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Los Angeles Chargers Daily Links: Is Derwin James the Next Kam Chancellor?

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Philip Rivers' offseason job? Playcaller for son's football team - Eric Williams
"It's special," Philip said, when asked about coaching Gunner. "Still to this day -- and thankfully I've had a lot of fun games and highlights, won a lot of games and lost some, too, on the biggest stages in pro and college -- but some of my most favorite memories are still playing high school football for my dad.

Ranking likeliest new NFL playoff teams and which team each would replace - NFL Nation
The Chargers won nine of their last 12 games in 2017 and barely missed the playoffs. And with the three other teams in the AFC West dealing with different levels of transition, Los Angeles has the most continuity returning on its roster and the coaching staff. The only starters the Chargers lost in free agency are safety Tre Boston and guard Kenny Wiggins. And they return the top decision-makers on the team's coaching staff, with offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt and defensive coordinator Gus Bradley reaching new deals this offseason.

Man vs Zone – who ran each coverage scheme the most in 2017? - Gordon McGuinness
Broadly, Cover-0, Cover-1 and Cover-2-man are considered man-coverage schemes, while Cover-2, Cover-3, Cover-4 and Cover-6 are more zone schemes. There are of course variances and also coverages in which change in the redzone and near the goal line. For sake of this article, we will focus on those broad buckets – man versus zone.

The NFL's prototypical defensive backs for each secondary position - John Kosko
Up-and-Coming: Derwin James (if he continues to show the type of play he did at fsu)

AFC Notes: Ravens, Jackson, Chargers, Sturgis, Patriots, Rowe - Andrew Ortenberg
The Chargers likely would’ve been a playoff team last year if not for their shaky kicking situation. As soon as the season ended, the team made aggressive moves to upgrade the position. They brought in former Buccaneers second round pick Roberto Aguayo and former Eagles kicker Caleb Sturgis to compete for the job.

Los Angeles Chargers: ‘Madden 19’ team rating is way off

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‘Madden 19’ doesn’t come out until August, but ratings for each NFL team were recently revealed.
Thanks to social media, gamers got a sneak peak at roster and player rankings for the new Madden, which is set to release on Aug. 10.

And after all that talk (by experts and fans) of the Los Angeles Chargers having one of the best and most complete rosters in the NFL going into the 2018 season, do you want to guess what their team rating was? 77 overall. Yup, that’s right. 77.

And with that rating, the Chargers rank 21st among all teams in Madden, tied with Denver and behind Oakland (81 overall) and Kansas City (80 overall).
And by looking at these team ratings in general, the creators seem to be very low on almost every single team. After the Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles, it’s a steep drop-off.

Sticking with the Chargers, who are their top overall players? As seen in this video here, CB Casey Hayward leads the pack with a 91 overall rating, followed by WR Keenan Allen (90 overall), DE Joey Bosa (88 overall), RB Melvin Gordon (88 overall), QB Philip Rivers (86 overall), CB Jason Verrett (85 overall), DE Melvin Ingram (84 overall) and WR Travis Benjamin (83 overall). It’s fair to note that those ratings are not set and stone, especially when the game constantly makes upgrades.

However, it makes no sense. So you’re telling me that not even one member of the best pass-rush tandem in the league received an overall grade of 90 or better? Or that Rivers, who finished with the second-most yards last season, ranked in the middle of the pack and tied with a quarterback (Andrew Luck) who hasn’t thrown a football since college? Or that Russell Okung, who helped turn what was a very bad offensive line into a halfway decent one, didn’t rank in the mid 80’s? And that Benjamin ranked in the 80’s??

Blasphemous. I bet these guys–Hunter Henry, Jahleel Addae, Trevor Williams, Desmond King, Darius Philon and even Denzel Perryman–are rated way too low, too. As for rookies, they usually start low, but Derwin James should get an 80. I mean, he was the steal of the draft.

And in no way shape or form should the Raiders have the best team rating in the AFC West. I’m not saying the Chargers are the most dominant team, but they’re better than the Raiders. The Chiefs? Hey, they’re division champs. They did, however, lose one of their best defenders in CB Marcus Peters and have an inexperienced QB in Patrick Mahomes.

I guess the Chargers are just going to have to dominate on the field for these things to change.

Philip Rivers' offseason job? Playcaller for son's football team

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TEMECULA, Calif. -- Philip Rivers had been in this position before, his team driving for the winning score with only minutes remaining.

But in this instance, the Los Angeles Chargers quarterback was not under center. That job was taken by his son, Gunner, during a flag football tournament over Father's Day weekend.

Coach Philip Rivers was drawing up a play on a small whiteboard inside the huddle.

As 10-year-old son Gunner and his teammates headed out to the field after receiving instructions, Rivers frantically motioned for them to return.

"Hey, get back here!" an exasperated Philip said. "I've got to give you the second play."
The drive stalled and the game ended in a tie. However, that did not stop Philip from having some fun coaching from the sideline.

"It's special," Philip said, when asked about coaching Gunner. "Still to this day -- and thankfully I've had a lot of fun games and highlights, won a lot of games and lost some, too, on the biggest stages in pro and college -- but some of my most favorite memories are still playing high school football for my dad.

"I hope to do the same coaching my two boys. But even now it's special with this age group."

Philip played for his father, Steve Rivers, at Athens High school in Alabama. At 36, Philip still has two years left on his contract and would like to play for a few more years. But once his playing days are over, Philip said he intends to follow his father's example and coach his kids.

Philip and his wife Tiffany have six girls -- Halle, Sarah Catherine, Caroline, Grace, Rebecca and Clare -- and two boys, Peter and Gunner.

For now, Philip will have to settle on being an assistant coach calling the plays on Gunner's flag football team, aptly named the Chargers.

"This is just kind of the beginning of it," Philip said. "I think he likes it. I know he likes football, but I think he likes me coaching him. It's fun to be out here coaching the boys and kind of share the sport that I love, and that he's growing to love, and get to kind of do it together."
Dan Cella is the team's head coach. A lifelong, die-hard Chargers fan, Cella started the team four years ago after meeting former Chargers safety Eric Weddle at a local L.A. Fitness.

The two fathers had sons around the same age and created a flag football team, with Weddle calling the offense and Cella calling the defense. They won the championship the first year they put the team together.

Rivers later joined them, and took over offensive playcalling duties two years ago when Weddle signed with the Baltimore Ravens in free agency.
Detroit Lions receiver Marvin Jones also had his son, Marvin III, playing on the team this past season, which took home the title for a second time.

"To come across these guys, have an opportunity to meet them, spend as much time and become friends with them, it really is surreal," Cella said. "I do have to kind of pinch myself from time to time. But the reality is they're regular guys and awesome human beings."

Weddle's oldest son, Gaige, returned from Baltimore this summer and joined his teammates for the Father's Day weekend tournament. The elder Rivers and Weddle served as captains and played together for nine seasons in San Diego.

"The relationship that Phil and I have is so close, and now we get to build that bond even more by coaching our sons and having them on the same team," Weddle said. "When I was out here it was nice to have him out there to talk routes or talk ball.

"As the years progressed, now Phil's taking over my spot, which is awesome. They've built that thing up to a powerhouse, and it's just a special, unique bond that we share."

Weddle consulted with Philip on some play calls over the weekend, taking credit for a deep pass late that went for a score.

"He suggested it," Philip said about the play. "It's fun. He's as competitive as anybody there is, too. But I didn't tell him we've run that slant-and-go a handful of times already this year."

Added Weddle: "You can give him credit, but he and I both know who called the play. That was the E-Dub special."

Gunner has a quirky, three-quarter release when he throws the ball that looks eerily similar to his father slinging it on game days.

"It's crazy," Philip said. "You heard my story a million times growing up trying to throw a high school football from a young age. He's had the youth football from a young age, but it's the same.

"I remember earlier saying to him, 'Hey, just raise it up a little bit.' But he was like, "That's how you do it,' so I've got no problem with it. He's doing just fine. He does have an ability to see things early and kind of throw things early and anticipate, and I don't know if you can coach some of that -- it's God-given. So it's going to be kind of fun to see what type of player he turns into."

Could Chargers' Secondary be Legion of Boom 2.0?

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With the addition of rookie safety Derwin James and the return of Pro Bowl cornerback Jason Verrett, the Chargers’ 2018 secondary has the feel of an iconic group that Defensive Coordinator Gus Bradley once coached.

ESPN’s Eric Williams has dubbed Los Angeles’ secondary “Legion of Boom 2.0,” a homage to the original group of Seattle Seahawks that included All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman, All-Pro safety Earl Thomas and Pro Bowl safety Kam Chancellor. Bradley spent four seasons in Seattle as the defensive coordinator and coached the trio together as full-time starters from 2011-12.

“This group has some traits of that group that was in Seattle,” said Williams on Wednesday’s episode of Chargers Weekly. “You talk about Sherman and Thomas and the athletic ability that they had up there. But I think [the Chargers] do it a little bit different, because their skill sets are different.”
While Los Angeles may not have the overall size and length that Seattle’s secondary once boasted, its depth and playmaking ability are among the best in the NFL. By adding Verrett back into the mix, the Chargers have four starting-caliber cornerbacks. In addition to Pro Bowl corner Casey Hayward, Desmond King and Trevor Williams both return in 2017.

“It makes you even more dangerous in the back end, because you’re probably going to get your hands on more footballs with Jason out there,” Williams said.

Verrett should help the Chargers maintain or improve their takeaway total from last season (27, sixth in the NFL). Aided by perhaps the league’s best pass rush, Hayward has 11 interceptions the past two seasons. Only Rams cornerback Marcus Peters has as many during that time.

Then there’s James, who joins a group of safety’s that include veterans Adrian Phillips and Jahleel Addae. Williams said the 6-foot-2, 215-pound rookie looked as good advertised during offseason workouts, noting his athleticism, size and speed.
“He’s not as big as Kam Chancellor, but he’s close,” he said.

James also has an alpha mentality that’s not necessarily common among 21-year-old rookies.

“I talked to Gus about [James] in terms of his leadership skills,” Williams said. “And he thinks that Derwin is a guy that -- even though he hasn’t done it yet -- is showing some leadership characteristics and is a guy who can help rally people in that secondary.”

Listen to the entire interview with Williams below. Other topics include wide receiver Mike Williams’ offseason (27:50), spending Father’s Day Weekend with quarterback Philip Rivers (36:00), and training camp storylines (38:15).

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