San Diego Chargers Daily Links: May 4, 2012

OCEANSIDE, CA: Neighbor Bernece DiCarlo lights a candle at a memorial set up in the driveway of former NFL star Junior Seau's house in Oceanside, California. The former linebacker for the San Diego Chargers, Junior Seau, was found dead at his home. According to reports, Seau had died from a self-inflicted gun shot wound to the chest in what police said appeared to be a suicide. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

A.J. Smith responds in pressure year - Bill Williamson
He was entering the most critical offseason of his career. Already fired in the court of public opinion, Smith and Norv Turner, the coach he will forever be connected to, were given a reprieve by the San Diego Chargers ownership even though the team failed to make the playoffs for the second straight season.

Another Broken Draft Pick for the Chargers - Devin Radigan
This isn’t the first time the Chargers front office has wasted a draft pick. If you recall in the 2009 NFL Draft the Chargers selected LSU WR Demetrius Byrd with the 224th pick in the 7th round. I’m sure that while Byrd was lying in a hospital bed recovering from a horrible car accident he was pretty happy to find out he was drafted by the Chargers. Now this was no fender bender, the guy was in the Intensive Care Unit in critical but stable condition. You can read about this further if you need a memory refresher. Byrd eventually recovered just in time to get cut by the Chargers. He never played a snap in the NFL and in my opinion that is just another example of value that could have been found elsewhere.

Muench breaks down AFC West draft - Bill Williamson
"It was huge for San Diego to get Baker in the seventh round. I thought he’d be a fourth-rounder who could sneak in the end of the third round. He is an effective, hard-nosed Big Ten running back who lacks an ideal frame. He can be effective. It’s incredible he lasted until the seventh round."

Players react to Seau news - Christopher Smith
"You felt like you were coaching against him like you might be coaching against a coach. You weren’t coaching against his playing ability. You were coaching against his ability to diagnose. Football was important to him. He wanted to be right and he wanted to win."

AFC West Reacts To Junior Seau's Death - Joel Thorman
The Kansas City Chiefs have already commented on the unfortunate news out of San Diego, that former Chargers LB Junior Seau has passed away. Members of the other AFC West teams, Denver Broncos and Oakland Raiders, have also issued statements on Seau's passing. A collection of statements is below:

Seau autopsy confirms suicide - Kristina Davis
Separate private and public memorial services fit for a hometown hero were being tentatively planned for May 11 and 12 at Oceanside’s New Venture Christian Fellowship and at Oceanside High School, said the church’s pastor and Chargers chaplain Shawn Mitchell.

Seau family holds prayer vigil - Debbi Baker & Kristina Davis
Grieving family members and hundreds of mourning fans lifted their voices in united prayer and song Thursday night as the finality of Junior Seau’s untimely death settled over his hometown of Oceanside.

Sullivan: Numb fans search for answers, share grief - Tim Sullivan
Some of them said they were slight acquaintances of the Chargers’ iconic linebacker; others complete strangers, and they were drawn together to pray, to ponder, to gawk, to reminisce, to share in the communal catharsis usually reserved for autumn Sundays, and to cling to the faintest hope that they had heard it all wrong.

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