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San Diego Chargers Vincent Jackson Still Not Likely to Be Traded This Week

If you didn’t know, the San Diego Chargers put Vincent Jackson on the Roster Exempt List on purpose. It was not the mistake some would have you believe it is.

I am amazed by how many of the sports gossip columnists are writing absolute junk about how the San Diego Chargers need to expeditiously trade Jackson now that his so called team suspension has been reduced from three games to one game if Jackson is traded to another team by Wednesday.

I don’t want to rule out that a team will offer a deal to Chargers general manager AJ Smith’s liking by Wednesday, but there is no urgency on San Diego’s part to make that deal happen. In other words, it better be good.

Let me try my hands at an analogy. I was recently trying to reduce the amount of stuff in my garage, so I put a lot of the items on Craigslist. I repeatedly received the question, “what’s the least you will take for this item.”

I wasn’t desperate to sell, so the answer was either:

a) What did I list it for? ….moron (you know me), or

b) Nah buddy, you make me a deal and if it’s to my liking then I’ll accept it. If not, I’ll see you later.

I was not a highly motivated seller and neither are the Chargers.

Jackson and his camp still must ask the Chargers for permission to negotiate with individual teams, the Bolts still won’t tell them what they’ll accept for Jackson, and they are still the Chargers, which means they’ll want to come out as the winners of any trade they didn’t initiate.

When the cards are in Smith’s favor, he’s a hardliner and he’s looking for a few desperate teams to take advantage of.

Several things need to happen in order for teams to become desperate:

  • the team must believe that they are close to a Super Bowl and Jackson will put them over the top,
  • injuries,
  • the coach or general manager’s job is on the line, and
  • in some cases, pressure from the fans and media

The main ingredients in desperation are time and urgency. The Chargers will need to bide their time for teams to become desperate and urgent.

They need time for a fringe contender to establish themselves at 3-2. They need time for a team’s star receiver to get injured. They need time for a coach’s hot seat to heat up. They need time for fans to become angry.

Once any of those things happen and gossip sports columnists start racing to put their name out there with pot stirring news, the flame fanning will become wildfires rather quickly and now we have desperation. To compound matters, they usually all happen at once.

If the Chargers ignore Jackson’s victory and stick to their guns, they could have more suitors willing to give up more compensation in week five when teams are a lot more prone to desperation than they are now.

Otherwise, Mr. V-Jax, his agents, and his new team better make the Chargers one hell of a deal before Wednesday.

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It Will Happen: San Diego Chargers to Struggle in Kansas City

The 2010 season is upon us and the Minnesota Vikings predictably fell to the New Orleans Saints.

What is not predictable, however, is whether the Chargers will perform well against the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday night.

Under Norv Turner, the Chargers have gone 2-1 on opening day, but in terms of performing up to expectations they’ve gone 0-3.

It’s been a 2-3 start for San Diego every year under Norv, but the Chargers have finished a combined 21-0 to end those three potentially disastrous seasons, winning the AFC West title in all three seasons and frustrating the perennially second place Denver Broncos (and the Bronco Nation) in the process.

In 2007, coming off of a 14-2 season under former head coach Marty Schottenheimer, the Chargers were supposed to blow away the competition. They opened the season against the defending NFC Champion Chicago Bears.

Off season smack talk centered around a LaDainian Tomlinson Nike commercial had both teams fired up. In what turned out to be a foreshadowing of the first month of the season, the Charger offense could barely get out of it’s own way.

Running back LaDainian Tomlinson was completely ineffective, rushing to the tune of 25 yards on 17 carries, but he dazzled the Bears with both a rushing and passing touchdown.

It was only dazzling due to the fact that the bad Rex Grossman-led Bears were lucky to end the game with the 3 points they did.

This game set NFL offenses back nine decades.

In 2008, the Chargers suffered through a rebuilding year as their two cornerstones, defensive tackle Jamal Williams and Tomlinson began to show their age. The NFL kings of stopping the run and running the ball were dethroned by younger players on other teams and the Chargers win/loss record suffered as a result.

To open the 2008 season, the Chargers welcomed the supposedly overmatched Carolina Panthers who proceeded to march up and down the Qualcomm turf like the 1999 St. Louis Rams in the first half.

Carolina dominated the first half time of possession battle. Well, that’s if you call the Dream Team verses Angola a battle.

All Pro linebacker Shawne Merriman attempted to play through torn ligaments, which seemed to make no sense to anyone but himself. He was injured and out for the season early. As was the case with the Chargers in those days, no Shawne Merriman, no defense.

Hot off of his stunning playoff performance the year before, Rivers continued to flourish as he made several amazing plays to come back from a 19-10 deficit to lead the Chargers to a 24-19 lead, forcing Jake Delhomme (in the swan song of his career) to lead the Panthers to a TD on the final possession.

Delhomme channelled his inner Joe Montana as he tossed the game winning touchdown pass to that perennial All Pro tight end Dante Rosario as time expired, robbing Chargers wide receiver Vincent Jackson of a game winning touchdown of his own.

In 2009, the Chargers returned to Oakland for a Monday Night showdown with the Raiders for the second time in four years. The assumption was that the Chargers would hand out another beating to the Raider Nation.

However, the Nation had other plans. The Bolts suffered a verbal beatdown from the Black Hole and a physical beat down from the Raiders on the field.

The shockingly hard hitting Raiders injured five Charger starters.

The sluggish Chargers run defense was once again a non-factor to open the season as Raider running backs repeatedly high stepped down the field untouched. However, they continued to shoot themselves in the foot by allowing JaMarcus Russell to throw the ball on running downs.

The gift from the Raiders coaching staff allowed the Chargers to adjust their game plan and the Raiders offense began to sputter.

While the Raiders never ran more than a play or two on the Chargers side of the field in the second half, the desperate Raiders went for it on 4th and 15 from their own 42 yard line.

Forty-eight yards later Louis Murphy was celebrating what the Nation contends should have been his second touchdown of the game to give the Raiders a 20-17 lead with just over two minutes to go.

Too much time for Philip Rivers and company.

In what has become a formality in close games against Oakland, Philip Rivers marched the Chargers 89 yards with running back Darren Sproles capping off the drive with a surprise draw play for the game winning touchdown.

In 2010, for the sixth straight year, the Chargers will play a supposedly inferior opponent and once again that opponent brings an unquestionably superior rushing attack.

The Charger defense has been very slow to come to the table in the last two seasons. Especially against the run. If it happens again, the upstart Chiefs will be looking to take advantage of the situation.

The only season opener under Norv Turner in which the Charger defense has come to play was against the Chicago Bears and that was an absolute grudge match against what was thought to be the elite team of the NFC.

In the Chiefs, the Chargers find themselves facing an opponent that they outscored 80-21 in two games last season and the games weren’t as close as the score indicates.

There is no motivation for the Chargers to come out of the gate with fire.

There is no Marty Schottenheimer soliloquy so elegantly and passionately recited to put a jolt in the bolt either.

Not so for Kansas City.

The Chiefs are playing the four time defending AFC West Champions at a newly remodeled, sold out home stadium with a young fiery team that ended a horrendous 2009 season by dominating the rival Denver Broncos.

Knocking the Broncos out of the playoffs in the process.

They will be ready for the Bolts. Recent history tells us that the Bolts will not be ready for the Chiefs.

The first half is a potential trouble spot for San Diego.

The Chargers have not gone to halftime with the lead on opening day since the days of Schottenheimer, but they have not been outscored in the second half during that time period either.

The Kansas City rushing attack may catch the Chargers defense out of position in the first quarter, but I expect the Chargers to begin controlling the game midway through the second quarter.

The outcome may not be decided in the fourth quarter, but the Chargers should pull off the victory by the skin of their teeth.


San Diego Chargers: Vincent Jackson and His Agents Have Goofed Up

Click here for my video explanation!

The NFL’s official website has released an article accusing the San Diego Chargers of blowing up a potential trade for Vincent Jackson with an unnamed team.

So what? This report may or may not be true, because the information came from Jackson’s agents, Neil Schwartz and Jonathan Feinsod.

This whole situation is the agent’s fault anyway and they goofed up by being impatient. Vincent does whatever the agents tell him to do. If you look at the Chargers history, they have a history of paying guys that are willing to work with the team. Had Jackson signed the one year tender, went to work, and proven that he puts the team first, he would have been paid.

Disagree if you want, but look at the Chargers’ history before you speak.

Jackson made the mistake of holding out for more money on the recommendation of his agents, who obviously felt that they had enough leverage to force the Chargers’ hand.

Even if the Chargers did not have other proven receivers on the roster, that stance was never going to work (see Marcus McNeil) and the agents should have known it.

The Chargers do things the Charger way and will not be swayed. Not the AJ Smith way, but the Charger way.

That includes not being bullied by sports agents nor politicking. Jackson’s agents did not know the Chargers’ history and now they’ve become a part of it. The outcome was predictable.

Even super agent Tom Condon is not going to advise his guys to hold out when dealing with the Chargers. Condon client Antonio Gates held out once, got slapped with a team imposed three game suspension (also known as the roster exempt list), and a Condon player has never held out again. That includes LaDainian Tomlinson, who was once unhappy with his deal.

If Antonio Gates did not have enough leverage to force the Chargers’ hand, no other receiver does either. How could Jacksons’ agents not know this? That is an absolutely ridiculous oversight.

The nfl.com article is contradicted by a previous article on sportsline.com which claims that in fact it was Jackson’s agents who bungled the deal by asking for more many than Brandon Marshall received. The source being an unnamed NFC general manager, who was obviously the one trying to make the deal for Vincent Jackson.

Yet another article claims that it was the Seattle Seahawks all along, who were the mystery team trying to trade for Jackson.

The articles all have one thing in common. None of this information has come from the Chargers’ front office.

So who is lying?

Vincent Jackson’s agents have “dun goofed” by thinking that they held cards that they clearly did not. They were right about one thing, however. The Chargers have little motivation to trade Jackson this season.

Make no mistake about it, pass target for pass target Vincent Jackson is above all of the so called elite receivers in the league. It does not matter if we’re talking about Larry Fitgerald, Andre Johnson, Randy Moss, Wes Welker, or Brandon Marshall.

If Vincent Jackson were thrown to as many times as Andre Johnson was last season, his stats would have been comparable to Jerry Rice in his prime.

It makes no sense for the Chargers to trade Jackson to the Minnesota Vikings or any other contender. Jackson could put the Vikings over the top.

However, no one knows what team could be put over the top by acquiring Vincent Jackson. For example, the Colts thought they had safely traded Marshall Faulk away to the lowly St. Louis Rams back in 1999 (who were coming off a disastrous 4-12 season) when in fact the move put the Rams over the Super Bowl winning top when combined with all of the other moves they made in that off season.

The Chargers already have five picks in the first three rounds of the 2011 NFL Draft. They do not need any more picks next year. Since draft picks have a hard time making the Chargers roster, it makes much more sense to trade Jackson for picks in the 2012 NFL Draft.

If Jackson chooses to sit out for the entire year, the Chargers will continue to own his rights next season. That would be another momentous mistake by Jackson’s agents, so do not expect that to happen. Therefore, the Chargers were right to lower Jackson’s tender from $3.28 million to under $600,000. Jackson admitted himself that he sees $3.28 million in the same light as $600,000.

So play for $600,000 buddy. Then go play for another team.

Why should the Chargers reward another team’s player financially? Why should the Chargers toss over $2,000,000 down the drain? Pay the mercenary as little as possible and then send him on his way.

If Jackson walks away as a free agent, the Chargers will likely receive a compensatory third round draft pick for Vincent Jackson in return. If he does not play for the Chargers this season, the Chargers can potentially trade him for more than a third round pick next season.

If no trade is worked out this year, Jackson likely returns to the Chargers this season and either a deal is worked out, he is traded, or he walks next year. Either way, the Chargers will wind up with something in return for Jackson.

One thing is for sure. If Jackson does return to the Chargers this season, he will angrily dominate defensive backs.

Click here for my video explanation!

Super Bowl Prediction: Chargers vs Saints or Vikings

A couple of years ago, I was telling my co-worker Dave (who’s been a San Diego Charger fan longer than I’ve been alive) that the Chargers would not make it to the Super Bowl until this season.

I got caught up in the moment and half-believed that 2009 was the year, but in reality, I knew there was no way a team that couldn’t come close to either running the ball or stopping the run should have even made the playoffs.

The Chargers have such a good offensive system in place that they can beat most NFL teams even while bringing inferior talent to the field which explains why they were able to lose five starters in the first game of the season and still go 13-3.

The Chargers have been in rebuilding mode for two seasons right under your nose. While the national sports writers have been proclaiming that the Chargers’ window of opportunity is closing, Chargers general manager AJ Smith has been plugging holes with draft picks collected over the last few seasons.

Oops.

For years, LaDainian Tomlinson was the Chargers’ most highly regarded offensive player and Jamal Williams was the most highly regarded defensive player. When those guys fell off, the offense became pass happy and the defense couldn’t stop anybody on the ground.

Running the ball and stopping the run wins championships.

AJ Smith knows it, head coach Norv Turner knows it, and de facto team owner Dean Spanos knows it. National sportswriters, otherwise known as male gossip columnists (Mike Florio anyone?), overlook obvious things like this.

Writers who do not follow the Chargers casually gloss over the facts. They haven’t noticed that the Chargers have been grooming Vaughn Martin, Ogemdi Nwagbuo, and Antonio Garay. They forgot that the Bolts traded for solid veteran Travis Johnson and recently drafted massive defensive tackle Cam Thomas.

Run defense woes solved.

They totally missed the solid power running back who can put a defense away in the fourth quarter known as Mike Tolbert. Then proclaimed that the Chargers reached for Ryan Mathews. Anyone for baloney?

Rushing attack woes solved.

The Chargers were without those key aspects last season and could still hang with the top teams in the NFL. They swept the NFC East and went 8-2 outside of the AFC West.

Enough with the “they play in the AFC West” crap. The Chargers could have gone 2-4 in the AFC West and still made the playoffs.

The Chargers rebuilding appears to be complete, so I am sticking to my prediction. Now we will just have to see if they are good enough to beat the NFC heavyweights. If you don’t know who that is, I will tell you.

Guess what those NFC powerhouses have in common? They will never see Vincent Jackson wearing their uniform! More on that later.

Now about that kicker…

Chargers QB Philip Rivers Is An Entertaining Fellow

Browsing around the internet, I found a message board topic about the San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers. We already knew what was coming.

“PHILIP RIVERS IS A TOOL!!!”

Unlike Philip Rivers haters out there, I love the Philip Rivers smack talk! Love it!

For a time, every one was upset with Philip Rivers. You knew it was bad with the Steve Urkel of the NFL Network, Fran Charles, angrily called Rivers “the Opey of the NFL.”

I thought they were going to have to get the man some cheese to calm his nerves.

In Rivers’ first game as an NFL starter against the Oakland Raiders, he completed a beautiful 37 yard pass to Keenan McCardell as he was being ransacked by a seemingly angry Warren Sapp (is there any other kind of Warren Sapp, really?). Rivers could be seen standing over Sapp, who was shocked by the crowds reaction to the completion, and yelling something at him. The announcers seemed to think it was “cute” that the young player got the beast of NFL great Warren Sapp.

Sapp claims he told Rivers to “fix his skirt,” but there is no evidence anything other than a deflated Sapp shuffling back to the huddle.

Perhaps the most famous “toolism” by Philip Rivers was interruption of a Jay Cutler tirade with a classic SCOREBOARD taunt. Jay Cutler was cursing out the Chargers side line and grabbing his “stuff” after being stopped by the Chargers defense once again. He was promptly pointed to the Denver Broncos sideline and told to get lost. While Rivers didn’t think much of the exchange, it deeply affected Cutler. Cutler took to the national airwaves to bash Philip Rivers for the way “he carries himself.” Oh the irony. Cutler was last seen high tailing it out of the AFC West.

To a point, Cutler was affected by one of the biggest cry babies ever to grace a football field. Champ Bailey.

Champ Bailey enjoyed an unchallenged run of smack talk as he easily bested Chargers quarterback Drew Brees in 2005 and the Broncos had won three of four games against the Chargers along with the AFC West Division. The Broncos were only one win away from winning the AFC Championship. Clearly, the Broncos were on top and that wasn’t going to change anytime soon with Drew Brees out of the picture.

The Broncos led the Chargers by 17 points in Denver in the third quarter of a 2006 night game thanks to a Darrent Williams (RIP) interception. Champ Bailey was feeling superior. Unfortunately for Champ, Philip Rivers and LaDainian Tomlinson led the Chargers back from the dead to victory and the Bolts haven’t looked back.

Suddenly, Bailey found himself repeatedly targeted by Philip Rivers passes with no success (at all) in defending them. After taking a verbal barrage from Philip Rivers on top of a steady stream of seemingly undefendable passes, Champ had no choice but to voice his frustrations to ESPN which led to the Cutler debacle.

“And I don’t really care for the guy, first of all,” Bailey said of Rivers. “He’s not a respectable guy right now because you talk too much trash and do this and that, but you’re really not a great player in this league right now. You’re surrounded by great players, but you’re not a great player. I think he needs to understand where he stands in this league – where he stands on his team first and foremost.”

As the leader.

My favorite was the time Tommy Harris of the Chicago Bears shot a commercial with the Chargers in the 2007 off season.

“He kept telling Tommie how they were going to put at least 30 (points) on the board against the Bears,” remembered Harris’ agent. “I listened to him trash-talking all night. I remember saying to one of the guys there, ‘Man, I wish I had a camera rolling on this.’ I can’t wait for Tommie to get after him.”

Tommie would soon get his chance. The Bears were coming for a visit to San Diego to open the 2007 season. The Chargers defense referred to Rex Grossman as a mental midget, but that wasn’t all. They also called out running back Cedric Benson as being soft. The Bears players shot back with talk of how few yards Tomlinson rushed for the previous time the teams met.

An angry Bears defense showed up in San Diego and dominated the Chargers offense. In the end, however, the Chargers defense was correct about Grossman and Benson. The Bolts easily won the game 14-3.

Rivers smack talk makes being a fan so much more fun!

Dallas Cowboys at San Diego Chargers: Four Things to Watch For

CLICK HERE FOR THE COMPANION VIDEO FOR THIS ARTICLE

The upcoming preseason game between the San Diego Chargers and Dallas Cowboys should have a very interesting first half.

The Chargers rookie running back Ryan Mathews will be looking to impress the home crowd once again at the expense at the Cowboy defense.

Mathews may be surprised to find that the Cowboys defense is not only very similar to the Chargers’ bunch, but they are very familiar with the Chargers’ offense since the Cowboys run the exact same system as the Bolts on both offense and defense.

I will be looking for Mathews to continue to show off his impressive balance, speed, agility, and power. With the dark visor, he was looking like a young LaDainian Tomlinson against the Chicago Bears.

The Chargers swarming defense looked like the wrecking crew of old against the Bears. They racked up six thunderous sacks, caused turnovers, and wreaked havoc on the potentially disastrous Bears offense (meaning don’t get overly excited about the dominance).

I will be closely watching this game to see if Tony Romo fares any better than the Bears quarterbacks. While linebacker Antwan Applewhite should continue to declare war on the backfield while working his way back from major injury, Shawne Merriman will likely miss the game due to a minor hamstring injury.

A lot of “experts” are overlooking the rebuilt Charger defensive line, but the Dallas Cowboys shouldn’t. They should be well aware of young lions like Vaughn Martin and Ogemdi Nwagbuo. Their development could be the difference between a solid defense and one that smashes opposing offenses.

Rookie defensive tackle Cam Thomas will be put to the test in the first half against the Dallas starters, who should play about a half. The Chargers coaching staff kept Thomas on the bench for the first half last week and he proceeded to dominate guys who will be working at Dominoes soon. Now he’ll get his test against the big dogs of the NFC East. I will be looking to see how he fares this week.

With the recent news that Vincent Jackson has had discussions with the Seattle Seahawks about a potential trade, Charger fans, players, and coaches will be taking a hard look at the other wide receivers. There is no receiver in the league with V-Jax’ combination of speed, size, and power, so the Chargers offense will have to change if Jackson is no longer a part of it (and it will probably need to change for the better).

Anyone who has objectively looked at receiver Craig “Buster” Davis when he’s been on the field knows he looks like the best player out there when he has the ball in his hand. He has some sort of superstar swagger that could be something like a dagger through the hearts of opposing defenses. The only problem is Davis is usually injured within a play or two of his first couple of catches. I don’t just want, but I need to see Davis make it through this game healthy.

CLICK HERE FOR THE COMPANION VIDEO FOR THIS ARTICLE

Chargers: Ryan Mathews Could Be the Missing Link

Listen to the Audio Version of this Article: Ryan Mathews Could Be the Missing Link

If there is one thing that made San Diego Chargers fans cringe, it’s the one yard and a cloud of dust running game that plagued the Chargers’ high powered offense with 2nd-and-nine far too often in 2009.

The addition of Ryan Mathews may change all that if he can stay healthy. In last Saturday’s game against the Chicago Bears, Mathews continuously gained yardage, against a vanilla Bears’ defense.

Norv Turner is known as a quarterback guru, but his offense starts with the running back. With a new high powered engine driving his attack, quarterback Philip Rivers should have an easier time dissecting defenses. Even scarier for defenses is the notion that they may have to play eight man fronts even more often which will leave defensive backs one on one with Chargers receivers.

That’s not good for opposing defensive coordinators.

As Steve Mariucci would say, the Chargers may hang a couple of “50-burgers” on opponents in 2010.

On display in the game were Mathews speed, power, and balance.

He repeated blew by surprised defenders who were seemingly in position, but found themselves standing still as Mathews went by. Mathews leveled a couple of guys (on the same play) with effortless stiff arms. On one play he was nearly leveled by Charger guard Kris Dielman only to be hit by Bears linebacker Lance Briggs. He bounced off of both guys and exploded for a gain of 18 yards.

Love LaDainian Tomlinson or hate him, he and fullback Lorenzo Neal (along with fullback Andrew Pinnock) led a Chargers rushing attack that struck fear in the hearts of defensive coordinators. Without a powerful fullback, the Chargers running game was lost. With LT losing a step, it completely fell off the map.

The Chargers scored nearly 500 points in 2006 with a powerful rushing attack to compliment a solid passing attack. If the Chargers can regain their powerful rushing attack to compliment a now spectacular passing attack, the Chargers could surpass 500 points in 2010.

Some San Diego Chargers Fans Need to Use Their Heads

I don’t know about all of you, but I am tired of hearing from Mike Florio from profootballtalk.com. This guy has disrespected the Chargers organization all off season, because he feels like the Chargers are screwing Vincent Jackson and Marcus McNeill by not offering them long term deals.

Here is a national sports writer who has his hand in way too many cookie jars . There is a reason the Chargers keep making the playoffs every year.

They plan in advance. Making rash decisions, like the Cleveland Browns signing Derek Anderson to a ridiculous deal after one season of productivity, can set a team back years. If you, as a Chargers fan, have already forgotten the end of the Bobby Beathard reign in San Diego, there is not much I can tell you that you’ll actually hear.

Florio claims that since the Chargers gave number one draft pick Ryan Mathews a long term deal, it proves that the Chargers are full of hot air by saying that they want to wait until the league and players come to an agreement before handing out big contracts.

First of all, is anyone really stupid enough to listen to that angle (actually yes). A draft pick is a special circumstance number one, and number two Ryan Mathew isn’t trying to get paid $10 million per season.

The Chargers are smart for taking their time with Vincent Jackson, because V-Jax has been harrassed by the cops not once, not twice, but THREE TIMES in his tenure as a Charger. Unlike a lot of young black and latino men (especially in San Diego) who have legitimate grips with the police for being stopped for no reason, the police were correct every time they stopped Vincent Jackson. I wouldn’t trust this guy with a dollar, let alone the $40,000,000 over four years he wants. Malcom Floyd has identical stats (based on the number of times he was thrown to) and could be resigned for much, much less than that.

This is common knowledge to many Charger fans, but over Mike Florio’s head. These same fans will turn around and forget what they know and allow themselves to be swayed by a national writer, simply because they are on a well known website.

The Chargers are smart for taking their time with McNeill, because of his injury history. Marcus McNeill is smart for holding out, because with his injury history, there is no guarantee that he won’t suffer a career ending neck injury sooner or later. With McNeill’s spinal stenosis, the Chargers are going to have a heck of a time coming up for a long term deal for Big Mac that makes since for both parties.