Jan 1, 2012, Oakland, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers general manager A.J. Smith watches on the sidelines during the game against the Oakland Raiders at the O.co Coliseum. The Chargers defeated the Raiders 38-26. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE
Now that the Chargers’ playoff hopes are hanging by a single thread, one might find now to be the right time to start to cut the fat from this roster. I am of the opinion that we might as well wait until after the season to start taking out the trash, so to speak.
My list of players that, in my mind, should be looking for jobs elsewhere will slightly differ from some of yours. I do believe that we all have the majority of the same players in mind.
Without further ado, here is my list of players that I no longer want wearing lightning bolts when the 2013 season begins.
– Atari “The grass is always greener on the other side” Bigby – Although he has flashed some ability throughout his career, the guy is an extreme liability in pass coverage and refuses to wrap up when tackling. Hitting people is great. Making tackles properly has become a lost art in the NFL. Bigby is a prime example of how NOT to tackle in the pros. I hope to see some strong development from Brandon Taylor in the coming weeks. The injury to Darrell Stuckey is a shame because I believe that he has earned the opportunity to see more snaps at SS in the base defense.
– Jeromey Clary- I’ve tried my best to stick up for Clary. I can longer pretend like he is a viable option at right tackle. It’s impossible to have Pro Bowl players at every position. That being said, Clary has had more than ample opportunity to show that he can get it done on a consistent basis. The only thing consistent about his game is that he is inconsistent and will definitely allow Rivers to get mauled game in and game out. Time is now up for Clary. If the Chargers do keep him, I would hope they restructure his deal and keep him as a reserve lineman.
-Takeo Spikes- This was a hard one for me to put on the list. The guy is getting far too old. He’s a step behind on most pass plays and a weak link to what is becoming a seriously solid defense. I have a ton of respect for Spikes. But I hope that the Bolts move on from him in the offseason. Not to mention, the guy is cursed!! I’ve received about 25 emails in the last couple of months claiming that his “no playoffs ever” curse is what will keep us out of the post season. Obviously that’s not why we will miss our third consecutive playoff birth but I can definitely find the humor in people saying that.
-Tyronne Green- Although Green is a younger player, he has looked horrific, more often than not, while attempting to hold down the starting left guard position. I had high hopes for Green in the offseason. (Insert BoogaP was high jokes here) Rivers has no faith in the left side of the o-line and we all know that has led to a serious number of his mistakes. Although the “offensive” o-line can’t stop Philip from forcing stupid passes, let’s not pretend that as soon as the ball is snapped that Rivers isn’t mentally preparing to run for his life. We’ve all seen the Baby Giraffe try to run. It’s not a pretty sight.
-Quentin Jammer at cornerback- Many former star cornerbacks have made the move to safety late in their careers. Rod Woodson, and even Deion Sanders, made an impact in the later years after switching positions. Ronnie Lott started his career at cornerback as well. He turned out to be one of the best safeties to ever wear an NFL uniform. The Charger defense does not need, nor do we expect, Jammer to have the impact that Lott did as safety. But it can’t be ignored that he has left a lot to be desired while playing at cornerback in the last couple of years. Despite Norv proclaiming that he doesn’t envision Jammer ever moving to safety, most of us think that it would be a pretty smooth transition. Jammer has shown that his top speed has now become likened to that of a moped. The governor on his motor has been set at 35 when he needs to be at 60 to keep up with the speedster wideouts in the NFL. Jammer is a big hitter and is great in run support. Although he will still have trouble facing the likes of the Gronks and Jimmy Grahams of the world, who doesn’t have trouble with those guys. Jammer is currently playing in the last year of his contract. If he is to be retained, I would hope that is done with the intention of a move to strong safety.
-Larry English- As plain as the nose on your face, English has been confirmed as a complete bust for a couple of years now. Some of us thought that, if healthy, he might be able to finally contribute this season. Using the words healthy and Larry English add up to one serious oxy moron. It’s time to cut ties with English.
-Antonio Garay- When healthy, Garay has shown that he can have a positive impact on the field. But he is also getting up there in years. I do think that he could contribute at a high level coming off the bench. But his salary next year will be far too high for what would amount to be a rotational player on the defensive line. Despite his colorful attitude and far more colorful hair, Garay will most likely be shown the door in the offseason.
-Jared Gaither- Gaither pulled what could be one of the greatest NFL fleece jobs over on A.J. Smith and the Chargers. I must admit that I bought the hype as well. After signing late last year, Gaither made an immediate impact in the final games of the 2011 season. What else was A.J. to do? Gaither was the best available free agent at left tackle on the market. He gambled and lost. The Bolts are on the books for a butt-load of money with the behemoth Gaither. A little alliteration absolutely showcases my annoyance with A.J. Smith. Gaither will most likely to kept and if that’s the case I hope that he is moved to starting right tackle.
– Norv Turner- Although I have only listed players to get rid of, how in the heck could I not include Norv Turner. It is seriously far past time for Norval to kick rocks and become an offensive coordinator for another team. We need the anti-Norv as a head coach. A fiery coach that will constantly hold players accountable for their mistakes. A coach that will lead by example of strength. Not lead by an example of mediocrity. I could go on for days about why Norv needs to go. But I don’t find that to be necessary. we all agree that Norv needs to hit the skids.
– A.J. Smith- In my opinion, Smith is more at fault than even Turner. Smith shopped for the gorceries, planned the menu, and forced Norv, in most situations, to make chicken salad out of chicken….. well, you get the point. The lack of depth on this team at crucial positions is devastatingly laughable. When I say laughable, I mean in a laugh to avoid crying sort of way. A.J. has allowed some superstar players to leave for other teams strictly due to his enormous ego. The man has proven than he is unable to separate personal opinions from business decisions. His type of personality and arrogance is not conducive to being a successful general manager in the NFL. I am sick of hearing about “getting into the tournament.” I want people in charge that want to win the whole damn thing each and every year.
Don’t let the door hit ya where the good lord split ya!
Please just prove me wrong and show a man’s true pride and resign at season’s end.
99.9% of the fanbase.
I hate to admit that I think Smith will be allowed to stay at least one more year with the Chargers but it seems very possible. Dean likes A.J. and seems to be just fine with the Chargers mediorce status in the NFL.
Speaking of Dean, I wish that I could include him on this list. The Chargers need a complete makeover in my opinion. I can’t imagine it ever happening, but if Dean would sell the franchise to an owner, or group, that put winning first, we might all have a Lombardi trophy to gaze at in the coming years.
My fear is that Dean, along with A.J., will continue to run this team into the ground.
I’m sure that some of you have other players that you would include on your removal lists. There will also be fans that would like to see some of the people on my list retained.
The fact that Antoine Cason isn’t on my list will possibly infuriate some of you. I want to see what Cason can do with a good pass rush and a strong cornerback on the other side of the field from him. I have yet to give up on him. He needs to work on his footwork and learn to stick his nose in there on tackles. The fact that he plays so far off the line obviously needs addressing as well. That is most likely due to scheme and playcalling.
I’d also like to add free agent flop wide receivers Robert Meachem and Eddie Royal. But we’re on the hook for too much money against the salary cap for them. I’m so glad that I immediately purchased both of their jerseys as soon as they became available. Money well spent? Not on the players nor the jerseys.
I’m sure that a few of you would have liked to see Philip Rivers on this list. Maybe even Antonio Gates. I’ll kindly state that I couldn’t disagree more.
Please leave some comments in regards to who you would like to see given the boot from our beloved Bolts. Let me know which players that you disagree on as well.
Thanks a lot for reading.