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San Diego Chargers Beat Writer – Kevin Acee

Writer: Kevin Acee

Newspaper: San Diego Union-Tribune



Question 1

How is Philip Rivers doing this offseason?

Philip has established himself as a leader already, which is important at his position. He is surrounded by immense talent in Gates, Tomlinson and two or three solid receivers. He appears to be progressing in all phases, but it is impossible to know how good he is going to be until the season starts.


Question 2

Is the offense planning any changes to the running game due to the change at QB? How will those affect LaDainian Tomlinson?

They will run more — if they can. The offensive line has questions. Much will depend on LT Roman Oben’s health and the progression of rookie Marcus McNeill (who could replace Oben). One upgrade was in TE Brandon Manamaleuna, a bruising blocker who will take pressure of Gates.


Question 3

Keenan McCardell had a nice 2005, but he’s not getting any younger. Is there a WR on the team ready to break out in 2006? Vincent Jackson?

Vincent Jackson would be my pick. I like Eric Parker a lot, but he is what he is. He is going to catch 55 passes and score a couple TDs. Jackson showed in limited time last season he can run, jump and catch. With his size and speed, he could quickly become a Rivers favorite in the red zone — almost like Gates.


Question 4

Why did the team draft Kurt Smith?

Nate Kaeding is a fine field goal kicker, but his kickoffs stink. The Chargers have strong coverage teams, but they sometimes don’t have a chance. If Smith is booming balls into the end zone, the Chargers will carry two kickers.


Player Listing



Philip Rivers

Struggles inevitable, but he has the smarts and talent to quickly adapt.

AJ Feeley

Veteran backup who is likely nothing more than simply capable. Offense would shut down if he became starter.

Charlie Whitehurst

Strong arm; lots to learn.

LaDainian Tomlinson

Best open-field runner in game. Needs more room to be able to get to that open field. If that doesn’t happen he will continue to be beat up.

Michael Turner

Strong legs, lots of desire. Will be a starter somewhere in a few years.

Darren Sproles

Team is trying to give him more touches by working in slot.

Keenan McCardell

Sure hands. Like Gates, a safety net for Rivers. Lots of TDs last season

Antonio Gates

Simply cannot be stopped most of the time because of his size and ball awareness.


Be sure to read Kevin’s articles for the San Diego Union-Tribune all season long. He has great insights and is a great writer.

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