Do The Chargers Have A Reason To Be Optimistic?
It is hard to go into a season with a positive attitude after losing 15 of the 16 games they played. However, with a new quarterback to lead the team, a couple defensive players added and a rookie running back, this Charger team is set to start over and make some havoc for the AFC West.
It all started just a few months ago when Buffalo had a few problems trying to figure out how to play two very capable starting QB's in Rob Johnson and Doug Flutie. The answer? Well, the answer was to cut Doug Flutie who is the older of the two got the red slip and packed his bags.
Only a short while later, the Chargers who were being led by new general manager and former Bills general manager, John Butler, signed Doug Flutie to a 6-year contract.
The draft is where things really started to take off for the Bolts.
They had the 1st pick in the draft coming to them after an abysmal 2000 season. Everyone figured the Chargers would select highly touted Virginia Tech QB, Michael Vick. However, the Chargers traded the pick 24 hours before the draft to the Falcons in exchange for three draft picks and WR Tim Dwight.
With the first pick they got from the Falcons, they were able to land possibly the best RB in the entire draft, LaDanian Tomlinson.
With their own second round pick, the Chargers selected the next best thing to Vick, Purdue QB Drew Brees. Although Brees isn't as mobile as Vick, or doesn't have the awareness Flutie holds now, he will eventually become the Chargers starter.
After solidifying their offense, the Chargers turned to their already impressive defense led by San Diego favorite Junior Seau and hard-hitting safety Rodney Harrison.
Former Bills defensive end Marcellus Wiley was the first addition. Wiley was the Bills leader in sacks in 2000 with 10.5 and is expected to do just the same for the Chargers.
Corner back Alex Molden was acquired on March 8th after playing his first five NFL seasons with the Saints. Though Molden only started in five of the fifteen games he actually played in, he managed to intercept three passes.
So to ask the question again, do the Chargers have a reason to be optimistic?
I can think of a few, and this will definitely be a team that has a lot to show in 2001.