Turkish delight

The day has come. It is a day that the rookies dread. Any knock on the door is met with trepidation. Footsteps in the corridor are construed as potentially the end of their reign as San Diego Chargers. The Turk is coming. His news is never good.

Some of the players that will be cut are not deserving of their fate. They have made it this far and several are likely to pop up in other areas around the NFL. It is a fact of life — players will get cut. No one is happy about it and the Turk is perhaps least happy about his job. He is going to tell grown men who have dreamed about playing in the NFL for so long that they are not good enough.

It wont be easy.

Fan favorites will go. Everyone has attached themselves to an unknown rookie hoping they will make the team. Some spark of talent has been evident in them all.

The NFL mandate says rosters must get down to 65 players. There is a creative way that the Chargers will likely be able to circumvent the ordeal. Injured reserve is an option for a player or two. Last year, Marty Schottenheimer commented that he may have pulled the plug on one player's season too soon. It does not appear that any other plugs this year will be pulled quite the same.

Ryon Bingham is the first player likely to be sent to injured reserve. He had surgery on his biceps and the team will likely milk it for the year with Jacques Cesaire playing well.

Mackenzie Hoambrecker got a leg up when he was released a day early. Bill LaFleur won't be far behind. The former member of the Chargers practice squad will not be so lucky this time around. Mike Scifres has been stellar in camp and preseason.

Jonathon Cox has faced a numbers game at cornerback from the start. His play at the position has been sporadic at best and Jerrell Pippens offers far more upside at the position.

Leon Johnson has not seen a snap in camp. Fair or not it is his time to go. He was a sloth on the field a year ago and the Chargers clearly have a new punt returner – or two.

Jerton Evans is an inspirational story. He has fought through a lot this offseason but he is at a position that has its veterans and youth and his run for a position with the team will end.

Howard Hodges was a talented end coming out of college. Faced with a switch to linebacker, he has done well. At this point, however, he has not done enough to secure a spot with the team.

Phillip Crosby was a late signee and actually could stick through another game. The only reason would be to take some reps away from the other backs. He is toast in the end. There is also a reason why Jesse Chatman has getting reps at fullback in practice.

Chad Ward has been out since camp began and the patience Schottenheimer had is gone. Ward showed promise overseas but without work to back it up this year he will be gone.

Troy Andrew was another late signee who did not distinguish himself enough to warrant more reps. With parts of the line young and untested, they need the reps more.

Reese Hicks is in the same boat as Andrews. The talent above him outweighs any talents he can contribute.

Robert Pollard has had his flashes. The blooming Dave Ball and return of DeQuincy Scott make him expendable.

Clenton Ballard has to deal with the guys like Jason Fisk and Jamal Williams ahead of him. Way too much to overcome.

Ruvell Martin is tall but he is no answer – even for the weak receiving corps in San Diego. Martin had his chances but failed to impress.

Calvin Murray has not gotten much of a shot. With guys like Jesse Chatman and Michael Turner dotting the roster, he was camp fodder.

Doug Chapman is a hard-nosed player but he has not been able to make his mark when it counts. Even his time as a kick returner was taken away and it spells his demise.

Justin Riley is yet another linebacker who has shown promise, but there just aren't enough spots. Riley could be a guy to watch on the practice squad.

Omari Hand has been asked to make the transition to linebacker and was given an offseason to prepare. He has had some flashes but hasn't grasped all of the concepts fully and will go.

Kevin House has seen the addition of Jamar Fletcher and has to see the writing on the wall. He has spirit and plays a mean game but his instincts on the field have not improved enough to warrant keeping him.

Josh Norman dropped four passes in the loss on Saturday. There comes a time when the drops outweigh the separation he creates on the field.

Vernon Fox has been a Schottenheimer pet but safeties in the NFL need to be bigger and faster if they hope to have a chance to succeed. Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips is aware of this and will have his say. With a healthy Milligan…

The one caveat is the team does not have to cut its NFL Europe roster exemptions but they have all been included herein. They can decide to keep only those players who have played in Europe this year which would actually mean they only have to cut down to 69 players.

This list, however, trims the roster down to 65 and the bottom ten still have a great shot to make the team in some capacity. With the roster limit at 53 and the practice squad expanded to eight, several undrafted players will get a shot to prove they are worthy.

SD Super Chargers Top Stories