The Justice Files

Well, the schedule is finally out. On paper, it would seem like the Bolts have an easier slate of contests than last year. However, we all know that some of the teams we face will be a lot better than advertised. I happy at least that we finish with three of our final four games at home. The biggest challenge this season will be make sure that those divisional games down the stretch actually mean something this time around.

In other news, Eric Parker received a new contract. This completes Parker's rise from undrafted free agent to well-paid professional. Parker deserved the deal and has always made the tough grabs. He looks a little too much like David Justice for my tastes, but has always come across like the anti-Caldwell. I'm not just talking about his play on the field. We've all read stories of how Reche didn't have the greatest work ethic in the world. I guess that's why it wasn't that surprising that A.J. Smith said that Parker "represented everything you could want in a San Diego Charger." I wonder how Drew Brees feels about that.

By now, I'm sure you've all read the piece on Brees in ESPN: The Magazine. While the article clearly paints Drew as a scorned leader who has something to prove, it didn't make Philip Rivers out to be the bad guy. The only time he was referred to as a "bonus baby," it was only to describe Smith's infatuation with his ability.

Nick Canepa's Union-Tribune column of March 30 addressed Smith's public perception. I support his decision to make a change at quarterback, but I would have preferred us getting more in exchange for Brees. However, A.J. is ecstatic that the Bolts may get a 3 rd rounder since they didn't sign LeCharles Bentley. I understand that the League's compensation system states that our free agency activity dictates our return for Drew. But I also share the frustration of many Charger fans that we haven't upgraded our weak spots (o-line and secondary) enough. I like Marlon McCree, but we still have holes.

In the Canepa column, Dean Spanos commended Smith's commitment to building through the draft. We'll see where things unfold after that. On Brees, Smith said "If we think you're worth enough, you're going to get paid." OK, A.J. I like your style. I like the idea of "taking care of your own." But can we find some more talented players that are worth enough? Every time I see that Quentin Jammer is one of the higher-paid cornerbacks, I throw up a little. I know he played better last season, but isn't some of that due to Drayton Florence's horrible year? I still don't know why Jamar Fletcher didn't see more time. Last season, we were promised that an improved pass rush would aid the secondary. This year, the safeties are the scapegoats. With Smith's "my way or the highway" approach to salary negotiations, I have to believe that the fact that Jammer is still playing under his 6-year deal has something to do with his approach to upgrading the pass defense.

Until next time,


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