It seems everyone is doing one of these mailbag type things except me. It didn't even strike me until today, which was probably the 6th or 7th day in a row where I've woken up with an e-mail from a reader that had Chargers questions in it. Usually, I don't answer these but I make a note to answer it on the blog later. Why should I put a good answer into an e-mail that only one person is going to see?
So now I'm giving you your shot. You have until Friday to e-mail me your questions and the answers will be posted on Saturday. Here's an example of what you're in store for:
Do you foresee us losing Merriman? I think we are, which is why we selected English. If he was going to re-sign Merriman he probably would have drafted Oher or another player. What was the reasoning behind the cut of Gordon – just the bad tackling or something that has been building? - Kirkendog
I'll start with the second question. Cletis Gordon was just not very good. He rarely got on the field and when he did he was usually burned at least once. His play on Special Teams left a lot to be desired.
When the Chargers run their Dime formation on defense (6 DBs), they have 4 defensive linemen that are trying to get to the passer. No LBs rushing the passer, no blitzes (usually) and the element of surprise is taken away. Not to mention, this is not a roster that is built to have 4 defensive linemen being the only ones rushing the passer.
So on this roster, the fourth cornerback kept needs to prove he's ready to play nickel corner in case of an injury and he needs to provide help on Special Teams in the meantime. Gordon did neither of those things.
Onto Merriman and the draft. Contrary to what the mainstream media will tell you, Larry English was not drafted because the Chargers are planning on letting Shawne Merriman walk in 2010. As a matter of fact, the team has no plans at all. Larry English was drafted because when we lost one of our dynamic pass-rushers in 2008, it derailed the entire season. If the team has 3 dynamic pass-rushers, that's less likely to happen. If Merriman was locked up for another 5 years, I still think English is drafted.
Whether Merriman is lost depends on a lot of things. How easy is it to sign Marcus McNeill and Darren Sproles, for one. How the CBA turns out and how the Chargers work with it or against it, for two. But third, and most importantly, is how Shawne plays in 2009. If he gets 10 sacks for the season but looks strong, I think they keep him around. If he gets 20 and looks unbeatable, he'll be franchised. I am positive Shawne will be with the team again in 2010 and I think the only way Shawne isn't with the team in 2011 is if they low-ball him and negotiations get nasty, which I can't see happening with such a professional player and agent (Tom Condon is one of the best).