“You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain,”
It’s an iconic line that genuinely can represent many scenarios where the person who works to be something, ends up becoming the very thing the promised themselves they would never see facing them back in the mirror.
If you aren’t familiar with the opening line of this column, it’s one of the most quotable lines from the hit blockbuster film “The Dark Knight.” The follows the titular character, Bruce Wayne, dressing up as a vigilante, protecting the crime-ridden streets of Gotham City.
From battling against mob dealers to battling for the soul of Gotham in a fist fight with his arch-nemesis The Joker, The Dark Knight is a cinematic masterpiece that speaks volumes of people’s character, ambitions, and dreams that might never become a reality.
Plus, Heath Ledger’s Joker is the greatest cinema villain of all-time.
In the movie, there’s a scene at the Wayne Penthouse where Bruce along with hundreds of local Gotham City members is at a fundraiser to support the city’s District Attorney Harvey Dent.
Dent is a young, sophisticated lawyer who wants to play his role in helping to make Gotham City a better place for the inhabitants to live in. During his campaign and throughout all the movie posters, Dent was seen with half his face covered, brooding away while holding a red and blue button.
The words on the button; “I believe in Harvey Dent.”
When looking at a football roster, The Dark Knight or even the entire Batman series could be tied together to explain every role a person plays in making their roster stronger. The Los Angeles Chargers are no different from this analogy as they have weapons on their team that could mimic the famous D.C. comic strip.
Philip Rivers is, of course, Batman; our leader hero who has had a troubled past and looks to take matters into his own to save the future. Cemented with millions of dollars, our hero could leave but instead fights for the city he cares so deeply for. In all seriousness, Rivers might be the NFL’s Batman based off their similarities.
After constant losing seasons and a lack of growth from the organization, the 36-year old quarterback could have left at any time to chase a ring, and no one would have argued with him. Instead, he stands behind his organization as the watchful protector that his franchise needs.
Anthony Lynn is Commissioner Jim Gordon: a hard-nosed cop who no one saw becoming Commissioner, but impressed since taking over. Lynn went from Buffalo Bills running back coach to interim head coach to Chargers head coach in a matter of months. In his first season, the Bolts went 9-7, just missing the playoffs but showing growth under their new leader.
The City of Los Angeles is the City of Gotham; Melvin Gordon is the reliable butler, Alfred while Keenan Allen is Batman’s safety net in Lucius Fox. The Joker and the rest of Batman’s villains are the rest of the NFL. The only way for Batman to save Gotham City is by beating his foes and sending them away to jail...or the NFL offseason.
Which brings us to Harvey Dent. Dent later becomes Two-Face, a mass murdering psychopath who decides who his victim’s fate by flipping a coin. Dent was forced into corruption due to the easy persuasion of the Joker to seek vengeance on those he once considered friends.
Following Thursday’s comeback victory to the San Francisco 49ers, Chargers wide receiver could be Los Angeles’ Harvey Dent. The second-year pass catcher out of Clemson is one of the many Chargers who could be looking for work following Saturday’s 53 man roster finalization. With the Chargers receiving corp looking strong headed into the season with the likes of Allen, Mike Williams, Tyrell Williams and Travis Benjamin, the Bolts could look to bolster another position’s depth and send the former Tiger packing.
But like those of Gotham City believing in the White Knight, the Chargers nation should hold their button’s high proclaiming “I believe in Artavis Scott.”
Now, will Scott ever be a standout receiver for the Chargers? Probably not. Will he offer them another weapon in the passing game to help keep offensive drives alive? Absolutely.
Scott might not do many things great, but his versatility on both the offense and on special does give him qualities worth keeping for another season.
Size and Stability
There are positives and negatives to Scott’s overall game. The most prominent narrative is his stature. Listed at a generous 5 foot 10 inches, the second-year man will be limited in the slot if he wants to make an impact. Larger cornerbacks will eat him alive on the outside while his window of opportunity will diminish closer to the hash marks.
Inside, however, Scott’s routes are clean, precise and a safety net for a quarterback to dump off to under pressure. His majority of routes include slants, outs, curls, ins, overs and every once a while a post across the middle. His bread and butter is in the short-yard passing game to keep drives alive instead of being the downfield hero.
As for stability, Scott spent his rookie season on the practice squad. While maybe that won’t scream “top caliber potential” with plenty of receivers hitting the free agent market heading into Saturday, Scott has experience work with Lynn and offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt. He understands the playbook, knows the signals and has the knowledge of what exactly his coach truly wants out of a player.
Building a bond takes time, and Scott has undoubtedly earned the right to say his bonds are tight with the Chargers staff.
Preseason games are the equivalent of practice SAT; they mean jack squat until you put it to action. Still, the more you learn, the better prepared you are for the real shindig. This preseason, Scott’s been flying high with passing grades on those practice test after three solid outings.
This preseason, Scott has collected eight receptions on ten targets for 82 yards. The big kicker is his average yard per catch. In three preseason appearances, Scott has averaged 9.6 yards per catch, setting the Chargers up with nearly a first down every time he gets the ball.
Although those numbers are skyrocketing up the chart of the participation trophy known as “preseason stats,” but when you break it down, Scott has been the most consistent weapon for the Chargers offense all preseason. That will hold much higher measures heading into the regular season.
Add on that Scott has averaged 24.5 yards per return and that still proves that he could be worth a roster spot heading into Saturday.
About Last Night
All that you saw before was written before heading into Thursday’s preseason finale. Now it’s time to address the big elephant in the room.
During a kickoff return early Thursday night, Scott went down clutching his right leg. He would need help getting off the field and would be carted back to the locker room. While taking a trip on the cart doesn’t always mean a player’s season has come to an end, it’s still not a good sign moving forward.
Since we’re staying with the Batman theme, Scott got blown up in the warehouse like Dent and is now recovering from a severe injury that could cost him some time. The budding star of the Chargers preseason is now in remission, and his city can either cast him out or help him recover.
Depending on the longevity of the injury, there are multiple ways for the Chargers to address to this situation. If expected to miss a game or two, sign him to the final roster and be short-handed at receiver. By the looks of how the Chargers unit has played this preseason, Scott’s “ace in the hole” mentality might not be needed.
If expected to miss a more extended period, place him on the injured reserve list and keep him in the back pocket for the future. Even if waived, it’s unlikely a team will add an injured player to their roster over a healthy one.
Then there’s option C which could lead to Scott’s transformation to the dark side. They waive him, no one picks him up and instead, the team releases him once healthy. Injuries are a tricky situation, but more often than not, this is the outlook.
In the end, Scott’s resume provides excellent background recommendations and knowledge of the system to qualify him for the job. If waived after a strong outing in training camp, it will be Los Angeles this time who won’t be so lucky. Scott’s growth this season could merit him another roster spot for a new team, thus corrupting him to the dark side.
If there’s promise in a player, give them a chance to show their worth. Scott’s return ability and potential safety net option across the middle of the field could give the Chargers a unique offensive identity for the upcoming season. It is easier to have a player with potential talent rather than cutting them and seeing them succeed on another roster.
Scott isn’t a game changer, but his skills merit a roster spot. In the similar words of Harvey Dent
“You either make the roster or last long enough to make sure your vengeance is justified when you return.”
For the Chargers sake, Scott’s safer to their success on the bench or even the injured reserve list rather than against him on the field.