The Justice Files
I began posting lengthy segments on the "Bolt-Backers" mailing list, but soon realized that my unabashed fanaticism was not appreciated by all. Even though I have never asserted that my opinion was more valid or my perspective more knowledgeable, I found that certain people felt threatened enough to constantly remind me that THEY KNEW EVERYTHING.
In fact, this was the exact same scenario that reared its ugly head when I posted JUSTICE on the chargerfans.net board. Some of those same cyberfans suggested that I didn't understand football strategy or that I WASN'T WATCHING THE GAME CLOSELY ENOUGH.
That, FAITHFUL READER, was the last straw. Not everyone needs to agree with or appreciate what I write, but to suggest that I'm not paying attention or don't understand the game is insane.
The picture to your top left is of my living room table before January's playoff game. I don't think I need to defend my track record. My wife just told me that at the end of the Black Crowes show I described last week, some guy behind me saw my '94 AFC Champs hat and screamed out, "CHARGERS SUCK!" My wife immediately conspired with my friends to keep this information away from me. Good move.
That, in short, is why I appreciate the forum to bring JUSTICE to you on a weekly basis.
Just when I was concerned that nothing would happen to The Legion Of The Lightning Bolt, rumors spread this week that A.J. Smith would trade Philip Rivers to the 49ers for the #1 pick. While I don't think that there's anyway that both Brees and Rivers can coexist forever, I really don't see Smith making a move now. The 49ers obviously don't think that there's a true #1 out there. It would be nice to have three first-round picks, but we have even less use for the top spot than San Francisco does.
Smith seems pretty sharp. Some might argue that The Organization got lucky with the trade that brought Rivers to San Diego in the first place. A.J. clearly leaked that Eli preferred whining over winning, even though he'll never admit. That's part of his cunning (Smith's, not Manning's). I think he had an idea of what he was doing, even though Manning's refusal to play in San Diego seemingly weakened his trade value. He may be putting feelers out there for Rivers (or even Brees), but I think the Chargers see in their quarterback situation what we all do. There's no easy solution.
All last season, I kept telling myself that if one of the two QBs had to go, it should be Brees. Now I'm not so sure. Everybody says Drew Brees can't be as good as he looked last season. But none of the top signal-callers, with the exception of Vick and Manning, were thought to be such phenomenal talents coming out of college. Even with those two, there were no guarantees, as any Charger fan knows.
Who's to say that Brees can't continue to grow and develop? He certainly learned how to hold on to the ball while getting hit from his blindside. He had some poorly thrown passes dropped by the opposition, but he definitely cut down on his mistakes last year. He showed amazing leadership ability and the team obviously responded to him. I think Brees could still be the quarterback of the future, but The Organization should definitely make him prove it this season.
I'll try to forget Philip Rivers one taste of live action last season. Even though I've heard nothing but the best things about him, he looked almost Leaf-life against Kansas City. The touchdown he threw should have been picked off. I have no doubt that he could also be the player everyone says he is, but we can't put it all on his shoulders without seeing him succeed consistently at the professional level.
So where does that leave us? The best solution would be to keep Brees this year with Rivers as his backup. If he can lead the Bolts through a much-improved schedule, he has to stay. No matter who goes, The Organization had better be sure to get quality in return. Remember as the Chargers were shocking the Patriots in 2002 that not everyone believed that trading Drew Bledsoe was such a good idea.
That's all for now. Next week, we'll discuss my issues with Quentin Jammer and why I floated the idea of moving him to safety before the playoffs last season. I took a lot of flack, but that same idea reached as far as espn.com. Until then, let the words be yours. I am done with mine.