By: Keenan Rickless
I would like to think I can offer the perspective of a typical somewhat informed fan. I have to say, despite being disappointed in the past few seasons, I am cautiously optimistic. I know we have a ton of players coming off contracts this off-season and that worries me. For one, a loss of Vincent Jackson could be devastating. The loss of a deep threat like him could make our pass game a bit one-dimensional.
However, if Philip Rivers showed anything last season (2010), it is that he can pass the ball anywhere. Legedu Naanee, Seyi Ajirotutu? Who are they? No one knows, but look, they are out there catching passes. My big concern is the impact that VJ could have AGAINST us if he lands in a place like New England. Chad Ochocinco was a bit of a disappointment for them in the deep game. I am sure with players like Tom Brady, Wes Welker, and the duo of tight ends, they can’t have much caproom.
Now to the optimism. The Chargers are, and have been, standing on the edge of winning a ring for many years now. Last season showed both the importance of special teams (phew, glad we shored that up) and the importance of big plays. The number one defense and offense didn’t make the playoffs because we couldn’t make the big plays. This season, Weddle REALLY made a name for himself and is fired up for another huge season. If we can acquire another play maker, either off the draft or through free agency, we could go all the way. Corey Liuget has the physicality to became the pass rusher we wanted him to be. If he works hard this off season, I think he can come back and alone solve the problem. We could really break through the line with a good draft pick-up of an explosive OLB. Our linebackers are a bit slow and that’s a weakness that should be addressed. If we could add a pass-rushing big play maker to our 3-4 core, then Weddle can do his thing that much better against a pressured QB.
I hear talks of free agents as well, while this would be a great step, picking up an older player to help out will only last so long. I am nowhere near the knowledge level of a general manager, but I feel that with a couple smart decisions, this next season could be ours.