The Chargers' New Receiving Core

The departure of Vincent Jackson left not only a trail of stunned and dejected Charger Fans, but a crater of a hole at the Wide Receiver position. Just two days after Jackson signed his monster deal to become a Tampa Bay Buccaneer, the Chargers have made a variety of moves at receiver. In recent history, the Charger's top pass catchers at receiver have fit a mold. Turner and his offensive staff have carried large, possession receivers who thrive in jump ball situations. The Malcom Floyd and Vincent Jackson era have ended. New Additions, Eddie Royal and Robert Meachem will join impressive rookie Vincent Brown and the aforementioned Malcom Floyd to form an interesting receiving core at the least; and maybe...just maybe, form a more capable group, than years past. Analyzing the type of receiver that is being brought in, shines a new light on even the most serious of Vincent Jackson obsess-er. See highlights below:

Robert Meachem- 6'2 210, 2011 (with NO): 40 Rec. 620 Yards. 6 TD's:

The former first round pick from Tennessee has been used smartly in the prolific Saints system. After a couple of slow years to start his career, Meachem has blossomed into a big play threat that has been hidden behind Graham, Colston, Moore, and Henderson. At 27, he has emerged and as a low mileage player is a candidate to step up in a big way. What you may lose in physicality, you gain in pure speed when comparing Jackson to Meachem. He also is consistent at making the catch when given the chance.

Eddie Royal- 5'10 185, 2010 (with Denver) 59 Rec. 627 Yards. 3 TD's. Injured in 11':

Charger Fans are all to familiar with this shifty Virginia Tech Product, who single-handedly beat the Charger's two years ago on Monday Night. (see highlight video below) Although some claim that his value is purely in the return game, which is enough to warrant his signing ; Royal clearly brings an element to the slot of this receiving core that has been missing for quite some time. Smaller in stature, and "Welker like" on many levels, Royal uses his size to find holes on crossing routes and is versatile in the screen and reverse game. Last year, with Patrick Crayton in the slot (another tall, possession receiver), Rivers struggled in short yardage situations to find a quick target. Another home run hitter.

The ability to sign these players at reasonable prices played a role, and patching up the recieving core may be far from finished. Always important, is to remember how Philip River's improves the receivers around him. Without a holding out Jackson and an injured Floyd in 09'-10', Rivers still threw for over 4500 yards. He has never had receivers with quite the home run hitting ability that Royal and Meachem bring to the position. Assuming they are able to get on the same page, Rivers now has a variety of prototypes at wideout to choose from: Possession, Speed, Small, and Big. All of which create match up problems for an opposing defense.

What do you think of A.J. Smith's receiver additions and the Core as a whole?

March 16, 2012

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John D. said... Mar 16, 2012, 9:41:00 AM

This years receiving core already looks better than last years. I don't think we'll miss VJ. Now get a pass rusher!

Mm said... Mar 16, 2012, 10:21:00 AM

Now we have speed...which creates many problems for defenses....
Next up a Safety and a Mean Pass Rusher...

Pete Spinning said... Mar 16, 2012, 12:38:00 PM

I like it.

With Gates, Mathews, Floyd, Meachem, Royal, and Brown all catching ball.... this could potentially be a really scary group. Especially now that we have a fullback. A good 1st down run game can only improve this groups chances at getting first downs. Although, I think V-Jax is more talented than any "one" of these guys... I can't help but think maybe we needed this change, to improve our passing game. Maybe they will prove to be "mediocre", as well. We will have to see.

Mark Paprocki875 said... Mar 16, 2012, 2:32:00 PM

I am not happy with these moves at all by the chargers. Losing Jackson I see a being catastrophic for us. Sure those receivers are good, Jackson was great time and time again. Losing Tolbert, McNeill, Castillo to, will only deplete our selves of more all stars. Receiving core was fine, always has been, DEFENSE needs help, badly!

RaiderHater said... Mar 16, 2012, 3:21:00 PM

I too like the mix, some speed (speed kills) and crafty mid field work can play hell on a D.  With Gates still around and a running attack, we present one hell of an issue in defending us.  Still not sold on the running attack, but heck not complaining either.  Need a Pass Rushing MoFo now AJ..WTF you are on a roll so give us or "drug", and you know who is still out there....we are about out of cap $$ and I can't see a rookie coming in in this starting slot full time.  we need a proven impact player on the D Line, and still no magic at Strong Safety.  I am waiting for the next big news flash..not about Manning and his $90M tag..WTF seriously?  He is great but risky money, would rather he ends up outside our Division just because he can be a pain in the ass to play against...even though we "have his number", having to play him twice a year would get old.  Ok AJ...make our day!!!

RDStds said... Mar 16, 2012, 4:48:00 PM

Dear AJ
 The job you have done thus far looks good, however we all know winners in free agency don`t always translate to winners during the season (see 2011 Eagles).  Keep trying, and it might be worth dealing in the draft to try and get us into a spot to grab a real pass rusher.  We know you will go after a guy if you really like him, and I honestly feel that the moves made so far will put Ryan Mathews on the cusp of greatness in 2012.  Overall I think everyone would agree that Meachem, Floyd, Royal, and Brown (in his 2nd season) all together for OTAs and a full offseason are an upgrade on the whole compared to Vjax, Floyd, Crayton and Brown (as a rookie) with no offseason.  The Bolts are not a re building team, we have pieces in place to ride dirty through the AFC West and at the very most we were a fluke botched Center-QB exchange (in KC) away from being 9-7 and winning the Division.  That`s with a fat lazy McNeal at LT, thank god for Gaither fighting for a contract lets just hope that he doesn`t go all Marcus McNeal on us now that he is paid too.  Im really looking forward to the draft and even more to the season, lets hope AJ makes Dean Spanos look like a genius for not canning his ass when we were all ready to chase Norv out of town with pitch forks and torches. 

Triplook said... Mar 17, 2012, 1:51:00 AM

any chc we bring volek back for less $$$$$$$$$$$--his performance in theplayoffs in 07 was classic

sanford peisner said... Mar 17, 2012, 10:59:00 AM

I agree with you, speed I also like Royal as possession receiver. We need safety and pass rusher, Mean pass rusher

fetchngretchn said... Mar 17, 2012, 8:25:00 PM

Just a spelling note - it's Malcom Floyd, so no one mixes him up with his brother Malcolm. ;-)

Jjamesnaz said... Mar 18, 2012, 9:30:00 AM

Losing the guys you mentioned is not that big of a deal.  Jackson is good, but Rivers can make any WR look good.  His best year was played without Jackson for the majority of the year.  McNeill was way too expensive for a guy who's career could end at anytime because of injury.  Castillo played 1 game last year, and is always getting hurt.  I expect them to bring him back for cheap anyway.  Tolbert is a good backup and goal line back, but I think Mathews is more than capable of handling goal line carries.  McClain could step in and take those carries too

Triplook said... Mar 18, 2012, 11:42:00 AM

resigning randy mac at TE was a great move---with this receiver corp and boosted up running attack we can do some great things this season

Pete Spinning said... Mar 19, 2012, 8:01:00 AM

I hope so! Whitehurst makes me more nervous than a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs!!!! Hope Rivers doesn't go down this year = /

Pete Spinning said... Mar 19, 2012, 8:07:00 AM

Seriously.. that play on the highlight reel where Brees gets intercepted, and Meachem rips it out of the Redskins' defenders hands, and runs the other way was a HEADS UP play! Amazing. He's got so much speed too!

Pete Spinning said... Mar 19, 2012, 8:22:00 PM

And we got Denver's TE too! More an more options for Rivers.

arnie said... Mar 24, 2012, 2:47:00 AM

it all looks good. but norv is still the HC. so i don't expect to much. but like evereything else, i would be very pleased to eat my words, and have Norv & AJ prove me wrong with is group.  but we'll see....

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