Lightning Strikes with Jeff Williams: August 5th, 2010

Talking about anything and everything Chargers, it's another edition of Lightning Strikes with Jeff Williams...

There has been a lot griping and complaining about the handling of the Marcus McNeill and Vincent Jackson contract situations, but I find the Shawne Merriman story to be just as interesting. He was offered a one-year tender, just as McNeill and Jackson were, but unlike these other Pro Bowlers his contract could not be significantly reduced after the June signing deadline. Admittedly, Merriman has a lot to prove to the league and his fans, many of whom who have become disappointed in his off the field distractions and lack of QB sacks. He knows he has to get back on the field to prove the critics wrong.

Knowing how important this season will be to Merriman's future, it seems that the only person who does not want to see Lights Out in camp is...Merriman himself. Veterans reported to camp just less than one week ago, yet Merriman sits (if you call maintaining an intense personal training regimen sitting) at home with no concrete plan for when he will return to camp. Does he want more money and/or a long term contract? Probably, but that's not really what he is asking for at this point in time. What Shawne Merriman is really looking for is a little love. He wants a commitment from the team to keep him in San Diego for a full season or to at least move him before the season starts. And until he gets that commitment, at least for the time being, he remains the biggest name missing amongst players not named McNeill and Jackson.

Many fans have expressed their unhappiness with Merriman's stance, and I'm sure his teammates would like to see him in camp. But personally, I think Merriman's plan is close to brilliant. In my opinion, the longer Merriman sits out, the harder it may be for the Chargers to trade him. If there is nothing to use to evaluate his performance in the preseason, it makes him even less valuable in a potential trade. I don't foresee the Chargers trading Merriman for a late round pick, and signing right before the regular season opener may make a trade equally difficult as the season progresses. If Merriman's actions lead to a season-long stay in San Diego leading the Chargers' defense, then what did he really lose by missing training camp, let alone a few preseason games?


Speaking of Chargers players not in camp, the absence of Marcus McNeill may cause Chargers fans a lot of anxiety this season. Veterans veteran Tra Thomas was signed to provide help at the left tackle position, but it has been looking more and more like Brandon Dombrowski will be the Chargers starting left tackle, especially after Thomas' recent knee surgery. Nothing against Dombrowski, but do you want him protecting a franchise QB on his blind side? Here's to hoping that AJ Smith pulls the two sides together and gets a deal done.


It may be considered ill-mannered to find joy in another team's injuries, but I couldn't help taking a small bit of pleasure in the injury bug sweeping through the Denver Broncos training camp. The Broncos top two running backs, Knowshon Moreno and Correll Buckhalter, are both out with injuries (although both are expected to be ready for the preseason). Starter Moreno has an injured hamstring, typically a nagging injury for any player but more so for a running back. Even more recent and easily more devastating, outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil will miss anywhere from four-months to a full season with a torn pectoral muscle. The injury will require surgery and will sideline an important piece of the Broncos defense for a significant portion of the season. And any loss for the Broncos is a benefit to the Chargers.

August 5, 2010

Join our team:


Anonymous said... Aug 6, 2010, 1:13:00 AM

Hey Jeff! Where ya been? Good to see your still around!!

re: Merriman - He still hasnt proven to anyone that he is recovered from major knee surgery and can return to his old form. Until he proves himself I don't see teams lining up for his services. He needs to report to camp and make sure he can still get after the QB like he did as a rookie. From what I hear Larry English is looking like a monster and prolly wont want to give up that job without a fight!

tpowell619 said... Aug 6, 2010, 5:04:00 AM

Merriman is selfish always has been always will be.It's ALL about him not team.

Jeff Williams said... Aug 6, 2010, 6:39:00 AM

@Anonymous- thanks bro! We're hearing great things about English. It will be interesting to see how he is used when Merriman comes back.

@tpowell619- That's the usual take on Merriman, and his recent statements definitely add to that characterization, don't they?

Jason said... Aug 6, 2010, 2:06:00 PM

Merriman IS coming back, unless he's a total dumbass. This is his contract year and he hasn't done jack in the last 2 years (due to injury and recovery). AJ holds all the cards here. Why do you think we drafted English (who is tearing it up in camp)?

Oh, and AJ? Get off your high horse and SIGN MCNEILL NOW! This is the franchise we're talking about!

Anonymous said... Aug 7, 2010, 8:10:00 PM

Looks like Dombrowski is banged up a bit and they have Tyrone Green at left tackle now. Thomas is still out with that knee scope too. Do the Chargers really feel comfortable with protecting their 90 million dollar investment with a 2 year guy drafted as center playing LT??

Post a Comment

What's your take? Registration is not required but we encourage you guys to at least use some sort of screen name to help identify one another in discussions. Use Name/URL If You Don't Sign In Please!


Newer Post Older Post Home Page

This Week's Popular Posts


  Pro Football Talk

  USA Today

  San Diego Union - Tribune

  Yahoo! Sports

  ESPN - AFC West

  FOX Sports