This week I exchanged six questions with Ernie Padaon, the editor of Fansided’s Chargers blog, Bolt Beat. Granted, Sunday’s game means very little, but it’s still a game for us to watch. Therefore, we must preview it. In the future, when games actually count, you’ll see some much more in depth analysis.
TLH’s questions for Bolt Beat:
Logan — Word is that this new CBA was created with the understanding that a team would relocate to Los Angeles within the next few years and I read on ESPN that the Chargers might be that team. Is that a realistic possibility?
Ernie — More realistic than a lot of San Diego fans want to believe. Some of the fan base already believes that our team will be heading up north and is preparing for their departure. Other fans believe that the only way that we can keep the team in town is to go to the Super Bowl this year! Definitely REAL and something we just try not to think about.
Logan — Any chance the Chargers invested in some custom orthotics for Antonio Gates? He’s the Yao Ming of football players. Do you think he can stay healthy this year?
Ernie — I hope so, or maybe some GOOD FEET from your boy Emmitt. We are being really careful with him this year and its freaky. He is a GAMER and will tough through a lot of the games, but I cannot assume that he will make it through the whole season healthy. Football is a physical sport and it is a lot of wear and tear to go through. We have invested again in Randy McMichael to be called upon if Gates falls apart again.
Logan — Eric Weddle signed a five year, $40 million deal. I thought he would be a great fit in Dallas. Is he worth that kind of coin though?
Ernie — A few of the guys here have this term called “Weddle Money.” Weddle Money is made when people are just average at their job but make a ton of dough. He is a good safety, but I can’t say he is worth that much. He can’t catch an interception and gets blown up by physical running backs. That said, I am still happy to have him back!
Logan — Lonyae Miller was the backup to Ryan Mathews at Fresno State. He’s making a strong push for a heavy role this year. Considering Mathews’ questionable durability, is it possible that the Cowboys ended up with the better Bulldog?
Ernie — There is no way. Ryan will be good this year and will prove the doubters wrong. He is a TALENT when he is on the field, we just need to make sure that he stays healthy and holds onto the ball.
Logan — I have a fantasy question of my own. What can we expect from Vincent Jackson this year?
Ernie — I am expecting some big big things with VJ here for a whole season. He is Philip’s favorite target deep and he is a BEAST of a receiver. He would be one of my first receivers off the board.
Logan — I have a special affinity for LaDanian Tomlinson. We were teammates in college, so I was a de facto Chargers fan during his time there. Is he the greatest player to ever don the Lightning Bolts?
Ernie — In my eyes, there is nobody that comes close. I never got to see players like Dan Fouts and Kellen Winslow, but I did see LT and i cannot imagine anyone better than him. All we had to do was hand him the ball and watch what he did with it! I still miss him out here!
Bolt Beat’s questions for TLH:
Ernie — Last year we were supposed to meet in the Super Bowl (according to everyone), what fell apart on your end?
Logan — Wade Phillips completely lost the team right out of the gate. They had an awful training camp that was basically spread across the country. I don’t usually take much from preseason games, but they got pounded last year in the preseason. It wasn’t surprising that they started the year out flat, but it was somewhat surprising how bad things got. They were a different team once Garrett took over. Phillips was such a bad head coach, that everyone has forgotten how much talent the Cowboys possess. I’m sure you guys like Phillips, but, trust me, be glad he isn’t your head coach.
Ernie — Who are some of the Cowboys prospects that we should keep an eye on late in the game?
Logan — Dwayne Harris is quietly making a push to become the team’s number three receiver. He was a late draft pick this year, but was a dominant force at East Carolina. He had a huge game in the first preseason game.
However, the player to really keep an eye on is David Arkin. Arkin is a rookie who may very well be the Cowboys’ starting left guard. With Montrae Holland out, he will be getting the start on Sunday.
Ernie — Do you really think that Nnamdi wanted to come out to Dallas? Why do you think he chose Philly?
Logan — Actually, I do think Nnamdi wanted to come to Dallas, but they gave him a low ball offer (reportedly for 4 years, $40 million) and hoped that Rob Ryan could talk him into coming. I don’t blame him for taking more money from the Eagles. I’m also kind of glad that the Cowboys didn’t sign him. Throwing a bunch of money at an aging corner didn’t really sound that appealing.
Ernie — Thanks again for Patrick Crayton, we love him here. Do you guys want a reset button for that trade?
Logan — Sure we miss him. They basically don’t have a third receiver anymore. But, this is really about the Roy Williams debacle. You’ll find very few fans that had a problem with Crayton in Dallas. He dropped a third-down pass in the playoffs against the Giants in 2007 that probably cost them the game, but most have been able to forgive him for that. They had nowhere to play him last year because of Roy’s presence on the roster. Trading for Roy and giving him that contract was easily the Cowboy’s worst decision of the last decade. The resulting damage has been far reaching and will continue to be for a couple more years.
Ernie — So Coach Garrett banned rookie hazing, what are your thoughts on it and do you think this is part of Dez Bryant’s crying about it last year?
Logan — You’re going to see a theme here and it’s that I don’t care for Roy Williams. I don’t think Dez cried about that at all and reports to the contrary were probably inaccurate. I think he told Roy to put his shoulder pads where the sun doesn’t shine and Roy was the one that cried about it. I’m glad he did it. Dez earned a lot more of his keep than Roy did last year. That’s for sure. If anything, Garrett banned rookie hazing just so lazy, overpaid, underperforming veterans couldn’t cause ridiculous drama.
Ernie — I have a fantasy football draft on Thursday, which wide receiver would you go after: Dez or Miles?
Logan — You have to go Miles there. His numbers with Romo are off the charts. For whatever reason, he and Kitna didn’t have the same kind of connection, but he should return to his previous dominance now that Tony is back. And, while Dez is freakishly talented, Miles is still the more complete receiver – for now.