5 Players the Chargers Shouldn't Cut from the Roster This Season
This 2011 preseason has been a turbid one for the San Diego Chargers because of the many unnoticeable players who have been making plays this preseason. They want a spot on this roster and work their butts off to make sure that they get considered for the job.
In this group of castaways, rookie free agents and unproven veterans, there lies those diamonds in the rough, the concealed players who can really make a difference for the Chargers in the long run. And some of these players shouldn't even be considered to get cut.
They just need more time to get comfortable and get accustomed to the team's orientation.
Darryl Gamble, Linebacker
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Let's start with an easy warm-up.
This kid has been all over San Diego sports news sites all over the Internet.
Is he really what he's cracked up to be?
He's been showing off his talent all preseason, and he hasn't disappointed anyone linked to the Chargers; whether it'd be the front office, the coaches, or the fans, he's been making a statement to get noticed, and I think he has deserved a spot on the 53-man roster.
If he doesn't, there's no doubt he's going to at least make the practice squad.
Bryan Walters, Wide Receiver
Photo by Ross D. Franklin - AP
After an injury kept him on the sidelines last year, Bryan Walters has stepped up and stayed healthy this preseason.
To me, the best he's going to get is being part of the eight-man practice squad. The Chargers just have too many great players at the wide receiver position. Although, if the need arises in a situation where the Chargers need an emergency receiver, look for Walters to step onto the field and contribute whatever he can to this outstanding offense.
The Chargers passed on Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker when he was cut from the Chargers' roster and is now a prime playmaker in New England, and they hope they don't let Walters slip away from San Diego.
Jordan Todman, Running Back
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Todman will get his shot—it's up to him to make those game-changing plays, but it could take some time for him to get a feel of having to be put in those situations.
He's practice-squad quality, no doubt.
C.J. Wallace, Defensive Back
Photo by Mark J. Terrill - AP
Let's go with another defensive player who hasn't been looked at that much.
C.J. Wallace is a fierce player, for one, who doesn't get much attention. Believe me, this guy wants to get in the offense's head.
Even though he's on this list, in that I believe he should be kept by the Chargers, he could be headed out with the roster chock-full of defensive backs who seem to have a spot in the roster: Quentin Jammer, Antoine Cason, Marcus Gilchrist, even Dante Hughes; these guys have a bit more skill than Wallace, enough to make the 53-man roster.
Oh, and for the record, Wallace leads the Chargers this preseason in tackles with 16—12 unassisted, also leading the team.
Scott Tolzien, Quarterback
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
I wasn't too high on this guy in the first preseason game against Seattle when he went 5-of-12 in passes completed, got sacked twice and fumbled the ball once, but hey, what do you expect from a third-string quarterback?
Ever since that game, Scott Tolzien improved on making decisions in the passing game.
He bumped up his completion percentage from 41.7 percent in the first game to 62.5 percent after two more games, getting a lot of reps in Week 4 against the 49ers.
He looks to be the next Charlie Whitehurst: the guy that sits on the sidelines his whole career and just learns, learns, learns for several years until FINALLY he gets the chance to play in the big time. Well, he hopes to get there sooner than how long Whitehurst had to go.
Since the NFL got rid of the "third quarterback rule," the Chargers can keep Tolzien on the practice squad this season and maybe next season, but the season after that, you can possibly see a more seasoned, emergency-role quarterback in Tolzien.