As the Joey Bosa saga continues, I’m taking a look at the Bolts with an optimistic eye. Let’s look at the Chargers position by position and see if they’ve improved or not during the off-season. Simple, +=improved, 0=no change, -=down. Double pluses and minuses obviously means much improved or a real downer! At the end, we’ll total it up and see what you think. We’ll base on the roster at the beginning of last season, not the end.
Nov 1, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates (85) runs as Baltimore Ravens inside linebacker C.J. Mosley (57) attempts to bring him down during the fourth quarter at M&T Bank Stadium. Baltimore Ravens defeated San Diego Chargers 29-26. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
++Tight End: Why a double plus? Antonio Gates was suspended the first four games last year so we add Gates, Hunter Henry and probably Jeff Cumberland. Almost a triple plus! What may be the best part is Henry’s blocking ability. While he’s potentially a great receiver, he blocked for a run-happy Arkansas team last year and apparently did quite well in the tough SEC. Having Gates all season will also help, needless to say.
+Wide Receiver: Travis Benjamin really helps here. Speed with some good over-the-middle savvy. Keenan Allen, Stevie Johnson, Benjamin, Dontrelle Inman and maybe Javontee Herndon or Tyrell Williams makes for a pretty good group.
+Offensive Line: Matt Slauson, and Max Tuerk obviously help, but the cutting of Trevor Robinson and his $2.375 million CAP hit helps. Also, keeping most of the group together is a big deal with offensive linemen. Continuity helps. Just hope health is on our side with this group.
+ Coaching: Ken Whisenhunt, I think a step up from last year.
So the offense looks better. No negatives and all pluses as far as I can see. Very few losses and some nice gains.
-Defensive Line: Almost 2 negatives without Joey Bosa. Brandon Mebane makes it 1-minus. Mebane’s a solid addition but (believe it or not) we’ll miss Kendall Reyes. Not so strong at the point of attack, but very fast and chased down backs many times last year. Of course, not necessarily what you want from a defensive lineman, but speed always helps. Can Darius Philon, Damion Square or Sean Lissemore do the job? Unknown. Bosa might turn this group into a plus.
Aug 13, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers inside linebacker Denzel Perryman (52) and defensive back Jahleel Addae (37) tackle Dallas Cowboys running back Gus Johnson (37) during the second quarter in a preseason NFL football game at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
++Linebacker: Drafting Joshua Perry and jatavis Brown adds great depth. Replacing Donald Butler with Denzel Perryman is a solid upgrade and a healthy Tourek Williams (Jarrett Johnson like) really adds depth even with the loss of Kavel Conner. Didn’t even mention the outside pass rushers…potentially a very good group.
-Defensive Back: Barely a minus. The loss of Eric Weddle is huge although Dwight Lowery and Casey Hayward will help, especially in the passing game. My biggest concern here is run defense. Not so sure Lowery, Hayward and Brandon Flowers are consistently willing tacklers although Jason Verrett and Jahleel Addae certainly are.
0 Coaching: Pags is Pags.
+ Special Teams: The addition of Benjamin and fast LB’s including Perry, Brown and Williams will help here.
There it is, a good offense gets a little better (+6) a mediocre defense stays about the same (0), although the LB’s could be very good. Special teams could see a slight improvement (1).
Doing just find without Bosa. What do you think>