As you almost certainly know, the San Diego Chargers have moved and are now the Los Angeles Chargers. Here in San Diego, we have very mixed feelings about the team. Most of us, myself included, now despise owner Dean Spanos, who has unquestionably become the most hated man in the history of San Diego. In my view, Spanos is followed by former San Diego Mayor Bob "Filthy" Filner and former Chargers’ QB Ryan Leaf, likely in that order.
So we like the players, but hate the ownership. And please don’t believe Dean’s assertions that the team diligently pursued a stadium in San Diego for over 15 years. It’s simply not true. It’s a L.A. money grab, pure and simple. And don’t believe that San Diego didn’t support the team. That stadium was rocking and sold out week after week for many years. But lousy performance coupled with an owner who obviously didn’t care about the fans or the city, caused considerable, and understandable, apathy. And almost to a man and woman here in San Diego, we pray for Dean Spanos’ failure.
Now that I got that off of my chest, let’s talk about the team, what’s new, and what the Chargers’ needs are. Former HC Mike McCoy is gone, having been replaced by former Bill’s assistant Anthony Lynn. The new defensive coordinator is former Jaguars’ DC Gun Bradley, who is expected to switch the San Diego defense to a 4-3.
Obviously, it’s very early in the season, there are many unrestricted free agents on the team, and we’re not entirely sure who will be here and who won’t be. Let’s take a quick look at where things stand, by position.
QB: Los Angeles QB Philip Rivers is a terrific quarterback and a class act. While I’m certain that he’d rather be in San Diego, Rivers should have 2-3 more seasons left in him. Look for the Chargers to acquire their potential quarterback of the future in this year’s draft.
RB: Last year was a breakout for RB Melvin Gordon. If Gordon stay’s healthy, look for another terrific year. While RB Danny Woodhead is an unrestricted free agent (UFA), I suspect he will return. However, the Chargers have a tough time keeping their players healthy, so look for them to add depth through free agency and/or the draft.
WR: WR Keenan Allen returns and may be one of the best in the business, but he has proven to be fragile. Can he last a full season? Probably not. WR Tyrell Williams surprised many and should be a strong option for 2017. WR Dontrelle Inman stepped up and saw a lot more looks in the last 1/3rd of the season.
TE: Future Hall of Fame TE Antonio Gates returns for what may be his final season. Gates has something left, but you certainly won’t see the gaudy fantasy numbers that we saw not too many years ago. TE Hunter Henry is likely the Bolts’ TE of the future. Henry is a bit of a sleeper in 2017
PK: Chargers PK Josh Lambo has a strong leg with so-so accuracy. I assume he will return.
DEF: While CB Jason Verrett is nearly a shut down corner, he has proven to be easily injured. Look for San Diego to add depth to the secondary. Signing UFA LB Melvin Ingram should be considered a priority. Ingram is likely the Bolts 2nd best pass rusher, behind exceptional DE Joey Bosa.