Are the San Diego Chargers in Rebuilding Mode?

Dec 30, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers inside linebacker Takeo Spikes (51) yells while escorted off the field by tight end Randy McMichael (left) after being ejected during the second quarter against the Oakland Raiders at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The offseason is far from done and there are plenty of moves to be made, but are the Chargers moving in the right direction this offseason? Or are we in a straight rebuilding mode? A lot of people are questioning it.

The Chargers have let go of a lot of vets and made even more holes on the roster, but they also are giving more opportunities to some of the youth. The moves in free agency haven’t exactly had us singing from a mountain top, but depth has been added in big areas of need. Our biggest cancer and waste of money, Jared Gaither, is still on the roster. Are we moving in the right direction? Are we getting any better?

First things first, things aren’t done yet. Free agency is a long process and we will be looking to sign guys throughout the whole offseason.

I think things are going along right as planned and we will be competing next season. The AFC West looks like it will be going to the Denver Broncos, but the Wild Card isn’t out of the question. In the playoffs, you just need to get hot.

Lots of the players that we have let walk are replaceable. Louis Vasquez was tough to lose, but we don’t need to spend money like that on a guard that is just OK. We can probably draft a better one in the second round this year. Chad Rinehart may not be a big signing, but he is already better than Tyronne Green and I know barely anything about him. That is how bad Green was as a starter.

Antoine Cason was decent and we replaced him with a better player in free agency. Quentin Jammer is another year older and will get replaced with fresh legs. It will either be Shareece Wright or another player in the draft.

The draft will fill out a lot of the holes that we have been waiting to see filled. I can see at least 3 starting jobs being filled from the upcoming draft. We are going to have to rely on the younger players more than we did in the past. It is not a bad thing.

The passing game already got better with the addition of Danny Woodhead. Woodhead is going to give Philip Rivers a dynamic option in the passing game and will give him someone to dump the ball off to that can create yards. Danario Alexander still needs to sign his deal and that will definitely make things a little more comfortable on offense.

The loss of Takeo Spikes sucks, but he definitely had his weaknesses on the defensive side of the ball. He was a sure tackler, but wasn’t a playmaker. Demorrio Williams made more impact plays than Takeo last season. Bront Bird can fill in for the time being if needed, but I am sure that another player will be added on the roster via the draft or free agency.

The biggest sign to tell if the Chargers are going in the right direction is that offensive line. We aren’t done working there. Depending on who we get in the draft and in free agency will be our easy way to see if we have gotten better. Right now, we only have depth at o-line on the roster and no real starters. If they were starters, this team would be real suspect.

Let’s see who we get for o-line and we will know where we are at. I think we will be doing alright.

Topics: San Diego Chargers

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

    Ernie: Do you think they are just going to let Alexander go? How much more pressure should we throw at Rivers? Now he has to contend with a new offense, a ton of new players, new GM.

    I think they are going to let Alexander go. And they are full of it, if they say that Alexander is not worth keeping.

    • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

      im wondering why the heck they only gave him a low tender…if they dont match the offer that another team sends to alexander, then we better sign someone else. wouldn’t be very confident with what we have on the roster without alexander.

      • JoseSD

        Has anyone even tried to sign him? That whole Cleveland trying to steal him was just speculation

        • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

          i bet someone will… just had to go after unrestricted free agents first.

    • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

      i think the plan going in was to match the offer so they could have a baseline for what a fragile receiver would get for multiple years… but some team could always overpay and make things very difficult.

  • Preston Niedert

    Yes and no the only reason the chargers are not in a complete rebuilding phase is Philip rivers. if the chargers didnt have rivers then yes the chargers would be in a complete rebuilding phase.

    • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

      completely agree

    • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

      if we didn’t have rivers, we would have been competing with the Raiders and Chiefs for the bottom of the division

  • RussinSactown

    I think we are in rebuilding mode and it was much needed. AJ and Norv rode the vets as far as they’d go and we have no clue what the young guns can do for us. We’ll be dealing with a lot of pain in the next year or two but it’s gotta happen.

    • Preston Niedert

      Would you trust a rookie LT to guard rivers blindside we all know how that work out last year. Also would you trust two rookie CB with Payton manning in the division. I’m all for rookie playing but at sortain spots.

      • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

        i could trust a rookie covering Philip’s blind spot…. last season was an undrafted guy. he should have never been in that position. A first round pick at left tackle is a much better option in my eyes.

        • Preston Niedert

          The rookie LT is going up against Von miller Elvis dumervil if he resigns. My point is the LT will face off against the best of DE the NFL has to offer if we sign Eric Winston I feel alot better with one side locked down not two and for heavens sake I hope clary is cut he was the reason rivers was sacked alot beside Tyrone Green

          • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

            rookie LT has got a ton of work to do, if he is any good, he will win his share of battles against players like that. dumervil can’t get past a fax machine

          • http://www.standupforkids.org blackroseMD1

            “dumervil can’t get past a fax machine”

            I laughed out loud at this. Maybe we should sign a fax machine at OT.

          • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

            :)

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-P-Derrick/1654577989 James P Derrick

            LMFAO, the whole OLine needs a fax machine logo on their jerseys….

          • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

            That would be epic!!! Hahaha

          • http://www.standupforkids.org blackroseMD1

            I would take up a collection to pay for that. Hahaha

          • http://www.facebook.com/pete.spinning Pete Spinning

            ZING!!!!!

      • Sergio Quintero

        The last veteran LT remaining is McKinnie, the word out there is that he may sign with the Dolphins. So your 3 options are:
        1 Trust Gaither at LT (I can’t stomach this one)
        2 Draft a Lane Johnson at 11, who reports say is already a very functional pass blocker, and his reaching his potential is more of a getting stronger and improving his run blocking.
        3 Draft a 2nd tier LT in the 2nd-3rd round range, and all of them will have some big red flags, as the drop off from top 3 LT’s seems substantial.

        • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

          i would cry if we signed mckinnie… he is like gaither.

        • Preston Niedert

          Lane Johnson is not the answer Eric fisher would be a better fit and with the way free angecey is playing fisher might be there at 11

          • TheReturnOfMrBlanks

            No way he’s there at pick 5, 3 out of the top 5 teams would love to have him. I wouldn;t be surprised if he goes #1. Most likely none of the big 3 LT’s will be there at #11. 0% chance Fisher will be

          • Sergio Quintero

            I’m sad to say I agree with you, no way in hell do I see Fisher at 11. Out of what I’m hearing is that Fisher is consensus top 5 pick. Somebody in the top 5, will just go BPA and take Fisher.

          • TheReturnOfMrBlanks

            Awe remember the good ol days (a month ago) when everybody had Fisher just breaking the top 20? Man alot has changed since then lol

          • Sergio Quintero

            I hate to say it, but if Fisher drops to 5-6 pick range I would trade up, I expect the dolphins to seriously consider trading up, and they have more picks to do so.

          • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

            Hahaha… Dang

          • Preston Niedert

            Thn draft chance warmack and take a OT next year there aren’t many opions unless telesco sign a OT in free agency

          • Sergio Quintero

            If they don’t draft a functional LT this year, you’re risking on shortening the career for Rivers.

          • Preston Niedert

            It’s the same as drafting lane Johnson or not fixing the oline

          • Sergio Quintero

            If all LT’s 3 are gone, I would try to trade down, and take one the guards (Cooper is best scheme fit), and take Barrett Jones in the 2nd round as my LT. People forget he won the Outland Trophy as a LT as a junior.

          • Sergio Quintero

            If Fisher is there it takes them 10 seconds and they run up and take him, I just don’t see any way he’s there at 11, I’m hoping, I just don’t think its realistic.

            Some people think Lane Johnson is to raw, I liked what I saw in games in particular the Senior Bowl, he’s already a damn good pass blocker. Having to start Harris/Gaither or a rookie like Watson or Armstead is not very attractive to me, and Rivers will take a lot of punishment.

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

      Why should we have to deal with pain in the next year or two? Could have kept Norv and AJ around for that. Are you saying that there was nothing for the new management to work with on the Chargers team?
      If that is so, how did we win any games?

      • RussinSactown

        We had some vets which is all well and good. But we went 7-9 last year. We have to face the facts that the vets we started are getting long in the tooth and there in lies the problem.

      • JoseSD

        The strength of this team is the young and very good front seven on Defense. Liuget, Reyes, cam Thomas,Donald Butler and Melvin Ingram. Wright and Gilchrist have a chance to shine now that Norv and his favoritism towards vets is gone. Plus we still have Weddle, Rivers, Gates, V Brown, among others. My main concern is just fixing this line getting a good run game to complement the passing game, something norv never did

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

    We pushed to get AJ and Norv fired because we didn’t get to post season play, and did not even break even on the wins and losses. Now, we are supposed to just forget about all that and pay to see them get worse?

    Is going to the playoffs out of the question now? If yes, then why did we get rid of Norv and AJ? Nothing will have changed.

    I was hoping they were here to coach up Rivers and help us win more games and maybe get us to the playoffs soon.

    • JoseSD

      You’re joking right?? Just cause there might be some growing pains in replacing some players Cason sucked, Jammer was too old, Garay wasn’t very good, Green was pushed around, Vasquez wasn’t as great as people make it out to be. They’re not overhauling the team they just need to fill holes in the secondary and offensive line. The main thing is protecting Philip. We saw in that second game against the chiefs where they mostly kept him clean and he only had two incomplete passes the whole game. They’re not done yet and there still the draft. Just cause they’re making changes and moving in the right direction you think they’re gonna lose more games and we should have kept AJ and Norvell??? That’s just ridiculous. Norv is a terrible head coach. He couldn’t motivate his players, made terrible clock management decisions, and could never adjust his gameplans when things were going bad, he had to go and so did AJ

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

        If you read through these entries and around this site, people are predicting we win around 5 games next season. They contend that is part of rebuilding. I disagree. Not willing to go along with rebuilding means losing a bunch of games. That is why I made the comments I did. Look around at some of the entries. Many believe losing a load of games is part of rebuilding. “Losing a load of games”–well, we could have just kept AJ and Norv and continued to do that.

        As you can see from my prior post to which you responded, I posed the questions.

        We got rid of Norv and AJ because we missed the playoffs last season again—Will we be getting there any time soon and/or will we have a winning season in 2013 ?

        Some think we have to give that up while we rebuild. I don’t buy it.

        • JoseSD

          Everyone here thinks that?? Well let me place my bet in Vegas now. They may lose more games they may not. A wild card berth isn’t out of the question. Did you forget that the Colts went from 1-15 to the playoffs last year with Telesco on their staff. The colts did it with a good draft.and smart free agent decisions, sounds familiar doesn’t it. But to say “well we might as well have kept aj” is just plain wrong….sorry. More Norv would be more underachieving on the field and more AJ would be more alienating your own players and chasing them away and more wasted.draft picks

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

            Nowhere in my posts did I state “everyone”. But read through the ones regarding the Jets signing Barnes.
            There is this idea forming out there that part of “rebuilding” will result in additional losing seasons.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-P-Derrick/1654577989 James P Derrick

      What is the message they (Team/Org) are giving when they lowered the prices on season tickets?? LOL, not trying to be an ass, but it doesn’t exactly convey they are ready to go for the Lombardi to me…
      I’ll take as many wins as they can get….PR17 may be the man right now, but he is not getting any younger….We will all see when the Draft is said and done, then the Pre-Season…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000244780102 Douglas Jackson

    This is more like a reset than a rebuild..PR is still the man. Regardless of what anyone says I think the receiving corps is g2g and were badly miss used by Norv. If the oline can get some quality starters then the running game will get back on track. The D is still top 10 so while there’s plenty of room for skepticism but also alot of room for optimism

  • Sergio Quintero

    I’m on record, this looks like a rebuild, this looks like cleaning the cap, and going through growing pains with young players. They are signing transition vets, until some rookies are ready to replace them.

    • Sergio Quintero

      As it looks right now the following young players will probably play extensively:

      LT: Lane Johnson or a more raw version like Armstead or Watson

      RG : Name your 2-4 round guy

      WR: Vincent Brown will probably get as many snaps as any player

      RB: Backup RB, name your 2-5 round guy

      TE: Ladarius Green will play heavily this year

      DE: Kendall Reyes will be a starter

      ILB: Until he proves he can’t play, Jonas Mouton is seen as the starter

      CB: Until the chargers sign another veteran, Gilchrist/Wright are going to be a starter.

      SS: Early word is that Brandon Taylor is seen as the starter.

      OLB: They probably will take 2-4 round range a pass rusher to replace Barnes.

      That is a lot of young players going through their lumps.

  • TheReturnOfMrBlanks

    I think they are trying to clear the cap first. second building alittle depth and then draft their starting guys this year and next year. So pretty much a 1 year rebuild using 2 drafts and the positions we have a hole at and don’t draft will get a stop gap and then draft those spots next year. We need some more draft picks!

  • http://www.facebook.com/pete.spinning Pete Spinning

    Rebuild? I don’t know if I would say this is a full rebuild… if they got rid of any of the other good players.. Weddle, Gates, Floyd, Mathews, Hardwick, and traded Rivers.. then we could say rebuild. Too many vets still on the roster. It looks like a rebuild, because we had such an ugly o-line, and secondary. None of those players were up to snuff. If those areas were worth a shite, and didn’t consistently cost us games… then Telesco wouldn’t be forced to cut so many players. FYI – our pass rush was inconsistent as well.. hence, not signing back Barnes to an expensive contract. He may have had 11 sacks in 2011, but those stats were semi-inflated, and he only had three last year. Not exactly elite numbers.

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

      Was Barnes asking for an expensive contract? No, he was not. He signed with the Jets who have bigger cap woes than we allegedly have.

      • http://www.facebook.com/pete.spinning Pete Spinning

        Great comment, Stefanie!!! Here’s the way I see it. It’s not really expensive, if you have a decent amount of cap money. But, 4 million is more than I have in my wallet to re-sign a backup PR that really didn’t make an impact last year. Our pass rush was weak sauce last year.. and the year before. It kinda reminds me of that thing everyone used to say about Norv… doing the same thing over & over, but expecting different results = insanity. I believe SP will be gone, and we will put Johnson, Ingram, & English in the driver’s seat. Then we draft or sign a cheaper back-up than Barnes. As for the Jets signing Barnes, despite their cap woes.. nobody knows WTF that team is doing lately. They brought in Tebow, after their locker room was already a mess. Then they barely let him play (which didn’t even seem worth the circus). They are dangling their top corner, and best player, as trade-bait. Their QB situation is a mess, and they want to add Kevin Kolb? Then they seem to be completely switching up their offensive scheme, but haven’t made any signings to support that kind of change. In short, the Jets are a friggin’ hot mess.. so I am not surprised they are mismanaging their cap. They got a low “C” grading for their FA moves to date.

  • Cgoodness13

    Telesco has done a good Job with the terrible cap he’s inherited from AJ

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

      Yeah, Franklin gone, Barnes gone… Great job.

      • Cgoodness13

        Oh 2 nobody’s gone who could not start on most teams in the league, what a tragedy!!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/pete.spinning Pete Spinning

    What’s funny is I’ve seen the Chargers receiving a “B” for their free agency signings, so far… You would never believe it reading some comments lately, though. I think people are overreacting to some degree.

    • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

      Nice… I don’t know if he could receive a higher grade unless he somehow got top free agents to take the minimum

  • nate lew

    This label is probably the most over worried about and most exaggerated term for football in the offseason. Every team rebuilds it’s roster every year! The Superbowl Champs are rebuilding their old defense, also thanks to overpaying Flacco. In some aspects it feels that way because of the new FO but Rivers is still the man, Gates is still here, were trusting Mathews for now and have every captain of the defense minus Spikes from last year so it doesn’t feel like ‘rebuilding’ to me but the dumb debate depends on your definition, I guess.

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

      No they don’t rebuild each year. Do you really believe that the 9ers are in rebuild mode?

      • nate lew

        Every team rebuilds some aspect of their roster. Teams like Seattle and San Fran have as complete of a roster as it gets but every team aims to improve and change at least one aspect of their game while trying to retain players every year. My point is at one point, after how many positions replaced do you label a team as a rebuilding one?

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