What Has Changed (Coaches)
- Steve Crosby, who many compared to the devil incarnate, has been shit-canned. The next time he shows his face around Qualcomm Stadium, it will be with another team. The Charger fans probably won't even notice he's there, but.....oh, if they did.....his face would be covered in pie.
- Rich Bisaccia was stolen(!) from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to replace Crosby. Bisaccia, along with being a new last name that I have to learn how to spell, is most famous for ending Tampa Bay's 100,000 year drought of kick return touchdowns. He also coached the Tampa special teams to be one of the best in the league in 2009, a year after taking the job as Assistant Head Coach.
- Ron Rivera, who nobody compared to the devil incarnate, earned his wings and finally landed the Head Coaching job that he had been chasing since the days of Marty Schottenheimer. He took Rob Chudzinski with him to run the offense for the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers hold the #1 pick in an NFL draft that seems deep, but without any real stars worthy of a #1 pick. Perhaps Ron should've stayed in San Diego? Of course he should've.
- Greg Manusky, former Chargers Linebackers Coach and the man that took the San Francisco 49ers defense from "horrible" to "not bad", was tabbed to take over Ron Rivera's spot as the Defensive Coordinator.
- Steven Wilks, the Chargers Secondary Coach, took Rob Chudzinski's spot as Norv Turner's Assistant Head Coach.
After the jump, we'll look at major changes around the division, with Chargers player personnel, and mark important dates on our calendars.
What Has Changed (Players)
- Legedu Naanee ended his Chargers career by getting drunk, walking into a murder scene in Indianapolis and then getting pepper-sprayed by police while resisting arrest. I believe that sentence speaks for itself.
- Vincent Jackson was slapped with the Franchise Tag, meaning he'll be offered a 1 year deal worth roughly $10 million dollars and will not be able to negotiate with other teams.
- The Chargers tendered just about every player on the team that would be a Restricted Free Agent under the absurd 2010 NFL rules. It's essentially meaningless, but I suppose it shows they like the players that they have.
- Eric Weddle, probably the most important free agent on the Chargers roster, and the team began negotiations by bickering at each other through the media like a couple of 15-year-old girls.
- Ogemdi Nwagbuo and James Holt, a couple of young players whose contracts were up, were signed to new deals.
- The Chargers signed former Colts Strong Safety Bob Sanders (unofficial at the moment due to CBA negotiations) to take over the starting job at a position that has been a weakness for San Diego for years.
Major Moves in the AFC West
- The Denver Broncos, two seasons after completely overhauling their team, began the process of overhauling their team. They released just about their entire defensive line (including Chargers great DT Jamal Williams), hired John Fox (fresh off of running the Panthers into the ground) and announced they were switching back to the 4-3 (Elvis Dumervil must be thrilled). Also, all those Tim Tebow jersey sales and the excitement over his last few games in 2010? Save it, Kyle Orton is the starter again now that the games might mean something.
- The Broncos also signed Champ Bailey, who was an unrestricted free agent and even put his Colorado home up for sale, to a new four-year contract.
- The Chiefs, who in their final two games scored 17 points while giving up 61, somehow managed to lose Offensive Coordinator Charlie Weis to the University of Florida while still in the playoffs. Weis has been replaced with Bill Muir, who helped John Gruden run an offense in Tampa Bay that was good enough to not lose games for a year or two before completely collapsing.
- The Chiefs franchised OLB Tampa Hali. In related news, the sun came up in the morning.
- The Raiders, fresh off a successful season in which they went 6-0 against the AFC West and were in the race for the division championship late in the season, promptly fired their Head Coach for being a party animal. In related news, the sun came up in the morning. Tom Cable was replaced by former Offensive Coordinator Hue Jackson, and Raiders Owner Al Davis was replaced by a zombie.
- The Raiders re-signed seemingly every player they could, including Kyle Boller, John Henderson, Stanford Routt, Richard Seymour and about a dozen special teams players.
Important Upcoming Dates
- 4/28/2011 - The NFL Draft begins
- ????? - NFL Free Agency should've begun on 3/3/2011, but can not take place without a CBA agreement in place. There is a strong possibility that free agency won't begin until after the NFL Draft, which would be the first time in......I don't know, a long time. Maybe ever. it would certainly flip-flop the way NFL teams normally operate in the offseason, and could create less demand for free agents.
- Mid-April - The 2011 NFL schedule gets released.
- 9/8/2011 - The NFL regular season kicks off. (fingers crossed)