the Ravens but we know that’s to make the Panthers happy. Who would want to stay in Carolina? Steve Smith would look awesome in a Charger uniform. Playing on a championship caliber team would re-energize Smith and with Rivers throwing the ball Smith would look like his old pro bowl self again. If i’m AJ Smith, after I offer a contract to Nnamdi Asomugha, my next contract goes out to Steve Smith. Imagine a three wide receiver set with Smith and Jackson on the outside, Malcolm Floyd in the slot and Antonio Gates patrolling the short middle of the field. No team in the league could stop that. If the league plays by 2010 rules this season because the lockout has shortened preparation time and the franchise tag stays in effect, we could easily see that. With not one but three legitimate deep threats on the field at the same time, then Gates spreading the defense, Rivers could have Marino’s single season passing record broken by week 12. And I haven’t even mentioned what Ryan Matthews would be able to do as he enters the season healthy.
Rivers is coordinating practice sessions with the team and most of the team is showing up for the practices to stay in shape and get in reps. There is no doubt Rivers would take it upon himself to do that but it is nice to see on film that it is happening.
Norv Turner says resigning Sproles is priority one. This sounds like coachspeak to drive up the price for Sproles. Sproles is dynamic and he will always be remembered for killing the Colts in overtime of the playoffs two seasons ago but he makes too much money for a situational back and Todman looks to be in line for his spot. It will be sad seeing him go but his salary can be used to take care of most of the new draftees, including Todman.
What would I like to see happen from here?
1. The Chargers offer Nnamdi Asomugha a FAT multi-year contract befitting a franchise player. He would come to the best defense in the league on a legitimate contender. The Chargers had beaten his Raiders every game of his career until this past season. He knows how good our defense is and how much better he would make them.
2. The Chargers sign Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith. It won’t take big money to convince him to leave. He would take less to come home.
3. The Chargers aggressively pursue big name, high character free agents. Smith, Nick Barnett, Lamar Woodley, Tamba Hali, Ray Edwars for starters.
4. The Chargers continue to practice on their own throughout the lockout and come into the season healthy and ready to dominate the AFC West once again.
Any bulletpoints from Charger Nation? Anything you would like to see happen that I didn’t mention? Add it to the list…