The Chargers met four players on Monday, as detailed in this team interest report. We have a breakdown of exactly which Chargers representatives were meeting with which players in this Insiders Draft Talk Thread.
One of the players San Diego met with is Baylor center Philip Blake, who is a target because Nick Hardwick is a pending free agent and considering retirement. Be sure to check out our exclusive interview with Blake.
Coach Rich Bisaccia
"I've only had two blocked punts in my entire career," he noted.
We also chatted about the young players who excelled on his coverage teams. I mentioned Darrell Stuckey and he was quick to give credit to others, as well.
"Stuckey should have been Player of the Year, but it wasn't just him," Bisaccia said. "Andrew Gachkar is going to be a heck of a player. Marcus Gilchrist, Shareece Wright, Bront Bird ... they all had great years."
We also discussed return man Richard Goodman, who ranked No. 4 in kickoff return yardage and scored on a 105-yard return in the season finale.
"I'm proud of him," he said. "He did as well in coverage as he did returning kicks."
OG Tyronne Green
Green and I discussed a handful of issues, including the possible retirement of Kris Dielman (he agrees Dielman is likely to walk away). We also discussed the upcoming NFL Draft, with me predicting that it will be a defensive-heavy draft for the Chargers.
"It depends what happens with Nick, too," Green quickly noted, referring to the possible retirement or free-agent loss of starting center Nick Hardwick. If Hardwick departs, the Chargers are likely to draft some new blood to compete for time on the interior offensive line.
I also asked Green if he was done experimenting at offensive tackle.
"Hopefully," he chuckled.
Green's versatility is one of his best attributes. He has spent practice time at guard, center and tackle (in that order), although in multiple conversations he has made it clear to me he prefers to stay at guard and focus on the one position.
Touchdown in Mobile
Senior Bowl week is here. This means two things: 1) the unofficial kickoff of draft season; and 2) a miserable travel experience.
This year, since I was coming from Wilmington, NC, instead of San Diego, I chose to drive rather than fly. Big mistake. I got stuck behind not one, but two three-car pileups. The first one delayed me more than an hour. The second one got even uglier.
Traffic was backed up for miles and I knew if I waited for the accident to clear I would miss our Scout.com content budget meeting that evening. So, stuck in the left lane, I decided to take my rented Impala and try a U-turn across the sloping, grassy ditch of a median. Big mistake. I got stuck in the mud and ended up spinning my wheels for about five minutes.
I was finally able to break free and get back on the road, albeit headed in the wrong direction. I got off the highway and used the Alabama back roads (not recommended) to get around the accident and get back on the highway, all without the help of GPS (also not recommended). I arrived at the meeting 10 minutes late, my car looking like it had been submerged in a pool of mud.
At the meeting I learned I will be charged with scouting the running backs and linebackers during this week's practices. That's great from a Chargers standpoint, particularly with the linebackers, as San Diego needs help both inside and outside (more so on the outside, depending on the progress of Jonas Mouton).
I will also be doing my usual round of interviews with anyone associated with the Chargers -- coaches, former players, etc. Most of the prospect interviews will happen tonight at the media dinner at the Battleship USS Alabama, so there will be plenty of content coming this evening once that is done.
There are also two practices today, although the North Squad and South Squad practice simultaneously at different fields. I'll be attending the South Squad's practice, led by former AFC West nemesis Mike Shanahan and his Washington Redskins coaching staff.
I'll updated this blog several times a day throughout the day, so check back soon as the football action gets underway.
Discuss the Senior Bowl and Chargers draft news in the Insiders Draft Talk Forum.
Michael Lombardo is a long-time contributor to the Scout.com network. His analysis has been published by the NFL Network, Fox Sports and MySpace Sports. He has followed the Chargers for more than 16 years and covered the team since 2003. You can see more of his updates by following him on twitter.