The San Diego Union-Tribune is reporting that Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson could very well be spending his final season in San Diego.
It took Tomlinson and the Bolts half of the off-season to figure out a new contract that would bring him back to San Diego, but it appears the two sides may part ways, after all. Read more…
Posted by Kevin Roberts Date: Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Tags: chargers tomlinson, drew brees, LaDainian Tomlinson, LaDainian Tomlinson done, LT, LT slowing down, New Orleans Saints, san diego chargers, san diego union-tribune, tomlinson done as a charger, tomlinson slowing down, tomlinson to retire, tomlinson's last season
Michael Vick to Play For Eagles on Sunday
Don’t get too excited, it won’t be as the quarterback.
Still, the coaching staff is counting on Vick to make plays, projecting him to be involved in somewhere between 10-15 plays.
You can probably even count on more than that. Kevin Kolb is expected to start as it stands, but Vick will likely be deployed in a number of packages.
The problem is, just how effective can he be in his first regular season game in more than two years?
Wes Welker Back at Practice
As inspiring as this is, it still means nothing.
While he did participate in Thursday’s practice, he was limited, opening the door to a possible “target share” with rookie Julian Edelman.
Bill Belichick isn’t foolish. If Welker isn’t 100 percent, he’ll just use him as a decoy and get some production out of Edelman. The rookie clearly has talent, and the Patriots would be doing themselves a disservice to sit him the rest of the way.
Monitor this situation all the way up until their game with the Atlanta Falcons.
Jerry Jones Gives Tony Romo Vote of Confidence
Well, I should sure hope so.
They got rid of Terrell Owens, labeling him as the one and only problem in Dallas. And now the owner raises doubt by saying he’s “backing” Romo after one bad game?
Don’t be like Jones and get too excited. Romo was facing the Giants tough front-four and the Cowboys barely lost the game.
Start Romo with confidence this week in a favorable match-up with the Carolina Panthers.
Saints Running Backs Sharing Reps in Practice
Add Tynell Hamilton to the mix in the Saints backfield.
Who? Well, regardless of not being very well known, Hamilton figures to get some grind with Mike Bell (knee) out this week, and Pierre Thomas being slowly brought back from his own knee injury.
Reggie Bush also factors into the muddled equation, making all three Saints running backs risky starts. And you thought it was difficult to predict their production before.
Chargers Center Nick Hardwick Out Until December
It just keeps getting worse for the San Diego running game.
This doesn’t hurt Daren Sproles’ value that much, as most of his production comes from the passing game and bouncing runs outside.
LaDainian Tomlinson, who is dealing with his own injury, could find it even more difficult to run in the middle when he returns, however.
Hardwick has ankle surgery, and if things continue to work against San Diego, he could end up going on IR.
Jamal Lewis Misses Wednesday’s Practice
Lewis is dealing with a bad hamstring, as well as a horrid performance against the Broncos, rushing for just 38 yards on 14 carries.
If he’s out this week, a suddenly-healthy James David could split carries with Jerome Harrison, making both Cleveland back-ups interesting plays.
Well, they would be, if they weren’t facing the Baltimore Ravens.
Marion Barber Practicing, Wants to Play Monday Night
While this isn’t exactly earth-shattering news, it’s worth noting.
Knock Felix Jones’ value down a bit with Barber practicing, although a hindered Barber ensures at least a few more touches for Jones and Barber’s other back-up, Tashard Choice.
The way the Carolina Panthers rush defense is going, all three backs could field solid numbers on Monday night.
Posted by Kevin Roberts Date: Thursday, September 24, 2009
Tags: Brian Belichick, cleveland browns, dallas cowboys, Darren Sproles, donovan mcnabb, Fantasy Football, Felix Jones, Jamal Lewis, James Davis, Jerry Jones, Julian Edelman, Kevin Kolb, LaDainian Tomlinson, Marion Barber, michael vick, Mike Bell, Monday Night Football, new england patriots, New Orleans Saints, NFL Injuries, Nick Hardwick, philadelphia eagles, Pierre Thomas, Reggie Bush, san diego chargers, Tashard Choice, tony romo, Tynell Hamilton, Wes Welker
After finishing off a late season run with a whipping of the Broncos, the Chargers eked into the 2008 AFC Playoffs with an 8-8 record and a division title, despite battling injuries and inconsistency for much of the season.
While they couldn’t get past the eventual Super Bowl champions Steelers, they did have an impressive victory over the Colts, and showed true grit, despite missing several key players.
Still, the Chargers remain a mixed bag of possibility and inconsistency, and while they’re immensely talented, their window for a Super Bowl run is beginning to close.
5. Can Philip Rivers Repeat his 2008 Success?
Rivers jumped from pedestrian stats in his first two years as a starter, to suddenly near-MVP production.
He has a strong arm with excellent accuracy, and benefits from a well-balanced offense and a full boat of offensive weapons.
The emergence of Vincent Jackson is what probably caused the biggest climb in production for Rivers, while Antonio Gates, Darren Sproles, and LT helped out immensely in the passing game.
There are rumors that the Chargers will try to run more than pass in 2009, but the odds are in favor of a very balanced approach.
Rivers has proven time and again that his work ethic and passion for the game never fails to match his growing talent.
Considering Norv Turner’s specialty is offense, Rivers’ production and efficiency don’t appear to be changing for the worse anytime soon.
If his supporting cast (namely LT and Gates) can get back to full health, Rivers will have all he needs to stay fantasy relevant, as well as possibly guide his team to the Super Bowl.
4. Is Norv Turner on the Hot Seat?
Turner is an offensive wizard. Yes, this is true.
But even Mike Martz gets fired.
Turner has kept the Chargers competitive and exciting in every year he’s called the shots, but if 2009 doesn’t see the Chargers improve significantly, it could be his last season.
An epidemic of injuries didn’t help the cause in 2008, but with his key players (LT, Antonio Gates, Shawne Merriman) expected back at 100 percent, there will be no excuses for Turner not producing with a team so heavy on talent.
3. LaDainian Tomlinson vs. Darren Sproles
Regardless of the franchising of Darren Sproles, LT is still “the man” in San Diego, and will still see the bulk of the carries.
But the most important thing is not who will get you the most fantasy points (some would argue that), but the impact they can have on the team together.
Tomlinson can still run well inside the tackles, is extremely effective near the goal-line, and still has the speed and elusiveness to change games.
He may not be what he was two years ago, but even his “average” out-put is good enough to start for well over half of the league.
Sproles will continue to electrify the league on returns, while seeing increased touches and looks, both in the air and on the ground.
Rest assured—LT will keep the starting totes, while Sproles will hang around for one more year to help give the Chargers one of the more feared ground attacks.
2. Shawne Merriman’s Comeback
Before his double-ligament tear that ended his 2008 season, Merriman was a one-man wrecking crew that attacked opposing quarterbacks, stirring up memories of Lawrence Taylor.
Despite not being able to play last year, he displayed tremendous courage and work ethic in the offseason, as he still tried to play in the Chargers’ first game, despite having very minimal lateral movement.
The thanks? The Chargers drafted his potential replacement, Larry English.
While English may indeed become a good player, as well as a key defender for San Diego, it won’t be before Merriman puts together another 10+ sack season.
He’s had a full year to recover, and is reportedly back to full speed, and is entering his contract season with a burgeoning chip on his shoulder.
He may not be a Charger past 2009, but his comeback could be one of the more impressive story-lines of the season.
1. Will the Defense Get Better?
Judging by their woeful rankings (31st against the pass), the Chargers clearly have a lot of work to due.
The fact is, they weren’t a great pass-rushing team without Merriman’s tenacity on the outside, however, and lost even more help on the line with the departure of defensive end, Igor Olshansky.
Their secondary should be back to full force with Antonio Cromartie and tackling machine Eric Weddle (safety) leading the way, but unless Merriman can make a full comeback, and rookie Larry English can have an impact, they could suffer another long season.
Just like on offense, the talent is there for this team to succeed. However, that won’t matter unless the right calls are made by the coaches.
All of San Diego’s issues could form together in a domino effect, and the most important piece could very well end up being Shawne Merriman.
If he can get back to his 2006 form, or even 2007, their pass rush would be ignited, and the pressure would be eased on their secondary.
Considering Merriman is in a contract year, there’s a strong possibility he and the Chargers enjoy a successful season.