November 10, 2011; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers receiver Vincent Brown (86) celebrates a 30-yard touchdown pass while being defended by Oakland Raiders cornerback Stanford Routt (26) and safety Matt Glordano (27) during the third quarter at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Time To Put On Your Big Boy Pants

The San Diego Chargers roster currently consists of a lot of beaming talent that was brought in from free agency and through the recent draft, but there are plenty of guys we’ve had all along that must step up and play hard starting this fall. Expectations are high on a couple of our youthful Chargers players. Let’s take a look at some names that need to earn their stripes.

Ryan Mathews – There’s no doubt about it, Ryan Mathews has plenty of talent. His 2011 campaign of 1,091 rush yards, 4.9 YPC, 455 receiving yards was enough to land him in the pro-bowl. Injuries, fumbling concerns and only one touchdown last season is enough to warrant the criticism he’s had coming his way. We used to hear a lot from him radiating the desire to be the all-around back, but sitting on the sidelines in street clothes isn’t going to get him there. Mathews needs to stay healthy or else a very talented Danny Woodhead will be carrying the rock a lot more.

Cam Thomas – The Nose Tackle is a very important part of the success of a defense and this is Thomas’ chance to shine. After sitting and waiting behind departed Antonio Garay and Aubrayo Franklin for three seasons, Thomas has a chance to clog up the middle and display those flashes of brilliance he has shown minimally in the past. In 2011, Thomas registered four sacks in two starts, impressive for a nose tackle. Young guns such as Kwame Geathers would love a chance at robbing his spot, it’s up to the 330 pound Thomas to prove he’s the man for the job.

Vincent Brown – Standing at 5’-11” Brown plays like he’s 6’-4”. In limited action his rookie season, Brown dragged in 19 catches for 329 yards and a yards per reception of 17.3. He played excitingly well during last pre-season before breaking his ankle at the goal line. There is plenty of depth at wide receiver and Brown will have to do everything he can to hold onto the third string spot and possibly leap frog into the #2 wideout.

Marcus Gilchrist – There are many unknowns about the strong safety and one cornerback spot. In two seasons, Gilchrist has stepped in whenever called upon and now he’s been called to fill in at safety. Last season in three starts Gilchrist had two pass deflections and zero interceptions with 55 tackles. As a rookie, in four starts he had four pass deflections and two interceptions. The potential is there, I believe he hasn’t been given a fair shot. The opportunity is here and now, and Gilchrist has an audition for either starting corner or safety.

Shareece Wright – Wright has never started a game but there have been rumors in the past of Wright outplaying Gilchrist during training camp. Wright played exceptionally well in his senior year at USC but has yet to display that talent in the NFL. We need him now, if Gilchrist is the starter at safety, Wright is the only viable option to play opposite to Derek Cox. There are no other true cornerbacks aside from Gilchrist and Wright unless we call upon the services of undrafted Marcus Cromartie or Greg Gatson. Johnny Patrick is another discerning option.

Brandon Taylor – Taylor was the fourth safety off the board during the 2012 draft. With only one start under his belt it’s unclear whether Taylor is legit. Another concern is his knee, will he be ready to play when the season begins? He was a hard hitting safety while playing at LSU, that ruthlessness would be a great addition to the starting line up.

I definitely can’t wait to see Vincent Brown or how the defensive backs shape out. Who are you looking forward to seeing take it up a notch?

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  • PakMaN

    Was there anyone drafted in 2012 that hasn’t been injured? I think Stefanie is right, these kids need to lay off all that organic junk and start eating their meat and potatoes.

    • Peter Thompson

      How can you play any football, if you don’t eat yer meat?!!!!!!

      • PakMaN

        We need more of these in the front 7!

        • MC Boltman

          Is this a RAiders XXXL Jersey he´s wearing? :)

          • PakMaN


          • Peter Thompson

            Yes… much.. lol!

        • Peter Thompson

          Hahaahaha!!!!! Is that Chad Reinhart? Coach D must have gotten a little carried away trying to beef him up!!!!

    • Stefanie Smith

      It’s the strangest thing. It’s like they have all this bulk on the outside, but their insides are fragile. Their bones/muscles break real easy. They are all bragging about taking this HGH and Adderall. Richard Sherman on the Seahawks argues that a ton of NFL players take this stuff. The big bulk and the goofy behavior – steroids. I just wonder if these injuries are not a side effect of the other stuff they are taking to allegedly enhance their performance. I mean, you never heard of so many players getting hurt in OTAs until lately. Come on, now.

      • NativeSanDiegan

        I think you’re more on point this time-the ligaments (for the most part), tendons, and even the bones aren’t made strong enough to handle the increased muscle mass, hence increased force on them and they break (tear). The ligaments don’t’ grow stronger or more flexible while the muscle does, so when actual increased live force is placed on them like running your fastest and hardest and then trying to stop on a dime while wearing cleats to avoid hitting your qb (as opposed to controlled weight room force), they tear. The cleats dig into the new grass and stop your feet but the rest of your body’s inertia keeps lurching forward. Something has to give and it’s usually the knee; specifically the ACL.

  • Peter Thompson

    People might think I’m crazy.. but, Robert Meachem. Mainly, because he was not mentioned. If he can play like he was supposed to play last year, that would open up the passing game BIG TIME! He needs to put on his big boy pants, and earn at least a quarter of what we are paying him! If he could start burning people, we could potentially have the kind of fire power that New Orleans has. It wouldn’t matter who got double-teamed in the end!

    • tubbs45

      Yep, we need him to play up to his potential!

      • NativeSanDiegan

        Trouble is he could never catch the ball, but very fast (an Al Davis type of pick). Coming out of college he was mocked to SD quite a bit. I hoped and prayed we wouldn’t draft him. My prayer was answered; he was taken by the Saints a couple picks before us. So good old AJ reached for another 1st round bust-Buster (The Bust) Davis. So when AJ”s frantically looking to replace VJ, his ego took over and he grabbed the receiver that had eluded him, Robert “no-hands” Meachem. Sorry Robert, I just call ‘em like I see ‘em. IMO, I don’t see Meachem stepping up unless he uses stick’em or gets SuperGloves.

  • Jordan Denning

    Larry English?

    • MC Boltman

      Yeh, I agree…he will see significant playtime in 2013…Freeney won´t be an every down player..

      • Nick in PB

        yes… I have English on this list. Former first rounder… time for this guy to put on his big boy pants!

    • tubbs45

      yeah, uh hello Larry, this is adult hood calling. time to play…

      • tubbs45

        Time to Man UP!

  • Saul Lopez

    Touch Down, Vincent Brown!!!

  • Dave

    I’d like to see Eddie Royal whip of some of that return magic he had in his first couple seasons with the Broncos. He could make a difference on special teams…

  • Gunnar Martin

    People, Ryan’s name is spelled with only one t. And Robert’s name is spelled like Meachem. Come on now.
    Just a little bit of my OCD coming in there haha.

  • tubbs45

    Stuckey and Mouton, put on the tough skins big boy pants, and play up to your potential!

  • C.Steele

    Shareece, Cam, ladarious & Troutman!

  • daniel

    Am I the only one worried about our CB’s vs. teams like the Broncos? Cox, Wright, and ____, vs. Decker, Thomas & Welker? Ouch. I’m happy with every other position