Bolts: Five Changes for Playoff Push in 2015

A 9-7 record got the Chargers into the playoffs in 2013, but it left them on the outside looking in during the second season of the Tom Telesco/Mike McCoy era. Here is a look at five changes San Diego must make this offseason to get back into the tournament. (Photo by Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports)

1. Fix the Interior Offensive Line

One way or another, the Chargers need to upgrade the interior offensive line. My preferred method? Re-sign Doug Legursky to be the starting center; draft Pittsburgh RT T.J. Clemmings in the first round and move D.J. Fluker inside to left guard; and let Johnnie Troutman and Chris Watt compete at right guard.

2. Add Another Pass Rusher

The Chargers need another pass rusher to team with Melvin Ingram and Jerry Attaochu. Dwight Freeney is a free agent and Jarret Johnson is no lock to return. A couple of free agents who would fit in well are Brooks Reed (Houston) and Parys Haralson (New Orleans). Middle-round draft possibilities are Trey Flowers (Arkansas) and Kyler Fackrell (Utah State).

3. Find a Workhorse Running Back

It is time to give up on Ryan Mathews. San Diego still has a nice stable of backs in Danny Woodhead, Branden Oliver and Donald Brown, but the team lacks a strong between-the-tackles runner. This will likely be addressed in the middle rounds of the draft.The prospects that make the most sense are Josh Robinson (Mississippi State), Kenny Hilliard (LSU) and David Cobb (Minnesota).

4. Acquire a True Nose Tackle

The Chargers have not had a true run-stuffing nose tackle since Jamal Williams left town. Ryan Carrethers has a chance to work his way into the rotation, but more help is needed. San Diego should make a run at Cardinals NT Dan Williams, a former first-round pick with the size (6 foot 2, 327 lbs.), strength and quickness to fit in beautifully between Corey Liuget and Kendall Reyes.

5. Draft a Kickoff Specialist

Nick Novak is among the most accurate kickers in the game, but his distance on kickoffs is nothing short of pathetic. It is never easy to burn a roster spot on a kickoff specialist, but this need is too great to ignore. San Diego could draft Clemson's Bradley Pinion in the seventh round and make instant gains in the field-position battle. Pinion could also be the heir apparent to the 34-year-old Mike Scifres.



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Michael Lombardo is a long-time contributor to the Scout.com team. His analysis has been published by the NFL Network, Fox Sports and MySpace Sports. He has followed the Chargers for more than 18 years and covered the team since '03. You can see more of his updates by following him on twitter.


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