Enemy intel: Chargers

Enemy intel: Chargers
March 31, 2013, 12:15 pm
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Two weeks into free agency, the Redskins haven’t added a whole lot due to the crippling, $18 million NFL-imposed salary cap penalty. But that doesn’t mean their 2013 opponents haven’t been busy loading up, filling holes and reshaping rosters. Recently, we examined Washington’s NFC EAST foes, the Giants, Eagles and Cowboys. In the coming weeks, we’ll be checking in with the rest of the teams who appear on the Redskins’ schedule next season.

Team: Chargers

2012 record: 7-9

Key acquisitions: CB Derek Cox, RB Danny Woodhead, TE John Phillips, G Chad Rinehart, G Rich Ohrnberger, OT King Dunlap

2013 outlook: Ownership cleaned house after last season’s debacle, firing Coach Norv Turner and GM A.J. Smith and hiring Mike McCoy and Tom Telesco as their respective replacements.

But with little cap space at his disposal, Telesco’s biggest moves so far have been releasing some aging vets (such as linebacker Takeo Spikes) as well as costly, oft-injured left tackle Jared Gaither. Telesco has also been busy adding depth, signing a handful of good-but-not-great free agents to a lineup that underachieved in 2012 despite a top-10 defense and a solid (if declining) veteran quarterback in Philip Rivers.

Cornerback Derek Cox – a free agent the Redskins coveted – has been the Chargers most significant acquisition. The 26-year-old recorded 60 tackles, four interceptions and yielded only one passing touchdown as a member of the Jaguars last season, according to ProFootballFocus.com.

The addition of running back Danny Woodhead, meantime, is an intriguing move. At 28, the shifty 5 foot 8, 200-pound vet is still in the prime of his career and is as versatile as they come. Last season in New England, he caught 40 passes for 446 yards and rushed for four touchdowns – the Chargers’ total as a team a year ago.

Also on offense, the Chargers added tight end John Phillips, a former Cowboy who will back up eight time Pro Bowler Antonio Gates. Telesco also signed three lineman who will battle for jobs – G Chad Rinehart, G Rich Ohrnberger, OT King Dunlap – and is expected to target a starting left tackle with the team’s first round draft pick.

The Chargers’ offseason thus far has been a conservative one due to their proximity to the cap. And, on paper, they do not appear any more potent than they were a season ago as a result. But given the amount of talent already residing on their roster, it would also be a mistake to pencil them in as a ‘W’ when the schedule is released in a couple of weeks.