Round up the shorts and T-shirts as the Chargers’ offseason training sessions have arrived!
Not all that fired up to see the Chargers, minus pads, run around their training facility?
On the significance meter, I wouldn’t put too much into the Chargers’ dusting off their cleats today.
Among the wise quotes spouted by a Chargers assistant was this nugget long ago from former offensive line coach Carl Mauck.
“Hey coach, how they look today?”, he was asked after an offseason voluntary workout.
“How the (bleep) would I know?” Mauck snapped. “They are out there playing touch football.”
So remember Mauck’s words with the Chargers’ April hype machine cranks up about so-and-so looking special. Like Mauck, check the calendar before declaring anyone All Pro. …
All in on the draft seems to be Chargers GM Tom Telesco’s approach. Sure he signed some complementary pieces in offensive lineman Orlando Franklin, wide receiver Stevie Johnson, returner Jacoby Jones; he retained left tackle King Dunlap and cornerback Brandon Flower. But as far as impact players, a Charger Nation turns its lonely eyes to the NFL Draft. (Quick note: with the Chargers and Raiders being potential business partners, the eye-patch crew gave its OK for the Charger Nation connotation).
At last glance, the Chargers need a running back, a pass-rusher, a defensive tackle, a — whew, need to catch my breath.
Maybe Telesco goes to Chicago at month’s end and crosses all those off his list, thanks to his crafty draft board.
But in an offseason which was one big buzz-kill — hello, Carson; let’s shake, Raiders — the Chargers did little regarding their roster to excite their fans. They’re still out there, right? Kind of like quarterback Philip Rivers is still a Charger, right?
It’s keen to want to build through the draft, it’s another thing to do it. Telesco, so far, has drafted a bunch of average players, with maybe one or two being a cut above. Right tackle D.J. Fluker was a slam-dunk star, then he started getting danced around by speed rushers on a regular basis. Now people cry for him to move to guard, like they once crowed about cornerback Quentin Jammer going to safety.
Linebacker Manti Te’o has shown some life and he should considering what Telesco surrendered to draft him. But ask around the league and the word on Te’o is he’s a JAG – Just A Guy.
Wide receiver Keenan Allen? He could be Pro Bowl-bound, if clicking quickly with quarterback Marcus Mariota — just seeing if you’re paying attention.
The rest of Telesco’s 2014 draft? Again, we lean on Oakland: not much there, there.
Then last year locals did back flips after first-round pick Jason Verrett was announced. Never mind the undersized cornerback had a bum shoulder, and after playing briefly in the NFL, had two bum shoulders. Bummer, because when you’re under 6-foot, lifting arms to bat down passes is critical.
Linebacker Jerry Attaochu? If only Verrett had Telesco’s reach! Attaochu of Georgia Tech still has peach fuzz and remains a project.
Chris Watt, the third pick, could be the team’s new center. Which should be interesting because he was a guard at Notre Dame.
Ryan Carrethers? The transition from Arkansas State to the NFL was about as imagined.
Shifty running back Marion Grice? Cut.
Speedy wide receiver Tevin Reese? Ol’ Sweet Feet had a sour face when the roster came out — he wasn’t on it.
So get busy, Tom Terrific, because we can’t wait to see what you pull from your draft cap. …
Is this the year Chargers coach Mike McCoy dumps his McThird moniker? Can’t believe that was McCoy’s selling point — consecutive third-place finishes — during his interview with Chargers boss Dean Spanos.
We realize one of those third-place results included a playoff road win and nice going, Mr. McThird. But repeating last year’s 2-4 showing in the AFC West, in going 9-7 in consecutive seasons, is no way to calm boosters wondering if the Chargers were right in giving a rookie coach the keys to their car.
They also considered veteran Bruce Arians, and wonder how he’s done with the Cardinals? He’s 21-11 and made the playoffs last year despite quarterback Carson Palmer missing a chunk of the season. …
See where Eagles coach Chip Kelly is cornering the market on quarterbacks no one else wants? The latest is Tim Tebow joining Sam Bradford, Matt Barkley and Mark Sanchez. We wondered if Kelly called McThird for a scouting report on Tebow.
We love to kid McThird, but as Denver’s offensive coordinator, and him winning a playoff game with Tebow as the Broncos’ quarterback, it reminds us to cue Al Michaels: “Do you believe in miracles?” …
No we didn’t forget the Padres and how could we?
Just be careful in Colorado today, boys, with the second-hand smoke and all. It is 4/20 and if you don’t know what that means, they do in Denver.
But that series the Padres won in Chicago against the Cubbies was a hoot. Too bad manager Bud Black had to watch most of the finale in the clubhouse after getting tossed for jawing over balls and strikes.
That’s two ejections in 13 games for Black and what’s that folks say about him not having fire in his flat belly? …
A promotion around a fleece? Easy, the Chargers schedule doesn’t come out until Tuesday and we guarantee there will be no Fleece The City giveaway as the team prepares to ask San Diego taxpayers for a stadium handout.
Instead its Fleece Blanket Night at the Dodgers game on April 29. Ace Clayton Kershaw is on the blanket, which leads to one question: Do Dodgers fans cover their eyes with their freebie every time Kershaw pitches against the Cardinals?
Maybe ask the Dodgers honks you’re sitting next to this weekend at Petco Park.
Will the Friar Faithful pack Petco like they did against the Giants, drowning out the opposing Cali fans?
Stay tuned, or as Mauck would say: “How the (bleep) would I know?”
+ Contact Jay Paris at email@example.com