While the San Diego Chargers have hired their General Manager (Tom Telesco) and Head Coach (Mike McCoy) they had a block of “Swiss Cheese,” awaiting them. When a team doesn’t make the playoffs they always have a ton of room for improvement. So what do the Chargers need to address? What can take them to the next level? Most importantly how should they address these issues?
Cornerback- It is a must in the NFL, especially when your two lead guys are on the free agent market. The Chargers have some young talent but it still remains to be seen if they have enough young talent to lose both Quentin Jammer and Antoine Cason. Between Cason and Jammer San Diego might be able to let one walk and make a signing. If that is the case Cason states a case as to why he should be the guy. He’s young, he still shows room for improvement, and the experience is there for consistency. The only problem is that his price may be a little high, so signing Jammer and drafting a Cornerback in the first round isn’t a horrible idea.
Prediction: I think the team will bring Jammer back and draft a nice young Corner for him to teach. Seems like it makes the most sense, and the cheapest.
Offensive line- Some have said this was the biggest problem with the Chargers this year. O-line is never an easy fix in the past. It seems like now a days more and more Offensive linemen are coming out and working hard to improve their game. San Diego has a lot of options with this spot. The only player safe is Nick Hardwick. The Left Tackle slot is WIDE OPEN. With that being said, The Broncos Left Tackle Ryan Clady will be a free agent and San Diego has the power with Mike McCoy to sign him. Drafting a Left Tackle makes sense because of the position of the draft that San Diego has this year. San Diego could also sign a Guard like Levitre and draft Eric Fisher out of Central Michigan. Don’t stop thinking about Luke Jockel as the Bolts might feel the need to make the trade.
Prediction: I have a very strong feeling that San Diego will sign a Left Tackle like Clady or on his level. Jake Long is a possibility as well.
Outside Linebacker/DE- The Chargers defense looked nice in 2012 with one problem. They weren’t sacking the quarterback. They were always just a hair too late and with Dwight Freeney on the free agent market who can’t help but entertain the idea that he could be wearing a different shade of blue next year? Even with Tom Telesco in San Diego maybe he has a little edge in luring him away from Indy for the right price. He is also athletic enough to line up at linebacker so we can put that to rest. Kendall Reyes has proved he can be a starter no questions asked. Corey Liuget has proven me wrong and came out to play (I eat my words Booga). I wouldn’t count Shaun Phillips out of San diego just yet. San Diego should make some improvement here to create a better pass rush.
Prediction: San Diego signs Freeney at a less sexy price due to his age and injury issues while retaining Shaun Phillips. It just makes sense.
Wide Receiver- Why do I think this is a hole? It’s due to the fact that M-80 just couldn’t carry the load in 2012. Alexander played well down the stretch but that knee will always be sitting in the back of my head. Meach didn’t work out as well as the Chargers had hoped, but they are going to need to find a way to make it work. Vincent Browns coming out party was postponed but, with number one potential, they have to be thinking about his ankle and if it can hold up. With all this being said San Diego doesn’t have one Wide Out that is a RELIABLE number 1, and with Dwayne Bowe looking for a new home with a reliable quarterback. Who better to fit his need? Rivers is a big selling point for players on offense as well.
Prediction: In all reality the Chargers do have bigger fish to fry other than a number 1 Wide Out, but it should be sitting in the middle of their minds. They might try to make do making some minor moves here.
San Diego has a lot of work to do but the smaller pieces need to be put in place to win. While all these moves may seem like “sexy moves,” remember players get older and skills wear and tear. For instance the Dwight Freeney signing only holds value of veteran ship, leadership and gives the young guys Corey and Kendell someone who they can really learn from. San Diego will need to fill the holes in their, “Swiss Cheese,” and make a solid block of sharp edgy, “Cheddar.”