Bolt Family, in my last piece I explained why I´m not too amused by that latest news concerning the Bolts´ secondary situation. U-T San Diego reported that the Chargers are planning to move Marcus Gilchrist over to strong safety. I already mentioned that I´d rather get him in competition with Shareece Wright for the second starting job at cornerback.
Instead of moving Gilchrist over to strong safety, I´d re-sign Quentin Jammer to a short-term deal and put him next to Eric Weddle in the last line of the defense. Surely this would be no solution for the next few years, but a solid option for the upcoming season in my opinion.
Okay, now without wasting any time, I want to point out why I think the Chargers would benefit from bringing Jammer back for at least another year.
Leadership for an overall young defense
Alright, we all know Telesco wants to make the team younger. But when looking at the defensive guys and starters who are already on the roster – e.g. Corey Liuget, Donald Butler, Kendall Reyes, Melvin Ingram or Shareece Wright – one has to admit the defense is pretty young already. With Takeo Spikes and Shaun Phillips gone, John Pagano´s unit lost their leaders in the locker room and on the field. This also means, 28-year old Eric Weddle would be left alone with the leadership role on the defense. The 31-year old Jarret Johnson had only one season with the Chargers; don´t think he´s the man to fill that hole. The offense has it´s leaders with Philip Rivers, Antonio Gates, and Nick Hardwick, so why leave Weddle alone with that job on the defense? Quentin Jammer was drafted by the Chargers in 2002 (fifth overall pick) and has stayed with the team ever since. He is a loyal and positive role model. He has the respect of his young teammates.
Health and Reliability
As a starter for the San Diego Chargers since 2003, Quentin Jammer has only missed two games! This also means with 172 games for the Bolts he´s in the all-time top five of Chargers players with the most career games in a Lightning Bolt uniform. So with quite a few injury-prone players on the roster (to say the least), a healthy and thus reliable veteran could definitely help the team. Please remember: last year’s starter, Atari Bigby, and the potential starters at strong safety for this year, Darrel Stuckey and Brandon Taylor, ended the season on injured reserve. I´ll say it again: Jammer only missed two games since 2003! This leads me to my next point:
Yes I said, I want Jammer to play strong safety. But I guess fans are aware that the Bolts´ most expensive acquisition this offseason, cornerback Derek Cox, can´t exactly be considered a “reliable” force in the secondary. He missed 17 games over the last three years, and 14 games over the last two years due to injuries! Don´t get me wrong; he has great talent, but the Jacksonville Jaguars have been quite frustrated with his inability to stay healthy. It´s definitely a possibility that we might feel the same way next season, when he´d find himself a nice, comfortable home on the injury report list. And if Shareece Wright and Marcus Gilchrist go down too, we´re left with no starting corners. We drafted Steve Williams in the fifth round in this year´s NFL draft, but with 5’9″ he is a bit too under-sized to play outside cornerback. So in that worst-case scenario, the 33-year old could be the team´s savior in the secondary. This also means a Quentin Jammer on the roster creates options. And when I´m looking at Telesco´s additions so far, I can see he is all for a versatile player personnel. Chalk up one for Jammer!
Well, it´s already May and Quentin Jammer is still on the market without getting much interest from other teams. It was reported, the Washington Redskins met with the veteran (they most likely also wanted him as safety), but aside from that he had a very quiet off-season so far. All in all, it´s not a big surprise; he´ll turn 34 this summer and with his last two seasons he definitely couldn´t boost his market value, to say the least. And if a team will make him an offer, it probably would be for backup purpose only. So it will be hard for him to find a starting job as cornerback for the 2013 season in the National Football League. I guess this also means he would come in at an affordable price. And since our new General Manager is riding the low-cost wave, Jammer could surely find his way onto Telesco´s plans. Chalk up another one for Jammer!
Experience and Motivation
Jammer served as cornerback for the San Diego Chargers his entire NFL career. But he actually has experience in playing safety, having played the position in Texas, where he went to college (and high school). And we all know he´s been a physical corner through all the years, so I guess he´d do fine in run support. As safety, he would have to cover tight ends one on one in some cases, and considering his size and strength, this may be another reason why his transition to the position next to Weddle could make sense. Sure, he would have to learn how to do the job in the last line of the defense, but there´s a completely new front office and coaching staff in town, so he would have to study a new playbook anyway. And he has already mentioned a couple of times that he is willing to do the move; and whether or not you believe it, he even said it to me via twitter:
So, the experience and the motivation are there – chalk up one for him yet again! (that chalk stuff´s already annoying?…lol, kinda diggin´ it)
Giving Brandon Taylor time to get healthy and to develop
I remember last year, right before the season started, there was quite a bit of Brandon Taylor hype within the Bolt Family. Things like “he will outplay them all and will end the season as starter at strong safety” were said and written all over the net. And now that he ended the season on injured reserve (just like Darrel Stuckey and Atari Bigby), suddenly most of the fans forgot about him or just can´t see any starting talent in the 23-year old warrior.
Whatever, I don´t want to write Taylor off just because he got injured last year. He tore his ACL, had surgery in January, but it´s not unlikely he´ll be ready for Week 1 of season 2013. Darrel Stuckey – we already know he was placed on season-ending injured reserve too – is also in the mix for the starting job at strong safety. But Stuckey is doing such a great job on the special teams; he keeps things stable. I don´t want him to leave that unit in order to prevent unnecessary disturbance. They already had some very bad plays in the second half of last season – I don´t need another special teams season like the one in 2010!
So, as I don´t want to give up on Brandon Taylor just yet, the re-signing and transition to strong safety of Quentin Jammer could give Taylor the time to get healthy and the chance to develop into a starter.
Alright, these are the reasons why I think re-signing Quentin Jammer to a short-term contract and moving him over to strong safety would be a solid option for the year 2013. If Brandon Taylor is not able to develop and become a starter this season, then the Chargers will have to find a way to fix that position in next year´s draft or free agency.
Thank you for staying with me ´til the end and feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.