It's been an uneventful week for the San Diego Chargers, but that doesn't mean it hasn't been eventful here at BFTB.
We kicked the week off with the Dan Fouts Award, looking at the most underpaid Chargers in 2008. Eventually the award was won by Jamal Williams, although he just narrowly defeated Quentin Jammer and Stephen Cooper. I don't know about you, but I was happy that there seemed to be three people who could win the award for most underpaid Charger and only one clear-cut winner for most overpaid. I think every team has at least 2-3 players on their roster that they mistakenly gave big contracts to and regret them today, but for the Chargers it seems we only have one (unless Castillo has another down year in 2009).
The most talked about post of the week was our discussion on the Chargers new stadium sites and possibility of moving to Los Angeles. This was another article that I saw popping up all over the internet, even over at Shutdown Corner. I understand that too. Chargers fans are very interested in what's going on with the sites because they're desperate to keep the team in San Diego. Los Angeles residents are eager to have any NFL team and want to see how each of those situations is progressing. I understand their frustration with every team using them as leverage to get a new stadium, but I honestly believe that the Chargers are the most likely candidate to move up there. If they did it they'd probably keep most of their San Diego fans and keep their players happy (they wouldn't have to move. plus, ever notice how they constantly talk about the weather?). I don't know that those same things can be said for the Vikings or whomever.
Grey Suit looked at the Chargers uniform colors and styles throughout the years and asked you guys to vote on which one was your favorite. In a stunning upset, the Chargers' current threads won the vote by a mere 7% over the powder blue "Lance Alworth Originals". I think this is a poll that the team would be very proud if they saw it. I actually voted for the Air Coryell era uniforms, which came in third. I love the bright yellows and blues and there was something about the blue helmets with the yellow facemasks that just looked mean. Maybe that's just me.
I took a shot at predicting every 2009 Chargers regular season game and came out with an 11-5 record. I tried to be realistic and have the team lose one game they shouldn't (week 12 at the Chiefs, ending a 6-game win streak) and win one game that they probably shouldn't (week 16 at the Titans, who we typically play tough). I won't argue with the people who'd like to flip-flop those or the people that said we're more likely to beat the Chiefs in San Diego than in Kansas City, but I will state my case. I think if the Chiefs have a chance of being good this year that they're going to be a strong second-half team. The first half of the season they'll still be getting to know each other and learning the schemes. The second half of the season I could see them upsetting some big teams as they come together (and make for a scary opponent in 2010). I'm not predicting it, but I would expect that more than the team coming out with a brand new coaching staff and QB and winning out of the gate. So I gave them the win in the second half of the season, with the Chargers looking past them.
In another one of those stat-heavy, very interesting posts shaynes41 found a way to rank offensive linemen at least on passing plays. I have gone back and re-read this list 3-4 times already. Very interesting to see how our offensive line stacked up in what was considered a down year. It's also interesting to look at this info and wonder what teams were doing. Orlando Pace (4th amongst LTs) seemed to be performing at high level and yet was cut. Was it a salary cap move? Was he just that bad blocking for the run? Also, as shaynes41 pointed out in the post, the Eagles sticking Jason Peters at startling LT may not have been the smartest move ever. Especially with a pass-happy offense like theirs. The guy was worse than Kwame Harris!!
Along with provide insight and analysis here at BFTB, we try and deliver Chargers news to you guys before anyone else. The other day we found out, via Twitter, that Malcolm Floyd had signed his tender and would be rejoining the team. The Chargers have since confirmed the news on their site.
shaynes41 gave us the rundown of a particularly frustrating radio interview XTRA Sports 1360 did with Mike Florio from ProFootballTalk.com. I've heard this guy on the radio before and I think he's a decent rumor-mill type guy (ala Mortensen and Glazer) but that's it. When he starts predicting the Chargers to miss the playoffs and telling us what Norv needs to do to be embraced by the city he comes off as stupid. His theory on the playoffs is that half the teams that make the playoffs don't make it the following year. Let's look at the AFC playoff teams in 2007 (Patriots, Steelers, Colts, Jaguars, Titans, Chargers) and 2008 (Dolphins, Steelers, Ravens, Titans, Colts, Chargers). So Brady went down and the Dolphins replaced the Patriots, then the Jaguars line fell apart and the Ravens replaced them. How about 2007 vs. 2006 (Patriots, Jets, Ravens, Colts, Chargers, Chiefs)? My point here is that a big part of the "6 teams that make the playoffs won't make it the next year" is due to the ultracompetitive NFC East and South divisions. The three most consistent teams in football in the past 5 years have been the Colts, Patriots and Chargers. But nobody will predict the Colts or Patriots to miss the playoffs because of Manning and Brady. Florio questions Norv's coaching abilities but then says nothing about the Colts having a first-year head coach or a new offensive coordinator (and line coach). And who is Florio to start making statements about what Chargers fans think and feel? You know what would make the fans embrace Norv Turner? An end to slow starts. 2-3 seasons in a row where the Chargers win the division handily, get a first round bye and are competitive in the playoffs. That's all. Consistency.
I took a look at some of the Chargers common playoff foes (Titans, Patriots, Colts, Steelers) and some reasons why they may take a step back in 2009. I kindof had to reach for the Steelers, but the reasoning is still sound. I think Roethlisberger, although he's hard to take down, can be taken out of a game with a big hit fairly easily and every defense that plays him knows it. I know that when the Chargers play them that's what Merriman and English will be thinking about. By the way, did you know that Larry English sheds his skin twice a year? It's true! Also, Larry English does not sleep...he waits. Finally, Larry English can win a game of Connect Four in only three moves. (thank you, thank you...I'll be here all week, make sure to tips your waiters)
Do you have any thoughts about Bolts From The Blue? Any tips you want to send our way? Whenever you have something to say, don't hesitate to e-mail me directly.