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Ryan Pedersen: Donald Butler: Fan Favorite and Future Captain

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Donald Butler’s rookie year was not what he had in mind after he was drafted out of the University of Washington. During Training Camp in 2010, Butler suffered a season-ending achilles injury. Current Chargers Defensive Coordinator and Butler’s former Linebacker Coach, John Pagano, knew that Butler was going to be a leader on the Chargers’ defense. Pagano knew some players have the ability to lead and he knew the Bolts had a special player in DB56.

Chargers have recently approached Butler to (hopefully) give him a contract extension and continue his career with the Bolts and I, for one, am ecstatic that this could happen. He will be the Captain of the defense coming into the 2013 season with Takeo Spikes and Shaun Phillips recently shown the door.

Despite missing four games last year, he still killed it and was in on every play. Look for Butler to be around the ball on every play and elevate his game to become one of the best linebackers in the league and at 24 years of age, he’ll continue to get even better. Suppose he would’ve played a full second-half of the Ravens game last year, the Bolts could’ve avoided yet another embarrassing franchise scar that was 4th and 29. I know for sure he wouldn’t have missed his tackle!

Pull this off Chargers and you will make fans very happy (I’m still mad about Louis Vasquez signing with the Chargers rival Denver Broncos but what’s new?) Oh, and he’s a great follow on facebook. He Bleeds the blue and gold.

Kawhi so serious?

Ryan Pedersen

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Ryan Pedersen: Change Will Be a Good Thing For the San Diego Chargers

Careful what you ask for Saint Diago, because it might just come true. We all knew the day of reckoning was coming with the firings of Norval and A.J. The release of fan favorite Takeo Spikes, losing the teams best guard, Louis Vasquez, to your divisional rival, Denver Broncos and signing lackluster names.

It’s absolutely ludicrous (I know you shouted in your head “LUDA!” like I did) for fans to be complaining about the Chargers free agent signings but we all knew when a team starts over, they’ve got to start with the foundation and that will be this year’s draft. I personally believe in Chargers General Manager Tom Telesco. Was I disappointed the Chargers let go of Vasquez to arch rival Denver? You bet I was! But, I believe in the new deal and who could blame Lou for leaving, Denver will arguably be the favorite on paper to win it all next season.

The best signing(s) of all so far is Defensive Back Derex Cox from Jacksonville, who — when healthy — can be a great physical corner, (Antoine Cason signing with Arizona) which is what the Bolts will need with an arsenal of great receivers now in the AFC West. Danny Woodhead from New England can contribute on third down but not exactly sure where he will fit in quite yet but Woodhead (a.k.a. Woodcock) will be a new fan favorite. John Phillips from Dallas is essentially Randy McMichael but younger, King Dunlap will need King Stalman to bail him out from the verbal abuse he got from the Philly media about his resume in Philly but it’s hard to keep Philly fans happy with anything. Finally, the wackiest name so far is Foswhitt “Fossy” Whittaker, who was signed from the Cardinals practice squad.

Stay Humble Bolts fans.

KSS?

Ryan Pedersen

Ryan Pedersen: Charger Fans Should Pray for Eagles Home Opener

According to ESPN’s NFL Live on Feb 5th, the Ravens are the latest team to win the Super Bowl after facing the Philadelphia Eagles at their home opening game. The last three teams (Saints 09’, Packers 10’, Giants 11’) and the Ravens, all faced the Eagles at their home openers and all have won the Super Bowl.

One of the eight teams on this seasons home schedule for the Eagles is in fact the San Diego Chargers along with AFC West scheduled foe, the Kansas City Chiefs. So does that mean its all Chiefs and Chargers going into next season for the AFC West? Hey, four years in a row of this stat you can’t help to feel a little better after a disastrously below average season in 2012.

So when the schedule comes out later this year, pray for that home opener date versus the Eagles. Hopefully they don’t find a way to screw this one up.

Other News you don’t care about:

SDSU Men’s basketball drops out of the AP top 25 again after another loss to Air Force in Colorado Springs. Air Force all time is 3-78 against teams in the top 25 with two of those victories against State this year and last year. Aztecs need an option incase Xavier Thames can’t go because they seem average without him at Guard.

Lots of mock drafts for the San Diego Chargers have them picking OL, with Central Michigan’s OT Eric Fisher. Most of the time these drafts are wrong, but I already like the sign of an O-Lineman and they have to figure out a way to protect Rivers left side, period.

The San Diego Padres avoided arbitration with 3B silver-slugger award winner Chase Headley, signing to a one-year 8 Million deal. I’ve already got my countdown ready on how long he will be here until the summer trade deadline comes since obviously the Padres are never impressed with anything it seems. #WEWANTGIANCARLO

-Ryan Pedersen

Ryan Pedersen: San Diego State Basketball – The New Headliner in San Diego

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Before San Diego State Head Coach Steve Fisher arrived on the Mesa, Aztec basketball was the laughing stock of the Mountain West Conference. The year he arrived, he would have to pass out tickets to students personally just to get maybe a couple thousand at then Cox Arena. A few years later, there are about a handful more Mountain West and NCAA banners hanging in the rafters at Viejas Arena, otherwise known as the “Madhouse on the Mesa”.

You can thank Head Coach Steve Fisher for creating what once was a tradition-less program to a now a sold out 12,000 crowd each home game with a sea of red and black. Aztec Basketball is the new frontier of San Diego sports; you can’t go anywhere nowadays without hearing about the Aztecs in the local newspapers, TV and radio stations. Now does this have to do with the Chargers struggling of recent? Yes and no.  Aztec basketball year-by-year has had more season ticket sales grow, even with the Marty/Norv short periods of success in Chargers football, Aztec basketball always got better instead of worse.

Recently, the Aztecs were coming off a two game losing streak to, under the radar power, Wyoming and rival UNLV Runnin’ Rebels. They beat up on the Nevada Wolf Pack in Reno, NV, 78-57 and stomped conference powerhouse New Mexico 55-34 forcing the Lobos to 17 turnovers and their lowest points in the shot-clock era.

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OTHER LOCAL NEWS:

  • Phil Mickelson has been in some heat with his comments about moving out of California due to high tax rates of the upper class with high incomes. He has since apologized, but for what? Golf is a rich sport after all.
  • New Head Coach of the San Diego Chargers, Mike McCoy has retained Defensive Coordinator John Pagano and has hired a completely new staff for 2013. Former Special Teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia, with the team the last two years, is now considering taking the same position with the Dallas Cowboys after leaving for the University of Auburn for the same position.

– Ryan Pedersen

Ryan Pedersen: Tom Telesco, Mike McCoy Era Begins in San Diego

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The Chargers wasted no time (ok, a couple days) in hiring former Denver Broncos Offensive Coordinator Mike McCoy after their playoff upset loss last Saturday to the Baltimore Ravens. Many teams in offensive trouble like the Chargers, highly pursued McCoy. Other potential head coaching candidates that interviewed since the seasons end had flown in commercially, but Dean Spanos sent a personal jet to pick up Mr. McCoy after he sent the Wolf to hire Indy’s Tom Telesco as the new GM and now Mike McCoy as the 15th Head Coach in Chargers history.

McCoy’s NFL coaching career started in Carolina from 2000-2008 as an assistant then he was hired by the Broncos in 2009 with HC John Fox to coach Kyle Orton to a career-high passing season. Not sure about McCoy you say? After all he did coach Tim Tebow to a playoff win in 2011, if he can coach Tebow he can coach Philip Rivers (granite he gets an actual offensive line).

The youth movement in San Diego has high praise so far, fans are actually excited for their coach and GM (for now) and media is happy that they are happy (for now). Now that the Coach and GM are hired, both of them are barely into there 40’s and Chargers have clearly gone to the youth movement in what was Norv/AJ who were both over 60. The feeling overall of the Chargers has to be limitless; you can only go up from here potentially. The stain that was A.J. Smith and Norv Turner are gone and thrown out and a new clean slate is in with Telesco and McCoy. This will probably be Dean Spanos last hire as president unless McCoy has a horrendous few seasons and this will lead to the transition of future president and nepotism extraordinaire, John Spanos.

Happy Championship Sunday (@CasuallyGinger)

Ryan Pedersen

Ryan Pedersen: Chargers Officially Eliminated From the Playoffs; Future Cloudy

This week’s beat down loss to the Carolina Panthers officially put the nail in the coffin for the San Diego Chargers 2012 season as far as any relevancy or respect. The lone highlights of the game, besides former Bolt Mike Tolbert dancing away to two touchdowns, was Antonio Gates touchdown tying Lance Alworth for career touchdowns, a feat well deserved in what was a gloomy afternoon.

Officially the lowest attendance since 2004 at the Q and most of the Charger fans left once it was 21-0 by the end of the 1st quarter. From beginning to the end sad times for sure this season, there was absolutely no energy in the crowd minus a few Panthers fans there.

So where do they go from here? At this rate, it’s time for guys who haven’t shined all year to prove themselves the next two games for free agency. Half or more of this team will be dismantled by seasons end, which includes a new head coach and general manager. Some key questions will include what to do with Ryan “Broken Clavicle King” Mathews and struggling Philip Rivers with his turnstile O-Line. The next two opponents in the Jets and Raiders, along with the Chargers are just fighting for jobs next season. (EDIT: Greg McElroy will start Sunday instead of Mark Sanchez via ESPN every five minutes Tuesday.)

Sad to say, but I expected a 7-9 season back in August for the Chargers but I just couldn’t get excited about this roster and there wasn’t a bonafide star on this team. Things could get worse than 9 losses and right now your looking at the seventh pick in the first round come April.

In years past you the Chargers had Vincent Jackson or LaDainian Tomlinson, something fans can attach to as one of the NFL’s best players, they just need to find that one or more players again.

Game Ball: Antonio Gates- One of the best Tight End’s ever and ties Lance Alworth for TD’s all time. Not bad for the undrafted former college basketball player.

Honorable Mention: Former Chargers: Panthers RB Mike Tolbert shined with 2 TD’s.

Dolt of the game/year: 2012 San Diego Chargers. This season had little expectation, but now the windows have closed and no one has any idea where this franchise is going besides maybe Los Angeles. Is this team just a year fix? Two years? Three? Maybe more?

– Ryan Pedersen

Ryan Pedersen: Steel Alive (Mathematically); Chargers Earn First Win in a Month

No O-line? Yeah, it’s a loss. I’ll just take my 4-9. Haven’t won in Pittsburgh since 1995? Okay, I get it. Missing Donald Butler and Atari Bigby? Alright! LEAVE ME ALONE (whow that got heated) you probably had this down as a loss too, huh? So did I. Chargers, for the first time, win a regular season game at Pittsburgh 34-24 as the Steelers stunningly laid flat for Big Ben’s return at Heinz Field.

All week long, the Chargers were in the spotlight with reports from San Diego Union-Tribune Bea Writer Kevin Acee naming unknown sources that Owner Dean Spanos, planned to fire both head coach Norv Turner and General Manager A.J. Smith by seasons end.

I mean how awkward is that? You think you might be fired going into the end of the season and playing a Steeler team looking to build a wild card lead to the playoffs not to mention arguably getting their best player back from injury. Well, why play hard right? It’s over. It’s done. Apparently the Chargers were good at focusing on blocking out those distractions and fan critics and yet again played well for their coach after yet another firing media threat.

Maybe Kevin Acee can be hired by the Bolts to be some sort of fire coordinator? Norv Turner somehow finds a way to win in December and now Charger fans have tightened their seat belts a little tighter. Oh, and I believe Norv Turner got a game ball from Dean Spanos after the game, maybe a early send off Christmas present?

Of course, a loss this weekend to Superman Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers (plenty of seats available) will end the playoff chances officially for the Chargers. Pretty much a miracle of 2008 proportions but better on top of winning out would have to happen for the Chargers to make the playoffs. But most important, Norv and A.J. are still leaving.. Right? This win Sunday against Pittsburgh was the best game the Chargers had all year, but just too late, again.

Game Ball: Chargers O-Line (seriously, these guys didn’t even know each others names this week)

Honorable Mention: Chargers Defense: All season they have done their job to keep them in games. Corey Luiget: Playing his tail off still after learning of his Illinois teammate and Dallas Cowboy Jerry Brown passing away the day before.

Dolt of the Game: Steelers: You really just let a 4-8 team walk all over you at home?

Charger fans have any “Chill Pills” left for Steeler Nation?

– Ryan Pedersen

Ryan Pedersen: Chargers Lose 4th Straight; Bengals Stay Alive

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After the game Sunday Head Coach Norv Turner said the following, “I think there are a lot of guys that are playing about as good as they can play right now.” That about says it all about this season. The A.J. Smith “Duct Tape” job from last year has just rolled over into this season. Now the Chargers (or what some people called them now the San Diego 4th & 29ers) are 4-8 after falling to the Cincinnati Bengals 20-13 with only one win in the last eight weeks. This team and coach don’t know how to win and 4-12 is looking like a strong possibility.

In the final drive of the game the Chargers had two time outs with only less than 20 yards to get into the end zone and they went for the home run on almost every play. That shows that the Chargers have no trust in the run game and luckily, Danario Alexander was there in some places to move this offense. The Chargers just look lost this year and don’t have enough firepower to fight back; once they are pushed they are shoved. The offense is abysmal, defense can only score for you so much and special teams have Chris Carr returning punts, this guy was jobless about a month ago. Judging by the crowd Sunday I think the fair weather will return once they see a new head coach on the Chargers sideline.

Next Sunday, yet another early game for the Bolts as they head to three rivers in Pittsburgh at Heinz Field. San Diego haven’t won in Pittsburgh since 1994 and have never won a regular season game in Pittsburgh. Dean Spanos probably wishes the Rooney’s would move the game to SD then maybe the Steeler nation would give him a sellout.

Game Ball: DeMorrio Williams: His 2nd pick six of the season (Was cut in KC to make room for Javon Belcher). Cory Lynch: Did a decent job filling in for injury prone Atari Bigby.

Honorable Mention: Kansas City Chiefs: To go out there after losing a teammate to murder-suicide the day before a game and win, shows character.

Dolt of the game: Chargers Offense: Two field goals, one TD the last two games. Ryan
Mathews only has one TD this season (nine carries, 24 yards vs CIN). Dirt nap.

– Ryan Pederse

Ryan Pedersen: 4th and 29. Chargers Lose Again. Playoff Hopes Vanish

This season won’t just be remembered for the Chargers record in the end. It won’t be totally remembered for the 24-0 meltdown on Monday Night. One play has ultimately sunk any playoff hopes for San Diego. Chargers fell to the Baltimore Ravens 16-13 in overtime Sunday. History has repeated itself from 2011 when the Chargers also lost 16-13 at home to Denver in OT.

4th and 29 before time expired in the 4th Quarter, the Ravens backs against the wall and they fought back on a check down to Ray Rice, the Ravens came through on the longest 4th down play conversion since 2001. Once again, the Chargers fail to close a lead and fail to overcome adversity. The Bolts on defense somewhat dominated the Ravens in the first half but so did the Ravens D other than a TD to Malcom Floyd. The Ravens pretty much handed the Chargers a win and in typical fashion — they choked. At this rate, I think Charger fans would take being mediocre again.

Next week expect an even bigger blackout at the Q, the Chargers were about 9,000 short vs. Baltimore. Not sure how much Bengal fans travel but maybe the Chargers can offer a group package to the “Who Dey” Nation if you want to see the game locally Sunday, that or KFMB can buy about 10,000 tickets. Besides, who wants to watch this on tv anyway? Once again, Chargers just need to find a way to win one freaking game to have any respect at all. But keep your heads up Chargers fans; just five more games until Norv Turner is fired.

Game Ball: Ravens Offense- 4th and 29 and converted. What in the Freddie Mitchell is going here!?  

Honorary Mention: Kendall Reyes, Corey Liuget (I can’t give all kudos to just the Ravens)

Dolt of the Game: Chargers O-Line. Commitment to sacks. 

Keep it G,

Ryan Pedersen

Ryan Pedersen: Slim and None, Chargers Lose Five of Six; Swept by Denver

By now in this part of the season, teams are starting to pull away and we are finding out who the contenders and pretenders are. Chargers lost their fifth of sixth game Sunday in Denver 30-23. Chargers flat out need a miracle to make the playoffs at this rate with Denver pulling to a three game lead in the AFC West. Now, you have a Ravens team coming into the Q who are looking to push their lead in the AFC North (By the way, Ed Reed will play thanks to the reduced suspension to just a fine. Season just gets better and better.)

Chargers O-line continues to be a turnstile for Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil, who were chomping at the bit to face an easy Jeromey Clary and struggling rookie Mike Harris. The Chargers were out-matched, out-played and out-coached yet again. At this rate you can forget about playoff talk, just talk about who the heck can the Chargers beat? Carolina? Pittsburgh? Who knows?

Chargers fans I’m sure have started a countdown to the day Norv and A.J. get fired. It’s not an encouraging sign when your owner leaves the field with two minutes to play when they’re only down by six and Philip Rivers hands the ball to the ref with ten seconds to play in the 4th Quarter. But for now it’s probably a good idea to just stay with the program until the end, although it’s not good for ticket sales that Turner is still the coach with four more home games left.  It has been announced that the Chargers did not sell out the game verse the Ravens and will not be seen locally.

Game Ball: WR Danario Alexander: 2 TD’s, 96 yards. Alexander is finding a rhythm with Rivers (WR Robert Meachem has had a year to find a rhythm.)

Honorable Mentions: Eric Weddle, Kendall Reyes and Donald Butler. All have had a great season despite the losing.

Dolt of the Game: Chargers offense. Ryan Mathews is slowly becoming a bust. The O-Line needs a huge facelift and the WR core is average with an aging Tight End.

Gee Golly,

Ryan Pedersen

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