Random thoughts from a dangerous mind

The season is over and the new season has already begun. Postseason events such as the Shrine Game are in full swing and Senior Bowl week commences in less than two weeks. The great news is I will be at the Senior Bowl all week covering it for SDBoltReport.com and the Scout.com network. But before we get to that, there is the little matter of the San Diego Chargers and some big decisions.

Admittedly, my trust was waning on whether A.J. Smith was going to be a good general manager. There were basic philosophies that I thought he infringed upon. What he actually did was redefine how the general manger position should be operated and prove my initial prognosis wrong.

Instead of maintaining the air of secrecy that normally is portrayed from a front office, Smith came out publicly on a number of issues and was rewarded. He told the world that Junior Seau could seek a trade and pulled it off. He said he would take Eli Manning and did just that, to the dismay of the Manning family and the New York Giants. He said he would not pay Jason Ball a penny more and stuck to his guns instead of the relenting the Chargers had previously been known for.

Smith has shown charisma and an unusual confidence in his dealing with players. He isn't afraid to make the tough decision and has a great feel for the team.

He ridded the team of any player that was a clubhouse cancer and brought in the type of player that showed leadership qualities. Quality people rather than quality players who may not have the right character. He shrewdly made trades in an era where deals occur as often as a solar eclipse and each one carried with it a key component to the Chargers renaissance.

Now he is faced with more issues that require resolutions. Drew Brees is certain to be franchised but does that mean he will remain with the team? Smith is bold enough to move Brees after a Pro Bowl season. This is long-term parking. Another year of Brees and letting him go for free isn't Smith's style. Perhaps they have the cap room again next year but there may be no time that Brees' value is higher and if that means it is in the best interest of the Chargers to move him now and gain another young player who will benefit the team for the next five years (the same length that Rivers has remaining on his current contract), then Smith will surely pull the trigger.

As eerie as it sounds after so much heartache in the past, in A.J. I trust.

Everyone has heard that Bucs safety Dwight Smith is asking for cornerback money and perhaps the Chargers are through ticketing the big name free agents but they have an advantage in this one. D. Smith and Antonio Gates are best of friends and remain tight today.

"We were always were on the same teams," the talented safety said. "We went to the state championship in basketball my senior year. We've always played together."

If Gates is listening, now would be the time to begin the recruiting process. Heck, he could be reunited with two former Bucs, Oben and McCardell, too.

D. Smith just completed his fourth season in the league and remains a player on the rise. At 26, he has the youth the Chargers crave and his play on the field is exceptional. He has nabbed three or more interceptions in each of the past three seasons and his ability to knock down passes has increased each year. D. Smith has also logged time at free safety, strong safety and cornerback and his versatility would enhance the Chargers ability to defend the pass.

Childhood friends unite.

Speaking of the safety position, did anyone else notice the game Clinton Hart played when Terrence Kiel was knocked out of the game?

Hart, a former college pitcher, was on the Eagles' practice squad in 2002 and replaced Brian Dawkins in 2003, playing reasonably well.

He is technically a third year player this coming season because of service time and has the qualities to be a solid role player on the team, seeing action in dime situations. He has also shown he can play both safety positions, a commodity that is always welcome and more importantly, Hart is a natural disaster on special teams, logging 13 special teams tackles which was good for most on the team.

Not sure if he is ready to be a full-time starter but he was another solid addition that the Chargers made – off the waiver wire.


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