Breaking Down The Chargers - Part 1

In the weeks leading up to the draft (April 25 will be here before you know it), I hope to break down the Chargers' roster, position by position, and discuss their strengths and weaknesses, the good and the bad, the deepest positions and the roster holes. For the first part of the series, we'll review the Quarterback position.

You could say that Quarterback was the position in which the Chargers shined the brightest in 2008. Philip Rivers, following offseason knee surgery, had a year that set team records for TD's in a season (34) and Passer Rating (105.5). As the running game stalled with an injured RB and a weak offensive line, Rivers was forced to throw early and often and ended up with Pro Bowl caliber numbers.

2008 may be remembered as the year that the Chargers' offense became Rivers'. I certainly hope that the Chargers can regain the ball-control mentality that vanished for a number of reasons last season, but with the ball in River's hands I feel confidant that the offense will remain a potent one for years to come, assuming that a contract extension for Rivers is signed. Why an extension has taken this long is only due to some of the team's other offseason distractions.

Backing up Rivers in 2008 and returning in 2009 is Billy Volek. The man who led the 2007 Chargers on a game winning drive against Indy in the playoffs continues to provide big-game experience and performance off the bench. We only hope that we never have to use him.

One intriguing offseason move could involve third string QB Charlie Whitehurst. Whitehurst has impressed enough people to be thought of as a potential starting QB. It's believed that the Chargers could be outbid in contract negotiations when he becomes a free agent in 2010, thus there is a good chance he'll be traded this offseason. Don't be surprised to see him in a draft day package to help the Chargers obtain a second or high third round draft pick.

February 26, 2009

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Rob Zepeda said... Feb 26, 2009, 9:44:00 PM

I think trading Whitehurst would be a smart move by the team if they can recoup a decent draft pick. Whitehurst has flashed at times in the preseason but he has so few snaps on tape as a pro I wonder if there is enough there for teams to make a decent evaluation of the guy...

Itay said... Feb 26, 2009, 10:59:00 PM

I will be surprised if we get a 2nd or 3rd for Whitehurst. I hope so though

Jeff Williams said... Feb 27, 2009, 7:30:00 AM

I don't think you could get a 2nd or 3rd for only Whitehurst, but package him with another pick and you might be able to move into the late 2nd or the 3rd round.

Anonymous said... Feb 27, 2009, 11:38:00 AM

anyone know how much longer we have Billy Volek under contract? He played well for us, hopefully we can keep him around.

Jeff Williams said... Feb 27, 2009, 12:25:00 PM

Off the top of my head, I believe he signed a 3-year deal last year, so we have him through 2010.

Anonymous said... Feb 27, 2009, 6:39:00 PM

i want brees back!

Anonymous said... Feb 27, 2009, 6:41:00 PM

shale ai wich thei dont let go LT hes good that will be messd up!!

Dan Ferranti said... Feb 27, 2009, 6:54:00 PM

I'm no longer convinced Whitehurst is worth keeping around. After watching him in pre-season this last year I wasn't sure he would even make the team.

Pre-season stats:
Att Comp Yds Comp % Yds/Att TD TD% INT INT % Long Sck Sack/Lost Rating
2008 53 26 251 49.1 4.7 1 1.9 0 0.0 23 5 34 69.0
2007 37 19 176 51.4 4.8 1 2.7 1 2.7 40 2 14 62.4
2006 47 25 218 53.2 4.6 1 2.1 4 8.5 21 0 0 37.4

I know he is throwing to the third/fourth string guys that are likely not going to make the team but seems like it is time to burn a second day pick to create some competition for 3rd QB (or go with only two QB's now that Rivers is a year removed from surgery.)

Anonymous said... Feb 27, 2009, 7:20:00 PM

Yeah, I think they could probably package Whitehurst in with a 4th to get an early 3rd, or with a 3rd to get a mid-late 2nd, or trade him straight up for an early-mid 4th.

Anonymous said... Mar 1, 2009, 4:28:00 PM


I just thought of this last night.. How about this, what if we deal Floyd and Gordon for a 2nd rd pick this year and draft a OL,
scenario 1: trade Sproles and next year 2nd rd for Peppers if they bite, sign Ray Lewis, Draft Knowshon Moreno or Wells with 16th, move Cason to start opposite of CRO and move Jammer to Safety or move Cason to safety and make Phillips rotate from ILB and RE. Draft or sign another Corner if D-Flo is back then he fits there. Now our Defense will have Pass Rush on both ends the best there is and inside, presence in the middle and ballhawks in the secondary....

Here's your depth chart
DE - Jaques Cesaire/ Shaun Phillips
NT - Jamal Williams/Ian Scott/ Ryon Bingham
LE - Luis Castillo/ Ryon Bingham
LOLB - Shawne Merriman / Jyles Tucker
ILB - Ray Lewis/Brandon Siler/ Shaun Phillips
ILB - Stephen Cooper/Tim Dobbins/ Antwan Applewhite
ROLB - Julius Peppers/ Shaun Phillips/Antwan Applewhite
RCB - Antoine Cason / Tribble/ Oliver
LCB - Antonio Cromartie /D-Flo/ Oliver
SS - Eric Weddle / Oliver
FS – Q Jammer / Gregory
Since Ron Rivera is the DC and a couple of defensive coaches came from The Bears, maybe we could sign Mike Brown to play Safety. Tell me this defense won't scare any Team out there.... If this defense doesn’t win you a Superbowl with Ron Rivera directing them, I don't know what will.

Arcadio said... Mar 2, 2009, 9:44:00 AM

Do not draft Knowshown Moreno or there will be a curse over our defense, get Rey Maualuga

Anonymous said... Mar 2, 2009, 8:17:00 PM

chargers vs. giants SB XL1V!!!!

With shawne merriman back we'll make some plays on defense.

Steve said... Apr 18, 2009, 4:00:00 PM

Peppers is too small for a 3-4 DE and we don't need an outside rusher. Phillips is quality and we all know what Merriman is. And blowing all that money on him means we can't resign vital guys like Rivers. Defense wins championships but we're not winning anything without him. And stocking your roster with big names and big personalities doesn't usually win championships. Or playoff games. Ask Dallas.

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