San Diego Chargers: 4 Early Winners and Losers of the Offseason

Mike Walkusky@mwalkuskyContributor IJune 19, 2012

San Diego Chargers: 4 Early Winners and Losers of the Offseason

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    A team's offseason is always full of winners and losers.

    The San Diego Chargers' 2012 offseason is no different.

    After missing the playoffs for straight seasons, this offseason might be the most pivotal offseason in the recent history of the Chargers. 

    General manager A.J. Smith hopes that his moves during the offseason will not only lead to a playoff berth, but the elusive Lombardi Trophy as well.

    Hoping for the Lombardi Trophy might feel a bit too lofty for the Chargers due to their recent disappointments, but isn't that what the offseason is for?

    Any team seemingly has the potential to win the Super Bowl due to the hope that their offseason moves inspire among fans.

    Let's take a look at two winners and two losers of the Chargers' offseason thus far.

Winner: Norv Turner

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    Who would have thought that Norv Turner would have retained his job after the debacle that was the 2011 Chargers' season?

    After failing miserably in San Diego year after year, Turner is somehow returning to the Chargers' sideline in 2012. 

    The decision by Dean Spanos to bring Turner back sent Chargers fans into a deep depression and left them questioning the ability of everyone in the Chargers organization.

    There's no doubt that Turner possesses an endless amount of football knowledge. However, his proficiency in making in-game adjustments and motivating his players appears to be very poor. 

    Turner is a winner this offseason because he apparently has as many lives as a cat.

    Despite continually putting a poor product on the field as a head coach, Turner has been able to get chance after chance to prove himself.

Loser: Richard Goodman

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    Richard Goodman is coming off a solid season in which he averaged 27.5 yards per kick return as the primary kick returner for the Chargers.

    Goodman's 27.5 yard average was good enough to rank fourth among NFL kick returners.

    The Chargers rewarded Goodman's impressive season by bringing in three wide receivers with experience in the return game.

    While Roscoe Parrish, Eddie Royal and Michael Spurlock might not have as much recent success as Goodman in the return game, there's no doubt that the coaching staff will be looking to see how the three newcomers stack up against Goodman.

    Goodman appears to be the best option for the Chargers as their kick returner, and the Chargers' signings of other return men will help keep Goodman from remaining complacent.

    However, with the new personnel, Goodman's leash will be very short, and he can lose the job due to one monumental mistake.

Winner: Atari Bigby

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    As a Green Bay Packer, Atari Bigby looked to be an up-and-coming star.

    In 2007, he recorded five interceptions, and he even won the NFC Defensive Player of the Month in December of 2007. 

    2008 was a year marred by injuries, and Bigby only played in seven games.

    In 2009, Bigby came back to grab four interceptions, and he looked to be back on the radar as a future star.

    However, his 2010 season ended up being a disappointing one as he had preseason surgery and struggled to get back into game shape.

    In 2011, Bigby signed with Seattle Seahawks and was relegated to backup duty all year as the starting Seahawk strong safety Kam Chancellor produced at a Pro Bowl level.

    It finally appears that the stars have aligned for Bigby. He's completely healthy, and he's on a team that has lacked a solid strong safety for years.

    Bigby is simply expected to keep the strong safety position warm for third-round draft pick Brandon Taylor but don't be surprised if Bigby takes advantage of this opportunity and becomes the strong safety for a number of years.

    In an interview with the NC Times, Eric Weddle expressed his admiration for Bigby's game.

    Weddle said, "The dude [Bigby] can play. He's been impressive to me by how he carries himself and the way he works. He's a lot like me, only a little bigger. He's very knowledgeable and understands the role of each player in the secondary. That's why I think we're going to have a solid working relationship."

Loser: Quentin Jammer

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    Another offseason means that the rapidly aging Quentin Jammer is one year older.

    In fact, the publish date of this article—June 19—is Jammer's birthday. 

    Let's all say, "Happy Birthday," to the cornerback!

    Now, let's move on to why today is a terrible day.

    Jammer looked extremely old at cornerback last year. While it's true that Jammer was going through lots of off-the-field issues last year, including a divorce, it's hard to attribute all of his errors on the field to his personal life.

    The divorce might have messed with Jammer's mental state, but he's 33 years old and not getting any younger.

    It's hard for an older cornerback to bounce back from the season he had last year.

    According to Pro Football Focus, Jammer allowed the highest opponent quarterback rating—a gaudy 129.9—when the ball was thrown his way.

    After a number of years in which Jammer was one of the toughest cornerbacks to complete passes against, it's disheartening to see his quality of play fall at an exponential rate.

    Chargers fans can hope that Jammer performed poorly due to the divorce, but it appears that it was likely a mixture of the divorce and rapidly deteriorating skills that allowed quarterbacks to pick on him.