“Chargers Football–Who Are They Now?”
We know who they used to be. The San Diego Chargers with Philip Rivers, Melvin Gordon, Keenan Allen and more.
We know who they became, a non playoff team for the most part, in a city that did not love them, playing in a stadium that was was overwhelmed by fans wearing the other team’s colors.
We now see what they could be, a team moving into a new stadium, with a gifted defense, and alot of questions marks on the offense.
Not the way you’d like to launch a rebranded team in the post-Philip Rivers era in a new yard.
The Bolts may wear Powder Blue and Gold, but those colors yell ‘San Diego’. There is no Rivers, gone to the Indianapolis Colts. There is no Melvin Gordon-gone to be a Denver Bronco.
Yes Keenan Allen, Hunter Henry and Mike Williams are there to catch balls. Yes Austin Ekeler became an unsung hero starting running back.
There are 3-new starting offensive lineman.
There are a bunch of key players playing on the final year of their contracts.
Joey Bosa, Melvin Ingram, and a talent laden Derwin James-led secondary make up the heart and soul of the strength of the team, that defense.
But at the most critical spot on the roster, there is a journeyman QB-Tyrod Taylor, who is (23-21) as a starter, on his 4th team in the league. There is the raw rookie from Oregon, Justin Herbert, with no experience, in a different offense, learning to play under center after all those years in the shotgun with the Ducks.
No minicamps. No OTA’s. No hands on coaching yet. They hope to get on the field by Monday, but it’s like cramming 4-months of an off season into the next 7-weeks of camp, hoping there are no Covid outbreaks.
Coach Anthony Lynn wanted changes after last season’s turnover marred-injury riddled season. The front office let him do what he wanted, change out QBs, move on from OL. He may be a leader, but only time tells whether he made the right decisions.
Lynn’s comments at his opening of camp press conference”
..Everyday there is chaos
..If you can’t adopt to change-you will struggle
..We have to practice outside the box, no real offseason here
..We need discipline to beat opponents and beat the virus
..We will need veteran leadership from players-coaches will provide it
..Virtual learning-feedback has been good
..We will continue whether guys are at home or in the hotel
..I need to get comfortable doing it this way
..I have always communicated in person
..Tyrod Taylor is in the driver’s seat at QB
..We know what he can do in this offense.
..Tyrod Taylor is not rusty-he knows football
..He is a great mentor guy-not outspoken in the locker room
..I think he is the perfect guy to do this
..He will be perfect mentor for Justin Herbert
..We cannot makeup for the lost time Herbert did not get on field
..He had 4-years as a starter at Oregon..that should carry over
..I like what I see..how he carries himself-prepares-studies
..Herbert will not sit out the whole year
..LB-Kenneth Murray-we will put him in situations in practice-test him
..We have to evaluate players in live fire practices
..Getting Joey Bosa signed is important-he is ready to go
..Did not want distraction of negotiations during season
..Tom Telesco has done a good job signing mosf players
..I stay out of negotiations
..I get players ready to be superstars so they can get paid like superstars.
..There are alot of health protocols
..This team must take protocols seriously
..No players have said they will opt out
..The George Floyd situation..the timing..the pandemic…people watching on TV…People having enough of it
..Now everyone can see what people are fighting for
..Good to see people involved and in discussions.
The Charges are like everyone else in training camp.
Short time to get ready. Hoping no one gets hurt. Believing no one gets sick.
They’ve got pieces of real talent. They also have holes. They have unknowns.
What was, Rivers big game plays, Gordon’s ability to dart and dash, a string of active linebackers, have been replaced.
They’ve rented some veteran offensive lineman. They need young lineman to step up.
They need to know if Tyrod Taylor can play and not get hurt. Can he win, or will he be an undersized version of Doug Flutie, who manned the store till Drew Brees and Rivers showed up.
They want to see how fast they can forward Herbert’s progress to possibly become the next Rivers.
Empty stands, in a city that still has not embraced them, it shall be interesting to see what the fall brings for the Bolts.