The Chargers new front office had a busy offseason putting together a team, let's grade each move and see how Telesco is doing on a case-by-case basis.
Robert Meachem - B
This slight drop grade is largely due to the cap hit the Chargers have to take for him. It will save money for next season, though. For whatever reason, he was just not working out as a San Diego Charger, and had to go.
A few veterans who are easily replaced. I liked McMichael and Spikes. They worked their butts off and played hard on the field. They just didn’t play well enough to keep the new regime from putting young guys with similar playing ability in there. It is the nature of the game.
Jared Gaither – A+++++++
His cap number could have been half the salary cap, and this guy still had to go.
Free Agent Signings
The left side of the line. Both are starting and costing the team little. Neither is terribly dominant, but neither has played terribly either. Dunlap has done pretty well protecting Rivers all things considered. Both also suffered injuries in Sunday’s game, so let’s hope they turn out okay.
Rich Ohrnberger – B-
Speaking of those injuries, here is the replacement! Ohrnberger had to come in when Rinehart went down as the replacement left guard. He is a backup, and will be a good find for Telesco as long as he isn’t required to be starting and only filling in periodically.
Danny Woodhead – A-
Woodhead came at a very fair price. He has played pretty well, despite missing the preseason with injury. I was worried how well he’d be fitting into the offense given the injury, but he has been doing just as we expect, catching the ball out of the backfield with great effectiveness.
Jarius Wynn – B-
Wynn has played pretty well at times, but has been overmatched at other times. This will be a good pickup so long as his roles is restricted to a rotational basis.
Derek Cox – D
Cox was given a four year deal with over $10 million guaranteed, and he has not nearly lived up to that kind of money yet. This isn’t entirely his fault has he hasn’t been played in press coverage, which is one of his strengths. Still, his play has been fairly bad so far, and he will need to step up his play against the opposing receivers soon to raise this grade.
Fozzy Whittaker – B
He hasn’t been a part of the 3-man running back rotation in games so far, but has been adequate on kick returns. His one really bad mistake turned out to be a good thing for the Chargers, with the fumble recovered by the Bolts in Philadelphia territory Week 2.
Johnny Patrick - C
Richard Marshall - C
While cheap, neither player has proven to be very effective at all. The team could still use effective corners all over the depth chart.
D.J. Fluker – B
This could very well turn into an A if he keeps improving. His pass protection has come a surprisingly long way, and he is a beast in the running game. If he continues to be coached well, there is no reason this can’t translate to a fantastic draft pick for the Chargers.
Manti Te’o – Incomplete
It hasn’t been a great start so far, but we should hopefully be seeing Te’o on the field in a game soon.
Keenan Allen – A
Allen hasn’t made a huge impact on the field yet, but he’s been catching what he’s been thrown, and is having to come along faster than expected with injuries to Danario Alexander and Malcom Floyd. So far he has responded well.
Steve Williams – Incomplete
The promising corner is on injured reserve. This will have to be revisted.
Tourek Williams – C
Brad Sorensen – A
The Chargers used a 7th round pick to get a quarterback to seems to fit the scheme McCoy and Whisenhunt are running perfectly. You can’t ask for more than that.
Undrafted Free Agents
Jahleel Addae – C
Addae has shown flashes of brilliance along with periods of Gilchristiness over the first three games.
Kwame Geathers – B
Geathers proving to be a suitable backup is a huge boon for this team, as the Chargers do not have any depth behind Cam Thomas at the defensive tackle position. Telesco being able to find an undrafted free agent to come in and ably fill that role on the cheap is a solid check mark for his record.
Philip Rivers - A
The team restructured Rivers contract, freeing up space to get back under the salary cap, and provide flexibility to make moves during the season. This move was questioned at first because it wasn't certain how well Rivers would play, and the move essentially guaranteed he would not be released before his contract expired. Turns out this was all right, because Rivers has played terrific through the first 3 games of the season.
OVERALL GRADE - B
I am not going to knock Telesco too much for the problems at cornerback this season. He brought in several players that should have turned out to be serviceable, only to see them put in lousy play or get injured. I WILL penalize Telesco for not addressing the glaring need at safety this offseason. This was a clear need that everyone, expert and otherwise, said needed to be addressed. Instead, Gilchrist was converted to safety, and he has been a disaster there.
The lack of depth is somewhat due to the poor cap situation the team was in for the season with the releases of Meachem and Gaither. Telesco should be applauded for putting together a decent starting offensive line. The front seven also appeared to be a strength going into the preseason before injuries settled in. Danny Woodhead has been a great cost-effective addition to the team.
Wish list for the rest of the season: Sign Kerry Rhodes, Extend Donald Butler