What happens when you ask a bunch of different Chargers writers the same questions? Do you find similarities in their answers or does each offer different insight into the subjective reality of the Los Angeles Chargers?
In our latest West Coast NFL Roundtable, we asked Pro Football Focus and Chargers Wire writer Austin Gayle, LA Sports Hub expert Jason Reed and Justice is Coming creator Ross Warner a few questions. Find out about the Chargers strengths, weaknesses, expectations and questions as they enter training camp.
1. What are the Chargers biggest weaknesses headed into the season?
Ross Warner: In terms of personnel, they are relying on a lot of guys not getting hurt that have been hurt many times in the past. I can’t even get too worried about Mike Williams since he hasn’t played a down for the Bolts. I do question Tom Telesco using the 7th pick in the draft on a guy who may have gotten hurt at the combine. Usually, they BECOME Chargers before that happens. Seriously, I was one of the people who wondered why they went for a receiver at that spot. But when you consider how many games Keenan Allen (who was only available for the Bolts because of HIS injuries at Cal), it seemed like it wasn’t such a bad idea. When Lamp and Feeney fell into to their laps, the Williams pick suddenly seemed genius. That is unless he’s as injury prone, if not more, than Allen.There is also the question of how being the team that left San Diego will affect them. It kills me that Dean Spanos moved the team. However, more seasons of being in limbo weren’t helping anybody…
I totally understand San Diegans wanting their former team to fail in every way, but I think a fresh start could help. The Colts won a Super Bowl after leaving Baltimore and the former Browns won two after they filled the void left behind by the Irsays.
2. What are the Chargers biggest strengths?
Ross Warner: Anthony Lynn hasn’t coached a game for the Chargers but the fact that he’s not Mike McCoy already makes him a strength. Seriously, Mike McCoy’s absolute refusal to ever learn that trying not to lose isn’t going to help you win was undeniably holding this team back. In fact, he was a bigger deterrent to winning than all the injuries, in my opinion.Again, I think a fresh start will help. However, I get a little worried when I already see a lot of pundits picking the Bolts as their sleeper team. Philip Rivers is only a strength if he cuts down on the interceptions. Of course, those passes were caught by Vincent Jackson, Malcom Floyd, and Keenan Allen. But since none of them were out there last year, they were interceptions often returned for touchdowns. The fact that they overhauled the offensive line was a good thing, although Joe Barksdale’s contract makes it nearly impossible to unload his sorry ass. Not only does he suck, but bailed out on attempting to recover fumbles in Atlanta and Denver. If you’re Cam Newton in the Super Bowl, you hear about it. But when you are an albatross around the necks of the NFL’s biggest and worst-graded line, only people like me harp on it.