2013 DRAFT GUIDE
Chargers loaded with rookies, including coach, GM

By BERNIE WILSON - AP Sports Writer
    2013-07-23 13:23

SAN DIEGO (AP) - With Manti Te'o plus a new coach and general manager, the San Diego Chargers' training camp will have a definite theme: The Rookies.

Coach Mike McCoy, hired away from his job as offensive coordinator as the division rival Denver Broncos, opens his first camp with the Bolts with a roster revamped by new GM Tom Telesco, hired away from the Indianapolis Colts.

The pair of 40-year-olds inherited a team that went 7-9 and missed the playoffs for the third straight season. Fans can no longer moan about Norv Turner and A.J. Smith, the coach and GM who were fired the day after the 2012 season ended.

The Chargers will get plenty of attention after moving up in the second round to draft Te'o, the former Notre Dame linebacker who was duped by a hoax involving a fake girlfriend.

Five things to know as the Chargers prepare to open training camp with their first practice Thursday in San Diego.

---

1. TE'O TIME: Te'o is the most intriguing player on the Chargers' roster. While fans are buying lots of No. 50 replica jerseys, they're also wondering how well Te'o can play inside linebacker in the NFL after his college career ended with his poor performance in Notre Dame's blowout loss to Alabama in the BCS national championship game. Te'o is penciled into the starting lineup after veteran Takeo Spikes was cut in the offseason. And there's still that matter of the fake girlfriend hoax that embarrassed Te'o and was the talk of the sports world for a few months. McCoy says the hoax will fade away if reporters stop asking Te'o about it. Perhaps to help, the Chargers are giving Te'o his distance from reporters. The Chargers made Te'o available as little as possible during the spring and refused to allow one-on-one interviews. They apparently plan to continue the ``star player'' exemption during training camp. Under that exemption, players with heavy media demands must be made available to the media at least once during the practice week. Quarterback Philip Rivers is the Chargers' other ``star player.'' Despite the Chargers' approach, Te'o has handled himself well in front of the microphones. He hasn't dodged any questions, doesn't seem nervous and looks his questioner's way when giving an answer.

2. CAMP CONCERNS: Telesco wasted no time tearing apart the roster, which meant tossing aside starters and depth in the defensive front seven. The rookie GM released Spikes and defensive tackle Antonio Garay, and let linebackers Antwan Barnes and Shaun Phillips, plus defensive linemen Vaughn Martin, leave as free agents. So the Bolts will be looking to establish depth on the defensive line and at linebacker. They'll also have to sort out their depth at wide receiver. Danario Alexander and Malcom Floyd are the presumed starters at wideout. Robert Meachem and Eddie Royal return after disappointing seasons, but they'll be challenged by rookie Keenan Allen and Vincent Brown, who missed 2012 with a broken ankle.

3. OH BOY, O-LINE: Oh, what Rivers would give for a season in which he isn't under siege practically every play. That's what last season was like, when Rivers sometimes had to throw the ball into the ground to avoid onrushing defenders. McCoy and offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt will have to develop cohesion in the offensive line, where there are three new starters: left tackle Max Starks, left guard Rich Ohrnberger and rookie D.J. Fluker, the team's first-round draft pick, at right tackle. Additionally, veteran Jeromey Clary is moving from right tackle to right guard. The only guy staying put is center Nick Hardwick. Rivers was sacked 49 times last year and committed 22 turnovers, giving him 49 turnovers in two seasons.

4. HE'S BIG, BUT CAN HE PASS BLOCK? - Fluker is a big man - 6-foot-5, 339 pounds - and was acclaimed for his run blocking with national champion Alabama. But there have already been questions about how well Fluker can pass block and do his part to keep Rivers upright. Fluker didn't seem to dazzle everyone during offseason workouts.

5. RUN, RYAN, RUN: One Chargers player who desperately needs a reboot is running back Ryan Mathews, who's been plagued by injuries and fumbles in his first three seasons. Once hailed as the heir apparent to LaDainian Tomlinson, Mathews had a rough 2012. He broke his right collarbone on his first carry of the exhibition season, and then broke his left collarbone in a 31-7 loss to Carolina on Dec. 16 that eliminated the Chargers from playoff contention. He finished with 707 yards and one touchdown. His three-year totals are 2,476 yards rushing and 14 touchdowns. By comparison, Tomlinson had 4,564 yards and 37 touchdowns through his first three seasons.

---

Online: AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Josh MorganApr 22 09:52a

Chicago Bears WR Joshua Morgan is likely to compete for the No. 3 or 4 wide receiver role this year, and he'll compete with WRs Domenik Hixon, Eric Weems [ More ]

Will HillApr 22 09:33a

New York Giants FS Will Hill is facing a year-long suspension after reportedly failing another drug test. He will appeal what would be his third drug-related suspension.

Kyle WilliamsApr 21 09:33p

The Kansas City Chiefs re-signed WR Kyle Williams Monday, April 21. Terms of the deal were undisclosed.

Colt AndersonApr 21 07:12p

The Indianapolis Colts signed free-agent FS Colt Anderson (Eagles) to an undisclosed deal Monday, April 21.

Jamar TaylorApr 21 06:43p

Miami Dolphins CB Jamar Taylor (groin) is healthy following hernia surgery and began offseason workouts with his teammates Monday, April 21. Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin said he expects [ More ]

Dustin KellerApr 21 05:42p

Eugene Parker, agent for free-agent TE Dustin Keller (knee), said Keller is ready to participate in offseason workouts when he signs with a team.

Eric FisherApr 21 05:12p

Kansas City Chiefs OT Eric Fisher (shoulder, hernia) said there is no timetable for his return following multiple surgeries, but he doesn't think he'll be out for long. 'He's [ More ]

Josh MorganApr 21 04:02p

The Chicago Bears have signed free-agent WR Joshua Morgan (Redskins) to a one-year deal. Financial terms were not disclosed.

A.J. GreenApr 21 03:32p

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green said he has added around six pounds this offseason, because he wants to be more physical as a way to beat coverage at the [ More ]

Michael VickApr 21 02:42p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith said he believes he will be the starting quarterback this upcoming season even though the team added QB Michael Vick this offseason. He [ More ]

Navorro BowmanApr 21 02:12p

The San Francisco 49ers plan to place LB NaVorro Bowman (knee) on the Physically Unable to Perform list when training camp begins, because he is not expected to be [ More ]

Eric FisherApr 21 02:02p

Kansas City Chiefs OT Eric Fisher (shoulder, hernia) underwent shoulder surgery and had a procedure to fix a sports hernia. He's currently rehabbing in Kansas City.

Tony CarterApr 21 01:22p

The Denver Broncos signed DT Mitch Unrein to his restricted free-agent tender Monday, April 21. CB Tony Carter, SS Duke Ihenacho and LB Brandon M. Marshall all signed their exclusive rights tenders.

Rolando McClainApr 21 01:02p

Baltimore Ravens LB Rolando McClain is retiring from the NFL again Monday, April 21. 'I gotta follow my heart. It ain't football. If football made me complete I would [ More ]

Tony RomoApr 21 12:42p

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo (back) will take part in the team's voluntary offseason program beginning Monday, April 21, according to a source. Players are allowed to lift weights, [ More ]

Marcus LattimoreApr 20 09:12p

San Francisco 49ers RB Marcus Lattimore (knee) is not expected to be restricted in any way when offseason workouts begin.

Michael EgnewApr 20 08:42p

The Miami Dolphins likely will add at least two more tight ends this offseason that will compete with TE Michael Egnew for a roster spot.

Armon BinnsApr 20 12:02a

Miami Dolphins WR Armon Binns is currently the team's No. 4 receiver, but the Dolphins have had discussions about WR Rishard Matthews replacing Binns at the spot, according to a source.

Tyrone CrawfordApr 20 12:02a

Dallas Cowboys DT Tyrone Crawford (Achilles') is expected to be ready for the team's offseason program, and he is expected to be a key piece to the defense this season.

M. Jones-DrewApr 20 12:02a

If healthy, Oakland Raiders RB Darren McFadden is expected to be the team's starting tailback with RB Maurice Jones-Drew as his backup.

Brian HartlineApr 20 12:02a

Miami Dolphins WR Brian Hartline (knee) is expected to be ready for the start of mini camp, according to a source. He suffered a torn posterior cruciate ligament in the 2013 regular season finale.

Terrelle PryorApr 19 01:02p

The Oakland Raiders will release QB Terrelle Pryor if they are not able to trade him by Monday, April 21.

LaMichael JamesApr 19 12:22p

The Kansas City Chiefs could consider pursuing San Francisco 49ers RB LaMichael James if he could become a slot receiver. The team likely would not have interest in James [ More ]

Matt HasselbeckApr 19 12:22p

Indianapolis Colts QB Matt Hasselbeck plans to retire after the 2014 season.

Asa JacksonApr 19 12:12p

Baltimore Ravens CBs Chykie Brown and Asa Jackson are expected to compete for the No. 3 cornerback job during training camp. If the team takes a cornerback in one [ More ]

Michael FordApr 19 11:32a

The Chicago Bears probably will select a running back in the later rounds of the 2014 NFL Draft to compete with RB Michael Ford for the No. 2 running [ More ]

Jordan PalmerApr 19 09:52a

The Chicago Bears could target a quarterback in the late rounds of the NFL Draft or in free agency to provide competition for backup QB Jordan Palmer.

Cam NewtonApr 19 09:32a

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (ankle) remains in a walking boot about a month after ankle surgery. The team is hopeful Newton will be ready to go for training camp.

Michael RobinsonApr 19 12:02a

The Seattle Seahawks have not tried to re-sign free-agent FB Michael Robinson this offseason.

Russell AllenApr 18 11:42p

The Jacksonville Jaguars released LB Russell Allen (concussion) after he failed a physical.

Kendrick LewisApr 18 08:32p

Houston Texans FS Kendrick Lewis and SS Chris D. Clemons are expected to compete for the starting free safety job during training camp.

Trent RichardsonApr 18 08:22p

Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano said it will be important for RB Trent Richardson to participate in all of the offseason workouts so he can get more comfortable [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group