LA Chargers News

Morning Dump

By Ernie Padaon

SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Chargers aren’t media darlings anymore, and Antonio Gates says that may be a good thing.

Thousands of fans showed up to cheer on their hometown team, and the Bolts didn’t disappoint as they continued to look sharp in their preparation for the 2012 season.

SAN DIEGO —- The Chargers’ linebacker corps was once a great source of intimidation. That was especially true in the mid-2000s, when the likes of Steve Foley, Shaun Phillips and a healthy Shawne Merriman provided pressure off the edge.

The toll of his first NFL season was building. He was struggling to find a rhythm on the field. Personal problems were mounting.

K Nick Novak has a deep admiration for K Nate Kaeding, but Novak makes no qualms that he is working hard to return as the Chargers’ kicker this season.

Last year, Chargers wide receiver Vincent Brown flashed the entire trio as a rookie despite the league lockout wiping away his offseason and a hamstring injury costing him much of training camp.

The San Diego Chargers might be the Los Angeles Chargers again some day, but the more immediate question is, when will they return to the playoffs?

The Chargers didn’t wait long to snag one of the top catches on the 2012 free agent market, agreeing to terms with former New Orleans Saint Robert Meachem on a four-year contract just hours after he became available. A first-round pick in 2007 and a Super Bowl champion with the Saints following the 2009 season, Meachem has an impressive resume that includes 141 career catches, 2,269 yards (16.1 avg.) and 23 touchdowns.