A Blast from the Past for the 2013 San Diego Chargers
Change is one of those things in life that can only be put off for so long before it becomes necessary. Just ask the San Diego Chargers who are set to undergo the biggest makeover that the franchise has experienced since the mid 1990s. Sometimes the constant adjustments are hard to keep up with so here is a look at just what kind of differences fans can expect to see both on and off of the field in 2013.
COACHING, FRONT OFFICE
This is clearly the biggest and most necessary change that the Bolts have undergone during the offseason thus far. Norv Turner and A.J. Smith’s reign of terror is finally over and the club has turned things over to a younger duo in Mike McCoy and Tom Telesco. Clearly the generational gap will make a difference, but the philosophical shift is more pertinent. These two figure to take the team back in time to when Smith first got the gig in San Diego and was focused on building through the draft while then coach Marty Schottenheimer was focused on running the ball effectively (Marty Ball). A blast from the past might be just what this team needs to be successful moving forward.
Obviously coaching only goes so far and ultimately the players have to play. There will be plenty of change here as well with Bolts for life like Quentin Jammer and Shaun Phillips figuring to move on in their careers. Other veterans like Antoine Cason and Louis Vasquez will be important decisions for the front office to assess when planning out the direction of the team moving forward.
Clearly this team had some players who just didn’t pull their weight last year and left tackle Jared Gaither headlines that list. His chronic injury issues didn’t allow him to play much at all in 2012 and his laziness has alienated many teammates. He is likely to be cut. And while the team wishes it could cut bait with disappointing wide receiver Robert Meachem, his $5 million in 2013 is guaranteed and would count $10.625 against the salary cap if let go. Somehow the team has to hope a full offseason of work will get him ready to have at least some success this year.
FINDING A DIRECTION
Clearly the commitment to the running game means this team needs to decide whether or not Ryan Mathews is going to work as the primary ball carrier. His 10 games missed through his first three seasons are worrisome, but his 12 career fumbles are much more troubling. The team will likely supplement that area of the roster in either the NFL Draft or via free agency. This along with plenty of help along the offensive line will lead the way in offseason additions.
There is still plenty of mystery concerning the 2013 version of the Chargers, but at least the franchise has a better plan in place than it has in recent seasons. Look all of the changes to pay off as this team plays in the weakest division in football in the AFC West. It could be a real reclamation effort for the Bolts in the upcoming year.