In a league where Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt has become arguably the best player, San Diego might have found a 20-year-old who could blossom into its own version of a chaos-creating difference maker.
The more the Chargers talk about Bosa, the more it sounds like this wasn’t simply a selection that filled a major need. As much as they had to address a defense that struggled to stop the run last season — when the Chargers ranked 27th in rushing D — they also desperately wanted a potential superstar. Head coach Mike McCoy actually talked openly about the Bolts’ desire to find a player who could represent the culture they needed to create after winning just four games in 2015. The organization wanted passion, relentlessness and cheap jerseys and tenacity, which is exactly how Bosa made his name as an All-American at Ohio State.
On Saturday, the team held a rally to help gather signatures for their downtown stadium project. Among those in attendance were Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers and ex-Chargers running back and NFL Media analyst LaDainian Tomlinson.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell also spoke at the rally and reiterated he wants to see the team stay right where it is.
While Allen’s tweet wreaks more of motivation and hope than qualities of a bitter subtweet, there is urgent honesty behind his words.
San Diego saw massive support in its 2015 home finale win over the Dolphins, and players responded emotionally, staying on the field to celebrate with the fans after the game. But that was one game. To save the team, fans will have to Bolt Up in numbers for all eight home games in 2016, especially against the Raiders who are waiting in the wings if the Chargers choose not to run to L.A. in 2017.
It’s uncertain whether McCoy, who was the offensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos prior to signing with the Chargers, would take over calling plays in 2016. Telesco said it’s something he “wouldn’t be opposed to” if McCoy chooses to take over the duties.
The GM added that the team has spoken to a “good amount of people” this week to fill their coaching vacancies, but hasn’t interviewed former Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt, who some speculated could return to San Diego where he was previously the offensive coordinator.
Woodhead is back after breaking his right ankle in Week 3 last season, and he looked sharp on Friday. The 5-foot-8 (generously listed) running back of Hard Knocks fame enters his eighth year in the league and is in position to be a frequent target of Philip Rivers out of the backfield, especially on third down. On Friday, Rivers looked Woodhead’s way more than he did any other back or receiver, finding him on check-downs out of the shotgun and motioning him all around the formation. Woodhead showed steady hands and pulled in all but one ball thrown his way. However improbable it might sound (or have sounded), the pride of Chadron State College is now a solid veteran in this league and an important part of San Diego’s plans.
The 31-year-old was used mostly as a return man and one gaffe Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens played a role in their loss. A fourth-quarter Baltimore punt bounced at the 21-yard line before being downed at the San Diego 3-yard line. The following San Diego drive went three-and-out, which setup Baltimore on a short field for the game-winning field goal.
“It’s been an amazing ride SD,” Butler wrote. “To my teammates and fans who have supported me throughout (the) last 6 years I am forever appreciative and grateful. Also, to the Spanos family for giving me the opportunity to play in a great city in front of great fans. So excited for what’s next and the opportunities ahead! To God be the glory!”
The move creates $9.41 million in salary-cap space for San Diego, but also saddles the Chargers with $18.69 million in dead money. Just two years after signing a lucrative seven-year, $51.8 million contract, Butler faded down the stretch in 2015.