Dr. J's mailbox 3-17-03

Like the cavalry, here come the Charger fans to fend off the glut of Raider e-mails that I've received over the last couple of weeks. Like this one:

It is pretty funny that all these Raider lovers are spending so much time looking at what the CHARGERS are doing. God knows that they must be scared about this coming season or they would pay a lot more attention to their own team. I am a bolt lover and will always be a BOLT lover.
Ron Kirkpatrick-United States Navy
ronald.kirkpatrick@cox.net

From a Navy brat to a Navy Man, I salute you and your fellow sailors for the job that you do. See that Raider fans? The Seventh Fleet has my back!

Dr. J:

Why the Raider fans need to be reading other team sites, much less attacking the authors is beyond me. If I just went to the Super Bowl, I could care less what opponent team fans sites had to say. Anyway, curious on your thoughts about some of the big cuts that we made. Rodney Harrison. He may have missed some big assignments late in the season, but is this a good cut? He has such heart and plays with such intensity, you hate to see that type of player unceremoniously dismissed. He and Seau seemed to lead that 6am lifting crew that inspired the team and was critical in getting the team behind Schottenheimer. What are your thoughts? Conway, McCrary. Both have been replaced by higher priced, presumably more talented replacements. Conway was kind of fragile, but McCrary, like Harrison, played hard, had a great attitude and LT seemed to think he did a good job. Did either of these swap outs seem like bad moves to you? Alex Molden. I remember some horrible coverage in the Niners games, but thought he played pretty well the rest of the season. Of course, I am just a casual fan. In the Buffalo game he was flagged for two PI calls that led to 7 points, but, I was watching that game and thought they were horrible calls.


Jay Stokes
jstokes@telephia.com

Thanks for the letter Jay, how's the weather in the Bay Area? Don't worry about the Raiders fans, the Navy is apparently going to be behind me…

I think I've made my feelings about Harrison known. He was hurt, played hurt, looked bad in coverage, looked tentative at times maybe because of the many fines that he faced, but I loved the guy. He was a leader and a warrior and I'm still miffed that the Chargers let him go to run this Cover 2 that they want to do so much. But, so far, the Chargers have had a plan, and have followed it. I still want to see the safeties or the cornerbacks that they bring in before I make up my mind fully on whether this was the right thing to do.

I liked Fred McCrary, but you can't argue with the Lorenzo Neal pick up. If you're wondering how valuable a blocker Neal is, just ask Eddie George how his career has been without him. I think I was the only Charger fan that was happy to see the often fragile Curtis Conway let go. And now that David Boston is in town, I'm even happier.

Molden was overpriced and underperformed for most of the year. He had trouble with the bigger receivers and was expendable with the emergence of Quentin Jammer.

What is the feeling on Tebucky Jones becoming available now that Rodney Harrison has signed with the Patriots, and will he become a target of the Chargers? Thanks for the entertainment by the way in the weekly column.

Mazrim in Carlsbad, CA.

That's an unusual name there Mazrim, but then again, who am I to say so?

With Harrison in New England, one could assume that the Patriots will remove the franchise tag that they put on Jones and let him become an unrestricted free agent. Or he could be trade bait for someone looking for a safety. New Orleans comes to mind. Jones would be great to have in San Diego, but I don't know if the Chargers have what the Patriots want. However Jones goes, I have a feeling it will be a three way deal.

Hi, thanks for your time. I was wondering (hoping), if the Jets don't match the offer sheet for Coles, then the Redskins will be without their pick. Do you think the Smoot for #1 pick rumors will start up again? I couldn't think of a better scenario for that pick seeing that Marty drafted him and the Chargers need to fill that slot opposite Jammer. Some would argue that they should just take a DT with that pick, but there are so many quality DT's this Draft, but only two Elite CB's. And in Free Agency, there are no DB's so therefore if a deal could be worked for Smoot, that would be very nice. What do you think??

Thanks, Josh
joshsandyashley@msn.com

If I had a choice between Fred Smoot and Marcus Trufant, I would take Trufant. But if the Redskins offered that deal and Trufant was off the board by that time, can't say that I wouldn't consider it. Smoot would be a solid #2 CB.

But if this Cover 2 is going to work, the Chargers will have to upgrade their pass rush and their secondary. My guess is that Trufant will be off the board by #15 and the Chargers will go with the best DT available. I look again at the Buccaneers. Their secondary is solid, but not the strength of the defense. They get a big push from the front four which makes the job of the secondary much easier.

The Last Word

And one last note. I've gotten quite a few messages from angry and shocked Charger fans asking about the end of Junior Seau's career in San Diego. I can only tell you this. The NFL is about winning now and John Butler and company are a few players away from making this team a contender this season. And if this move gives the Chargers more cap room to do this, then I support it on that reason and that reason alone.

There's no easy way to let one of the team's and city's icons go, but there must have been a better way than this.

Good luck to you Junior, you were, are, and always will be, the one of the greatest Chargers ever to wear the lightning bolts.

Also check out Recent Envelopes in the Mailbox:

Mailbox for the week of March 10th

Mailbox for the week of March 3rd

Mailbox for the week of February 24th

Mailbox for the week of February 17th

Thanks to all writing in, please feel free to drop me a line regarding any matter, and your comments could be the next ones published. Please make sure to leave your name and city of residence so we can accurately credit your questions.

Dr. J answers readers' questions in his weekly column exclusively at Chargers Update. He can be reached at charmeljun@hotmail.com and welcome letters of any kind. Dr. J can also be reached via the following link: Dr. J's Mailbox

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