If you look at the transition from last year to this one on offense, I think we are in a very good place regardless of the current criticism. All of our rookies are in great spots without a ton of pressure necessarily.
New contributors-- primary: KB, Cotchery, Avant, Turner, Chandler (of sorts) | secondary: Gaffney, B. Williams, Dickson, the remaining WRs
Proven contributors-- Cam, Tolbert, Olsen, Kalil
Vets with something to prove/under pressure-- DeAngelo, Stewart, Amini, G. Williams (our RT front runner imo)...let's just say all vets on the OL
Considering this, I think the most pressure this year should be given on the running backs. D'Will had an okay season in 2013 but was noticeably slower at times...it will most likely be even more-so this year. Stewart however is still younger at 27, being paid a sh*t ton, and claims he's in the best shape since ~2008. Tolbert is doing fine in his prime for the most part, maybe slightly on the back end. They simply need to prove to be effective outside of Cam's help. Gaffney in this light was a great youthful addition. I think he could end up contributing and helping things out when need be.
The offensive line is undergoing a rebuild of sorts after Gross' retirement so it's a little too young to be under major pressure, although our success hinges in part on their performance.
So on to KB & Co....the WRs are in a similar light as the OL. A straight up revamp to Gettleman's liking that is actually like some past Chargers' WR groups imo. I have no doubt it will be productive and KB has the opportunity to just thrash it home this year.
Considering our ceiling while trying to temper my expectations...Imagine if the 2008 and 2009 Chargers had Cam at QB:
No mistake, those years weren't good for them rushing the ball but they went from 8-8 to 13-3 and kept a winning record by getting first downs and touchdowns when they needed them and by being an efficient offense around what they had.
Considering roles relative to those numbers: Look at KB as the Jackson, Cotchery as the Floyd, Olsen as Gates..you've got Tolbert in there already, Hester could be the Gaffney role.
Their OL was better than ours but Rivers is not mobile. So having Cam really helps ours even though they really do need to protect him being the franchise leader and all. Just to note: Those teams started a 6th round RT, undrafted G, and a 7th round center
They also had unknowns producing at TE, WR and RB at times during these squads. Overall, I just think we're in a fine spot. Our D will stay nasty, and our O is only improving now including more of the talent our staff wants post-Hurney's deals. The only things left are finding that scat-back as Rivera seems to mention a lot a la Sproles and having D'lo/Stewart keep up an LT/Matthews like role.
Where it's interesting and funny is these offenses were being advised/assisted by Ramsdell and the defense by Ron Rivera. 09/10 was Rivera's big SD success and while killing it on D, he saw how that offense operated and liked it. Not saying this is his intent but influential in what we're trying to build. Just look at those league wide rankings on O and D in 2010. Damn.
So to make a long story short (...too late)...we may be soft at OT and unknown at WR, but if we're efficient about things with Ramsdell/Shula/Cam, there's no reason we shouldn't beat the crap out of our division and stay near the top of the NFC.
Edited by beach, 07 July 2014 - 10:49 AM.