Sep 30, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; San Diego Chargers running back Ryan Matthews (24) is tackled by Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Brandon Flowers (24) in the second half at Arrowhead Stadium. San Diego won the game 37-20. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Is Brandon Flowers Necessary For the Chargers?


The San Diego Chargers created quite a stir when they signed Pro-Bowler Brandon Flowers. It was reported that many teams wanted him, but thankfully the Bolts snatched him away before anyone else did.

But there is still a concern about this signing. There is no doubt that Flowers is wanted in San Diego. The question is: Is Brandon Flowers needed on the Chargers’ roster?

We all know that Flowers came “cheap.” But the fact is that even before he came to the Bolts, the CB position was in pretty good shape.

The Chargers had a decent #1 CB in Shareece Wright. Wright is coming off of a strong season, especially towards the end, and it looks like the former 3rd round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft is starting to figure it out.

Jason Verrett, this years 25th pick, is extremely talented with undeniable coverage and an amazing knack for play-making. Although his height is questioned at times (5’10), Verrett is out there to prove the haters that size isn’t everything.

The depth is also there. Richard Marshall started some games last season when needed and did a decent job. Promising cornerbacks in Steve Williams and Brandon Ghee could also step in.

So those are reasons why Flowers may not be necessary in 2014, but there are also plenty of arguments of why he is.

“He is an instant upgrade to the Chargers secondary,” Ernie Padaon has said in one of his previous article. Ernie couldn’t have been more correct.

“He is an instant upgrade to the Chargers secondary,” Chargers writer Ernie Padaon

The former Virginia Tech Hokie has the athleticism to play a handful of positions. From a perimeter to nickel CB, he is a versatile athlete that could step in at crucial times in any position when needed. Flowers also has averaged 62 tackles per season during his time in the NFL. Last season, he had 68 tackles in just 13 regular-season starts. He is a fundamental and sure tackler. 

Also, what do players like Richard Sherman, Joe Haden and Darrelle Revis have in common? They all have the quick awareness skills that allow them to react to a play quickly. Brandon Flowers also possesses that trait. He is able to read plays quickly and react to them, which is why he is so successful at tackling.

Let’s go back to the contract.

How did Tom Telesco do it? He was able to get a Pro Bowl CB to come to his team for $5M or less. For this kind of money, it is definitely worth a shot. Remember, this isn’t a Derek Cox-like corner coming in. Flowers is a proven veteran with only a few question marks on his resume.

Conclusion: Fans will disagree with me, but Brandon Flowers isn’t necessary. If I was the GM would I have signed him? Of course for $5M but all the talk about how Flowers is absolutely needed on the Bolts is not true. 

Is Brandon Flowers a necessity?

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  • Rex Lajos

    Depth at positions of need is necessary. Veteran leadership is necessary. Higher competition is necessary. Players from division rivals are necessary. I would say this signing was necessary.

    • Sam Kweon

      Good Point

  • davacho

    kind of confused- instant upgrade, but not needed/necessary? no proven CBs on roster- only potential. flowers is proven… help me out.

    • powderBLUE801

      Agreed

    • Sam Kweon

      What I mean is that Flowers is not necessarily NEEDED on the team for the Chargers to make a playoff run. But he could definitely be that difference maker that helps us reach our full potential.

      • davacho

        Seems like we would need to reach our full potential for a playoff run… Who is necessary on our team to make a run besides rivers?

        • Sam Kweon

          Ryan Mathews will have to carry his momentum from last season on to this season.
          Donald Butler must meet expectations and lead the defense.
          Someone has to step up at the Number 2 WR spot.
          Offensive Line must continue being strong (Especially King Dunlap)

          • davacho

            so 3 total guys on our team are necessary for a playoff run? we will have to agree to disagree. nothing but love for a fellow charger fan. : )

          • Sam Kweon

            Define Playoff Run. Maybe this could be my next article. My definition of playoff run is getting to the Super Bowl

          • davacho

            i was just using your words… OF COURSE a play off run is trying to get to the super bowl! : )

  • Tazzster

    Flowers is a huge upgrade. All of the guys on our roster now have the word potential attached to them. Flowers is a known quantity.

    While depth looks good right now, you can’t predict what will happen when guys start live contact. We have several CBs with injury history. Flowers has proven to be a durable guy.

    Flowers also will allow Verret time to ease into a bigger role. Before signing Flowers I was hoping that Verret could move into that #1 CB spot, because we needed someone solid there and I did not see that guy on the roster.

    Richard Marshal was the CB with the most experience before Flowers was signed…. personally I have never been impressed with Marshal and I don’t think he will make the roster. We needed some experience at the position. Flowers brings that.

    Necessary…. Its not necessary to play football on Sunday, I guess.

    Huge upgrade to the CB unit…. YOU BETCHA!

  • Gunnar Martin

    How are we defining “need”? I think our secondary would have been okay if we had missed out on Flowers, definitely better than it was last year at least. But I think we’d be kidding ourselves to expect that much from a group with so many inexperienced prospects that we can only speculate on based on their potential. Having Flowers here makes some of those questions much less important.

    I think if we want an above average secondary this season, then yes, we “need” Flowers. Do we “need” him in order to get in the playoffs and make a run? Who knows, but he could just be the difference maker we’ve been waiting for next to Weddle. There’s no doubt that I’m more comfortable with him here than if he wasn’t.

    • Sam Kweon

      Exactly my point, Gunnar. I don’t believe we need him to make a playoff run. But no doubt he could definitely be that difference maker.

    • Sergio Quintero

      Without Flowers below average that isn’t a grease fire, with him average with a chance to be slightly better than average.

  • Mark Viguri

    Even if Gilchrist goes back to being a corner of course the Chargers need Flowers with potential injuries and teams running 4 WR formations. Great QBs will always pick on the weakest link (ie: Marshall).

  • Cgoodness13

    It wasn’t necessary, but it was a luxary pickup, which is what a playoff caliber team like us likes to have

  • arnie

    I’ll keep it simple. You can NEVER have to many good CB.

    • Sergio Quintero

      Damn can’t say it better

      • arnie

        Honestly Sergio, it’s one of the few useful things that came from aj smith’s mouth.

        • Sergio Quintero

          Its the equivalent of the baseball axiom, can never have enough pitching.

          • arnie

            Agreed.

  • Sergio Quintero

    Without Flowers I expect a pass defense to be around 16-24, average to slightly below average, so with Flowers the ceilling just went up in the expectations, but even then Flowers doesn’t make the chargers a top 5 pass defense far from, my expectations are more in the 10-18 range of pass defense.

    Pagano’s defenses are too static in their design, I like defenses that create pressure by confusion in the blocking scheme and the chargers are definitely not known for that, and to add to that the chargers will allow way to many easy short throws in front of the corners to have elite defensive statistics. Basically I think Pagano runs a bend but don’t break defense, those by definition rarely amount to elite units.

    • BlueBoltFan

      I think you hit the nail on the head. We’ve got conflicting opinions on Pags. A lot of fans think he’s overrated as DC, especially in matching scheme to personnel. But the team and many others around the league think very highly of him.

      I’m undecided. He’s done some things I don’t like. But he’s also shown flashes of brilliance. It must be noted that he’s had only one elite player on defense for his entire tenure at DC…and several liabilities. How is he supposed to dial-up exotic, mind-blowing plays with an ineffective pass rush AND poor CB play?

      That said, I don’t think anyone expects a Baltimore or Seattle caliber defense. Just a decent one. With Flowers, I think (hope) he’ll be out of excuses.

      • Sergio Quintero

        I will not deny I am a huge Dick Lebeau fan, and if you run a 3-4 I want mine to look like his, with press coverage outside, not allowing any easy throws, and throwing the kitchen sink on 3rd and long, so the fact Pagano is the opposite, he basically get no easy points for me to like him.

        I will admit I despise bend but don’t break defense, they are mediocre to the point of gag inducing for me, so I will admit I’m not the most objective to show my love and affection for Pagano.

        At the end of the day if you get results I will give the guy credit, but until now its inconsistent flashes of brilliance, with days they look clueless, and they make Jake Locker & Micheal Vick look like world beaters.

        • BlueBoltFan

          Dead on. The biggest knock I have on Pags is the tackling. Bend but don’t break defenses, at their best, fly to the ball, wrap up the ball carrier, and bring him down with little to no YAC. That’s not what I see most Sundays.

          • Sergio Quintero

            When you have guys like Flowers, Verrett & Williams, clearly the off man-zone coverage is here to stay. All signs point that even though they are small they all are really good tacklers.

            They have gotten pieces to make the Pagano scheme work, but unless you have elite pass rushers that win their matchups consistently they have a ceilling of being a good solid above average defense, too many easy throws and not enough pressure created through scheme to jump to the next level.

            With a conservative scheme the chargers run, that they can and will picked on by short passes, I just can’t see them having an elite defense. They will be a lot whole better than at the level they started 2013, but still rather far from getting compared to the Seahawks group.

  • BlueBoltFan

    I would put Flowers halfway between luxury and necessity. He provides proven veteran productivity at, or near, a pro bowl level. Without him there’s a lot of promise in the secondary, but little proven. And what has been proven is below average.

    Flowers allows the rookies and other veterans to compete and earn their spots while potentially giving us quality players for Teams, sub-packages, and injury depth.

    • Sergio Quintero

      There is reason for optimism for Pagano’s schemes, I remember reading that Jarrett Johnson mentioned that unlike previous years, Pagano is installing the defense at the level he was late in the season, where we saw some overloads, and some creative stuff, not Ryan’s brothers in terms of exotic but not completely static.

      So here’s hoping Pagano takes the training wheels off this defense.

  • afroamongfew

    Three words: Historically. Bad. Secondary.

    And as much as I believe Shareece Wright took a ton of unnecessary flak for his play last year, you could argue that the idea of Richard Marshall and Crezdon Butler sharing starting CB2 duties (if Verrett or Williams aren’t ready to play outside or are better fits for the slot) is horrifying given how poorly they played last year. Brandon Flowers was a necessity, through-and-through, to maintain the idea that the 2014-15 Chargers can hope for a playoff birth or winning season.

  • OP Bolt

    Like others I had a tough time with “need”. On the one hand, like you, I think we improved the CBs with the draft and the pre-Flowers FAs. But seriously, that was betting the stake on NO DEMONSTRATED PERFORMANCE. Don’t get me wrong, I think (ok, I hope) Ghee, Williams, and Verrett and the subtraction of Cox will turn out to be really good. But they don’t have tape – at one of the toughest positions in the NFL. And of course they will be facing Payton Manning twice, plus a number of other really good QBs.

    Maybe we need to ask the question in a different context. What if TT had the choice between a Pro Bowl caliber OT, WR, CB (all young, good, healthy, affordable). Would you still take Flowers? My opinion is yes, because improving that position group will have the greatest synergistic impact on the team.