Revamping the secondary

A few months ago, we were looking at a starting secondary that included Rogers Beckett and names like Kevin House, Tony Okanlawon, and Tay Cody. Most of us who follow the Chargers were wondering if these guys would bring back memories of Sam Seale, Elvis Patterson, Pat Miller, and Lou Brock Jr.

Well, things have changed.

First, it was the draft. Sammy Davis, CB, Texas A&M comes from a program that has produced a lot of top notch players at his position. Davis walks in as a fairly polished CB (one caveat … no college CB is polished) with good physical skills. He probably won't be a premium CB in this league, but he should develop into a solid number 2 in the Ahmet Plummer mold. Then they followed it up with Drayton Florence, CB, Tuskegee. Florence has all the tools you look for in a premium CB, but some red flags with regards to attitude. I recently talked to a DB coach who compared him to Tim McKyer with regards to talent and attitude, which was kind of interesting. This should be one of the better battles in training camp.

Depth at S was helped significantly with the addition of Terrence Kiel, S, Texas A&M. He should be our SS of the future with his combination of physical nature, top intangibles, and good athleticism. He needs some work, but I think he's a pretty safe bet to be a good, not great, SS in this league.

Second, the addition of Kwamie Lassiter in free agency provides a significant boon to this team. People mourned the loss of Rodney Harrison, but the productivity difference recently is not huge.

Player A – 88 tackles, 0 sacks, 2 interceptions, and 9 passes defended
Player B – 88 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 interceptions, and 8 passes defended

Player A – 111 tackles, 1 sack, 9 interceptions, and 15 passes defended
Player B – 108 tackles, 3 sacks, 2 interceptions, and 13 passes defended

Contracts Signed
Player A – 3 year contract with a minimal signing bonus
Player B – 6 year deal with a $2.5 million bonus.

Player A is Kwamie Lassiter. Player B is Rodney Harrison. While I believe Harrison is the better player overall, I don't think there is a significant difference. Harrison is a very good run stuffer with great blitz skills, but his over aggressive nature causes him to consistently bite on play action creating big play opportunities. Lassiter isn't as physical as Harrison, but he is a very good tackler and rarely takes false steps. His play recognition is superior and he consistently gets proper depth in his zone drops. More importantly, he is a MUCH BETTER fit for the system. While Schottenheimer has said that Lassiter will be challenge for the FS position, I think he is going to move to SS to buy us time.

My Projected Lineup

LCBQuentin Jammer, Drayton Florence, Tony Okanlawon
RCB – Sammy Davis, Drayton Florence, Tay Cody (unless traded)
SS – Kwamie Lassiter, Terrence Kiel, Hanik Milligan
FSRyan McNeil, Kwamie Lassiter

I do think that the young CB's will struggle at first, but they will become assets in the long run. Having two veteran S's like Lassiter and McNeil should help the transition, but the interesting component is what is going to happen in the long term. If Florence and Davis live up to their potential, I could see Quentin Jammer to the FS position where I think he could develop into the best FS in football.

Rob Curtis can be reached at the following link: Rob Curtis or at

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