Good morning. The San Diego Chargers begin organized team activities on Tuesday (today). Only the first practice this week will be open to reporters, so I will have a report here on the blog after practice this afternoon.
Mike Tanier of Sports on Earth created a “Hope Index” for the fan bases of all 32 NFL teams.
Tanier uses recent Super Bowl appearances, the presence of a Super Bowl quarterback, winning records in the last five years and Pro Bowlers in 2013 among other categories in ranking how fan bases should feel about their team for the 2014 season and beyond.
The San Diego Chargers finished surprisingly low on the list at No. 25.
Tanier: “A relative lack of Pro Bowlers and the presence of the Broncos in the same division tamp down the excitement for a new regime and 2013 playoff appearance. This rating may seem low now, but it wouldn't have if all of the other wild card contenders didn’t trip over each other in the final two weeks last year.”
It’s an interesting take from Tanier, but I thought we should balance his opinion with someone who has more of a financial stake at judging whether a team will be successful or not in 2014.
In this ESPN Insider piece, NFL handicapper Dave Tuley believes the Chargers will challenge for the AFC West crown, and puts San Diego as his No. 2 value bet behind the Saints for this season's Super Bowl.
Bucky Brooks of NFL.com lists his top five receiving groups in the NFL. Washington tops the list, followed by Chicago, Denver, San Francisco and Indianapolis. San Diego does not make the cut, but should replace San Francisco on the list in my opinion. Analysts forget about Danny Woodhead as part of that group, along with the person making the throws. Which means I would take Washington off of the list as well.
Former NFL GM Jerry Angelo, writing for the National Football Post, offers some ways to improve training camps, including just one cut at the end of exhibition play.
Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego talks with Chargers linebacker Manti Te’o, who says that he’s in the best shape of his life.