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Mailbag: What Was Biggest Move of Offseason?

Posted May 29, 2013

Check out part one of this week's three part mailbag.

Q: What is your favorite move the Chargers made this off-season? – Steven Kerpics

A: Thanks for the question, Steven.  Personally, I loved the move to trade up for Manti Te'o. It showed that if Tom Telesco is passionate about a player, he will do whatever it takes to make him a San Diego Charger.  Sometimes it takes guts to make a move to acquire a guy you value, and that’s a quality I admire in a general manager. I think it bodes well for the future of the Telesco regime. Also, I think Te’o fits into what the Chargers are trying to do on defense and will have an instant impact right from the get-go.

Q:  Who do you think will be the Chargers sack leader this year? – James Elliot

A: If forced to choose I’d have to say Dwight Freeney.  You’re talking about one of the elite pass-rushers the game has ever seen.  He is one of only 26 players in NFL history to surpass 100 sacks, recording 107.5 of them.  A dark horse candidate is Corey Liuget.  He generates great power and quickness from the defensive end position.   He really came into his own as the season went on last year and I think he’s primed to build off that.

Q:  Who is going to be the main wide receiver threat with yards and catches? – Bryce Yut

A: I think the biggest threat the Chargers have is their depth at the wide receiver position.     Headlined by Malcom Floyd, Danario Alexander, Eddie Royal, Vincent Brown, Robert Meachem and Keenan Allen, I’d argue this is the position that has the potential for anyone to step up and lead the team any given week.  How Head Coach Mike McCoy plans to deploy all these weapons will be one of the more interesting storylines in training camp and the preseason. 

Q:  Who do you think will be starting at OL and the secondary? – Mike Patton

A: It’s still  very early, but based on how they have lined up during OTA’s we can reason the following alignments for the time being. King Dunlap or Max Starks at left tackle, Chad Rinehart at left guard, Nick Hardwick at center, Jeromey Clary at right guard and D.J. Fluker at right tackle.  In the secondary, Derek Cox and Shareece Wright have manned the cornerback positions with Eric Weddle and Marcus Gilchrist lined up at safety.  Again, this is very premature, but that is how they have lined up throughout off-season workouts.

Q:  With an improved offensive line this year, how well do you think Ryan Mathews will do? – Zach Graden

A: It goes without saying that Mathews had a disappointing season last year.  But he was also dealt a tough hand, suffering a pair of broken clavicles and running behind an underperforming offensive line.  I think the addition of McCoy and Offensive Coordinator Ken Whisenhunt will breathe fresh life into Mathews, and I fully expect him to have a more productive season.

Q:  Please explain the logic of drafting a QB with the last pick in the draft who said he would come here as a Free Agent Rookie anyway? – Rob Bittick

A: Yes, Brad Sorensen is on record saying he would have signed here as a rookie free agent had he not been drafted.  But there is no guarantee he would have gone the rest of the draft without someone else scooping him up.  There were still 33 picks left in the draft after the Chargers selected at 221, and three of the last selections were quarterbacks.  It sounds like McCoy, Whisenhunt and Quarterbacks Coach Frank Reich are very high on him as a developmental QB, in which case there was no need to risk waiting to see if he made it through the draft without being selected. 

Q:  A great off season move that I feel has been slept on is the signing of CB Derek Cox. I'd like to hear more news on him and how the team feels he has been performing during drills! – Thanh Pham

A: Cox is probably the free agent addition I’m most excited about.  He was one of the most talented defensive backs available on the market this year and the Chargers signed him rather quickly.  To me, that shows they were quite high on him from the beginning and made him a priority addition.  I like what I’ve seen on him at mini camp and OTA’s, and he is always talking about football or has his head in the playbook. Plus, I’ve gotten to know him as a person and he is an extremely easy guy to like.  He has a great personality.  I’m personally rooting for him. 

Q:  What position group has the most chemistry in your opinion? – Ryan Puller

A: Interesting question.  In my opinion the defensive line probably has the most chemistry at this moment as they have had the least amount of turnover from the offseason. Core youngsters like Liuget, Kendall Reyes and Cam Thomas have developed together over the past few years, and that is a key component of building chemistry. I also think the secondary is a pretty tight knight group as well.  The likes of Gilchrist, Wright, Weddle and Darrell Stuckey have embraced newcomers such as Cox, Johnny Patrick and the rest and are constantly in each other’s ear.

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