The San Diego Chargers shaved down their roster to 53 players Saturday afternoon, and there were some obvious choices as well as some intriguing surprises.
Rookies look to have their dreams fulfilled and veterans look to continue their football journey and succeed in the business.
This is a rundown of the "somewhat final" 53-man roster. I say "somewhat final" because team's rosters are constantly changing from getting players into the practice squad, from the practice squad and into the active roster, injuries, cutting players, etc.
Anyway, I'm going to run down the offense first, and then on to the defense of the Chargers' 53-man roster.
Cut: Scott Tolzien
Rivers and Volek were easy to predict.
Tolzien shined in his last preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers. Tolzien is now on the waiver wire and is getting interest from the one team he performed his best against. Yep, the 49ers. San Francisco is looking to pick him up—especially because it has depth issues at quarterback.
Ryan Mathews, Mike Tolbert, Jacob Hester and Jordan Todman
Cut: Curtis Brinkley, Isaac Odim and Frank Summers
Mathews, Tolbert and Hester were obvious choices. The Chargers also kept Jordan Todman, who had an astounding preseason. Todman had the most touches on the ball this preseason, 28, and averaged 4.0 yards per carry, which is decent for a third-string running back—or any running back in general.
We didn't see much of Brinkley or Odim, but they did their best.
I like the choices made in this position, but now comes the question: Why Ajirotutu?
The kid was a hero in the game against the Houston Texans last season with over 100 yards and two touchdowns.
I guess the Chargers believe in Bryan Walters and Richard Goodman. There just wasn't enough room for Ajirotutu in the depth chart. I guess they know some things that we, the fans, don't.
Antonio Gates, Randy McMichael and Kory Sperry
Cut: Charles Davis and Brad Taylor
No surprises here. The main three were clear choices. Davis and Taylor weren't even noticeable.
Cut: Hutch Eckerson, Stephen Schilling, Bo Thran and Eric Young
I like the O-line. It has depth with solid veterans who have the proven skill to be on the roster.
I wish they could've kept Schilling, though. That guy was nasty.
Cut: Mike Blanc, Charlie Bryant and Ogemdi Nwagbuo
IR: Damik Scafe
Corey Liuget has been a stud this preseason. I wouldn't be surprised if he were to start in Week 1. If he's not, I understand the decision to go with Cesaire.
Cut: Bront Bird, Kevin Bentley, Carl Ihenacho and Kion Wilson
IR: Nick Polk
The addition of Na'il Diggs could make things interesting. We'll see how he makes an impact.
Cuts: Quinton Teal
The safety tandem of Eric Weddle and Bob Sanders should be one of the best during the 2011 season. While Sanders stops ball-carriers with stunning tackles, Weddle provides efficient tackling at the safety position—something he's been doing his entire career in San Diego.
Kicker: Nate Kaeding
Punter: Mike Scifres
Long Snapper: Mike Windt
Cuts: Ricky Schmitt, David Binn (August 30)
Kaeding and Scifres are one of the best special team combos in the NFL today. Kaeding is working on his leg power for more long-yardage field goals and kickoffs. He won't need to do much, thanks to the new 35-yard starting kickoff rule.