Posts Tagged ‘Joey Bosa’

The NFL draft begins Thursday and I am noticing I’m not really looking forward to it.

That’s an odd feeling in that I covered the draft as a professional more than a dozen times at either the professional or college level. And always made sure my Saturdays were clear to watch it prior to that well before this decade’s dumb three-day format.

Analyzing things, I can see why I’m not all that interested in the 2017 NFL draft.

That’s because this is the first draft in my lifetime in which my hometown doesn’t have an NFL team.

Not the least bit interested in who the Los Angeles Chargers pick. Geez, it is hard writing that city’s name before Chargers.

The Chargers belong to San Diego, not the smog clowns and silicone fakes of Los Angeles. The draft is really the first time a big NFL event happens in which the Chargers aren’t referred to as “San Diego Chargers.”

When Roger Goodell reads that phrase off the cue card as the Chargers make their first-round pick, it is a loud reminder to the football world that San Diego is no longer an NFL town.

Dean Spanos had ample opportunities to make it work in San Diego and didn’t have the big-boy leadership abilities to make it happen. Good riddance to him and his poorly run organization.

That is where we will miss the draft — mocking the Chargers for their sad first-round picks.

The lousy picks roll off the tongue easily — receiver Walker Gillette in 1970, running back Leon Burns in 1971, fullback Bo Matthews in 1974, cornerback Mossy Cade in 1984 (Google him to see what a total reject he is) and the biggest draft bust of all-time in quarterback Ryan Leaf in 1998.

There are many other busts — one of my favorites being receiver Craig “Buster” Davis in 2007. I called up Davis’ receivers coach at LSU while writing a profile story and got greeted with all kinds of criticisms of Davis’ desire, toughness and inability to stay healthy.

Guess what Davis was known for during his 26 total games over four seasons with the Chargers? Yep, low desire, no toughness, always injured.

During Davis’ second season, I already wrote song lyrics about him called “Wasted Draft Pick,” to the tune of Rod Stewart’s “Infatuation.”

Great pick, A.J. Smith! Might want to talk a player’s position coach before you select him.

Of course, there were superb first-round picks over the years too — defensive tackle Gary “Big Hands” Johnson in 1975, tight end Kellen Winslow in 1979, defensive end Leslie O’Neal in 1986, linebacker Junior Seau in 1990, running back LaDainian Tomlinson in 2001 and the great quarterback maneuver of 2004 when Eli Manning refused to play for the Chargers but Smith drafted him anyway before working out a trade with the New York Giants for Philip Rivers.

General manager Tom Telesco has fared well in the first round of the last three drafts with cornerback Jason Verrett, running back Melvin Gordon and defensive end Joey Bosa.

The Chargers select seventh this time around so they are positioned well to land another good talent.

But there will be a different feeling when Telesco makes his pick.

You see, these aren’t the San Diego Chargers anymore. So it no longer is a big deal if the team scores with its pick or lands another bust.

Perhaps that is why the draft’s appeal isn’t there for me this year. My hometown doesn’t have a team and the fun is gone.

You see, I could care less if a team from Los Angeles messes up its draft.

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It is time to do that new tradition — the weekly links thing.

I had the preview assignment for the San Diego Chargers versus the Indianapolis Colts and I kind of think you Chargers’ fans might be in store for a happy Sunday.

No, you won’t see rookie Joey Bosa in uniform for the first time. His hamstring is too sore — that’s what happens when you put a couple million dollars in your back pocket.

Um, no, I don’t know this from first-hand experience.

But the winless Colts are pretty banged up. Quarterback Andrew Luck has an achy shoulder and I lost count trying to figure out many Indianapolis defensive backs were injured.

OK, I got the abacus out — the number is six.

Philip Rivers has always enjoyed success against the Colts and it won’t surprise me at all to see him walking off the field giddy once again with Indianapolis having allowed a league-worst 73 points.

Here is the stellar preview — http://www.espn.com/nfl/preview?gameId=400874624

 

Did you know Alabama coach Nick Saban attended Kent State? It is a fact.

He is helping his alma mater’s finances by bringing them to town for Saturday’s whipping. The upcoming victory will also be Saban’s 200th as a college coach.

Also saw during the week that Saban was on campus the day of the infamous Kent State shootings in 1970. He and a buddy stopped to eat and that kept them from being in the area when the tragedy unfolded and four college kids lost their lives.

Here is that preview — http://www.usatoday.com/sports/ncaaf/event/2016/52385/preview/top25/

 

Michigan’s all-purpose star Jabrill Peppers is now a Heisman Trophy candidate. How do I know?

Because I said so (or wrote so).

When someone with a national stage writes such a thing, it is out there forever and the legend begins to grow. He won’t win the trophy but he might be the best all-round player in the nation.

Here is the Michigan versus Penn State preview — http://www.upi.com/Sports_News/2016/09/21/Michigan-vs-Penn-State-College-football-game-preview-predictions-score/9261474432584/

 

And how about those Padres? They have won seven of their past eight games against the San Francisco Giants and have even done the unthinkable — beaten Madison Bumgarner in each of last his two starts against them.

Bumgarner will try to beat those rookie-laden Padres and a victory would be the 100th of his career. Hard to believe he has already been around that long, isn’t it?

The 2014 World Series hero has been in a bad mood lately and it probably has to do with his sinking team. The Giants have lost eight of their past 12 games and are in danger of missing the postseason in an even-numbered year (they won the World Series in 2010, 2012 and 2014).

Here is the stellar baseball preview for you — http://www.usatoday.com/sports/mlb/event/2016/399122/preview/

Things change fast around the NFL and the release of longtime San Diego Chargers punter Mike Scifres once again reminded me of that fact.

There are now only two players left in the organization that I covered: Quarterback Philip Rivers and tight end Antonio Gates.

Repeat, two.

Just a few months ago, there were still five players remaining who had received the thrill of getting interviewed by me. (Hope you recognize sarcasm when you see it).

But receiver Malcom Floyd retired, safety Eric Weddle was allowed to depart as a free agent and now this weekend’s release of the 35-year-old Scifres, who averaged 45 or more yards per punt in eight different seasons.

Hey, I still have Rivers’ number in my cell phone. Bet it has been changed four or five times since I last called him.

NFL careers don’t last long — the average tenure is a little more than three years — so turnover isn’t surprising. It just jumps out at you when you have a succinct measuring point like I do.

In fact, I covered the Chargers for five years in the late 1990s too before I moved over to run the San Diego State beat. When I returned to cover the Chargers in early 2007, I scanned the roster closely.

Yep, there were only two players remaining from my first term of covering the team: Defensive tackle Jamal Williams and long snapper David Binn.

Even good-guy general manager Bobby Beathard was gone and the general manager was A.J. Smith, who had a reputation of being hard to deal with. Smith wouldn’t talk to two different beat writers — it was easy to tell why he wouldn’t talk to the one guy; but the other guy he wouldn’t speak with was the nicest and most easy-going sports writer in San Diego history.

If you’re wondering, I never had any issues getting along with Smith. I think it was because he respects sports writers who are direct and honest with him — guys who just flat-out ask the tough questions as opposed to writers who are chronically petty or excel at being a wise guy.

Basically, the type of people who last for long stretches in an NFL organization are guys who don’t put on the uniforms. They are the kind of people fans and the public at large don’t care about it.

But the players? They come and go fast.

Really fast.

The release of the best punter in Chargers’ history attests to that fact.

 

Joey Bosa you ask?

I have an open mind about the Chargers selection of Ohio State defensive end Joey Bosa with the third overall pick in the draft.

He was one of the best college players in the country in 2014 when he had 13.5 sacks among 21.5 tackles for losses. But he didn’t come close to following up that campaign last season when he began the season with a mysterious suspension and ended up with just five sacks.

But his stock didn’t drop at all and he was the first defensive player off the board. The Chargers badly needed to upgrade at the position and only time will tell if Bosa develops into a double-digit sack artist in the NFL.

Even if the Chargers were tempted to take an offensive lineman with their pick, the shenanigans involving Ole Miss offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil should have scared them off. The tweet of Tunsil smoking dope while wearing a gas mask is just the latest of many character flaws in his background.

I think the Chargers did right by going with Bosa.