Rounding Up the Latest Offseason Buzz Surrounding San Diego Chargers
The San Diego Chargers are scheduled to have rookies and veterans at training camp by July 25, but the team will have some time off for now after completing mandatory minicamp last Tuesday. While practice may be on pause for the moment, the offseason buzz is still busy at work.
Here are eight of the top storylines buzzing around post-OTAs and minicamp, some of which could be talked about till the start of Week 1.
Brandon Taylor Nearing Return
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Brandon Taylor was forced to watch from the sideline as his teammates finished up OTAs and minicamp this past week. The former third-round pick in 2012 has been recovering from a torn ACL suffered in one of San Diego's final games last season.
Taylor, who is expected to be a candidate to compete for the open spot at strong safety, is a possibility to return to the playing field next month when training camp begins, according to U-T San Diego's Michael Gehlken.
Gehlken is also reporting that Taylor will be evaluated by Dr. James Andrews before his return.
Ryan Mathews Not Feeling the Love Via the Web
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Ryan Mathews has become the victim of mean tweets recently, with some messages going so far as wishing death on he and his mother.
The cruel messages come after three seasons of uninspired play from the former first-round pick, and the pressure to get the haters off his back with a monumental 2013 is on.
Mathews admitted that he has tried too hard to fill LaDainian Tomlinson's shoes in recent years, but his focus this time around is to be himself and playing like he did at Fresno State, according to U-T San Diego's Kevin Acee.
Chargers Express Interest in Justin Bannan
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Free Agent-defensive tackle Justin Bannan is on the Chargers' radar per Michael Gehlken. The 12-year veteran spent two of his past three seasons with head coach Mike McCoy in Denver, including four-year stints with Buffalo and Baltimore, and a year with the St. Louis Rams.
With Cam Thomas heading into next season as the team's only defensive tackle with experience, the expressed interest in Bannan isn't a surprising one.
David Chao Steps Down as Team Doctor
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Last Friday it was reported that Chargers' team doctor David Chao stepped down from his position, citing health concerns as one of the main reasons.
Chao, who had been at the center of controversy earlier this year after the NFL Players Association called for his replacement, leaves the team after 17 years of service.
The team announced that Dr. Christopher Wahl will replace Chao.
Manti Te'o Speaks, Ends Media Ban
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The second-round pick also commented on the support from his San Diego teammates, who have pushed him to get better.
Malcom Floyd Eager for a Championship
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Watching LeBron James in pursuit of another championship has only fueled Malcom Floyd's drive for a Super Bowl title.
The veteran receiver passionately explained his desire for a ring following Wednesday's minicamp practice, adding that he'd like to do it for teammates, especially Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates.
While Floyd and the Chargers may not possess the equivalent of Miami's big three or clutch players like San Antonio's Tony Parker and Tim Duncan, this San Diego team has one of the best rosters on paper in recent years.
Manti Te'o in Rare Company for Chargers' Rookies
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It's no secret Manti Te'o has been impressing in OTAs and minicamp, but the rookie's work ethic and natural ability have Kevin Acee reminiscing of some other successful Chargers rookies.
Acee tweeted that in the past nine years only two players came to mind when referring to the most NFL-ready players to join the Chargers—Shawne Merriman and Kendall Reyes. On Tuesday, Acee added Te'o to that list.
The buzz on Te'o as a player has been nothing but positive, which is good news early on. Let's just hope that continues as his first training camp approaches.
Willis McGahee Believes He's a Fit in San Diego
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Following his release from the Denver Broncos on Thursday, Willis McGahee stated that he wants to continue playing and has a list of teams he wouldn't mind signing with.
That list includes Miami, Dallas, Green Bay, San Diego and Oakland, in no particular order. McGahee said he would have no problem signing with those teams, but the big question is whether they are interested in his services.
The Chargers don't necessarily have a need for a running back at the moment, with a decent core of Ryan Mathews, Danny Woodhead and Ronnie Brown already in house, but injuries can creep up unexpectedly.
McGahee joins a deep list of free-agent running backs still looking for work that includes Michael Turner, Cedric Benson and Beanie Wells.