No DT? No problem

A lot has been made of the fact the San Diego Chargers didn't draft a defensive tackle in the any round in the draft.

But all of that is just by writers and pundits trying to cover up the fact that they bought into the misinformation about the Chargers taking a defensive tackle in the first round.

It was easy and sexy to buy into that talk at first. Hell, I did. But after taking a good, hard look at the Chargers' situation, a rational mind figured out the Bolts weren't taking a defensive tackle in the first round of this draft.

Are you really going to draft a defensive tackle when you ranked last in pass defense? Are you really looking at defensive tackle when you take into account the top five (debatable) defensive tackles would be off the board when the Chargers picked (or not picked as the case may be) at pick 15?

Did you really want an underachiever to be the guy chosen?

Me neither.

Fact is the Chargers needed team speed on defense. As Marty Schottenheimer said on February 28th, "I think first and foremost without any question we have to get more speed on our defensive football team. We have to get more speed on our defensive football team because speed is your margin of error in this football business. Beyond that we already discussed the fact that secondary becomes a matter."

The ground work was laid by the Head Coach long before the Draft, and now we see he meant exactly what he said.

What about the defensive tackle spot?

Doug Sims returns to the field and he may have summed it up better than anyone when he stated, ""I think I showed them I could help them at some point, so they kept me around."

Sims is essentially seen as an extra draft pick and the big body the Chargers hope will help them this year to command double teams and disrupt the passing game.

Jason Fisk suffered through an injury plagued season with ankle injuries and a knee sprain, yet he played through the pain (15 games) in the absence of Jamal Williams and his production suffered. Had the Chargers any depth at the position Fisk may have chosen to sit out a few weeks.

How about Williams? He returned to contact drills this past weekend and is looking to bounce back.

"It's always a challenge mentally when you have an injury of that sort," Williams said, "but the major challenge is getting over it. You mope about it for a week, but after that week, you need to focus on trying to get healthy."

"With a big guy like Jamal playing in the pit, as we call it, and playing as well as he did, it was a big loss," Chargers linebacker Donnie Edwards said. "I think the guy was having a Pro Bowl season."

Rest to the injured, Williams, Sims and Fisk, and a fresh start will give the line new hope and give life to the rationale of not drafting a defensive tackle in the 2003 NFL Draft.

Denis Savage can be reached at or via the following link: Denis Savage

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