O' what a wonderful feeling

It is time of the year, hopes are rising, the sun is shining and the smell of football is in the air. The anger, the pain, and the Thousands of young men that were not drafted are working their hardest to try and make a football squad. That is the best thing about August; the best thing about This August is the San Diego Chargers Offense.

Many are referring to this offense as being capable of bringing back memories of the Air Coryell days, of making us think of Dan Fouts, Charlie Joiner, John Jefferson, Kellen Winslow and Wes Chandler, of the Running styles of Chuck Muncie, Lionel James and Gary Anderson. Now I am in no way going to compare Brees to Fouts or Fouts' receivers to those of Drew Brees', but this can be the best offense that the Chargers have had since the old Air Coryell days; certainly better then what we have seen in the past.

With the acquisition of David Boston and Lorenzo Neal, the Chargers improved their offense, but those 2 players are not going to make this offense. What is going to make this offense is the growth of Drew Brees. From a 2nd year first time starter to a Third year incumbent quarterback. Brees has let it be known he wants more then just being only the 2nd Quarterback since Stan Humphries to throw for 3,000 yards and the first to throw more TDs than interceptions. He wants the playoffs. He wants the post season. He had a glimpse of the chase for it last year for a short time and now he wants the real deal, no more 6-2 starts and then 2-6 finishes. No more blaming this injury or that injury, they have the ammunition and his arm is his gun and he is ready to take aim.

LaDainian Tomlinson, who ran for over 1,600 yards last year, has set high goals for himself as well. Does he want to break 1600 yards again? Of course he does, and he knows the man to help him do it is Lorenzo Neal, but he has higher goals than that. He wants to be the best all around back in the league, supplanting Marshal Faulk as the ruler of that domain. He also wants the post season. He wants to see January just like other teams and he is tired of getting so close yet to falter in the end. LT has goals and he is letting his team know they should have the same goals. That is to make the playoffs and you start that process in preseason.

This is going to be one powerful offense if given the chance to shine. With Brees being more accurate and one year under his belt as the starter, his confidence is growing. You can see it in practice, then again how much of that has to do with having a legitimate threat at Wide Receiver in David Boston and how much of that has to do with growth. The retuning receiving corps from last year, Tim Dwight, Reche Caldwell and Eric Parker should benefit greatly from the signing of Boston. The three speedsters should get a lot of 1-on-1 coverage during the season and they need to take advantage of it with sharp route running and ball control.

The offensive line has even gotten better with the emergence of Phil Bogle and the Signing of Solomon Page to bolster that big front. Most, if not all the lineman, have picked up on Hudson Houck's attitude, and are ready to battle all comers in the trenches. Fonoti, who is still the youngest players on this team in his second year, is going to be a monster of a guard along with the monster Garmon. Imagine seeing Garmon go out and you think you are getting a breather when Fonoti takes his place. Tackles will be hell bent to try and get past them.

There is a lot to this offense that is going to be better. I could sit here all day and site all the ways on paper that they will look better. From the emergence of Rookies who could make this team like Kassim Osgood, or the forever fighting receiver Dondre Gillman (both hurt and it could cost them), To the returning starters from last year and the banged up Tight End group. That would only be on paper.

You will have to go see them to see for yourself, the emergence of this team. As so many have said in past articles, with such a young Defense it is time for this Group of Veteran offensive players to step up and take the reigns and lead this team to Victory.

I am going on record to say right now I think the Chargers can easily win 10 games this year and make the playoffs, the question is will this defense be able to handle the pressure, because I know this offense is just going to be explosive.

Tom Criswell can be reached at tcrisswell@cox.net

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