Back in March, when free agency started, frustration mounted amongst Chargers fans. The Bolts were cap strung with some of the final ties to to the Turner/Smith era finally set to come off the books in 2015, but still costing the team in the near future.
San Diego’s big free agent splash? Donald Brown. A third running back added to an already very capable backfield. But as we saw in the playoffs, depth at running back is a must.
With Denver on a spending spree, and the rest of the league making aggressive moves, the Chargers were forced to sit back. However, here we sit four months later singing a completely different tune.
The Chargers addressed their biggest weakness (pass defense) with their first two picks in May’s draft. The team added an extremely athletic corner in Jason Verrett and will provide some relief to the secondary with stud pass rusher, Jeremiah Attaochu. Last week, the Bolts added a premier corner in late free agency, something our Dan Pizzuta believes to be quite the rarity in this day and age. And moving into training camp, excitement is building. If the offense can do what it did last year, with a defense that has nowhere to go but up, this team is looking primed for a double digit win season and another playoff run.
So who are five newcomers prepped to make a big impact in 2014?
5. Steve Williams
While Williams isn’t exactly a “newcomer” to the Chargers, 2014 will be San Diego fans first opportunity to see the Cal product in the NFL. The fifth round pick in 2013 used last season as a “redshirt” year after tearing his pectoral muscle in camp. We profiled Williams earlier this offseason before news broke of him seeing time with the first team at OTAs. The youngster shined in training camp last season and again appears to be a candidate for a high impact season moving forward. Tom Telesco first noticed Williams on tape while reviewing Stanford-Cal film. Telesco was scouting Andrew Luck for the Indianapolis Colts and decided to draft a guy he thought was going unnoticed. 2014 will be Williams first opportunity to prove his young general manager correct.