Pondering San Diego Charger football often leaves your head spinning. There's a stadium issue, a defensive coordinator hiring, a struggling young quarterback, an offensive line in flux, a secondary coach opening, a defense in flux, and the 1st pick in the draft. Once your head-spin cycle is closer to normal you may click the title above to view the next edition of Tid-Bolts...

-THE LATEST HEARSAY... is the Pittsburgh Steelers moving to the top of the draft board to take a QB. They would offer two first rounders and two second rounders (2004 and 2005 drafts) to the Chargers in exchange for the 1st overall pick. It's too early to consider this; the Chargers would be wise to hold onto that pick for a long time. First off, free agency will have an impact on how the Chargers view their draft. Secondly, trading the pick too early means the Chargers didn't hold out to get the highest value for the pick. Lastly, the Chargers need for impact players is immediate and that trade only rewards them one extra pick in the 2004 draft.

-NOT SO FAST..with the swap spots with Arizona and get the big guy from Iowa talk. The thought amuses but proceed with caution. It amuses because the Chargers could pick up an extra 2nd rounder (and more) while getting an impact player that fills a need. Proceed with caution because there is no guarantee that Robert Gallery will be there at #3. If the Chargers have a quarterback targeted- they take him at #1, no questions asked. If not, a trade down becomes necessary. The problem is that you don't know what the Raiders are thinking sitting at #2. They could use an elite Left-Tackle just as much as the Chargers can...

The Giants, sitting at #4, could make a move and bypass the Chargers to get to #2. They take Gallery and then what? If the Chargers coveted Roethlisberger they would've taken him #1. They could possibly lose the top two players on their board.

TRADING DOWN TO TRADE UP...isn't such a bad idea. Trading away a chance to get Eli Manning for 2005 draft picks doesn't appeal to me. Trading down to get a boatload of 2004 draft picks and possibly an established player to fill a need does. For example, if the Steelers want to offer their 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th in the 2004 draft, a pick in 2005 and possibly an established player like a Faneca, Hampton, or Burress then let's talk and word is Burress is available entering a contract year. If you need a sweetener we'll throw in Stephen Alexander and Tim Dwight.

Next I trade the 3rd and 4th rounders acquired from the Steelers to get another pick in the second round. That leaves the Chargers with the #11 overall, 3 picks in the second round, and their original 3rd and 4th rounders. Think I'm crazy and asking for too much? That's fine-Chargers keep the #1 and take Eli, Steelers keep the #11 and stick with Tommy Maddox.

-THE HOTTEST QUARTERBACK...faces the hottest team on the coldest of grid-irons. This really is a captivating match up. Peyton Manning shooting his audibles with the Patriots defense trying to cover their vitals with audible-proof vests. The Colts may have an edge. Is it legal to line your offensive coordinator behind center? The Colts do. Manning is the master of the audible. The Colts use a no huddle and Manning calls plays at the line of scrimmage, often changing them two or three times. You can't help but wonder what Tom Moore's responsibilities are. Seriously, if I'm the offensive coordinator of the Indianapolis Colts, I'm sitting up in the booth with my feet up and a beer in hand; just enjoying the show. Of course, I would leave the headset on so I could be sure to tell Peyton: "Nice play call, I would've done the same."

WILL-LESS WISDOM: The defensive coordinator saga has come to an end before it truly began. Wade Phillips has been hired on as the new San Diego Chargers defensive coordinator and I must admit the thought of a 3-4 defense in San Diego is tempting. Any scheme that's nothing like the one we saw for the last two seasons is tempting. Phillips signed a two year deal and Marty Schottenheimer seems happy with the choice saying, "Wade brings a wealth of experience in the National Football League. He's got a tremendously broad background in all aspects of the NFL. He has consistently produced defensive football teams that have been outstanding in producing big plays and sacking the quarterback. We're delighted he's going to be a part of the continued growth of the Chargers on defense."

Will Mortensen can be reached at will.powered@verizon.net

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