Around the NFL
Chargers looking to outslug competition
Posted Apr. 11 at 06:13 AM
The Chargers lost top wideout Vincent Jackson in free agency, so the initial thought might be that their offense will take a step back. Listening to the team talk, though, you get the sense that they expect their offense to be better -- and that they're prepared to try to join some of the league's other top teams in winning with offense rather than defense.
“I’m not backing off defense wins championships,” GM A.J. Smith says. “But I also think that, if you have a prolific offense, if you can get up and down the field and do better in the red zone .... we have something.”
The Chargers retained two key free agents from their offensive line, Jared Gaither and Nick Hardwick. They added Robert Meachem, Eddie Royal and Roscoe Parrish to the receiving corps, as well as tight end Dante Rosario (who has some receiving ability). They lost Mike Tolbert but brought in fullback LeRon McClain, who has some of the same blocking and rushing ability as the departing fullback.
"We’ve got to keep other teams’ offenses on the sidelines," adds Smith. “We need a prolific offense. When we’re in Denver, we need people to ask, ‘Hey, why isn’t Peyton playing?’ Our offense has to keep other offenses off the field."
Two of the league's best regular-season teams, New England and Green Bay, had that kind of makeup a year ago, and the Patriots were within a few plays of winning a Super Bowl thanks to their offense, not their defense. It sounds like Smith is hoping for the same out of the Chargers, which will be good news for fantasy coaches.
It remains to be seen, of course, if the additions at wideout can fill in for Vincent Jackson, but remember that Rivers was pretty prolific in 2010 even with Jackson sitting out the first half of the season.
Posted by ERIC SCOLNICK | Apr. 11 at 08:45 AM
It is difficult to throw down the field when Rivers is on his back. Until the Chargers address their offensive line issues they are going to put up the same offensive numbers as last year.
Posted by ANDY RICHARDSON | Apr. 11 at 08:50 AM
Agreed, they need someone to replace the retired Kris Dielman. Somebody they could look to draft in an early round, perhaps.
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