Bubble will burst on Saturday

This is the time of year that coaches dread. With the final round of cuts scheduled for Saturday, the Chargers are preparing to release many players they plain don't want to let go. Some such players are still on the fence, but the Turk comes today. Making the right decisions here will be crucial for both the present and future of the organization.

The first such bubble player is DeQuincy Scott. Although Scott was a pass rushing force in the old 4-3 scheme, he is a poor fit in the new 3-4 alignment. Still, he is a great athlete and a consummate leader. Having already cut locker room favorite Adrian Dingle, the team must be careful before letting another popular player go.

"DeQuincy Scott has been great," said second-year defensive end Dave Ball said. "He is a nice guy and is really friendly, even to new players just coming in. If you ask him anything, they will always give you the right answer. Just a cool guy."

One thing working in his favor was the coach deciding to sit him for the final preseason game even though he was healthy. That is an indication that he may have already popped whatever bubble was surrounding him.

Another player who could be in trouble is Malcom Floyd. He has been injured for much of the offseason, and because of the team's incredible depth at receiver, he has no shot at being any better than the team's sixth pass catcher to start the season. Even if the team keeps six receivers, Ruvell Martin will merit strong consideration for the final open post as well.

"I feel a lot more comfortable this year," said Floyd, hoping to keep the spot on the active roster he earned towards the end of last season.

Martin, meanwhile, is eager to unseat Floyd. Given the record setting performance Martin orchestrated while playing in Europe this summer, combined with the fact that he has stayed healthy while Floyd has been ailing, Martin may have a legitimate shot to do so.

"I'm thinking about it the same way I did in Europe," Martin said. "I am trying my best to make the team and work as hard as I can. After that I am going to take everything as it progresses."

The final bubble player is one far too talented to deserve mention in an article such as this: Hanik Milligan. Last year, Milligan tied for tops on the team with 11 solo tackles on special teams. While in on defense, he adds great speed and a big-hitting force to a secondary in dire need of both.

Both of the Chargers' starting safeties from last year, Terrence Kiel and Jerry Wilson, return this season. There's also Bhawoh Jue, the team's sole significant free agent acquisition. Clinton Hart has seemingly passed Milligan on the depth chart as well, so the team will have to keep five safeties if Milligan is to stick around. That would be abnormal, but given Milligan's talents, totally justifiable.

The Chargers must be careful with each of these decisions, as none of them will be easy, and all of them are of the utmost significance. Given all of the aforementioned information, here is what the team should do...

Trying to trade DeQuincy Scott at this juncture does not seem likely and he has been used by the club at linebacker during training camp. Whether they have the time to convert him fully into that role is another question.

As for Floyd and Milligan, keeping one may require allotting an extra spot on the depth chart to his particular position. Therefore, keeping one may necessitate the release of the other. Given that, Floyd may have to be the one to go, if only because the team has such great depth at his position already. Milligan must stay, simple as that.

The Chargers may (and likely do) see things differently than me, as they often have. If that's the case, I hope they prove me wrong, as cutting the wrong player can have disastrous repercussions.

The Chargers ranked in the league's bottom ten in punt return average last year, and Wes Welker (released by the Chargers after week one) spent the season in Miami. That's a shame, and a wake up call for the Chargers' brass. Hopefully it only takes it one. Luckily, Darren Sproles makes it awfully easy to forget about the gaffe.


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