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Is Ladarius Green the Future at Tight End?

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How can the San Diego Chargers get more use out of TE Ladarius Green while Antonio Gates is still on the roster? 

About a year ago, critics said Antonio Gates was washed up, he should retire soon, and it is time to let Ladarius Green take the ropes as the heir to AG85’s throne. Little did they know that Gates would have yet another Pro Bowl caliber type of season in 2014. He proved them all wrong, heck even some of us were wrong too. I’ll be honest I was a fan of letting Green have more reps on offense, but I never wished for Gates’ retirement.

Keep in mind, Gates is not getting any younger, but he still has PLENTY of tread left on his tires. What does this mean for Ladarius Green? Many expected him to get more reps on offense. Some even predicted him to be a breakout player in 2014, but we barely saw the guy play. I feel that he was used more in 2013 than this past season. This leads to me to this question… Is Ladarius Green the future at tight end?

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In 2013, we saw how explosive and fast Green is for being a tight end. He wowed us when he lined up as a receiver in certain plays and completely MOSSED opposing defenders. Will Green’s time come soon?

I’m going to say that Gates is here to stay for at least 2 more seasons. By then, Green will be more experienced and will still be at the young age of 26, but how will the coaches use the guy more often on offense in the mean time? Green’s rookie contract is coming up, will he even want to stay on this squad knowing he will be behind Gates until he retires? I’m sure Green is begging to get on the field.

I have a few solutions to this issue that will get Green on the field more.

1) Drop John Phillips

Dropping John Phillips will eliminate the option of using the 3rd TE over Green for any reason, which we have seen happen last season. Green will secure his position at 2 and it will earn himself more reps.

2) Utilize the Double TE Formation

Look at how successful other teams have been recently when using the double TE sets. Peyton Manning with Julius Thomas and Jacob Tamme, Tom Brady with Rob Gronkowski and Tim Wright, Andrew Luck with Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen. It just makes more sense for us and plus, that eliminates the need for a fullback on certain packages. It will open more oppertunities on offense, and it could also benefit the run game with some trickery as well. It’s a win win situation for all.

3) Use Green as a Receiver

We saw McCoy and Wisenhunt use Green as a Wide Receiver on certain plays, it worked out pretty nicely. What happened to that in 2014? Green has the speed and size of a receiver and the bulk of a blocker too. Consider him like a Jimmy Graham, he plays just like him.

If the coaching staff does at least 2 of these things, Green will be a more effective piece on this offense. Plus, it will give him more experience and potential for the future. By having the guy sit with no reps game after game is just not good for him, it doesn’t make me happy seeing this and I’m sure he would like a chance to play as well.

What do you guys think, is Green the heir to Gates throne? Or will he walk from the Bolts in search of a better job role once his contract expires? Feel free to leave your feedback in the comments below! Bolt Up!

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