While You were Looking At CB’s & NT’s…

Tom Telesco & Mike McCoy can say what they want about “adding players that they think can help the team”, but I have noticed a strange little anomaly in who they have visited lately. It’s obvious that they were looking for a “blocking tight end” to replace John Phillips, as they signed Pittsburgh Steelers TE David Johnson to the roster in March. However, were they satisfied with this? Are they still looking for competition at the position? It’s no secret that Gates & Green aren’t the best blockers, to begin with. They are explosive, and are mismatches in coverage, but their blocking skills don’t exactly jump off of the page.

On another note, the team also signed Kellen Clemens to the roster in March. He actually did pretty well for himself, after St. Louis lost their franchise QB to an ACL tear last season. The move was presumed to be in response to the “parting of ways” between the Chargers, and long-time backup Charlie Whitehurst. Our beloved “Clipboard Jesus” awkwardly left with Ken Whisenhunt, to buddy up with Jake Locker in the weight room, after Ken Whisenhunt “politely jumped ship” to regain his head coaching prowess in Tennessee.

After signing Clemens, Charger fans were (sort of) scratching their heads. I think that some fans expected 2013′s 7th round draft pick Brad Sorensen to take the reigns, rather than sign another back-up quarterback to the roster. Telesco has made a point of saying that he wants to “build through the draft”, and seems to be employing a “youth movement” on the the roster. Furthermore, most fans were elated that Whitehurst was “allowed to leave”, as it saved the team money, against a brutal salary cap.

Whitehurst was given a whopping EIGHT MILLION DOLLAR CONTRACT, for wearing baby blue Titans colors!!! Can you blame him? I would carry a clipboard, and “look cool” for a fraction of that cost. We signed 30 year old Kellen Clemens to a $3 million dollar contract, in response. This is much more reasonable than keeping Whitehurst, as neither of them will probably ever see the field. I have a feeling that the Chargers will, once again, carry three quarterbacks. But, obviously, they are not totally sold on crowning Brad Sorenson the “full time back-up QB”.

You might think that the Chargers just stumbled into Clemens, as Whitehurst was on his way out. However, this was not the case. The Chargers were, and might still be, actively be seeking another quarterback. One thing I have learned, is that nobody’s job is safe, no matter what the deal may be. They might also be looking for tight end depth, as well.

Here are some players that I saw that the Chargers were (or are) looking into, at both positions. They might seem like “weird picks” to you, but did anyone see Brad Sorensen coming? Either way, it’s worth knowing what the Chargers thought that their options might be, even if Clemens & Johnson MIGHT be the final solution.

 

David Fales, QB, San Jose State:

The Chargers have been looking at a few San Jose State Players, to fill depth on the roster. Nothing that you would expect them to grab in the higher rounds, but they did talk to Fales at the Senior Bowl. He draws comparison to Andy Dalton of the Cincinnati Bengals, but I suspect that he isn’t as good. However, he does seem to fit the “quick-passing attack”, that the Chargers have employed recently, makes solid throws over the middle, and on short-to-intermediate routes. He also appears to be somewhat mobile, unlike our baby giraffe.

Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, Eastern Illinois: 

Here’s one that should perk your attention. Garoppolo is projected to go in the second round. With all of the talk of Bortles going in the second, this can’t be just a “depth” maneuver, can it? I don’t think that the Chargers would draft a QB in the second round (because it might trigger mass-suicide), but when I read over his stats, I was more impressed than felt comfortable. I guess Telesco & McCoy were serious when they said that they would sign any player that makes the team better. They interviewed him at the East/West Shrine Game, days before they signed Clemens. He is probably more of a “game manager”, and has trouble making accurate throws. But, he is expected to be an NFL starter, one day. With the right coaching, he could be as good as Alex Smith, or Nick Foles.

Keith Wenning, QB, Ball State:

Here’s one that should slow the “pitter-patter” of your heart down. The Chargers also talked to Keith Wenning, from Ball State (Where?). Anyway, this had the same taste as Brad Sorensen, and Jarrett Lee. I know some of you still carry a torch for Lee, and a lot of you think that Sorensen could be to Rivers, what Brady was to Bledsoe. You will have to hold that one down without me,… and (apparently), without Tom Telesco. He can dink & dunk, but would probably be fighting for a 3rd string job, at best. The Chargers talked to him at the East/West Shrine Game, as well. So, take that for what it’s worth

 

Now, onto the tight ends….

 

C.J. Fiedorowicz, TE, Iowa:

This guy seems to be more of a depth guy, but he is “big-framed”, and ready to go in the 3rd to 4th rounds. I don’t anticipate that the Chargers will take a tight end in the first four rounds, but after that… anything goes, right? They talked to him at the Senior Bowl, and he seems to have good hands, and can get open. He just doesn’t get the extra yards. At this point, Gates isn’t getting them either. Most of the passes I saw to Gates last season were “run to the first down marker, catch it, and get tackled” type of throws. Not that this guy is better than, or can replace Gates. But, our organization DOES seem to be able to recognize TE talent.

Gator Hoskins, TE, Marshall:

Having a guy named “Gator” on the team, just seems like a move that TT would make. He loves the “name game”. I’m surprised we didn’t sign Captain Munnerlyn in free agency, and aren’t making a run at HaHa Clinton Dix!!! If I were him, I would wear the boots to match. Oddly enough, he didn’t play for Florida. Despite having such a gaudy name, he doesn’t seem half bad, and should be an early “day three” pick. When the Raiders pick him, I want you to know that you heard it here FIRST on Bolt Beat. I’m not sure if they are looking for a TE. But, from this distance, they could use a guy named Gator in Oak-Town. I guess we might be in the market for one, as well. I can see it now… he will sue Nike over the rights for the “Gator Dance”. ; )

Blake Jackson, TE, Oklahoma State:

This guy is in the top “third-ish” range of this year’s TE class (which is pretty weak). Eric Ebron seems to be the only lock. Jackson doubles as a half back / full back, as do a lot of TE’s. I don’t see any basketball experience on his resume, but it makes sense that the Chargers were eyeing him. They just let McClain go, and their plan seems to be to fill that hole with a blocking tight end, who is also a fullback. They gave him a “how do ya do” at the East/West Shrine Game, regardless of his receiving skills.

Jordan Najvar, TE, Baylor:

I guess we could go the ole’ “AJ Smith route”, and give this guy a shot. Seems a little crowded on the roster, at the TE position, if you ask me. But, the Chargers did approach this 7th round / UDFA prospect. I’m not sure he would ever break the number three spot on the depth chart, but it is clear that he excelled in blocking, regardless of his deficiencies in the passing game. If he is hanging around in UDFA, I would expect Telesco to make a run at him, and quarterback Keith Wenning, to keep camp lively…or not.

So, there you have it. Some guys that the Chargers are looking at, that don’t show up on the average draft boards. We know Telesco is cheap, and LOVES to find a bargain. I actually love that about him, as I am a coupon clipper, myself. Why pay for a $20.00 oil change, when you can get someone to do it for $13… all I know is that I’m not changing it… even if it ends up being $14.00. I can take my own oil to the fire station, do you know what I mean?

Don’t be discouraged by the meaninglessness of this article, as there is more “quality content” to follow, shortly. Most of which you will probably write off. Just give me a “thumbs up” when that team ultimately signs “The Gator”, and I will be a happy camper…. because you KNOW you are gonna remember when they pick him!!!!

Oh, and vote in the poll below, if you feel obliged to do so.

 

Keep Bolting Toward Excellence!

Peter Thompson

Will The Chargers Draft a Quarterback, Or Tight End This Year?

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Tags: 2014 NFL Draft San Diego Chargers

  • Marcel West-Bailey

    Pleasure to hear from you again Mr. Thompson. I’m totally down for getting another QB or TE. As long as he’s an undrafted free agent.

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

      The pleasure is mine. You know how it is. As Ernie would say, Faith, Family, Football… in that order.

      • Marcel West-Bailey

        Food is usually pretty high on that list of F’s. Don’t ask me where exactly.

        • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

          hahahaha… the 4 f’s!

      • Sergio Quintero

        Blocking TE late in the draft is the highest I see any of these happening, I haven’t read much on who are the stud return guys, which I definitely see being addressed.

  • tubbs45

    Nice write up PT. I would suggest the a Kick Returner / Punt Returner should be high on the list of needs as well. I don’t like Allen being a primary PR, back up is fine, but we can ill afford to have him injured or out resting after a return. And frankly I would rather pile on some TE’s than have a fullback we don’t use!

    http://i1276.photobucket.com/albums/y462/staffpicks/Animated_GIFs/DGAF_zpsf2f3f985.gif

  • rickochey

    good job!!!! enjoyed the article…

  • Stefanie Smith

    I like McCoy’s and Telesco’s mantra that they will add any player that makes the team better. However, on the other side, what if their judgment is skewed? I would really like a better idea, instead of doublespeak on their part, as to what they would consider “better”. After all, TT thought Derek Cox would make the team better. I don’t see anything real clear anywhere that determines what their criteria is and whether it is even correct thinking. These are both newbs to the GM and coaching business. They are experimenting. The two of them are not the great arbiters of what is great and good. On the surface, I can see where this is going. I hope I am wrong. Otherwise, we will be hearing the same stupid words—” Give them time to develop–a few more years and we will be ready for the playoffs.”

    And same here, Pete. I loved the article.

    • Sergio Quintero

      I never find interviews with GM’s that interesting, they say a lot of words to say as little specific as possible, the only time they are semi interesting is just after the draft in talking about why they liked a player.

      Part of the reason I like reading and participating in the chats the UT does, the little the chargers let slips is to the pair at the UT.

      I thought Telesco profile of being a center of the box thinker is pretty well established Stefanie, he is not going to break character because the Broncos are all in.

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

        I dunno though, Sergio.. half the time, they spend paragraph upon paragraph pontificating, when they should just report the facts. If you are going to pontificate, at least be funny. Most of what they report, I can figure out for myself, simply by paying attention. I often talk about what I “wish” they would do… but, I am rarely shocked by TT’S moves, or in awe of what that “pair” are reporting about. A lot of times, they don’t even seem know much more than us.

        • Sergio Quintero

          The pair at the UT know a little more than us, but clearly the chargers are not big into spilling the beans, its downright funny how little rumors there are on the chargers on walterfootball, the texans have over 50, the chargers have 2.

          I think those are used to get certain points to the fans like:
          - Clary is very likely staying
          - Lissemore is very likely the starter at NT, and its very likely they are not taking a NT in the first round.
          - They used the pair to inform on the interest for the NT from the texans and Conner ILB from Indy.

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

            True… but the Clary thing is a no brainer.. and the rest was reported by multiple sources, shortly after. The Earl Mitchell thing is the only inside news. I would HOPE they have some sort of inside info at this point.. but, it has become clear to me that there isn’t much of an advantage for the UT writers anymore. A lot of their stories have become extremely carefully worded, highly “speculative”, and dare I say… sensationalistic? Lol.

      • Stefanie Smith

        Sergio, I am fine with TT being a center of the box thinker–as long as he is correct and not subject to being error prone. Simply because he wants to do it, he and McCoy should not gloss it up and call it “making the team better”. They sort of look silly when they end up being wrong. Just be right is what I am asking of TT and McCoy. The Chargers are not their guinea pig so they can learn how to do their jobs.

        • Sergio Quintero

          Telesco has been right more than he’s been wrong, clearly the chargers are not going to be elite as fast as you or I would like, they clearly are going for the slow and steady approach.

          • Stefanie Smith

            Sergio: We weren’t that far off. Maybe we got lucky last year, but we did it. Why is it “better” to slow down a win? How is that making the team better? And I don’t see it like you. As a whole I believe there have been improvements, but TT has made plenty of mistakes. Not serious ones. He has also made some good moves. I guess what I would like to know is why this is the best approach? No one from the Chargers explains that. Slow and steady… Heck, we have been slow and steady for the last 15 years. Time the Chargers put up a winning team. They better put out a quality product fast— if they want the taxpayers to approve a taxpayer funded stadium.

            What really kills me is how the Chargers’ organization thinks it outlandish to expect our team to be elite… like that is absolutely absurd. They have always been in some kind of repair/rebuild, cap limit, or some other type of problem. It is like a soap opera of excuses.

          • Sergio Quintero

            We had a long drawn out convo on this topic about a month ago, one thing I’ll make really clear I agree with you, in terms showing more urgency, but that doesn’t mean they are changing their approach any time soon.

          • Stefanie Smith

            I know you are right, but it still kills me. They are making this a project unnecessarily. At least use the draft to fill the holes. I hear that all the time by sportscasters. Why does he not even believe in that? At least fix a problem or two before he goes and gets all experimental and creative.

          • Sergio Quintero

            In a one the most interesting interviews Telesco has ever done, he make it clear how important it is to not push money into the future, and is basically offended in having to respond on the Broncos all in policy:

            http://plfmx-xxsports.s3.amazonaws.com/common/global_audio/120067.mp3

            http://espn.go.com/blog/san-diego-chargers/post/_/id/4160/telesco-not-focused-on-free-spending-broncos

            The actual audio in which he speaks about the Broncos is at the 10:30 mark in the interview.

          • Stefanie Smith

            His job is getting our team ready to actually compete. I don’t care how he gets there. This is a competitive business that he works in. If he can’t see what is required to compete in the present, then I don’t know what to say. And yes, not responding is a response. He is saying it is okay for the Chargers to lose . He better be ready to respond to the Broncos. The fans want to win the Championship. Yes, he should have a response. I hope he realizes we have to get past the Broncos to go anywhere in the here and now.

          • Sergio Quintero

            This is a close to a specific answer to the question you are asking, I didn’t say you would like it. Sorry not trying to be mean.

          • Stefanie Smith

            I didn’t think you were trying to be mean. Why would you think that?

          • Sergio Quintero

            Sorry force of habit, I get into quite a few heated discussions, I sometimes overcompensate by going to overly polite.

            We’re good Stefanie

          • Stefanie Smith

            You’re really a fantastic contributor, Sergio. You’ve never been hateful or mean spirited.

  • Nick Mansoor

    Gotar Hoskins is baller. He could play both TE and FB. I wouldnt mind drafting him. Plus his name is awesome.

  • arnie

    Peter i heard them the first time, and witnessed it with my own eyes. competition.

    You are correct T&M have made it clear everyone will compete, nobody’s job is safe. This is why i like their approach, i’ve said it before, draft picks are 50/50 an FA are not that much different. In McCoy’s camp ever player gets equal snaps. Not my opinion. This makes sense simply because, no matter how much the “professionals” do, they still don’t have all the answers. Until the pads go on.

    If they take TE in the supplemental draft and he blows up in camp, he won’t be ignored, and will probably get playing time. Take a CB in the 1st, take one in the 6th, to me it doesn’t matter. Two of the best DB’ in the league (seattle) were both taken in the 5th round. That happened because of competition an equal reps in camp.

    Nothing surprises me with with T&M. They’ve shown to be willing to trade up to get a good player. They’ve shown when a mistake is made to not hesitate to move on. I wont be mad to see a QB or TE in camp.

  • Tazzster

    I think with the draft, your first 3 picks are guys you expect to come in and either start or contribute. After that you are looking for guys you can develope. In those developemental picks I think you cold see any position. Because at that point you are probably looking for best player available.

  • 619chargers4life

    were going to draft both if u include the draft after the draft. the supplements. lol

  • Charger2139

    I would love if we drafted Fales, I watched him at SJSU and on his pro day and he reminds me a lot like Drew Brees! My only gripe is he doesn’t have huge arm strength. Either way we could get him and start the wonderful grooming process into making the next Phillip! But if not.. Oh we’ll I’m sure a need will take his place! Great article though!:)