TSN: Chargers Team Report


#GoIrish #Aztecs #SDGulls #Raiders #THFC #RipCity
Staff member
Jun 20, 2005
Chula Vista, CA

Clinton Hart is impressing coaches and teammates and could be considered the early leader (but still not the favorite) in the race to start at strong safety ahead of Terrence Kiel and Bhawoh Jue. Kiel has started there since his rookie season in 2003, but an ankle injury slowed him last season. Jue, the free safety last season, has been displaced by free agent Marlon McCree. He still is the favorite based on the fact he was last year's free agent signing and still is considered the best football player of the three. However, Hart showed last season as he made starts at both strong and free safety, that he can go after the ball and be a solid enough tackler. Grounded and serious about his career after coming up through the Arena League, he has also developed into something of a leader. . . .

The Chargers are attempting to improve their kickoff coverage, and to that end they drafted big-footed kickoff specialist Kurt Smith to improve on what Nate Kadeing has been able to do in his two seasons. That's good, because they have an awful lot of talent on special teams. With the return of Carlos Polk, out last season with a ruptured Achilles', the unit could be much improved. Polk, a linebacker by trade, is an animal. And had he not torn a chest muscle late in the season, Kassim Osgood would likely have been the AFC's special teamer in the Pro Bowl. Instead, teammate Hanik Milligan got that honor.

SCOUTING REPORT: The Chargers could hardly have asked for more from rookie DE Luis Castillo last year. He was all they expected, minus a sack or two. Relatively quick (at 300-plus pounds) and plenty strong, he was oh-so-close to the quarterback many times. He has worked on his hands and even appears to have trimmed down this offseason -- the former to get off blocks quicker, the latter to stay fresh longer. He has also followed the lead of some of his more svelte teammates and taken up Pilates in an effort to strengthen his core.

YOUTH MOVEMENTCB Markus Curry, who signed with the Chargers as an undrafted free agent in 2005, is on track to make the roster this season. He has strong instincts for the ball, is quick and has shown solid technique. He spent last season on the practice squad, but the Chargers think enough of him that they traded away Sammy Davis and only brought in one other veteran corner (Raymond Walls) in free agency. Look for Curry to perhaps be the Chargers' third corner (lining up against the slot receiver), especially if first-round draft pick Antonio Cromartie takes a while to develop.

SAFETIES ANALYSIS: C. They were injured and practically invisible much of 2005. Marlon McCree is an upgrade at free safety.


Afraid to watch, can't look away...
Staff member
Mar 5, 2006
Good read, thanks Ray.