Dec 22, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates (85) is defended by Oakland Raiders linebacker Nick Roach (53) during the first half at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Long List of Areas to Improve on Chargers Offense

The San Diego Chargers had a good season and had a magical run into the playoffs, but were halted by one of the best teams in the league and possibly the next Super Bowl champ.

The Chargers likely could use help at almost all positions during the offseason. Here is a little breakdown of where the Chargers could use some help going into next season on the offensive side of the football.

Philip Rivers is the leader of this team and he will trot out as the starter again next season. He proved that he is still one of the best in the game and the clock is ticking with him. We need to upgrade the team around him quick. Charlie Whitehurst might be allowed to walk away in free agency and Brad Sorensen could get his shot as the back up quarterback.

Running Back
Ryan Mathews and Danny Woodhead are under contract for next year and they will be big contributors on offense. The team needs one more back on the roster. A big back that can share the load with Ryan Mathews. Someone that can take that role if he is injured or needs a break. Ronnie Brown was not that answer.

Wide Receiver
What is going to happen with Malcom Floyd and Danario Alexander. Floyd is under contract, but will he retire after that devastating injury? If he doesn’t, then we have our answer already for who starts opposite of Keenan Allen. Alexander is a risk to sign. He has a long history of injuries that he has to deal with. Vincent Brown has been a bit of a disappointment as a starter. Eddie Royal’s contract might have to get cut this offseason, so the Chargers will have to find someone that can play that role in the slot.

Tight End
Antonio Gates is running out of time. He put together another good season, but his impact on the game seems to be fading. Ladarius Green’s time to step up is now. We need to make use of his athleticism more.

Offensive Line
King Dunlap and D.J. Fluker have been great at tackle. We could use some interior linemen. Jeromey Clary did a good job, but his contract pays him like someone that does a great job (at tackle). His versatility and toughness was nice to have on the roster. He will need to re-work his deal this offseason. Chad Rinehart is a free agent and we might need to look at a center for the future.

We will have to see what happens to Ken Whisenhunt this offseason. He likely will take a job with Tennessee or Detroit and the Chargers will likely promote Frank Reich to be the offensive playcaller. Will the Chargers move to that hurry up offense as their main way to move the football? How will Reich call the plays on the sideline? Should be interesting to watch.

What do you think the Chargers need to do on the offensive side of the football?

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  • davey

    We really need a WR from the draft or free agency. We cannot rely on just Keenan Allen and Vincent Brown has not proven himself.

    • Ozcharge

      This years offensive system was never going to work for VBrown, he needs a deep threat to spread the coverage and time to make his moves. DFefenses knew we weren’t going deep so the pressed up… This is why KA flourished as he is quick off the LOS while Brown needs time to allow his route to develop… If we get a tall deep threat again, look to VBrown to have a real effect. He will never be a #1 or maybe even a #2 but in a favourable system he can be a monster #3 in 3rd down passing situations where the defense is spread due to the presence of a legitimate deep threat

  • Sergio Quintero

    The Floyd storyline will be huge if he can play, this offense will move to the next level, if not because of cap limitations and Brown’s lack of production there are limits on how good this offense truly is.

    • Ernie Padaon

      seriously. the offense could take the next step if there was another receiver. Floyd would be perfect on the other side, but we shall see what he does.

      • Sergio Quintero

        Just watch the Philly game again, he was making catches all over the field, and since he has perfected the Norv style In-cuts he was schooling their secondary in the execution of intermediate routes.

        As soon as he was injured those 15-25 yard patterns were gone from this offense, and it was nickel-dime throws for most of the season. He would perfectly complement the possession role that Allen plays. Plus it can’t hurt to have a 6’5 WR in the red zone.

        • Ernie Padaon

          I remember it well. He was killing it in that game. We also were able to see the emergence of Keenan because of that injury though. Keenan would have shined in some other game anyway, just might have been a little later.

          • vct

            Nah, KA would’ve retired according to his interview with UT, I believe.

  • diomar espinal

    VB was a bit of a disapointment? Lol Thats you being very polite because the guy was downright awful all season and showed through out a 16 game season that he is not capable of being a starter in this league. TT is a master of finding WR gems in the draft so he will pair some one with Keenan that will have this offense looking like a juggarnaut once again.

    • Ernie Padaon

      you are right… he sucked!

  • Daryl Peek

    I think VB can move into the slot. What happened to Lavell Hawkins? He’d be a good option for slot/kick off returner. I’d like to see the team go after a WR in the draft. That kid from Clemson (Martavis Bryant) would be an awesome pick up if we could get him in the second or third round. M80, I just don’t know?

    One of my concerns with Whiz leaving is who might jump ship with him? He’s got to build a staff wherever he lands. Didn’t he bring our o-line coach here with him?

    CB is a position that we may be OK at if Steve Williams pans out. I think Wright has potential but I’d like to get a CB in the draft (SPEED) to compete with him and Williams. Addae is a keeper at SS. Lets not forget Brandon Taylor either. One or two additions to the secondary could see it become a serious strength next season.

    OLB; that’s my biggest concern! We’ve got to find a way to generate a consistent pass rush! I love Super Melvin but he did not truly impress me this season. Johnson is a great glue guy as a vet but is falling into the Spikes zone.

    I know everyone is in panic mode over Cam Thomas not stepping up and deservedly so but I’m still holding out hope for Geathers. I’d like to see depth addressed on the D-line but I’m not for all out first round or bust if we can’t land Nix.

    • Sergio Quintero

      Mostly agree, I thought Ingram was pretty much a monster against the Bengals, but the rest of the games he was a flash player, that had a very forgettable game against the Broncos. But with health there will be more games like he had against the Bengals. In passing league you need at least 3 pass rushers, and with English off this roster and JJ and Freeney most likely out, the chargers have to invest in a OLB in one of the first 2 rounds. Guys to look out for: Round 1 – Vic Beasley, Trent Murphy, Scott Crichton, Kyle Van Noy; Round 2 – Crichton, Van Noy, Jeremiah Attaochu, Marcus Smith.

      I really liked what I saw from Steve Williams I hope he is 100% by training camp, I still expect the chargers to draft a CB high, if Dennard or Gilbert are available at pick 25, they will take either one.

      As for WR’s if Floyd is healthy then its afterthought, but if not, they have to look for one in 2-3 round area, Robinson from Penn State and Beckham from LSU are 2 guys I like.

      • Peter Thompson

        I get nervous about the Stevie Williams thing… look at Brown. We all thought he “flashed potential” in the preseason before injury, and look at that turned out. Not saying that is what will happen with Williams, and I like him. I still think we should get two CB’s, and if Williams works out, get rid of the weakest links.. Marshall, Butler, Gilchrist.
        Also, are people already convinced that Freeney won’t be brought back, or won’t recover from the injury? I kinda hope he is still here next year, and that he was the only good thing to come from Ingram’s injury. Just an opinion.

        • Gunnar Martin

          Freeney has openly stated that he is fully expecting to play out his contract. Said Chargers talked to him and they had the same wish. Have to wonder how much his game will be affected post-injury though.

        • Sergio Quintero

          The little I saw of Williams I was impressed, really good coverage ability based on rare speed, and excellent feet. But I still expect the chargers to invest in a CB in the first 2 rounds. I expect Williams to be a backup to Gilchrist at nickel CB, and maybe he surprises by the end of the year earning himself substantial playing time, but I’m definitely not of the opinion to give him a starting position like Brown was given this year.

          In terms of Freeney he’s making a good amount of change and he’s coming of an injury, which clearly sounds like a player who might be cut, I could be wrong but TT doesn’t sound like the type to pay for past production, rather than current play.

  • tubbs45

    We need a solid kick returner with some wheels and a brain… Goodman was fast, but not smart. Woodhead and Brown are smart but not fast. As Daryl pointed out: What the hell did happen to Lavell Hawkins???
    I could see either a WR or CB returning punts. Wright has been pretty damn good for a 2nd CB, we need a shutdown corner, that just has to happen. I must admit I am gun-shy on high round corners and their ability to succeed in the Pro’s.
    If we continue running a 3-4 defense WE HAVE TO HAVE A DOMINATE NOSE TACKLE.

    • Peter Thompson

      Agree on all accounts.
      - Kick returner will be huge. Did we even get ONE TD return this year? Seems that way every year. – I want TWO CB’s.. lol. We still need to address that, and fill Jammer & Cason’s positions.. not just put two more guys who are almost exactly the same in there. Potential is one thing.. results & Talent are another.
      - Nose tackle has to happen. Thomas was getting pushed around like a bitch for most of the season, and the run AND pass defense was awful because of it.
      - Center is a VERY big concern, to me. I get the feeling Hardwick is done.. not next year kind of done… he’s yesterday kind of done.

      • Gunnar Martin

        Agree on… most accounts. Haha

        -I am ecstatic about the way Shareece has played the last month or so. He’s obviously improved. Remember, corners take lots of time to grow into their NFL position, and he’s finally getting it. Happy to have him back for next year. Still have Stevie Williams in waiting as well. Really curious to see how he turns out. One corner in the draft should do it.

        -Center is a big concern for me too, and I’d be all for drafting one this April. However, I still think Nick ‘wick has another season left in him. He had arguably one of his best performances this year. Played extremely well, and it seems like he still has that football spirit in him. He should look forward to grooming the guy that will be his successor.

        Totally concur about everything else.

  • Blue&gold_blood

    Cut Royal , give brown a shot at the slot. Sing Danario to a cheap contract . Get a big RB in the draft.

    • Gunnar Martin

      Cut Royal? Yeesh, don’t know how you came up with that one. Like your other points though. We should bring DX back on an incentive-laden contract. I bet he really wants to play for us again since he had such awesome chemistry with Phil.

      • w1LLz

        Couldn’t agree more. Great points!

  • philiprules

    RB = Need a back up running back who can pound it. Mid round draft choice. McClain & Brown, thanks for the small effort, but cya.
    WR = Alexander’s knees are made of glass. I just can’t see risking much on him. Hopefully M80 feels like coming back, can’t blame him if doesn’t however. Vincent Brown has been a disappointment this year, seriously regressed. I like Royal if he renegotiates, he’s hurt a lot but the guy plays. Not a bad #3, just too expensive. Tutu for special teams & spot work. I think look for a value in FA, maybe 2 if M80 retires.
    TE = it’s time for Green. Most of Gates’ work happened at the start of the season and he just plain wore down. Maybe another FA pickup for a blocking TE rather than the non-blocking “blocking” TE’s of late.
    OL = Dunlap & Fluker are locks. I’d like to resign Rinehart if it’s a reasonable price. Clary is WAY too expensive for what he does. Harris, Troutman, and Ohrnberger are decent backups. Probably need to find a backup LT in either the draft or FA and it’s most likely time to look for a replacement thru the draft for Hardwick ’cause I don’t think he’ll keep playing for much longer.
    I’m not big on spending a lot of time/money on worrying about kick returners. Most kicks are touchbacks now, why spend a lot of money on somebody to take a knee? Punts? Just give me somebody who catches the ball every time.
    No comments about the defense because this post asked about offense only. And you can see I’ve reserved the opening rounds of the draft to be used in that area….for good reason.

  • SoCalFan

    we need someone like “Pollard”. who will beat out shit of guys like Welker and impose fear.

    would be good if M80 is back. Need another yet WR- we should expect some regression from Allen on a 2nd year and be pleasantly surprised if he will produce at the same level.

    keep Vincent Brown and let him compete spring/summer

    more L. Green but still some Gates

    Ronnie Brown, McClain- cut, new big running back. do not know if we can predict fumble problems

    need Center

    Royal should be kept

  • JoseSD

    QB: I’m ready to see clipboard Jesus gone, Sorensen showed good decision making and he has good mobility and his passes were accurate with good velocity when he was throwing off balance or on the run. Ready for him to be #2.
    RB:they need a reliable 3rd string runner, not a pass protector and pass catcher like Ronnie Brown, someone who can start in an emergency and be an effective rusher
    FB: do we need one? Maybe, but not one as expensive and ineffective as Leron McClain
    WR: If we can have both DX and M80 back next year great, we need one big vertical threat opposite Allen either of those two could do it well. Royal might be too expensive to keep around and I think V brown can be a good possession receiver out of the slot with M80/DX being deep threat and Allen most likely being defenses’ new threat. And why isn’t TUTU used more.
    TE: more Ladarius Green
    Oline: Dunlap and Fluker were pretty damn good, Mike Harris is a suitable backup at both tackle spots, can’t believe how much I wanted Clary at RG on Sunday. Is it me or does Troutman at LG seem like a completely different player than when he was at RG on Sunday? Id like to see Rhinehart back. And like everyone says a Hardwick replacement is needed, I think this is the 3rd straight year there’s been retirement questions regarding Hardwick and maybe spending a 3rd or 4th round pick on a center this year is probable

  • gpack17

    at this point i feel the chargers are going to make a decision and keep either floyd or dx. probably keeping floyd. moving forward i only see us cutting royal if we were to draft another receiver or make a play on one in free agency like nicks or decker. tight end were pretty set with phillips, green, and gates..qb maybe an undrafted fa could challenge sorenson or a cheap free agent. rb i wouldnt mind seeing us try to get a tre mason, tyler gaffney (sd boy), or james wilder in rounds 4 or 5..also i feel with clary likely getting cut and rinehart a free agent we will need to draft (most likely) or sign a guard.. and would like to get a tackle to develop behind dunlap for a season..

  • Nolan

    I say let Whitehurst walk,let Brown retire bring in another running back maybe MJD will take reduced pay for a playoff team and we can put him in the mix but if not draft one, bring in another receiver i say Anquan Boldin for a 1 year contract let Alexander walk to many injury’s for him. Boldin and Allen will be unstoppable and if we get rid of Eddie Royal which I think we should just restructure his contract but if we do get rid of him we should sign Ted Ginn or even better Dexter McCluster “If we get McCluster it wouldn’t matter if Royal was gone hes a better player” for slot receiver and he could also be kick returner. I also say we should draft a new left tackle, King Dunlap was hurt a lot and sometimes got pushed around. I also agree we restructure Clarys deal I think he did a great job this year every time we run behind him and Fluker their unstoppable for the short yard situation. I think we need to try to restructure Mcclains deal also he did a great job plowing holes open for Mathews but if we get rid of him sign John Kuhn to a 2 year contract. Tight end is fine we have Gates Green and Phillips which I think Phillips needs to get more involved in the offence, “before he got hurt he didn’t get many snaps receiving the ball. yes hes a good blocker but he also has great hands”