Today’s mailbag comes from @Joelsenz88 on Twitter. If you have any Chargers-related questions please feel free to tweet them at us, cover32_SD.
@cover32_SD hey do u see any chance the chargers take a chance on josh Gordon?
— Joel Petawabano (@Joelsenz88) July 15, 2014
Thanks for your question Joel! If the Browns did indeed cut breakout receiver, Josh Gordon, Tom Telesco would give the troubled player a look. Telesco has shown, with the Flowers signing, he will do anything that potentially makes this team a stronger contender. However, that’s as far as it would go.
Telesco is a smart guy, and right now the risk is not worth the reward. Most people are assuming Gordon will be suspended for the entirety of next year because of his third strike with the league’s substance abuse policy. But his most recent DWI, makes him a candidate for an even longer suspension. If you are waiting for a player to be disciplined (ie. Gordon, Aldon Smith, Greg Hardy), each passing day has to scare you a little bit more. Goodell has been a ruthless disciplinarian, usually giving suspensions that outweigh the crime by traditional measures. Most figured he would lay down his suspensions over NBA free agency to take some of the “bad face time” away from the league, but he is still waiting. I can only assume this means he is trying to hammer most of these players and consulting with a legal team to see what is likely to stick without being overturned. I expect Gordon to get one year, and potentially a few more games into the following season.
If this news frustrates you, you should take solace in knowing that Josh Gordon doesn’t really fit the Chargers offense. I know that sounds a bit bizarre; obviously, a premier wide receiver talent would help any offense, but Gordon’s game doesn’t fit with how the Chargers play football. Mike McCoy has become partial to 12 personnel (two tight ends, two receivers, one running back), and with Ladarius Green and Antonio Gates as potentially the best tight end duo in the league, the Chargers are full of receiving options. Add to that Danny Woodhead, Keenan Allen, and a plethera of functional wide outs on the other side, and the Bolts don’t need Gordon. Philip Rivers has always excelled at reading the defense and hitting quick passes. His “west coast” style doesn’t play into the long routes Gordon runs to create separation. The offense has also recently seen a commitment to the running game and playing more physical, smash-mouth football. This is something a flashy wide out doesn’t exactly jive with.
The Bolts are going to try to take time off the clock and beat opponents the old school way. Gordon is a big-time home run hitter who can take the top off the defense. While this aspect is certainly missing from the Chargers offense, it doesn’t really fit into their game plan. Remember last year? The offense did everything they could to limit the defense’s time on the field, and were rewarded for it. I expect this trend to continue, and with an even better defense, the team to be a big-time threat in 2014.
Lastly, consider head coach Mike McCoy, McCoy made headlines by coming in last season, and whipping these Chargers into shape. The second-year head man is a “no BS” kind of guy, and is as old school as they come. I can guarantee you the last thing McCoy wants is a reclamation project with a guy who needs babysitting.
While the idea is good in theory (adding quality talent never hurts), I don’t see the Chargers wasting their time at a position that doesn’t define who they are at a fundamental level. I think we will be surprised at how well Green, Gates and Allen work together this year.