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News » San Diego Chargers Strategy and Personnel 2009-02-13


San Diego Chargers Strategy and Personnel 2009-02-13


San Diego Chargers Strategy and Personnel 2009-02-13
The Chargers tinkered with their coaching staff, as head coach Norv Turner continues to bring in men he's more comfortable with.


The biggest addition was bringing back Rob Chudzinski as tight ends and assistant head coach. Chudzinski was with the Chargers from 2005-06 as the tight ends coach. The past two years he was the Browns' offensive coordinator.

Don Johnson was hired as the defensive line coach and Steve Wilks coach the secondary. Mike Sullivan, former of the Cowboys, will assist Hal Hunter in working with the offensive line.

TEAM NEEDS/OFFSEASON STRATEGY

All eyes will be on general manager A. J. Smith on Feb. 26 when he meets with the media to lay out his plans for next season. No. 1 will be what he will do at running back, where LaDainian Tomlinson is still productive but will be entering his ninth season next year. And, what to do with Darren Sproles, as he is primed to hit the free-agent market after a breakout season.

The Chargers also have some questions on the defensive side where there are holes at defensive end, inside linebacker and strong safety. Smith has proved he prefers filling his needs through the draft of lower-level free agents. He has never made a big splash chasing the big names during the free-agency period and that doesn't figure to change.

TOP THREE TEAM NEEDS

1. Running back: Strange that team that last season had LaDainian Tomlinson and Darren Sproles would have a red flag at this position. But the team has to decide Tomlinson's situation and if Sproles is worth the dough with his undersized frame which doesn't lend itself to being an every-down back.

2. Defensive end: The Chargers burned a second-round pick on Igor Olshansky, but they don't think enough of him to want him to remain with the team. He's a free agent and is likely gone; Chargers not sure a capable starter to replace him is on the roster.

3. Right side of the offensive line: Guard Mike Goff isn't expected to be brought back and the team would like to upgrade the tackle spot held down by Jeromey Clary.

MEDICAL WATCH: OLB Shawne Merriman is expected to be ready for training camp and possibly offseason workouts after having his knee rebuilt.

--WR Malcolm Floyd is recovered from his collapsed lung and ready to go.

--WR Buster Davis had groin surgery last year and is expected to be ready for the offseason workouts.

--TE Scott Chandler (toe) will be ready for training camp.

--DE Keith Grennan (knee) could be back in time for the offseason workouts.

FRANCHISE PLAYER: None.

TRANSITION PLAYER: None.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

--OL Kynan Forney supplies depth and could return on the cheap.

--RG Mike Goff has been reliable and a hard-nosed player. But the team isn't inclined to shower the veteran with a big contract - there have been no contract conversations to date.

--OLB Marques Harris is used on passing downs and has shown some promise. He could come back as insurance against Shawne Merriman returning with a rebuilt knee.

--C Jeremy Newberry could give the Chargers a San Diego discount and return. He was a valuable backup with Nick Hardwick was injured early last season and prefers to stay in California if continuing his career.

--DE Igor Olshansky griped about his playing time after the season and doesn't seem long for the team. It looks as if his status as a second-round pick isn't enough to save his roster spot.

--RB Darren Sproles could be kept off the market if the team slaps a transition or franchise tag on him. The Chargers let a backup get away last season to free agency, and the Falcons were grateful to scoop up Michael Turner.

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

--WR Malcom Floyd is a great red-zone target and broke our last year before getting hurt down the stretch. Chargers would like to bring him back and he wants to return.

--CB Cletis Gordon supplies depth, but his shortcomings were exposed when he played for extended stretches. Chargers could let him go and try someone else.

EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS

--RT Jeromey Clary will likely stick in that he won't be that expensive and he has logged time as a starter. That said, the team could be looking for improvement at this spot and acquire someone to push Clary for the starting job.

PLAYERS RE-SIGNED: None.

PLAYERS ACQUIRED: None.

PLAYERS LOST: None.



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: February 13, 2009

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Mike Scifres Name: Mike Scifres
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