December 16, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates (85) is congratulated by wide receiver Malcom Floyd (80) after a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Carolina Panther at Qualcomm Stadium. The touchdown tied the Chargers team all time record for touchdown receptions. The Panthers won 31-7. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Chargers Offense: Quality Or Quantity?

I was recently having an argument with a Raiders fan about the team’s offensive weapons, which he called “sad.” I personally think it’s sweet that a Raiders fan can even properly have a conversation like a human, so I indulged him. I began to rattle off names and then I realized something, we sure do have a lot of players that are going to want to touch the ball.

Let’s look at each offensive grouping and try to figure out who’ll be here and who’ll contribute. I’ve bolded the players I believe will make the opening day roster.

Wide Receiver: Danario Alexander, Keenan Allen, Vincent Brown, Deon Butler, Dan DePalma, Malcom Floyd, Richard Goodman, Robert Meachem, Luke Tasker, Mike Willie and Eddie Royal.

Running Back: Edwin Baker, Ronnie Brown, Chris Gronkowski, Michael Hill, Ryan Mathews, LeRon McClain, Foswhitt Whittaker, Danny Woodhead.

Tight End: Ben Cotton, Antonio Gates, Ladarius Green, John Phillips, David Rolf and Dallas Walker.

Last season Philip Rivers completed 338 passes to receivers. If we assume that everyone will stay healthy (which will not happen), we can gather that this team is overloaded with players looking to touch the ball, although we don’t have a superstar at any of these positions.

The question becomes, if healthy, how will the team distribute these passes? We’ve yet to discuss who’s starting where and haven’t even started Training Camp yet but we can look at this list and understand that we have more than a few players that are going to want to be touching the ball this year. If anything, this quantity will give us flexibility on offense, which seems to be Mike McCoy’s mantra.

What do you see here, quality or quantity?

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  • Sergio Quintero

    I only see one fullback, and one extra RB, but the rest is pretty much identical to what I would put down.

    The chargers are going to have to get serious production from their top 4 WR’s, because Gates is more of a 700-800 yard player at this point, they will probably need 2700-3200 yards from their top 4 WR’s.

  • ross ackerman

    I see quantity. Not all of these or most of these guys will not be productive. Let alone even play.

  • Joel

    I see quantity at running back. I see quantity and quality at WR. of course there is chaff with the wheat but I think we have 4-6 legitimate starters in the WR department. Alexander, Floyd, Allen and [vincent] Brown for sure. Running back? I don’t think they are all bad, but there are way more question marks then I’d like with them. Matthews, will he be injured? woodhead could be awesome, but we have no proof yet. and the other guys, well old n washed out, or young and unproven.

    • Nick in PB

      I would go with you on that statement. Quantity at RB and both at WR. The key is Mathews and staying healthy. He’s really our only every down back, that’s not old and washed up! Or young and unproven. Good points Joel!

  • Bmac08

    Personally, I see the quantity of talented pass catchers as the quality of this offense if that makes sense. Knowing that any one of these guys could get the ball on any given play is going to force the defense’s hand and enable the bolts to exploit 1 on 1 match ups for guys like Gates, Alexander, & Brown. Last year we lacked an explosive sproles/woodhead threat out of the backfield & didn’t really have much of a presence in the slot. Add to that Green was ridiculously under utilized by Norv. I think this offense should move the ball with much less effort than it took in years past. I would like to see DePalma make it over Goodman (assuming someone steps up in the return game) & Michael Hill make the squad.

    • Adam

      I totally agree. Am I the only one that really loves mike Willie though? He’s shined given the opportunity, and there has to be a reason that he’s still on the roster and guys like seyi aren’t. I know the roster is loaded, but I wish there was room for him. I guess that’s a good problem to have though. It’s comforting to know that he’s waiting in the wings.

      • Bmac08

        I really like Willie as well. I think the 2 things going against him this year will be the loaded position & the crazy Meachem contract AJ handcuffed the team with on his way out the door. Meach could bounce back under a McCoy system better suited to his game, but if he fails to show anything during camp I wouldn’t be shocked to see this regime but the bullet on Meach opening doors for a guy like Willie.

        • Adam

          I hope so. He has the height too I think he’s like 6’5 or so. At minimum maybe we could showcase his talents and raise his value, and then deal him for an extra late round draft pick

          • Nick in PB

            So true. You brought up a point that really bothers me. In football terms, if you have a rookie that’s outperforming or even equal to a veteran at the same position, usually, you go with the younger guy. Just makes sense. But Meachums contract may keep that from happening. Tough situation for the Chargers. I guess we just have to hope that Meachum plays better than the younger guys to justify keeping him. Instead of keeping him because of the cap hit.

        • Peter Thompson

          And that’s the question. If one of the other guys shows talent, potential, and wins the camp battle.. Will they cut Meachem? Ideally, that stand out guy WILL be Meachem, of course. But, I hope they have the guts to move on if it isn’t. Letting talent walk out the door is getting old.

  • Adam

    I think with the way MM operates, quantity is the way to go. We already know rivers can throw to anyone and be successful(see 2010 season) given time. And I think with McCoy at the helm, he can use just about anyone and be successful in his short route schemes. Luckily, I believe our roster contains both quality and quantity WRs.

  • Alter Ego

    Pffftttttt…what a load of crap. Thanks for posting the roster…..NEXT

  • Bill Nichols

    What are you talking about dude?? So you are saying that we have a bunch of footballers, but none worth a shit? I think we already know who is going to be fighting for roster spots this training camp….. Damn we need camp to start so you people can start talking about real life, this make believe crap is getting annoying. Just saying. Bolt Up!!

  • Rob Base

    I love lamp…. I say quality and quantity at WR and RB. It’s a bit of both. Telseco and McCoy did add some depth. But I question why they resigned Brown at RB. Mathews isn’t reliable yet?? But with Woodhead, Baker, Fozzy bear and Hill it makes me very curious on how they will play out. WR is staked so that is going to be exciting who kills it coming out the gate. Meachum is unproven and dudes like DePalma and Willie are hungry. Camp battles will be interesting can football start now because the Padres are really starting to depress me!

  • 619chargers4life

    Quantity equals qualitity. We got quality as it is , the quantity makes the quality better.

  • miketuck

    Floyd,Brown, Alexander, and I hope DePalma makes the squad. Meachum and Royal along with Goodman will be let go. Tasker might even be a good backup compared to the rest.
    The only place they are vulnerable is at QB should Rivers go down. I believe that Telesco will be watching the board when players are cut for a possible canidate.
    RB with a Oline will make this group shine. Woodhead on 3rd downs, Mathews will be out to prove himself and Brown is just a great journyman.I’d like to see them get Baker into the act returning kickoffs.

  • OP Bolt

    I don’t see many Pro Bowlers or potential All-Pros, so at this point we are mostly looking at quantity. The upside is that we don’t have any divas.

    I think that Rivers can distribute the ball (a`la 2010) if – the incremental improvement in OL pass protection, the shorter drops, and the quicker/shorter routes along with the hopefully much improved run blocking and running game, more believable play action – all yield time to throw.

    WR – I think your list is pretty good. Like everyone else I would like to see Meachem win his role on the field, but his contract – well, it is what it is. In all honesty, this may be one situation where the business side drives the decision. For some of the others, making the final list probably has more to do with ST skills than pass receiving skills (Goodman (?), Royal, Willie, …).

    RB – I would argue against two FBs in favor of one. I would even explore dropping both FBs, and and going with a two RB set (assuming one of them can pass block) and rolling a TE into the backfield when you need more heft in a lead blocker. If either of the FBs were really play makers, I would be more enthusiastic for them (especially considering McLain’s cost). I suspect pass blocking and ST skills will determine who falls behind Mathews, Woodhead and Brown.

    TE – I think they go with 4 TEs, so we could see some good competition for the fourth slot. Again, ST skills probably determine the winner.

  • arnie

    As of right now. i’m going with quantity, across the board. TT has stated he is building a team to win for years to come. And right now, they need bodies. They didn’t have a great deal of cap room, and no extra pics. So making an offer to dwayne bowe, or Greg Jennings was not a reality.
    This team needs time. time to get the cap in order. Time to let future superstars develop. In the meantime, if you’re young, healthy, versatile and come on the cheap, you will probably get a shot at making the 53 man roster.