Two biggest takeaways after the roster cuts
This year has been a bit of a death sentence for undrafted free agents and late round picks alike due to the lack of a proper offseason. In fact this season will break a long streak and tradition that lasted for 23 years in the Chargers organization of a UDFA making the final roster. This comes as a bit of a surprise as by all indications and reports, several of the UDFA were making great impressions in a very limited showcase during practices. The good news is that some will be brought back on the practice squad to continue to develop and have a better shot to make the roster next year. The UDFA aren’t the only story here though as some journeyman and veterans have made the final cut that came as a bit of a surprise as well. After sorting through the flurry of moves these are the two things that pop out to me the most.
5 tackles make the final roster:
Sam Tevi , Brian Bulaga, Trey Pipkins, Storm Norton, and finally Tyree St Louis all made the final roster. Maybe its just me but five tackle seems a bit excessive.
What I make of this:
The front office and coaching staff deciding to keep five tackle on the roster says one thing to me. It says they have no idea and or have no faith in who is better than the other let alone who should be the starting left tackle. Do not I repeat DO NOT be surprised if during the season we end up seeing a rotation and revolving door at left tackle. In all fairness Sam Tevi for whatever reason did play much better at left tackle during his rookie year than he ever did at right tackle the last two seasons. Although this doesn’t exactly make me feel any type of comfort knowing he will be the starting blind side tackle. The team has also hyped up the performance of former XFL tackle Storm Norton but we have seen this in the past from the Chargers. They hype a guy up to get the fans excited and feeling confident until the season starts then that particular players performance is unquestionably below acceptable standards. I’m not saying this is what’s going to happen with Storm Norton but his lack of ability to stick with on a roster with the Arizona Cardinals, Minnesota Vikings, or Detroit Lions who are all offensive line needy teams concerns me. I mean not being able to stick with any of those teams and not being able to win the starting job over Sam Tevi says a lot to me and one good year in the XFL isn’t exactly going to change my mind.
No fullbacks make the final roster:
The team had brought in two UDFA at the fullback position to replace Derek Watt. One from Florida State Gabe Nabers and one from Louisiana Tech Bobby Holly, Nabers is more of a modern day fullback in that he shows enough versatility in the receiving game and even spent a few seasons at tight end when Florida State got rid of the fullback position all together. Bobby Holly was more of a traditional full back in that he didn’t offer much anywhere else other than the fact that he was a great run blocker and road grader. I often wonder why the league no longer values fullbacks like Holly but it’s almost undeniable that the teams that still use one are one great running teams. Is that a coincidence? Probably not! It’s because of this that I chose Nabers to make the roster and even though he didn’t make the final roster he will be brought back on the practice squad and brought to the regular roster on a week to week basis.
What I make of this:
We already expected to see a different type of offense this year from the Chargers as they now have a mobile quarterback at the helm. We knew we would see a lot of run pass option and possibly some quarterback keepers on fake sweeps and reverses. However with the news of no fullbacks you can expect a whole heap or these types of plays, maybe more so than we even thought originally. So expect to see a lot of shot gun with a single back lined up to either side and or a two back formation in wish bone with both backs slightly behind and too each side of Tyrod Taylor. These are the type of things the team hasn’t been able to experiment with when they employed Rivers. I say this in a good way as it will be a breath of fresh air to see something we haven’t seen from this offense yet.