The 12th Man

We asked our fans to respond with whom they thought the top ten San Diego Chargers are, and they came out in droves to help the cause. In fact, we got such a wonderful response we are now taking submissions from our fans for future 12th man articles! If you think you have what it takes to write for Chargers Update, send your submission in to us at the email listed at the end of this article. It took us some deliberation to figure out who made the best case for the players they chose...

Without further ado, we present two views, submitted by Matt Langworthy and Daniel Smith regarding the top ten Chargers:

Top 10 Most Important Chargers:

1) LaDainian Tomlinson - He is our Franchise Player. Our offense revolves around him. His production tells it all. He is a top five fantasy pick.

2) David Boston - Balances the offense, making for a very tough offense to stop. Opens everything up; the running and passing game. Capable of making some crushing blocks downfield and clearing the outside for big gains for LT. Oh yeah, Boston can make the big play in the passing game too.

3) Donnie Edwards - His production tells the story. Donnie covers tight ends, plays the drop coverage very well and has the ability to pressure the QB. Makes big plays (5 INT's, 1 TD last year). When he is not making plays on the ball or pressuring the QB, he is running sideline to sideline and making tackles (led the team in tackles last year with 129).

4) Jamal Williams - Last year's injury lead to the defense's collapse. Jamal is the glue holding the defense together. He collapses the pocket, allowing our above average ends to get pressure on the QB. Jamal demands double teams and is an immovable wide body, freeing up our linebackers to make plays.

5) Drew Brees - Responsible for running our offense. Will now have the power to audible Boston to go downfield when eight are in the box. Needs to bring his game to another level and win games, rather than not loose them. Drew showed flashes last year and now has the weapons to take the next step.

6) Marcellus Wiley - Today's pass happy NFL makes pass rushers so important. Half of the pass defense is pressuring the QB. A healthy Marcellus (2001 version) applying pressure on the QB is key to our defensive success and post-season hopes.

7) Quentin Jammer - The other half of pass defense is coverage. Blanketing receivers gives our pass rush more time to get to the QB. Quentin has all the tools of an elite shutdown corner. His development is essential to having a top caliber defense.

8) Ben Leber - Last year's pleasant surprise, Ben got lots of pressure on the QB, when we attacked with him. This year Ben will have more freedom to attack the QB. Lack of pressure on the QB was last year's biggest problem.

9) Toniu Fonoti - The best run blocker we have. With a year under his belt, Toniu will be a big (literally) ingredient to our run success, the foundation to our offense.

10) Darren Bennett - The parody in the NFL today makes the "little things" so important to winning. Field position is one of those "little things" that determine a win or a loss. Darren gives the Chargers an advantage in the field position battle.

Others to be considered:

Ryan McNeil
Lorenzo Neal
Tim Dwight

Author: Matt Langworthy

Top 10 Most Important Chargers:

1. LaDainian Tomlinson- Will continue to be the workhorse of the offense, and will be even better with the additions of Lorenzo Neal, David Boston, and Solomon Page. Could have 2,000 yards rushing this year.

2. David Boston- With the addition of Boston, it makes everyone on offense better. If teams double Boston it will open up Tomlinson or our other receivers. This physical specimen has a chip on his shoulders to prove his worth. Is a top 3 WR when healthy.

3. Jamal Williams- He is the most valuable player on defense. He's the best DT in the NFL that no one has heard of. Commanding double teams helps our LBs out a lot. He plays like a perennial Pro Bowler, and a Pro Bowl will be in his future, just like Donnie Edwards last year. His health is crucial.

4. Donnie Edwards- Got more recognition for his play finally. Didn't surprise me though. He was always a special player. Moving outside will make him even better; if that's possible. He is the reason why Junior Seau is no longer a Charger.

5. Damion McIntosh- This monster plays a lot like Orlando Pace. Sure, he's not on that level, but he will be very soon. Remember, this is a guy who played DT in college. He's only going to get better. He's got great size and athletic ability. Maybe our most underrated player.

6. Drew Brees- In Brees' sophomore year, he basically equaled Troy Aikman's 2nd best year. This year, Brees should be much better, with a year under his belt, David Boston, and a better understanding of what it takes to be an NFL starter. Should round out the fantastic trio of LT, Boston, and Brees.

7. Quentin Jammer- Signed late, and his first 4-5 games were basically his preseason. Towards the end of the year, he basically shut down some big time players. In the 49ers game, when he played against Terrell Owens, he just shut him down. The plays Owens did make were against Molden. Jammer is going be the shutdown corner that everyone envisions.

8. Jason Ball- Came out of nowhere and replaced Raymer and played like a 10 year vet. He is a tenacious player. He's also very smart, and if he played like a veteran last year, imagine what he could do this year. Could and should be a future pro bowl caliber player.

9. Marcellus Wiley- He's only this low because of last year. That injury killed him but he played through the pain like a man. A fully healthy Wiley will give us about 13-16 sacks, and another pro bowler. He will make opposing QBs lives miserable this year.

10. Toniu Fonoti- Showed his Samoan mentality when he played through injuries. He was one of the main reasons we beat Oakland. He just destroyed Parrella and Sam Adams. It seems like Fonoti is in better shape this year and that will only help him. He's also one of the league's youngest players, and he should be a pro bowler VERY soon.

Author: Daniel Smith

Thanks to all those submitting articles. We apologize that we were unable to post the many differing opinions we received. All of them were well thought out and we thank you.

Do you think you have what it takes to write an article for Chargers Update? Be the 12th man and submit your article to Denis Savage at: placing the title 12th Man in the subject line Denis can also be reached via the following link: Denis Savage

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