My feelings on Vincent Jackson going to Tampa are a microcosm of how I feel about this team right now. If the latest January implosion two seasons ago anniahalated my hopes that the Chargers had learned from past mistakes, the slide of the last two seasons has buried those hopes. Norv and AJ getting a pass has blown them to bits. OK, that's a little dramatic. But if Steve Crosby was 2010's scapegoat, does that mean that Greg Manusky is this year's sacrifical lamb? My buddy Tom pointed out that the 2011 Chargers defensehad the worst (49.2%) 3rd down rating in the NFL since 1995? However, I fear that The Organization will simply see any improvement as a quick fix to simply get back to the playoffs. Yes, I know that once you're in the "tournament," anything can happen. But not with a team that doesn't play hard or tough until they've dug themselves too big a hole to crawl out of. One of the many differences between the Giants and Chargers is that the Giants never lost that one game (at Dallas) that would have made their winning the division a miracle. The Bolts didn't even show up in Detroit, but if they hadn't lost SIX FUCKING GAMES IN A ROW they wouldn't have to. If we overpaid to keep him, I think he'd be the same hot and cold player he's been since 2009. I still remember Peter King's article in Sports Illustrated before the aforementioned postseason debacle. There was a big spread of Jackson laying out for a touchdown against Cincy. I know you remember that game, FAITHFUL READER. It was the contest that fooled us into thinking that Nate Kaeding was anything but the choker he truly is. Anyway, King's piece was on how big receivers like Jackson (and Floyd) could be the difference deciding the next Super Bowl champ. If that's the case, we signed the receiver that was on the team that won it all.So how is Jackson a reflection of my feelings about the Bolts? Since that aforementioned playoff game, Jackson didn't quite ascend to premier status, despite what Kevin Acee or his "Pro Bowl" berths say. Was he even a first teamer? I'm not sure. Revis' interception which deflected off Jackson was clearly the result of a great play by the cornerback. Floyd had a crucial pass stripped that day by none other than Donald Strickland. But Jackson didn't score until the game was basically out of reach and his kicking of the challenge flag displayed an immaturity that would continue to show itself more and more over the last two seasons. Let's not forget that Jackson foolishly put the ball on the turf at home against Oakland in 2006, four years before Richard Goodman did it. However, Jackson was bailed out by an "incomplete pass" call. This year, the Chargers lost at home to Oakland in a game that could have turned their season around because they couldn't stop Michael Bush, were unable to keep Philip Rivers upright and couldn't put Carson Palmer down. Nonetheless, the image of Jackson "not expecting" the Hail Mary at the end of the game is hard to shake. Did it seem like he didn't lay out for it? Absolutely. The fact that Vincent Brown fought for and caught two touchdowns didn't make his case any better. After the game, he refused to answer questions. Even Kevin Acee suggested that this behavior wasn't consistent with his pledge to be a good soldier in 2011. If the Chargers had paid him his $13 million dollars, I'm sure he would have pulled the same shit for the Chargers. He'd look great one game or even one half of one game and then disappear the next. He'd play hurt but basically be invisible. I think we can all agree that our coach, apparently known by defectors and deportees for his "short and fun" practices wouldn't have gotten Jackson to maximize his talent. I think I need to focus less on what the guys do when they leave but the fact that those that stay aren't doing shit. My point? Jackson is flawed but so is the entire Charger organization.
That being said, I was happy to see the signings of Meachem, Johnson, McClain, Hardwick and Gathier. Every time Le'Ron does something for the Chargers, I plan to scream out "MCCLAIN!" like Hans Gruber. Kevin Acee, who I am beginning to hate as a "columnist," pointed out that the money spent on these guys is a little more than it would have taken to keep Jackson for the year. I am OK with that trade off. My buddy Pete Shaw, not #44 in your program, points out that this type of move is not without precedent and actually has a history of success for the Bolts:
1981 - Best receiver John Jefferson (#83) signs with the Packers. We all cry. He is replaced by Wes Chandler and the Chargers go on to the AFC Championship and lose to the elements more than the Bengals
1994 - Best receiver Anthony Miller (#83) signs with Broncos. He is replaced by a platoon of scrawny receivers who lead the Chargers to only Super Bowl appearance. Curse you Richards and Carrington!
2012 - Best receiver Vincent Jackson (#83) signs with Buccaneers....????
Before the Meachem signing, Nick Canepa alluded to the fact that there was no Wes Chandler out there to soften the blow of Jackson's departure. I think that Meachem and now Eddie Royal are a fine substitute. Canepa lost all credibility with me when he supported Norv and AJ's return. Kevin Acee, now a "columnist," reminded us all that that Gaither, Harwick, McClain, Johnson and Meachem cost us a little more than keeping Jackson. I try not to use Twitter for comments that land me in some conflict that isn't worth the time, but I had to tell Acee that his new role is only fleshing out the condescension we all sense when he was being "objective." These guys don't realize that we're pissed off from watching a team that doesn't seem to give a shit. At least Mike D'Antoni fell on his sword for the good of the organization. I know living here all my life that the media can be overly relentless, but the Charger fans I talk to are as passionate as ones here. They are not OK with the complacency of Dean Spanos and Acee acting like we're all crazy while he defends Clary, Kaeding, AJ, John Spanos, or whoever we see making mistakes is insulting. I was even told on Twitter that I was being overly negative about the Chargers right now. If you aren't pissed off at what has gone on since 2004 when the window of opportunity was opened then you aren't paying attention.
But I digress. Thus far, these signings remind me of Bobby Beathard's decision to let Anthony Miller go to Denver and let us begin the 1994 season with Shawn Jefferson, Mark Seay, Tony Martin and VANCE JOHNSON as wideouts. Even though he never played a regular season snap, we paid Johnson for a while after his release. Technically, the Mets are STILL paying Bobby Bonilla and, will be for quite some time. For that matter, the Germans just paid their World War I reparations in 2010. We'll see if AJ does any more to upgrade the defense before the draft. I still have my concerns since I don't think we have a culture of accoutability from ownership on down. Issuing bounties is wrong and all, but the Saints did win the Super Bowl that year.
I joked on Twitter that the article "AJ Smith Doesn't Tuck It In" was offensive to drag queens. The headline was oddly changed the next day. That's the one change I was able bring about? That's pretty sad. Some people seemed to think that Eddie Royal was an uneccessary signing, but I like it. Vincent Brown is still pretty raw. Rivers was pressing last year and his accuracy suffered as a result. Also, the blocking wasn't stellar, which is one of the reasons that Marcus McNeill isn't around. But it also seemed that guys were never open. Many times I'd hear radio or TV announcers praise the opposing defense for their coverage, but the receivers never seemed to get any separation.
Since I referred to the '94 receivers earlier, I must admit that I called the Chargers many times after they decided to let Anthony Miller go. While I asked to speak with Bobby Beathard personally, I was directed to Bill Johnston, Scott Yofee and the rest of the PR staff. This is just one of many reasons they are wary of me to this day. Gibson, Davis, Lee and Harper didn't seem like much of an upgrade after we'd come off an 8-8 season. However, these guys jelled. But they also had Bobby Ross coaching them. I've seen nothing to suggest that Norv can foster that kind of urgency, intensity or chemsitry. I'd love nothing more to be wrong, however.
My daughter had "jersey day" in her kindergarten class. In a sea of Jet and Giants jerseys, she was representin', motherfucker. This was my 41st birthday dinner last week. If you didn't e-mail me on the 8th, I thank you, by the way. I'm not being sarcastic for one. I find the Facebook alerts that lead to birthday wishes from people I don't have any other contact with are insanely annoying and patronizing. I know, I've got a lot of anger issues. But the Chargrers aren't helping any. At least I've got the pretty girl in the photo. I can't believe I was able to take my eyes off that margarita. It looks pretty tasty in the pic. Anyway, I will gave AJ credit for putting together some good acquisitions. I think Tolbert's replaceable so I'm not going to be devestated if he leaves. Plus, celebrating when you aren't winning is annoying--are you listening, Shaun Phillips? Anyway, I know my posts are shorter (and probably less read) due to my increasing presence on Twitter. Incidentally, I've moved the official JIC Facebook page from here to here. Actually, I never had an official page. I was just using my personal Facebook account. You can tell I obviously don't use it for anything but JIC anyway. It would appear that AJ is waiting for the draft to fix up this defense. I don't know if Wimbley is the answer, but I know we need a pass rush. I don't want to hear any more shit about how Barnes, LaBoy and Spikes aren't mean to play that many snaps. Next month the schedule will be announced and I am still planning on going to the Baltimore and Jet games, as long as they aren't on my daughter's birthday (Sun. 10/21). I know, with my luck one will be but at least I'm assured one game. I haven't been since the Giants game of 2009. Yeah, I know, memories of Vincent Jackson. I have two words for the newest Buce--Alvin Harper.
Anyway, I'm off to dinner with my wife. The sitter will be here soon. In the next few weeks, I'll be seeing Bruce and the Allmans. I went to Van Halen at the Garden a few weeks back as well. Fucking genius. I included the clip of "Hot For Teacher," as well as another video that caught my eye. Talk to you soon.