July 23, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers tight end Ladarius Green (89) looks down the line during a scrimmage in training camp at Charger Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Time For The San Diego Chargers Youngsters To See Action


Time for the kids to see some action! Norv loved to lean on his vets. Youngsters struggled to develop and struggled to even see the field. They had to fight to see action or the depth at the position had to be so terrible, that Norv had no other choice but to play the kid. It was much easier for players on the defensive side of the ball to get a chance, but there still seemed to be a struggle.

Ryan Mathews had been in the dog house since he joined the team. He deserved it to a point, but last season when he was healthy, Norv still would rely on Ronnie Brown to split playing time. Ladarius Green was needed for some action at tight end last year and he made plays in his little opportunity, but as soon as players were healthy again, he was at the back burner. Countless draft picks on runningbacks just wasted away while Norv placed them on inactive lists. Wide receiver Mike Willie showed promise in the preseason, but when the depth at the position was thin, Willie just sat on the practice squad.

Hopefully Mike McCoy is dedicated to grooming the young guys on the roster. Ladarius Green has a ton of speed at the tight end position and could be a mismatch problem for defenses. Give the kid some reps and use him in situations that he can exploit the defense.

Ryan Mathews has shown that he has Pro Bowl abilities if he is not fumbling the football or injured. He just needs opportunities. Why did he have to split time behind Ronnie Brown and Jackie Battle? Why couldn’t we just feed him that rock over and over again.

Mike Willie is a big receiver that could develop into a good option for the team. Sitting on the sideline in meaningless games was not helping him develop. He basically spent a whole year on the practice squad. Give the kid a shot.

There are even guys on the offensive line that could have been groomed into starters. C/G David Molk could be used more and groomed into a future starter. Steve Schilling was drafted a couple of seasons ago and could help protect Philip. Johnnie Troutman should see some action this year and he might not even sniff the field if Norv was still running the ship.

On defense, there was a little more opportunity for the youngsters to get on the field, but some players were still in the dog house and slotted into different roles. People hate on Larry English a ton, mainly because he hasn’t done anything on the field because of his injuries. Last season, he wasn’t even injured and he still had to ride the bench. Why didn’t he get a shot? Let him get some frickin reps. He was a first round pick and he was sitting as the 5th option.

Melvin Ingram was stuck behind Jarret Johnson and Shaun Phillips. He should be a starting linebacker this season. He could have been fighting for rookie of the year consideration, but he was fighting for playing time instead.

Maybe Darrell Stuckey could actually see some playing time on defense. When Brandon Taylor actually was given an opportunity to play, he got injured. There are safeties that were brought in to take over the position, but we would rather give the playing time to the vets. Things better have changed.

The drafts may have been bad, but the coaching staff didn’t help develop the youngsters on the field. Time to see what these guys can do. Time to let the kids play! We might actually have a future rookie of the year candidate again.

Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: San Diego Chargers

  • Martymar

    Hopefully if not let’s start all over

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Edward-Moretti/100002785058214 Edward Moretti

    Great article. I still am convinced that Reyes and Lynch would have never gotten an opportunity last year if not for the injuries of the guys ahead of them. So long to the status quo. Produce or it’s next guy up. I love it.

    • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

      I think the exact same thing… Seems like the only way youngsters were able to play!!! Was so frustrating

  • tpowell619

    Agree 100%

  • Rob Base

    Some of those players are itching to play. Can’t wait to see Green get more reps. Also let Ingram loose! Norval depended to much on the Vets your right its time to let the youngsters get playing time. A rookie of the year would be cool too!

  • TheReturnOfMrBlanks

    I’m excited to see the buried young guys play, not playing your early draft picks is kinda backwards.

    • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

      He did it every year! Every year!

      • arnie

        I used to say that on another fan site. If aj was so good at finding talent, why were they riding the pine.
        Then I got banned.

        • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

          From seeing all your comments, have a hard time seeing why you would get banned. I don’t think I have banned one person on this site ever. I even let the comments of people talking crap about me stick around.

          • arnie

            Thanks Ernie.
            And for reasons you mentioned, is the reason why i am here and have never gone back.
            If can vent a little, you have never given me the impression I had to kiss your butt, simply because you are the moderated here.
            You have never given me the impression I had to have stats, or “reported facts”on speed dial, just to share an opinion.

            Vent over…..

      • JoseSD

        I can’t believe Ladarius Green never got to play, the only time he got on the field was that game against the titans. Did you watch sound fx when he had that big catch that was almost 50 yards Norv told him “I finally give you a shot and you can’t score” I know it was a joke but come on instead of seeing the talent and play making ability of this mismatch TE he plays McMichael and Rosario

        • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

          Ha… Saw it… Shoulda got that kid In the game more!!!!

        • tubbs45

          It does seem crazy, but considering the TE’s were primarily in protection 90% of the time Gates, McMichael and Rosario were far better at blocking.

    • http://www.facebook.com/lostkiara Stefanie Smith

      Not playing your early draft picks = old school thinking, believing they need time to develop into NFL players.

      Yeah, RG 3 in a great position for year 2 of his NFL career.

  • Nolan

    Thats what I’ve been saying. Why didn’t they play the rookies we drafted them why not use them!!!!

  • Preston Niedert

    I agree the rookies need to play. But think about this if we had rookie playing would we have even gotten a 7-9 record I’m not saying the record was great far from it. But there should be mixture of rookies and vetreans rookies at sortain spots and vetreans at sortain spots as well. Would you want a rookie LT gaurding rivers blindside againts von miller or elvis dumervil or etc.. so yes there should be rookies playing but at sortain spots.

    • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

      I can handle a rookie starting at left tackle, but he better not be an undrafted free agent rookie!

      • arnie

        The better question is, if we had started them earlier, would the team be in better financial, position to re-sign players needed rights now. See ther’s no way we can go back and say woulda’, coulda’, shoulda’. But we can do is look forward, realize we have some good young players, and let them step up and prove they can be stars on this team.

        • Preston Niedert

          Yes and no cause the chargers would have a worser record then the one they have now. If we started the rookies we might have a little more money and cap space but we were up and down. The season to me was up in the air and the chargers were lucky rivers didnt get hurt or land on IR.

          • arnie

            i’d say it was more yes and maybe. See Louis Vasquez started in his rookie season. he unseated a veteran starter to get it. the amount of sacks PR got did not go up, because of the change.
            My point is, you never know who’s going to make a play and change the games outcome for you. What is certain, you cannot make difference from the bench. Then again this is the reason aj an norv are gone. to many good players let go, and to many average players overpaid. norv not developing the young players, and having the team prepared.

      • Preston Niedert

        All im saying is the rookie will have a lot on his plate with the learning curb and to throw into the fire with some of the best past rushers I hope the chargers sign a LT like max Starks or Jerome bushrod but beware of bushrod value he was only avarge OT cause drew brees was a Moblie QB and rivers is not.

  • arnie

    This is why I’m not really worried about the players the Chargers released, or filling holes. There are plenty of players that are under contract, and ready to play.
    Yet when it came time to play them, aj went out and spent money on a FA to start.

  • GiLLy

    Let the youngsters prove themselfs! (:

  • http://www.facebook.com/lostkiara Stefanie Smith

    As to Matthews, he didn’t play a lot because he couldn’t take a lot. Right now he has another broken clavicle.
    Not much that tells people that he is durable. Also he split reps because everyone was thinking he came back to quickly. Well, as history shows us, he got injured again.

    That is why he needed to split reps. He won’t last this year either if he plays every down.

  • davacho

    GREAT freaking article. that is all.

  • tubbs45

    Man I have had such high hopes for Darrell Stuckey. Hope he can come on strong this year. He can really lay the wood if he is not hurt or riding the pine.

  • arnie

    Caption that Photo up there.
    “you want we to do what Coach? play? i thought my job was to sit on the bench?”