What's New for the San Diego Chargers in 2013-14?
The San Diego Chargers of today look marginally different than the team of 2012. A new coaching staff, general manager and several new players are some of the major changes the Chargers underwent in the offseason.
Whether these differences will have a positive effect on the team's win-loss record next season is still up for debate.
Here is a look at those changes that occurred from the offseason up till now, and you can decide yourself if they are good changes or bad changes.
New General Manager
Tom Telesco spent 15 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts and held the position of vice president of football operations for the Colts the past six years.
Thus far during his reign, Telesco has managed to squeeze every penny out of a limited salary cap in order to bring talent to San Diego, and his draft last April was well received by analysts.
New Coaching Staff
San Diego acquired 12 new coaches to its staff during the offseason. Of the six coaches retained, defensive coordinator John Pagano had the most success with his unit, leading the defense to a top-10 ranking in run defense last season.
For Mike McCoy, the Chargers will be his first head coaching gig in the NFL after serving as offensive coordinator with the Denver Broncos from 2009-12. New offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt will return to a position he once filled with the Pittsburgh Steelers from 2004-06 before joining the Arizona Cardinals as head coach the following year.
New Faces on Defense
San Diego's run defense allowed just 96.4 rushing yards a game, while the secondary finished in the middle of the pack in giving up a little more than 230 passing yards per game.
The linebackers unit will be without Melvin Ingram, Antwan Barnes and Shaun Phillips. They were all big contributors in the pass rush last season.
The secondary suffered the most changes during the offseason, losing three starters. Here are some of the new faces to join the defense:
New Faces on Offense
The Chargers offense ranked near the very bottom in passing and rushing last season, which brought about plenty of changes in personnel.
The offense will center around Philip Rivers, Ryan Mathews, Antonio Gates and Malcom Floyd once again, but vast differences came to the offensive line and skill positions. Here are some of the new faces on offense:
The Chargers were ravaged by free agency, particularly by the rival Broncos. Denver, alone, signed three former starters from San Diego.
Here are the team's key departures from the offseason:
Shaun Phillips (Denver Broncos)
Antwan Barnes (New York Jets)
Takeo Spikes (Free Agent)
Antonio Garay (Free Agent)
Aubrayo Franklin (Indianapolis Colts)
Vaughn Martin (Miami Dolphins)
Quentin Jammer (Denver Broncos)
Antoine Cason (Arizona Cardinals)
Atari Bigby (Free Agent)
Louis Vasquez (Denver Broncos)
Jared Gaither (Free Agent)
Tyronne Green (New England Patriots)
San Diego was hit hard by the injury bug early this year with several players suffering season-ending injuries before the first snap of the regular season.
The following players suffered notable injuries in camp and during the preseason which caused them to miss extended time and could hinder their performance during the regular season.
Danario Alexander (torn ACL, likely out for season)
Eddie Royal (concussion and bruised lung, questionable for Week 1)
Vincent Brown (hamstring, missed some camp and preseason)
Malcom Floyd (knee strain, missed some camp and preseason)
Robert Meachem (concussion, status unknown)
Melvin Ingram (torn ACL, On PUP list)
Manti Te'o (sprained ankle, missed most of preseason)
Jonas Mouton (torn ACL, likely out for season)
Steve Williams (torn pectoral, likely out for season)
New Impact Players
With all the injuries and departures, the Chargers have been forced to promote some in-house players that were with the team last season to starting roles in 2013.
It's still a little early to be naming starters without the official word, but here are some of the in-house players from a year ago who are expected to play a major role next season:
The Chargers drafted six collegiate players last April to help them build a formidable team for the 2013 season.
Of the team's entire 2013 draft class, only three can potentially have an impact on the field next season.
D.J. Fluker (Round 1)
Manti Te'o (Round 2)
Keenan Allen (Round 3)
Fluker will be the team's starting right tackle, so his impact will be felt over the course of an entire game on offense. Te'o will likely be a starter as well on defense at inside linebacker. Allen may not be a starter, but the recent injuries have allowed him to work with the starters during the preseason.
Three players were forced to change position from the norm this season.
Jeromey Clary, who played right tackle for the Chargers last season, will be switching to right guard for the upcoming season. Marcus Gilchrist, who played slot corner in 2012, will be moving to strong safety and possibly starting. Finally, Dwight Freeney will resume duties at outside linebacker even though he's played defensive end for most of his career.