Chargers Plight

Posted by on August 27th, 2014  •  0 Comments  • 

The job just got a bit tougher for that San Diego Chargers coaching staff and the front office.
 
In what had been a training camp pretty much free of bad injuries, now this, the loss of fast-developing nose tackle Kwame Gaethers, a mountain of a man at 6’6-335.
 
The nose tackle job is so hard to play, and so hard to find the right guy for the teams that live in a “3-4” defense.  The best modern day one the Chargers have had in decades was Jamal Williams, a Bobby Beathard find, and it took #75 a good five years to learn how to play it, survive it, and flourish in it, at nose tackle.  Before that it was Louie Kelcher, and the 1970s was a long time ago.
 
Gaethers played some at the end of last year, and last year was a mess in that defensive front.  This year, in preseason, he was getting on the field more and more, some because of an ankle injury to Sean Lissimore, but more so because his play picked up and he had become a force.
 
And now he’s gone.  Not for a couple of weeks as Coach Mike McCoy had led us to believe.  Not for the minimum 8-weeks, if he had gone on that special IR-list.  But rather the whole season.
 
The gruesome hit that bent him over backwards was painful to watch, imagine how it must have felt.  The Chargers said hyperextension and a ligament sprain.  It might have been worse, and maybe it really is, to merit him being gone now the entire season.
 
Where does San Diego go?. You can find a wide body on waivers this coming Saturday, when teams cut to 53, but teams don’t give away nose tackles.
 
It’s a lingering problem.  At one point the Chargers had ex-49er Abrayou Franklin, and he played well in chunks of time two years ago.  They had drafted Cam Thomas, and worked and waited for him to develop, and all he did was get pushed around on the field, and get himself in a lawsuit for herpes off the field.  He is gone.
 
GM Tom Telesco could have been pro active in the off season.  Amongst the veterans who were out there as free agents, was Pat Sims, a very active nose tackle on a bad Raiders team.  Issac Sopoaga, once upon a time, a starter with the 49ers.  Both have since been signed.
 
Shaun Rogers, an ex Giant-Lion-Brown is a massive guy, but questionable character.  Ryan Pickett, the ex-Packer-Ram can be had but he has a 100,000 miles on his wheels.
 
Lissimore, who is a bit undersized, will start, but how long he holds up remains to be seen.  Draft pick Ryan Carruthers is next in line, but he played at tiny Arkansas State, and do you know how many miles it is between that place, and this place (the NFL), and I’m not talking  miles?
 
It’s a tough position to play, and now for the Chargers, a tougher position to fill.  They didn’t fix it last year, and didn’t address it this past off season either.
 
The GM hurt the team with his inertia, at a position you really need to have a guy you cannot move off the spot.  And now that guy, Gaethers, is hurt.

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