Top ten Chargers of 2004
9. Jason Fisk, DT- Fisk should start or be the 1st sub at tackle as the Chargers switch to the 3-4 scheme this year. Fisk is a solid player who should be able to clog the middle and allow Ball, Phillips, Leber, and Moreno to run crazy in the offensive backfield. But don't forget about Olshansky and Williams. They are also keys on D-Line.
8. Offensive Line- It is not fair to point out any one member of the line since good offensive line play is dependent on being a team. Clearly those big guys need to pass protect better. Drew needs time to throw and make plays. Keep up the good run blocking though.
7. Nate Kaeding, K- The rookie from Iowa was one of the best the past two seasons in college. He has good range and excellent accuracy. If the Chargers can just get to the 30 yard line there's a good chance they got three points.
6. Reche Caldwell & company, WR- Reche has not played up to his capabilities yet. That seems to be a Chargers theme, especially on offense. Neither has Drew Brees or any of the TE's. Most of the O-Line has not. Caldwell is now the go-to receiver with Eric Parker as the 2nd guy and probably Kassim Osgood as the 3rd receiver. It is one of the more talented groups of very young receivers in the league. If they don't play up their capability it'll be all LT all the time, running and in the passing game. I also include the three Tight Ends in this group. Peele and Norman should be more involved in the passing game. Gates is nice because you could split him out wide. It's not fair to say he hasn't lived up to his potential. How would anyone know what that is?
5. Drew Brees, QB- Clearly the guys got the talent and the mind of an NFL QB. He's had some really bad games, but there have been some games he actually played really well in. I can remember at least three or four games he drove the team down to take lead late in the game and the defense allowing the other team to come right back and win it with almost no time left on the clock. It is not all Drew's fault he's 4-16 in his last 20 starts. But, if he doesn't play up to his potential early on, he can say "se la vi" to San Diego.
4. Terrence Kiel, S- The new starter at the safety spot opposite Kwamie Lassiter. Kiel has more upside and is probably a better long term solution than anyone else. Last year he missed time, recovering from gunshot wounds that could have taken his career away. Kiel must become a force and prove he is the same player the Chargers envisioned when they drafted him.
3. Quentin Jammer, CB- This is a guy the Chargers should be able to build not only the secondary around, but the entire defense. He has improved from his first game to his last game of last year. But top 10 DB draft picks are usually smash hits from the first game they play. It's definitely time for Mr. Jammer to step up his play.
2. Jamar Fletcher, CB- Has the most experience of any DB on the roster. A former Thorpe Award winner and 1st Team All-America as a junior at Wisconsin, was a first round choice by the Dolphins, 24th overall. I don't expect him to just be a leader guy or replacement. He should start and be the best Corner on the team, even ahead of Jammer. I think this was by far the best move of the off-season to acquire him, especially getting rid of David Boston.
1. Entire Defense- Like I said, it's the defense that has let the team down the last two years. There's loads of talent, except at safety. The linebacking corps is very solid. It is definitely the surest part of the defense. The corners are all young and extremely talented. But the defense must play together and focus on 3rd downs and in situations when they have the other team's offense on the ropes. If they buckle down in those situations they have a chance to be awfully good. And a good team is always the key to winning.