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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Chargers 2010 Draft Review


The San Diego Chargers opened the 2010 NFL Draft with a blockbuster trade, moving up 16 spots to select Fresno State running back Ryan Mathews with the 12th pick of the first round.

The San Diego Chargers opened the 2010 NFL Draft with a blockbuster trade, moving up 16 spots to select Fresno State running back Ryan Mathews with the 12th pick of the first round. A 1,808-yard rusher with 19 touchdowns as a junior for the Bulldogs, the 6-0, 218-pound Mathews became the first running back selected by the Chargers in the first round since 2001. The Chargers traded with Miami to move up to the 12th spot to select Mathews and also received the Dolphins’ fourth-round pick (No. 110) and their sixth-round pick (No. 173). Miami received the Chargers’ first (No. 28), second (No. 40) and fourth-round (No. 126) picks, as well as inside linebacker Tim Dobbins.

Without a pick in the second round because of the Mathews trade, General Manager A.J. Smith made another move in the third, trading with San Francisco to move up 12 spots to select inside linebacker Donald Butler from the University of Washington at No. 79 overall. A two-year starter for the resurgent Huskies, the 6-1, 245-pound Butler racked up 238 tackles during his UW career, including 28 tackles for loss and four sacks. In the trade, the 49ers received the Chargers’ third-round pick in this year’s draft (No. 91), the sixth-round pick that was acquired from Miami in the Mathews trade (No. 173), and the Chargers’ fourth-round pick in 2011.

To open the third and final day of the draft, the Chargers selected strong safety Darrell Stuckey of Kansas with the 110th overall pick in the fourth round. The 5-11, 205-pounder played both safety spots for the Jayhawks but the Chargers envision him as a strong safety. He is comfortable playing down in the box as evidenced by his 295 career tackles, including 11 behind the line of scrimmage. Stuckey was a two-time first-team All-Big 12 choice at KU.

There was more trade movement for the Chargers in the fifth-round as Smith swapped picks with Philadelphia, moving up 13 spots to select massive defensive tackle Cam Thomas from North Carolina at pick No. 146. The 6-4, 330-pound Thomas anchored the ACC’s top-ranked and the NCAA’s 10th-ranked run defense in 2010. In exchange for the 146th pick, the Eagles received the Chargers fifth-rounder (No. 159) and the Bolts’ fifth in 2011.

The Chargers were awarded a compensatory pick by the NFL in the fifth round and used that pick to select quarterback Jonathan Crompton, a 6-3, 222-pounder from the University of Tennessee. As a senior in 2009, Crompton passed for 2,800 yards, 27 touchdowns and only 13 interceptions for the Volunteers. The Chargers needed a third quarterback to replace Charlie Whitehurst, who was traded to Seattle on March 18.

With their sixth and final pick in the weekend’s NFL Draft, the Chargers selected tight end Dedrick (DEE-drick) Epps from the University of Miami in the seventh round (235th overall). A two-year starter and a four-year contributor, Epps lined up at tight end, H-back and fullback for the ’Canes and finished his career with 49 catches, 634 yards and six touchdowns.

Chargers move up in 3rd round to take Butler

SAN DIEGO—The San Diego Chargers have traded up in the third round of the NFL draft to take Washington inside linebacker Donald Butler with the 79th pick overall.

The pick is somewhat surprising, considering that the Chargers had a bigger need for a defensive tackle.

Butler was a two-year starter for the Huskies. He’s likely the replacement for Tim Dobbins, who was sent to Miami on Thursday as part of the deal that allowed the Chargers to move up 16 spots in the first round to take Fresno State running back Ryan Mathews with the 12th overall pick.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Ahh yeaah! Say hello to the fututre...

Source: SD Tribune

The Chargers got the running back they wanted, and Ryan Mathews got the team he wanted.

“It’s really unbelievable,” Mathews, seemingly still in shock, said shortly after the Chargers made him the 12th pick in Thursday night’s NFL draft. “It’s a dream come true.”

Mathews followed the Chargers and wore No. 21 at West High School in Bakersfield and Fresno State in honor of LaDainian Tomlinson, the man he will replace in the Chargers backfield.

“He’s my favorite running back,” Mathews said. “It’s hard. You can’t fill shoes like that. … There is a lot of pressure, especially after LT … I have to go in with my own mindset and play ball. I think I play good under pressure.”

To get Mathews, the Chargers paid a steep price to move up 16 spots in the first round.

They sent their first-round pick (No. 28), second-round pick (40), fourth-round pick (126) and linebacker Tim Dobbins to the Miami Dolphins and in addition to the 12th pick acquired the Dolphins’ fourth-round pick (110) and a sixth-round choice (173).

“We can say anything we want,” Chargers head coach Norv Turner said. “When you see this guy play, you’re going to understand why we made the deal we did.”

Mathews, who is 5-foot-111/2 and 218 pounds, led the nation as a junior last season with an average of 157.5 yards per game and averaged 6.55 yards per carry. He was slowed by various injuries, missing eight games over three seasons. A concussion sidelined him for one game last year.

He declared early for the draft and was immediately identified as the second-best back available. But the Chargers had him and Clemson’s C.J. Spiller rated well above the rest of the running back class.

In seeking to move up, the Chargers began with the Dolphins, who wanted a second-round pick after trading theirs to Denver as part of the Brandon Marshall deal. Over the course of the past few days, the sides hammered out the rest of the deal. It was the 40th pick, which the Chargers acquired as part of a deal with Seattle last month for quarterback Charlie Whitehurst, that was key.

As it turned out, the Chargers likely had to make the move in order to get Mathews.

Spiller was selected ninth, by the Buffalo Bills. That meant he would not be available to the Seahawks, who had reportedly coveted him, at No. 14.

“We could either wait for the player, or a player we really wanted we could go get,” said Jimmy Raye, the Chargers’ director of player personnel. “And instead of waiting to see if he was going to go to someone else before we picked, we decided to put a package together and see if Miami would take it. They did, and we went up and got the player instead of sitting there thinking, ‘Gosh, is a player going to fall all the way to us?’ and then not get the player that we coveted.”

The Houston Texans, who picked 20th, had long been reported to be interested in Mathews as well.

“There was some talk about Houston, and it started to scare me,” Mathews said. “I’m lucky and blessed (the Chargers) traded up, and I’m super excited.”

The Chargers had identified running back as their No. 1 priority, but it was thought they could wait until the second round or later, or that they might make a trade for a veteran as they attempt to move on from the mostly spectacular nine-year LT era.

Instead, they went and got a player Raye and Turner last night made the bold step of comparing in various ways to Tomlinson.

“They have some similarities,” Raye said.

Turner was here as offensive coordinator in 2001 when the Chargers traded down four spots in the first round and drafted Tomlinson with the fifth overall pick.

“I know how excited I was that day,” Turner said. “And I’m very excited to get Ryan … I think he’s extremely special. I think he’s a complete back — physical, fast, he’s got great feet, great vision. He is complete in terms of catching the football.

“And I’m thrilled to get him here, I know our offensive line is going to be thrilled to get him here. I think Ryan is going to be excited when he gets around our guys. He knows we’re a good football team, he knows we’re a very good offensive football team, and I think when he sees our offensive line, he’ll know that we’re outstanding in the offensive line and that he’s going to have the opportunity to do some special things here.”

While he has moved up to take players he targeted in later rounds — Eric Weddle in the second round in 2007 and Jacob Hester in the third round in 2008 — it was the first time in his eight drafts as general manager that A.J. Smith moved up in the first round.

Late Thursday, Smith talked about what prompted the move.

“I think the player is special,” Smith said. “I think he’s a championship-level back. He can run, he can catch, he can block. He’s physical. He’s got home run speed. … We’re not just going to twiddle our thumbs and hope that a player of Ryan Mathews’ stature falls to the Chargers.”

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

New 2010-2011 Schedule

Friday, April 16, 2010

2010-11 Charger Girls

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Great turnout of veterans at Chargers Park

By: Scott Yoffe

There was a buzz around Chargers Park on Tuesday morning when 55 veteran players turned out for the official start of the team’s voluntary offseason strength and conditioning program.

Tuesday was the first day that many veterans were on hand as one at Chargers Park. It was a group that included quarterback Philip Rivers, running back Darren Sproles, tight end Antonio Gates, defensive end Luis Castillo and cornerback Quentin Jammer. Coach Norv Turner talked to the team about setting the tone and tempo of the team’s long-term goals for the upcoming season.

“We’ve had a number of guys in here working out on their own for the last month or so to get ready for today,” said a very pleased Turner. “What that says to me is that our guys are hungry and can’t wait to get going.”

While the roster changes as it does every year, the team remains focused and seems to welcome and embrace the changes. The players interviewed are looking forward to the new season and new opportunities ahead. One of the players who exemplified that feeling is Jammer, who is excited to see one of his close friends and former college teammates, cornerback Nathan Vasher, on the team’s 2010 roster.

“There’s a different feel around here and I think it will be good for us to have a fresh start with a fresh group,” said Jammer. “We always talk about change and change is good. I think it’ll be good for us.”

There were a lot of smiling faces on the field, inside the weight room and around the locker room. This is the time of year when teams build camaraderie, before two-a-days and summer’s sweltering heat sets in. Jacob Hester is one of those who embraced being around his teammates for the first time since late January.

“It’s good to get back here and work out with the guys, have a few laughs and get the camaraderie going again,” said Hester. “You get used to seeing them every day for 9 or 10 months and then for two months, you don’t see or hear from them. So it’s good to get back and see everybody.”

Jammer echoed those sentiments.

“It’s always good to get back,” said Jammer. “When people say you become a family, it sounds cliché, but it’s really not. We are a family and you start missing guys the longer you’re away from them. It was good to get back and joke around with the guys.”

Though offseason workouts are completely voluntary for players, it was impressive to see the number of veterans milling around Chargers Park for the unofficial kickoff to the 2010 season. For the first time in three years, Gates can train this offseason without coming off surgery or a major injury. Two years ago it was a toe and last year it was an ankle. But this past season, Gates played right through to the Pro Bowl and his body feels fresh and rested. He too could feel the vibe from his teammates who were all excited about being back on the Chargers’ campus.

“It’s always exciting to come back and be a part of the offseason program,” noted Gates. “Just to come back and see the energy and the number of guys that showed up, it means something to them.”

One particular player for whom this offseason has special meaning is defensive tackle Ryon Bingham. His entire 2009 season was derailed when he fell victim to a triceps injury during a training camp practice. The injury became all the more painful to absorb as he watched a number of his teammates on the defensive line fall victim to a rash of injuries that plagued the line throughout the ’09 season. Bingham says this is the best that he’s felt in a long time.

“The biggest thing is that I’m in shape and my arm feels good enough to come back and play,” said Bingham. “I’ve done this before, having to sit out a season, but to have it happen later in my career was a bummer. Last year would have been a really good opportunity since there was potential for me to play a lot. But God has a plan for everyone, that’s how I look at it, and this year is it. I’m ready to hit the ground running.”

Offseason workouts will continue for the team until late June. Most weeks the players will work out four days a week with Wednesday being the scheduled day for rest and recovery. Current workout sessions are scheduled for 7:30 a.m., 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Each session lasts approximately 90 minutes with work split between conditioning on the field and strength in the weight room. Jeff Hurd, Vernon Stephens and former wide receiver Eric Parker run the team’s strength and conditioning program.


Three of the team’s restricted free agents were not on hand for the first day of voluntary workouts, including tackle

Marcus McNeill and wide receivers Vincent Jackson and Malcom Floyd…Rivers is scheduled to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the Padres home opener against the Atlanta Braves next will be the second time he’s thrown out the first pitch for one of their games…in 2007, the Padres invited Rivers to throw out the first pitch before a game against San Francisco…Sheila Chudzinski, wife of Tight Ends & Assistant Head Coach Rob Chudzinski, gave birth to a girl named Margaret Ruth on Saturday…it’s the couples’ third child and first daughter…Director of Security Dick Lewis was recently honored during Black History Month at the San Diego Police Museum with a plaque that will permanently hang on the museum’s wall…Lewis worked for the police department for 21 years and is still highly regarded for his work in keeping a lid on racial tension and gang activities during the ’70s and ’80s…Lewis has worked for the Chargers since 1989…one player who is back with the team is running back Curtis Brinkley…he was with the team in 2009, but just before the start of training camp Brinkley was the victim of a shooting incident in his native Philadelphia…he spent the entire 2009 season recovering from his injuries and Brinkley is now healthy and cleared to participate in all team activities.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Sproles signs 1-year tender


Chargers halfback Darren Sproles signed his one-year, $7.2813 million restricted free agent tender Friday, according to a source.

Sproles was the Chargers franchise player last season but the uncapped year prevented him from being a free agent because he didn't have six years of experience. To prevent him from leaving, the Chargers designated him a restricted free agent. Any team that wanted to sign him would have had to surrender a first- and third-round pick.

Sproles has averaged 4.5 yards a carry during his career. He's also one of the top return specialists in the NFL.

Stadium Update 4-2-10

Source: 10news

The city of San Diego and San Diego County are on the verge of joining forces in an effort to build a new downtown stadium for the San Diego Chargers.The possible stadium would be built about four blocks from Petco Park, and now a plan is in the works to get the project done using some tax dollars but not at the expense of public safety and basic city services.Well aware of the political battle over the building of Petco Park, several elected officials have moved cautiously in whatever might be done about a new stadium for the Chargers. Just a few months ago, a consultant was hired to explore what worked in other cities and to see what would be best for San Diego. Officials found the key word to be cooperation.
The idea of building a new Chargers home next door to where the San Diego Padres play has several benefits, and sources told 10News the city and county have been working closely behind the scenes to make it happen. The infrastructure has already been upgraded and redevelopment money makes it attractive for outside investors and to neighboring governments.
"We look at the Chargers as a regional asset. Most of the fanbase comes from outside of the city of San Diego, so we would hope other agencies, particularly the county of San Diego, would be part of the process and will be partners with us," said Darren Pudgil, spokesman for San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders."Is the county working with you?" asked 10News' Steve Fiorina."Certainly open to it, yes," said Pudgil.The financing package is still to be ironed out, but it would not include any money from the city's general fund, 10News learned."We are focusing on redevelopment dollars. We wouldn't use any general fund dollars that would take away from police, fire, libraries or the park & recreation programs," said Pudgil.
It is an exciting prospect for the Centre City Development Corporation, as it looks at how well earlier projects of this nature paid off.Derek Danziger of the CCDC said, "Horton Plaza in the mid-1980s was a huge success story as a public-private partnership. Not only did it bring shopping and retail back downtown, but it stimulated the entire growth of the Gaslamp Quarter and the residential community within Marina District. You move to 2004, Petco Park. We had $311 million of assessed value expected. It's now $2 billion worth of development that's happened around there, with another $2 billion in the pipeline, completely transforming the entire neighborhood … really looking forward to what a stadium could mean to the East Village neighborhood."
CCDC would run out of money in the mid 2020s, but is also taking steps to increase its spending cap which would make things easier.The Chargers, the city, county or CCDC have not committed to this proposed plan, observers believe the stars appear to be aligning.