San Diego Chargers: Areas in Need as the Trade Deadline Approaches

Ross WarnerContributor IIIOctober 15, 2012

This was on the day LaDainian Tomlinson retired.  Imagine how he looks on a bad day.
This was on the day LaDainian Tomlinson retired. Imagine how he looks on a bad day.Kent Horner/Getty Images

We'll know a lot more about the Chargers after tonight's game.  Do they have anything down deep where it counts?  Like many, I have my doubts about any Bolt squad since Bobby Ross left in 1996.

But A.J. Smith has pulled off some sneaky trades in years past to shore up the team for the second half.  In 2004, he traded for Keenan McCardell, who had a Super Bowl ring with Tampa.  After Reche Caldwell was lost for the season, Smith pulled the trigger and came up big.

Unfortunately, the next time Charger fans would see Reche Caldwell, he would be catching a crucial pass for the Patriots in the playoffs after getting behind Quentin Jammer.  I know these are painful memories, but when they start making new ones I'll leave the old ones behind.

In 2007, Smith similarly picked up Chris Chambers, who ruined my last trip to San Diego by leading Miami in an upset in 2005.  Chambers was a huge part of the team that upset the defending Super Bowl Champs in Indy in that season's playoffs.

Smith tried to unsuccessfully snag Michael Bush from the Raiders in the years to come but was denied.  Sadly, Bush was a huge reason the Bolts were unable to follow up yet another win in the one-time Hoosier Dome with a victory in 2010.  That loss to the Raiders effectively ended the Chargers' playoff hopes, although it took a complete disaster in Cincinnati to make it official.

What might Smith have up his sleeve this year?

It's tough to say.

The Bolts clearly need depth on the offensive line and in the secondary.  The receiving corps also seem to be constantly banged up, but there is still great hope that Vincent Brown will return after the mid-point of the season.

Sorry if you thought I had any inside information, as to possible deals the Chargers were working on.

After tonight's game and the subsequent bye week a lot of things will clear up.