Chargers one of the Few Teams Where the QB is Their Best Player

San Diego Chargers v San Francisco 49ers

Everyone knows that the quarterback is almost always the most important player on the team, and as far as the Chargers go, their quarterback is by far and away their most important, this determined by NFL.com – who talked about teams where the QB is the most important player on the team.

San Diego Chargers: Philip Rivers

Second-best player: Antonio Gates, TE

Rivers makes the Chargers nearly perennial contenders despite being stuck with a supporting cast that, Gates and LaDainian Tomlinson aside, has been less than extraordinary for much of his nine seasons as San Diego’s starter. He has kind of a sixth sense, reminiscent of Dan Marino, that allows him to get rid of the ball before the pass rush can get to him. He’s an intense competitor; if you’re playing the Bolts, you don’t want to see him take the ball with the game on the line in the closing moments. He’s also been dependable, starting 16 games per year since 2006. It’s hard to be critical of a guy who threw for 4,286 yards and 31 touchdowns in 2014 despite, for all intents and purposes, not having a running game to back him up. But the fact is, the lack of talent around him is holding him back to a greater degree than it is some of the other quarterbacks listed.

The “Biggest Gut-Punch Loss” in Chargers History? SI Has a Bitter Playoff Setback

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Sports Illustrated has put out a piece on the “Biggest gut-punch loss” for each and every franchise, the Chargers included.

The game that the author the piece, Doug Farrar, picked is an interesting one – a game that stopped the Chargers from getting to the AFC Title game vs the Colts during the 2007 season.

San Diego Chargers: Jan. 14, 2007, AFC divisional round—Patriots 24, Chargers 21

This is the third gut-punch loss for Marty Schottenheimer. This was the best team he ever had—the 2006 Chargers won 14 games, their two losses were by a total of six points, and RB LaDainian Tomlinson set the NFL record for rushing touchdowns in a season with 28. The Chargers sent nine players to the Pro Bowl, and their progress through the playoffs seemed to be a fait accompli. San Diego put up a 14–3 late in the first half of this game, but the Patriots, as has been their wont through the Belichick era, found ways to win. In this case, it was the simple matter of standing out of the way and letting the Chargers shoot themselves in their collective foot, over and over. Schottenheimer’s team turned the ball over just 15 times in the regular season, but did so four times against the Pats. The real killer came when Tom Brady threw an interception to Chargers defensive back Marlon McCree, who tried to run the ball instead of going down. He fumbled, and the Patriots recovered.

Schottenheimer was roundly criticized for several play calls in the game, and between that and his longtime feud with general manager A.J. Smith, he became the only head coach in NFL history to go 14–2 and lose his job.

 

Little Urgency Coming From Rivers About New Deal with Chargers

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Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers arrived in 2004 and began a current streak of 153 consecutive starts, playoff games included, in 2006.

But little with these Chargers is certain beyond this year, even with Rivers.

As training camp nears, Rivers remains under contract through 2015 and 2015 alone. His expressed comfort in allowing the year to play out as such has been followed by an appropriate pace of action, little urgency coming from his side of the negotiation table in recent months as the Chargers maintain the hope to sign him long term, Michael Gehlken of UT San Diego reports.

 

HOF TE Shannon Sharpe Says Antonio Gates “Cheated the Game”

San Diego Chargers v San Francisco 49ers

Chargers tight end Antonio Gates claims he never “knowingly ingested” the banned substance that led to his four-game suspension for PEDs and he blames a supplement with an incomplete list of ingredients for the drug test results.

Many NFL figures including his quarterback Philip Rivers are accepting that explanation but Hall-of-Fame tight end Shannon Sharpe was much less forgiving when appearing on Sirius-XM NFL Radio with Bob Papa and Vic Carucci.

Sharpe believes Gates “cheated the game”. “It calls into question everything that he’s ever accomplished,” Sharpe said. “If he does it at the beginning of his career because he was an undrafted free agent, people are gonna say he did it to get in the league. Now he did it Year 13, Year 14 — People are going to say he did it to remain in the league. It does, it makes you question everything someone has ever accomplished.”

It is unclear how Gates’ suspension for using PEDs will affect his inevitable Hall-of-Fame candidacy. A look at his numbers and longetivity would seem to make him a slam-dunk choice, probably even a first-ballot selection, but the NFL has not had to face the issue of PED use with a candidate of Gates’ stature before.

Compare this with baseball, which has chosen to keep known PED users like Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, and Roger Clemens out of their Hall despite stellar numbers. If enough HOF voters share Sharpe’s harsh evaluation, Gates may be waiting a lot longer than anyone expected to get a bust enshrined in Canton.

Rivers Doesn’t Think Suspended TE Gates Used PED’s

Kansas City Chiefs v San Diego Chargers

Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers doesn’t think that his suspended tight end Antonio Gates intentionally used PEDs, Conor Orr of NFL.com reports.

“I feel like our relationship is such that if it was intentional, he would say, ‘I messed up,” Rivers said on the The Mighty 1090 Monday. “I’ve been doing this, I made a mistake, I just couldn’t do it anymore the way I was doing it.’ You know what I mean?”

He added: “Could I be wrong? I guess. But I don’t think so.”

Former Chargers WR Goodman Suing the NFLPA Over His Agent Being Certified

San Diego Chargers  v Chicago Bears

A former Chargers and Florida State wide receiver is suing the NFL Players Association, claiming the union failed to ensure his former agent was certified, Alex Marvez of FOX Sports reports.

Richard Goodman, who played with the Chargers from 2010 to 2012, is seeking damages in excess of $15,000 in a civil suit that was filed Tuesday night in Broward (Fla.) County Court.

The 30-page lawsuit, a copy of which was obtained by FOX Sports, accuses the NFLPA of “negligence, gross negligence and breach of fiduciary duty.” The complaint stems from roughly $61,000 that Goodman was forced to pay when a $25,000 loan in 2010 was taken out in his name by agent James Burnoski.

Goodman claims Burnoski forged his signature to receive the loan and then defaulted. The lender successfully sued Goodman for repayment of the $25,000 as well as an additional $22,500 in usury fees. The money was garnished from Goodman’s salary with the Chargers. In addition, Goodman was forced to pay $13,000 in personal legal fees.

Goodman alleges that he never would have continued to use Burnoski as his agent had it been known that his NFLPA certification and mandatory liability insurance had lapsed when he failed to pay for both. Despite his lack of standing with the NFLPA, the lawsuit asserts the union approved the player contract Goodman signed with Burnoski to represent him and admitted to the mistake during correspondence last December.

“Had Mr. Burnoski maintained the required insurance and the NFLPA not been grossly negligent in maintaining (its agent) database while informing all of the professional football players it represents of the status of certified contract advisors, Goodman would have had an opportunity to collect monies for the damages sustained due to Mr. Burnoski’s illegal acts,” the lawsuit states. “Had Goodman known that Mr. Burnoski allowed his certification and liability insurance to lapse, he would have switched agents or would have never retained Mr. Burnoski’s services at all and would not have been subjected to (his) illegal conduct.”

The NFLPA, which is responsible for the sanctioning of all player agents, didn’t immediately respond to a FOX Sports request seeking comment. Goodman’s attorney — Darren Heitner of South Florida-based Heitner Legal — declined comment to FOX Sports.

News of Goodman’s complaint was first reported by ESPN and profootballtalk.com

Chargers Set to Give DE Corey Liuget a Five-Year Extension

San Diego Chargers v Denver Broncos

The Chargers are on the verge of giving defensive end Corey Liuget a five-year extension worth more than $50 million with $30 million guaranteed, this according to NFL.com

Here’s info on the deal from the site:

Liuget, 25, has started 61 of a possible 64 games over the past four years, leading the defensive line in snaps. Although he struggles at times against the run, he’s the rare Chargers defensive star capable of pushing the pocket to harass opposing quarterbacks.

It would be understandable if the Chargers were gun-shy about committing to a young nucleus player on defense after inside linebacker Donald Butler’s disappointing first season under a new seven-year, $51.8 million deal. Fortunately for Liuget, that’s obviously not the case.

Philip Rivers Mentioned as One of the Best Play-Action QB’s in the NFL

San Diego Chargers v San Francisco 49ers

Pulling off a perfect play-action is a lost art form in the NFL, but if you have a player at the quarterback position that can pull it off, it makes it a valuable weapon for a team when they pull it off.

Luckily for the Bolts, they have a player that has gotten nothing but better at pulling off the play-action the past few seasons, that being Philip Rivers.

The veteran QB is mentioned in an article by Sports Illustrated – The NFL’s Hidden Talents: Best play-action quarterbacks.

Here’s what author Doug Farrar has to say about Rivers and his ability to shine when it comes to play-action:

Paradoxically, the quarterback who saw the most play-to-play success with play-action in 2014 was the one who used it the least. Rivers ran play-fakes on just 7.8% of his overall passing attempts, and one has to wonder why. His completion percentage shot up from 64.9 to 83.3 in those situations, his yards per attempt average went from 7.3 to 10.3 and his touchdown-to-interception ratio improved from 27-to-18 to 4-to-0. Small sample size is a factor, but it’s pretty clear that in San Diego’s multi-tiered passing offense, which employs everything from simple dump-off passes to advanced vertical concepts, play-action is a true force multiplier.

Of Rivers’s four play-action touchdown passes in 2014, here are two. The first came in Week 4 against the Jaguars with 11:37 left in the first half. On this play, Eddie Royal is the inside receiver in San Diego’s Trips Right formation against Jacksonville’s nickel defense with a single-high safety. Safety Josh Evans moved over before the snap to cover middle receiver Malcolm Floyd, which left linebacker Geno Hayes with single coverage on the speedy Royal. That looked to be a mismatch anyway, but Hayes compounded the problem by biting for a split second on Rivers’s play-fake to running back Donald Brown. The result was an easy 47-yard touchdown pitch-and-catch.

It’s a solid article that talks in-depth about the lost art in the league, and while Luck is on the list for his ability to produce magic, fellow QB’s that make the list include: Andrew Luck of the Colts, Ben Roethlisberger of the Steeers, Russell Wilson of the Seahawks and Eli Manning of the NY Giants.