Chargers 2012 Offense: Better Than Last Year?

The Chargers may have subtracted wide receiver Vincent Jackson from their aerial attack this offseason, but that doesn’t mean that the team won’t still have success throwing the football. Some may argue that the Bolts passing game actually grew stronger heading into the 2012 season with the additions made by General Manager A.J. Smith in free agency and via the NFL Draft.

At wide receiver, the star power is lacking a bit, but that shouldn’t bother quarterback Philip Rivers who is used to spreading the ball around. His ability to find the open man regardless of name or number is second to none and with just two of the thirteen widouts on the roster having caught passes from him in 2011, that will be a necessary trait to have.

Only Malcom Floyd and Vincent Brown remain from the group of receivers that was awfully productive a season ago. The number of players at the receiver position however has greatly increased due to some savvy acquisitions made by GM Smith in the offseason. The Bolts now have thirteen players on the depth chart listed at wideout and that number will have to be significantly trimmed when roster cuts roll around.

Receiver isn’t the only area of weaponry that saw a substantial boost in bodies as the tight end position also gained some serious depth. Obviously Antonio Gates is still the headliner of the group and is likely to see the majority of quarterback Philip Rivers’ passes this upcoming season. He too is quite impressed with the slew of new targets that the team has added this season as last month during the offseason workouts, he said: “I’ve never been around this kind of group. We all make plays. It’s our little motto.”

While the motto of most teams able to produce an NFL-record 400 or more points in eight consecutive seasons is ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’, the Chargers have taken a different approach entirely. As a team that has underperformed expectations on a regular basis when it comes to success in the playoffs, the Bolts clearly decided that overhauls at several key positions might be just the spark this locker room needs to regain its direction.

Rivers has been the catalyst for much of the team’s offensive successes during that stretch of record point scoring, but last season, he experienced a bit of a hiccup himself on his career stat line. A career-high 20 interceptions put the team behind the eight ball many times and led to a second straight year of watching the playoffs from the couch.

That is why, even with all of the roster turnover that this team has experienced during the offseason, Rivers might be even more optimistic than ever that this will be the year things turn around. When addressing the subject of all the new faces at key positions, he said: "They've won where they've been. They've had big years where they've been. They're veterans, they know how to operate. We have a chance to be as dynamic as we've been on offense."

His faith is quite impressive considering the fact that more than a third of his offensive production from a year ago is no longer with the club. In addition to just two of the receivers on the roster catching balls in games a year ago, just three of the six tight ends caught one and only three of seven running backs. For a trust-based relationship where the quarterback has to anticipate the receiver’s every move, Rivers has quite a bit of conviction that his current assembly of characters can get the job done.

When talking about the mini-camp process and just what the new players hope to achieve during that period of time, new receiver Eddie Royal said: "You've got small windows and it has a lot to do with timing. It's great to have a guy who's accurate and on-time.” That he is referring to (Rivers) said: "It's always nice when you have some timing things come up, or you have some things come up when you have to throw it early, having to hope you're right with what he's about to do. When he's thinking what I'm thinking, and I throw it where I hope he's going, and he does go there, that's what this time of year is all about."

What the Chargers really hope is that all of this change makes January a time for playing football rather than watching it. All of the roster upheaval looks great in shorts and t-shirts, but when the contact comes and the rubber meets the road, the Bolts need to be ready to perform come crunch time. Judging by the optimism that both the players and the coaching staff have expressed this early in the process, it seems that the team may actually be better on offense in 2012 than in any of the years previous.

Now it’s your turn! Do you think the Chargers will be better on offense this year than any previous seasons? Will the adjustment of new targets to throw to have a negative effect on Rivers this year? Is the depth chart stronger at all of the skill positions than in year’s past or is that too optimistic? Can the Bolts continue their streak of exceeding 400 points per season in 2012? Please fill up the comments section below with your thoughts on the Chargers’ offense!

July 17, 2012

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RaiderHater said... Jul 17, 2012, 8:27:00 AM

>>> Better...Better...Better...uhhh did I say Better yet??!! VJ was great - when he wanted to be, and if not then he just stopped. I have said it many times in this blog that the additions made this year have the potential to make the Bolts freakin' scary. Much more "slicin' and dicin'" players, some speed, specialty receiver types, more TE power than ever, a healthy Gates, a reinforced running back/half back squad and a stud QB who is highly unlikely going to repeat his mistakes (push the ball to make plays that weren't there), If the O-Line keeps Rivers up Juuuust long enough...Boom Gotcha Time! We still have some deep threats, many more choices in the mid field from slanting to short routes, and a legit threat from the back either power runs or with pulling guard sweeps to catching the ball on the fly. We will be a nightmare to plan against IF Norv wakes up and gets off the conservative play book crap. 400 points - huh..maybe much more? I haven't heard about who is in camp for our kicker? This is still a critical player in the game.. and last year was OK but who will be the man come real time season play?? I was in Denver a couple weeks ago for business and the local news was all about Manning buying a new car for his wife at Elway's Toyota dealership was ridiculous! What next..."tonight at 11, Manning caught buying boxers at Kohl's - solid or plaid ...stay tuned to find out" ...WTF! Come on Pittsburgh, you get him first game...remind him what a QB sandwich feels like, introduce him to the turf Steeler Style. We got to deal with my most hated Team - the Raiders on MNF...damn exciting stuff...I see Rivers starting off with his first 400+ yard game of the season. Meanwhile, camp is on, preseason is soooo soon and it is near time to "make it happen"!

Pete Spinning said... Jul 17, 2012, 10:06:00 AM

You took the words right outta my mouth RH! What am I supposed to write about now? Geez. I want Polamalu to eat Manning's ass up, and get a pick-six!!! Although, I hope the Steelers go 7-9 for the the season, only beating our divisdional rivals, and the Bengals and Ravens twice each.. lol!
Anyway, I feel the same way RH does. Despite the supposed lack of "star power", this offense has the potential to be even better than it was! V-Jax seemed to disappear at points during the season, and gave 75% effort at other times. That ain't going to cut it. I don't see Meach or Floyd... or any other receiver on our squad.. crapping out on us during a game. Guys like Royal & Meach must be drooling at the chance to finally play some REAL ball, after coming from teams that rarely let them do what they came into the league to do... be receivers... not block for Tebow! Meach especially must be ecstatic! When Brees FINALLY got his contract, I noticed they were showing his highlights on NFL Network... 4 out of the 8 clips were Meachem making a NICE grab... but, he isn't a number one caliber receiver, right?
I am ready for the season to begin! I've heard all the hype... NOW, let's see their cards!!! Let's start by mopping the Raiders up on opening night of Monday Night Football... just to send a message to the rest of the division! I want to see Palmer running for his life... or, get the patented "Rag-Doll" blind hit from behind, via Melvin Ingram! I especially would love to see our run defense STUFF McFadden, and for Mathews to stroll into the endzone, twiddling a cane, for a couple TD's! Just to show Run DMC what a REAL running back is! Go Chargers!!!

Brother bolt said... Jul 17, 2012, 4:56:00 PM

Absolutely the best ever

RaiderHater said... Jul 18, 2012, 8:21:00 AM

Dang Pete...your "play by play" of the Raiders and the Steelers games has me all excited! Palmer running to his life, Manning squeezed like when you step on a ketchup container from Jack in the Box. Meachem catching balls like he's got "stickem"" on his body, people using canes...Dang need to get your resume on down to MNF...only just cover the Bolts! And then there is the long missing Fbhansen...probably waiting for the first game to start up in the blog?? Or maybe he switched happens if you aren't a Real Fan! and with that I leave you with:

Where can't you hide season tickets from a Raider fan?

> Behind a High School Diploma


Pete Spinning said... Jul 18, 2012, 7:38:00 PM

We gotta keep on Raider-Hatin', RaiderHater! Yeah... that's the ticket! I hate the Donkey's, and the Chiefs aren't even cool enough for me to come up with a name for! Blue & Gold all day, babay!

RaiderHater said... Jul 19, 2012, 11:41:00 AM

>> don't LIKE the Pretty Ponies??? Ok ...well even though the Raiders are my Great Hate...let it be said I am an equal opportunity Western Division Hater - Bolts 4Life Man - so here you go Pete!

Q: How do you stop an Denver Broncos fan from beating his wife?
A: Dress her in San Diego Blue and Yellow!

Q: What is a Denver Broncos fan's favorite whine?
A: "We can't beat San Diego."

Q: How do you keep a Broncos fan from masterbating?

A: You paint his dick Chargers blue and he won't beat it for 4 years!

Q: What does a Denver Broncos fan do when his team has won the Super Bowl?

A: He turns off the PlayStation 3.

Q: Why do the Kansas City Chiefs want to change their name to the Atlanta Tampons?

A: Because they are only good for one period and do not have a second string!

Q: What does the KC Chiefs and a nervous 17 year old virgin male have in common?
A: They both will blow it early........


Steve Diaz said... Jul 19, 2012, 11:30:00 PM

haha. Now that was funny!

Nick in PB said... Jul 20, 2012, 8:29:00 AM

OMG... I think I tuned in too late to compete here! Guys, that was awesome tit for tat! Ratatattat!!! OK, I think our offense has the potential to be lethal! I say potential because it all depends on the health of the offensive line. I think we have a good, not great offensive line but I also believe that is they can stay healthy, they will get the job done and that's all we need! The rest will take care of itself. I think the depth chart is stronger at the skill position than last year. VJ is a loss, but remember Crayton? He looked awesome his first year with us. He gave us some YAC big time! Then he got hurt, never was the same. Last year, hardly noticeable. Now we have Royal in the slot... it's YAC time again. Plus Meechum... YAC again!!! We will tear it up!

Pete Spinning said... Jul 20, 2012, 1:57:00 PM

Rad! The Atlanta Tampons... good stuff!

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