Oct 28, 2012; Cleveland, OH, USA; San Diego Chargers wide receiver Robert Meachem (12) looks up after dropping a pass in the third quarter against the Cleveland Browns at Cleveland Browns Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

4 Offensive Players That Could Get Cut


 

After watching week one of preseason, we have some clarity on which players look to make an impact, and which players look to get cut. We all had a list of players we would be watching to see if they would play well, or even turn it around. Here are four offensive players, that could potentially get cut, based on performances from Thursday night.

#1 – Ronnie Brown

There is a good chance that Ronnie Brown may not make the team. He had limited touches in Thursday night’s game, and did OK. However, Fozzy Whittaker seems to have some fan support to replace Brown. Whittaker was featured as the main back on the second, and 3rd teams, and had a pretty nice outing. He wasn’t running behind the best line, but still managed to break off some nice runs. He averaged 2.7 yards per carry. He did get stuffed in the backfield a couple of times, contributing to that average, but it appeared to be a result of poor blocking. Whittaker was also brought in from Arizona by Ken Whisenhunt, has already been utilized 14 times out of the starting gate, and had success moving the ball. In comparison, Brown only had a 3 yard run, and a 1 yard run on two carries. Obviously, he wasn’t used much, but there are concerns about Brown’s age. Also, his ability to take the bulk of the snaps, should Mathews go down is a concern. If Whittaker, or .Baker can show that they can run hard, and catch out of the backfield. then Brown’s days in a Charger uniform may be over.

#2 – Le’Ron McClain

The new regime brought in Chris Gronkowski during the offseason, and he was being featured in the first quarter as a fullback for Brown & Whittaker. McClain was brought over by A.J. Smith in free agency last season, but failed to make an impact. There are a couple of reasons for that, as he was often asked to block on passing plays, and was blocking for our running backs behind one of the worst offensive lines in football. However, besides his run blocking skills, McClain was also expected to be somewhat of an insurance policy for Ryan Mathews, as well. Le’Ron ran for ten TD’s in Baltimore, as a back-up when they were hit with injuries. When Mathews went down last year, NO running back stepped up, including McClain. Furthermore, McClain is being paid a nice chunk of money this season. Today, he left the practice field in a great deal of pain, due to a lower body injury. We do not know the severity of this injury yet, but it doesn’t sound good. If it ends up being serious, they may opt to go with the younger, and cheaper Gronkowski. Especially, if Gronkowski plays well. Gronkowski also suffered an injury in practice today, but it didn’t sound serious. But, that doesn’t mean a great deal, as Danario Alexander’s injury was not supposed to be “serious”. Could McClain lose his job? It’s a possibility.

#3 – Robert Meachem

Everyone, and their Mother has had it up to here with Robert Meachem. He was paid WAY too much money by A.J. Smith, and is a HUGE salary cap hit, should he be cut. When Danario Alexander went down, we were all looking for Meachem to PLEASE step up, and earn the ridiculous paycheck he is receiving. After the Seattle preseason game, it looks like more of the same. He can’t even run his routes properly, and missed important catches. Dan DePalma looked fairly impressive, and Mike Willie could be a nice addition to the offense if he plays well throughout preseason. I won’t say much more than that, as we all know what Meachem’s problems are. If he continues to play like a rookie receiver, the need for Tom Telesco to cut him may be greater than the cap hit we will take.. even if it seems like salary cap suicide.

#4 – Charlie friggin’ Whitehurst

Letting Billy Volek walk out the door was just another decision that I disliked from the Norv & A.J. era. Volek & Rivers were good friends. I remember reading an article on the UT a while ago about how they carpooled to work, and how much Rivers valued their friendship. He also valued Volek’s advice, knowledge of the game, and his support. Volek was one of the best back-up QB’s in the league, in my eyes. Unfortunately, he was shown the door, and Charlie Whitehurst was brought back from Seattle, after a very poor showing as their starting QB. Since then, we have been blessed that Rivers has never had to miss a game. I never liked Whitehurst, and his atrocious performance on Thursday night only validated those feelings. Then Brad Sorensen came in, and played pretty well, even if it was against third team competition. Unless Whitehurst suddenly plays out of his mind, and Sorenson completely collapses, I don’t see why he should be on the roster. Especially if Sorensen plays adequately.

Obviously, there is still a lot of preseason to play. But, if the guys mentioned above don’t step it up, and prove that they deserve to be on the starting line-up, they will most certainly be cut. As Tom Telesco & Mike McCoy have stated, everyone has a clean slate. But, they have also said that people shouldn’t read to much into the depth chart, and they will pick the players that they feel will give the Chargers the best chance to win. Nobody should be thinking that their job is safe, at this point. The days of veterans just “assuming” they would be the starters are gone. They left with Norv Turner, and A.J. Smith. That is the type of attitude that led to complacency, and underachievement. For this Charger fan, I couldn’t be happier about that.

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Which Offensive Player Would You Like To See Cut Most?

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Tags: Charlie Whitehurst Leron Mcclain Robert Meachem Ronnie Brown San Diego Chargers

  • Art

    How do Ronnie Brown, Robert Meachem, and Charlie Whitehurst qualify as starters? Because they were once starters on different teams? Just wondering.

    • JoseSD

      Where in this entire article does it call them starters? It say “Four offensive players that could get cut”

      • Gunnar Martin

        Pete obviously edited it out.

      • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

        Yes, I edited the title. He is right. I did call them starters originally. My mistake. I already posted a comment about that. Sorry for the confusion.

        • JoseSD

          Its still a stupid thing to complain about. Why doesnt he actually add to the conversation than point out a mistake

          • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

            THANK YOU! I thought I was alone on that line of thinking. Maybe Will changed his name to Art?

          • Nick in PB

            Peter, get your sh*t together!!! Just kidding. Nothing to complain about really. Love the job your doing! PROPS man!!!

          • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

            Right? I was trying not to let it take over the post, but I guess it was that big of a deal.. SMH. Thanks for the kind words, Nick!

  • Rob Base

    Get rid of Clipboard he’s a waste of roster space. Sorensen looks promising for the back up role. Meach hasn’t done shit my kids got more skills than him. Will the real Meachum please stand up…Brown and McClain can kick rocks also. We need hungry playmakers not old retreads.

    • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

      Totally agree. And money can be saved here. It shouldn’t be a really hard decision if they aren’t even playing well.

      • Nick in PB

        I agree on all points, Rob and Peter! How Meachum made it as far as he did with N.O. is a mystery. In no way is he a complete receiver. Him and CBJ both look like rookies and are being outplayed by rookies. That’s where you have to draw the line. Out with the old, in with the new. Brown, from what I’ve gathered is a good teammate and locker room guy, however, he is very pedestrian when carrying the ball. He’s not a change of pace back. His moves are non existent. He can catch out of the backfield, maybe block and he doesn’t fumble. Still, I’d rather see one of the young guys step up and replace him. If we are looking for a guy to run straight ahead, then we need a guy with power. McClain is probably a better FB than Gronk so that one is a tough call. But if it’s not clear cut, save the money here. However, we might have 2 injured FB’s at this point.

        • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

          That would suck if they are both injured! As for Brown, it’s not that I don’t like him, I just get nervous. If Mathews goes down like last year, it would be foolish to roll with Brown & Woodhead. We already saw that Brown can’t handle the load, and Woodhead may be a little too small, and it is still unknown if he could do it. McClain didn’t separate himself from the other backs and handle the load either last year. So, we would be right back where we started… with a bad running game. We need another back. I am actually hoping that Baker comes out and gives everyone a run for their money.

  • Gunnar Martin

    Well three of these guys aren’t starters, but that’s just me being OCD again. I would be happy with any of these players except for McClain getting released. Even if it means hurting the cap a bit (cough, Meachem, cough).

    • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

      At least I didn’t mess the names up this time, I guess ; )

      • Gunnar Martin

        Haha. Way to edit em out again :)

  • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

    My apologies. Changed the title to “players”, instead of “starters” . Now everyone can put their neutron microscopes away. Lol. What I meant was players that were expected to make the roster, but might not. Starter is not the right word, agreed.

  • arnie

    AHMEN!
    “…The days of veterans just “assuming” they would be the starters are gone. They left with Norv Turner, and A.J. Smith. That is the type of attitude that led to complacency, and underachievement.”

    That part about complacency sounds familiar? Who said that? LOL
    Again all good points Peter. The idea of big lazy not being here should ring true to any on the list above. Specifically the top two, i just don’t thnk they make a big enough seperation, from the young backs, to make the cut. They are being paid a lot of money. an cap relief can help if Fozzy, Gronkowski, and Sorensen can fill those roles. the plus, if you release three, you could pay for the third guy the list as well. ;)

    • Adam

      I just thought of a good question…do you think of norv and aj were still here, they would’ve released Gaither or kept him around? I know aj is stubborn and he wasn’t allowed in the locker room, but maybe AJ’s hard headedness would’ve kept him around, especially with the cap hit. I think he would’ve kept him. Maybe I’m wrong

      • arnie

        That is a good question. However if i were to give my best guess, based on what aj has done in the past? Yes, he’d still be here, and so would a few other players that are not. See what i’ve gathered from reports is aj couldn’t be wrong, even when he was. Besides that i believe Manti, Allen an Fluker would not be here either.

        • Adam

          Defenitely not Te’o. Anyone with a checkered past was out of the question…even though Te’o was the victim

          • Nick in PB

            Adam, Arnie, you said it! AJ’s ego was just too big and he might have brought in some decent players but not even close to what TT did. The cap hits he’s created is a nightmare for TT but the man is still doing his job. Gotta like the new GM way more than the old one.

        • William Boren

          Besides that I believe that Manti, Allen and Fluker would not be here either
          Amen

          • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

            No way.

    • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

      You and Ryan Mathews said that.. hahahaha.

      • arnie

        Hey, we’re two men just sharing an honest opinion. LOL

  • JoseSD

    I don’t get where all the love for Fozzy comes from he had one run of 20+ yards other than one more okay rush he was stuffed on petty much every carry , you can blame some on the line but he was making bad reads and hesitating on his cuts when there was space. They seemed really committed to running the ball I was disappointed they didn’t give Hill and Baker more touches

    • Gunnar Martin

      Idk I just started liking him in camp because of his SWEET name, so I really liked that they gave him lots of opportunities against the Seahawks. Plus, he didn’t do too bad, considering he was playing behind a horrendous O-line which was matched up against one of the better defenses in the league (even depth-wise). He’s got quickness and has a chance to succeed as a third string running back. Fozzy’s just got that likability factor about him. Oh, and I don’t like Ronnie Brown. Hope that sums it up for ya.

      • JoseSD

        I just wasn’t very impressed with him he probably has a better shot than Hill or Baker cause his connection to Whisenhut. I just wanted them to give more carries to the other backs I think Fozzy played 3 and a half quarters

      • FitzWilly

        works for me GM

    • Nick in PB

      I don’t think they gave Baker any touches. The way the line was playing for those guys, it’s hard to evaluate how they did. Hill got like 1 carry and dropped a pass in the flat. Baker, I don’t think, ever got in the game??? I was really hoping to see something from Hill. I would like to see what they can do with the first team offense. That’s the only way to really judge them.

      • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

        Baker got zero touches, you are right. Was he maybe injured, and we don’t know it? The staff have been pretty tight lipped lately. Either way, maybe we get to see him this week.

        • Nick in PB

          Sadly, maybe he didn’t earn the right to play. Or, the staff could be going with one back at a time. Give them a real chance to get “IN” the game. Give each back a bunch of carries before evaluating them. Unless a guy really doesn’t perform, those backs are going to be there until final cuts or at least the second cut down.

          • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

            I was thinking the same thing.. maybe one back per game?

          • Nick in PB

            Yes, if you just give them a series here or there, they might only get one carry. A guy with little or no NFL experience has to get comfortable in game situations. If that’s the plan for this coaching staff, to give them an extra load then I like it!

  • ECAVILLE/Ace of Spades

    The way of thinking for successful coaches of today has been to give the younger players hungry for football a chance to shine. Jim H. from SF, Pete Caroll, and now our unproven head coach Docter McCoy. This is not the union where your seniority guarantees your job. This is football where the best focused athletes in their best condition get the job. Its the train of thought from the best coaches who ever coached the game like Jimmy Johnson who said fatigue makes fools of us all. Veterans in this game are appreciated and when still productive still get to play. Although this team is realisticly far from Superbowl bound, with this focused and determined coaching staff that has a clear view and grasp on the winning potion. I always hope for the best out of my Bolts. New hope fills my heart so whoever makes the team whether it be Michael Hill to Ryan Mathews or Sorenson to Rivers. I know that this team is headed in the right direction. Hope I’m right. Bolt up or Shut up!

    • Stefanie Smith

      But this is not the era, that just because you are a rookie, it makes you good and gets you a starting job. I saw plenty of dud rookies on Thursday through Saturday, from offense, defense etc. on all the teams. You can talk Pete Carroll and Jim H. But then on the other side, there is the Green Bay Packers and the Patriots, really not espousing that vets take a back seat in favor of the young inexperienced guys.

      • ECAVILLE/Ace of Spades

        I wrote that the rookies would have their chance to shine and if veterans still make plays they would still play. NFL is a big money making buisness but the main goal is to win championships. Russell Wilson, Kapernick, and yes even Tom Brady were given their opportunity to shine after their starting players either received injuries or didn’t cut it.. I believe the Bolts long time veterans still have plenty of gas in their tanks but if they prove not to than whoever steps up will get their shot.

        • Nick in PB

          Good way to put it Ace… I agree!

      • Nick in PB

        Stefanie, the “other” bottom line is that if a rookie is even or outperforming the veteran, then you have to go with the rookie because as time goes on, with experience, he’s going to be a better player then the veteran. Sometimes you have to sacrifice experience to develop a better player for the future.

    • Nick in PB

      Ace, I agree. I think the coaches on this team will take everything into account. When McCoy says we are going to find our best 53 players, I believe him. Even if some aren’t on the roster right now. He will find the best 53 to start the season. The rookies with the potential to play later will be on the practice squad.

      • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

        From what I can tell.. the practice squad is going to have some potentially darn good players on it! Haven’t quite felt that way in the past.

        • Nick in PB

          It’s going to be interesting, that’s for sure!

    • BruisingChargers

      “We are going to put the best 53 players on the field.” Coming from head coach McCoy. I am pretty sure the staff is analyzing everything on this current roster with a fine tooth-comb. Hope they make the right decision regarding the final roster. White/Jesus Clipboard hugger must go. Robert Teach-Um (how to catch a pass) wannabe NFL wide-receiver, must go. I am looking for much improvement this year as, we no longer have “Turkey-Neck” calling the plays………………

      • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

        We are in the final phases of the “Meachem Experiment”. Unless we see something miraculous in the next three games.. and I mean MIRACULOUS… I don’t see how you move forward with him.. even with the cap hit.

  • Cgoodness13

    How about Mike Harris?

    • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

      Gone. If how he played on Thursday is any indication, he can’t even play right tackle.

      • Nick in PB

        That was disappointing for sure. I was hoping that last years, throwing him to the wolves, would have gotten him some valuable experience. Enough to succeed on the right side. He did look bad though. I’m still rooting for him because Starks is going to be a swing tackle. Harris should be our 4th tackle. Sure hope he improves.

        • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

          I think Dombrowski is a goner too. The only time I heard his name called all night was on a personal foul, that tacked on 15 yards to that INT. Not a good move. I never really got why he is on this team anyway. Sure he can play a lot of positions on the line, but none of them particulary well.

          • Nick in PB

            I know the guy is a SDSU guy so you have to root for him to make the team but not playing like that! I never understood how guys that size get manhandled like that! If nothing else, stalemate, right!!!

  • Stefanie Smith

    Rams’ coach was complaining that Tavon Austin needs to be more involved in the offense. He was basically a no show as were many of the rookies. However, they have to get acclimated to the NFL. I think this is good because a lot of them come to the NFL, bringing their college ” I am the greatest” attitude and then get their first bulldozing by professional NFL athletes.

  • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

    Remember to go vote on the poll at the bottom of the article. For whatever reason, It wasn’t showing up when I first posted it.. but, it suddenly decided to make an appearance?

  • Nick Mansoor

    I still have faith in Meachem. He just needs to get his act together. If he does, and can solidify his chemistry with Rivers, then he can very well be our 2nd best receiver. But until then…. good luck

    • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

      Great comments Nick! I really hope Thursday was just more jitters for the boy.
      If I were McCoy.. I would even put Rivers, and Meachem alone somewhere where just the two of them can get the timing right. But, should they really be going to those lengths to try to make an NFL player (who is getting paid a HUGE amount of money) play better? It starts to look like special treatment, and almost like you are pursuing a lost cause.

  • miketuck

    Whitehurst proved his value last preseason and this one. The kid from Southern Utah will take his place. Ronnie Brown should stay, he’s still very valuable in the passing game. Meachum proved what I had been saying about him being overated ( fast but not quick in his routes ) and he’ll be released. On that note; De Palma had a great game and will get a slot on the team, I think he’d be a better slot reciever than Royal. Who’s McClain? I saw where we got him from the Ravens last year but I haven’t seen him. I’m also routing for Luke Tasker to make this team. He had one catch, but he’s shifty like DePalma and can get to the open spot. Quick feet kill CB’s. And if he plays special teams as well as his father he’s worth 5 times what Goodman, Meachum, or Royal give us.

  • http://www.signonsandiego.com/ Ambitoos

    I haven’t seen enough of Sorenson but I’ve seen plenty of Whitehurst. It’s time they switched spots for #2. It’s all down hill for Charlie.