Momma always said the San Diego Chargers are like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.
Okay, so maybe Forrest wasn’t focused on the Bolts’ chances in the 2013 NFL season on that bus stop bench, but he might as well have been. That really is the attitude of many fans when it comes to assessing just what we will get from the Chargers on a weekly basis this fall. It’s truly a crapshoot.
Mike McCoy seems like a dynamite hire at head coach, but what if he can’t command the respect of a locker room at the tender age of 40? Ken Whisenhunt gives the team a bright offensive mind to try and resurrect the career of quarterback Philip Rivers, but what if the former elite quarterback continues to turn the ball over? Thankfully there is some continuity with defensive coordinator John Pagano, but what if the loss of some key veteran leadership on that side of the ball (Takeo Spikes, Quentin Jammer, Antonio Garay) causes a drop-off?
These are all valid questions as the Chargers prepare for camp to open up on July 24. I’ll take a laundry list of question marks over certain mediocrity any day which is what had become the expectation under the former regime of Norv Turner and A.J. Smith.
Clearly this team has made some serious upgrades during the offseason with the offensive line ranking chief among them. Signing left tackles Max Starks and King Dunlap, guard Chad Rinehart, and drafting tackle D.J. Fluker are all moves that should present some upside to last season’s 49 sacks allowed.
The receiving corps also got substantially better with the selection of Keenan Allen in the third round of the draft along with the return to health of Vincent Brown. And even though Spikes will be missed in terms of leadership defensively, rookie Manti Te’o should provide an every down linebacker that will thrive alongside Donald Butler in the middle of the San Diego defense.
Really it’s hard to argue that the Bolts got worse at any position. Obviously the team got younger which can be mistaken for worse as the players are still unproven in San Diego, but there’s no reason to think that Derek Cox and Shareece Wright can’t be more than adequate replacements for their predecessors at cornerback in Jammer and Antoine Cason.
Calling it a complete shot in the dark as to how these Chargers will fare in 2013 may be a bit of an exaggeration, but even making an educated guess is difficult at the moment. How this club jells during training camp will go a long way in determining just how many W’s they put up this season. I’m banking on McCoy to be a fresh of fresh air for what became a stagnant locker room over the past three years and surpass expectations this season.
What do you think?