San Diego is making the right moves for 2012

The San Diego Chargers were unable to re-sign unrestricted free agent Vincent Jackson as he signed a five year deal with Tampa Bay. San Diego was able to re-sign center Nick Hardwick and left tackle Jared Gaither as well as add wide receivers Robert Meachem and Eddie Royal.  Meachem should fit in well as he averaged 43 receptions for 15 yards per reception and about seven touchdowns the last three seasons.  Royal ranked eighth, 13th and 24th in punt return yards the last three seasons while returning a touchdown in two of the last three seasons.  The reliable linebacker/defensive end Jarret Johnson was added to the team, Demorrio Williams was signed to add depth at linebacker and Le’Ron McClain was signed to be Ryan Mathews’ backup and protect him in the run game.  The Chargers were $15 million under the cap entering the off season, and cleared an additional $11.6 million for 2012 when Kris Dielman retired and they released Marcus McNeill and Luis Castillo.  The average salary for these players equals about $30 million in 2012.

I do not expect Philip Rivers to be the monster he was in 2010 as he was first in the NFL in passing yards, second in quarterback rating, third in completion percentage and fifth in touchdown passes with Jackson only playing in five games while Rivers only threw 13 interceptions.  At the same time, I do not expect Rivers to be so trigger happy that he throws 20 interceptions like he did in 2011 with Jackson appearing in all 16 games.

The Chargers have a running back in Mathews who ran for 1,091 yards which ranked 10th among RB’s in the NFL.  There will be added pressure on Mathews this season, but San Diego still needs him to take pressure away from Rivers and the receiving core.  It is strange that Rivers threw 30 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in 2010 when his leading rusher had 735 yards on four yards per attempt, but threw 27 touchdowns and 20 interceptions in 2011 when his leading rusher had 1,091 yards on five yards per attempt.  The Chargers still need a pass rusher to go along with Antwan Barnes, but their offense should be fine in 2012.

 


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  • Steven austin

    So let’s get this straight we got rid of Castillo for Johnson who is older by four years and has less sacks hmmm that makes sense …..we really are doing something special.

    • Kenny Gardner

      I never said they were doing something special. Johnson will be 31 when the season starts and Castillo will be 29, so he is not four years older than him. Castillo has 19 sacks since he came to the NFL in 2005 and Johnson has 20 sacks during the same time frame. Castillo had more sacks over his last two full seasons with 4.5 and Johnson has 4.0, but Johnson has three forced fumbles the last two seasons while Castillo has two for his career. Also, Johnson played in all 96 regular season games since 2006 and started in all 80 regular season games for Baltimore since 2007 while Castillo did not play in six games in 2006, six games in 2007 and 15 games in 2011.

  • anthony

    I agree that were making the right moves this year in pick ups, I disagree that Rivers’ turnovers is some strange mystery. Look at how many times he was sacked and pressured. The absence of a strong left tackle to protect Rivers’ blind side was an obvious problem. Why do you think Gaither is being paid so much? Rivers was his old reliable self for every game Gaither played.

    • Kenny Gardner

      He threw one touchdown and two interceptions against Detroit and had his second worst yards per attempt average in a game for the 2011 season against them. I think acquring Gaither definitely helped, but outside of Baltimore and Detroit, they faced some slightly above average to below average pass rushing teams as Oakland finished the season 15th in sacks, Jacksonville was tied for 25th and Buffalo was 27th. The interceptions in the game against Detroit may not have been Rivers’ fault though and Rivers was great against Baltimore. I thought the turnovers were a mystery because SD’s offensive line allowed the third fewest hits to their quarterbacks and eighth fewest sacks for the season.

  • Aaron

    Castillo plays a different position. There shouldn’t be a comparison made between these two players. Johnson will play OLB not De. The writer of this story is wrong.

    • Kenny Gardner

      Johnson can play DE and OLB, but I never compared Castillo and Johnson in my article. I responded to the person who compared them

      • Aaron

        True but, he’s not going to be playing DE in everything I’ve read, nor did you correct him in your reply.

        • Aaron

          If you re-read your reply, you actually do compare stats to further this incorrect notion.

        • Kenny Gardner

          They might rotate Johnson occasionally, but I see your point because he will not be the primary DE as Castillo was

          • Aaron

            I’m hoping that Luiget and Martin can really come into their own this season. Martin did show some potential and hopefully with a full off season, Luiget will learn how not get swallowed up.

          • Kenny Gardner

            True we will see