San Diego Chargers Changed Coaching Staff, Need to Make Changes with Players

By Kenny Gardner
San Diego Chargers
Jake Roth-USA Today Sports

The San Diego Chargers did not have a losing record in a season from 2004-2011.  The streak ended in 2012 when San Diego finished with a 7-9 record and missed the playoffs for the third season in a row.

San Diego gotten worse as each season has progressed, finishing 2009 with a 13-3 record. They were 9-7 in 2010, 8-8 in 2011 and as mentioned, they were 7-9 in 2012.

San Diego’s front office made moves by firing A.J. Smith after 10 seasons as general manager and Norv Turner after six seasons as the team’s head coach.

Former Indianapolis Colts Director of Player Personnel Tom Telesco was hired as San Diego’s new GM while former Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy was hired to replace Turner.  Former Arizona Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt was hired to be San Diego’s offensive coordinator and Joe D’Alessandris will be the offensive line coach.  Frank Reich was brought in by the front office to be the new quarterbacks coach.

San Diego is about $6.5 million under the salary cap, so they do not have much money to spend on free agents. However, San Diego’s front office could release Jared Gaither, Robert Meachem and Eddie Royal.

Gaither got a four year deal worth $24.6 million during the off-season last year with $13.5 million guaranteed and a base salary of $4.5 million in 2013.  Gaither started four games at left tackle in 2012 and missed 12 games with injuries.  Gaither has a history of injury problems, missing five games in 2009 and the entire 2010 NFL season.

San Diego’s front office is expected to select a left tackle in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft and he will more than likely be Gaither’s replacement.

Meachem got a four year deal worth $25.9 million during the off-season last year and his contract guarantees him $14 million.  Meachem’s base salary is $5 million in 2013 and he is coming off his worst season in the NFL.  In 15 games, Meachem had 14 receptions, 207 receiving yards and two touchdown receptions.  San Diego could use the cap space to re-sign Danario Alexander, who ranked 22nd in receiving yards per game.

Royal got a three year deal worth $13.5 million during the off-season ($6 million guaranteed). He had a career low 5.3 yards per punt return in 12 chances.  The Lighting Bolts could re-sign Michael Spurlock who averaged 17.1 yards per punt return in 2012 to go along with a touchdown.

San Diego’s front office did not hesitate this off-season to bring in a new coaching staff and hopefully they will not hesitate to make changes with the players as well.


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