Enemy Intel: How'd the Chargers do in the draft?


Enemy Intel: How'd the Chargers do in the draft?

By Tom E. Curran

Last season, the Chargers missed the playoffs for the first time since 2005. They were a team that - for a large portion of 2010 - showed how untrustworthy that generally accepted statistics are; they led the league in yards gained on offense and yards allowed on defense for much of the year while losing five of their first eight. So how'd they look so good in yards gained and allowed? Their special teams were so bad that opposing offenses often didn't have to take the field. And when special teams wasn't letting them down, turnover and short fields were. The aim of General manager A.J. Smith in this year's draft was to attack the defensive side of the ball. San Diego spend four of its first five picks on defense. Needing defensive line help, San Diego got Illinois defensive lineman Corey Liuget with the 18th overall pick. Smith said the run on quarterbacks pushed Liuget down to the Chargers. San Diego went to the back end of its defense with Marcus Gilchrist in the second round (50th overall). He's seen as a very good cover corner and has return skills. He's expected to be a hybrid cornersafety. The selection of third-round linebacker Jonas Mouton from Michigan was panned as a "reach." Skinny receiver Vincent Brown from San Diego State (5-11, 184 pounds) was a third-rounder. So was USC corner Shareece Wright. He had a solid 2010 after injury-marred seasons in 2008 and 2009. That caused his value to slip. Local boy Jordan Todman of UConn went to San Diego in the sixth round, an apparent boon for the Bolts since Todman is expected to be a pretty good complementary back in the league and Darren Sproles could be a free agent when the lockout ends. SUMMARY: Meh. Uninspiring. San Diego went with players in areas of need and got some help for the back end of its defense. The best pick may end up being Todman, who never should have slipped all the way to the sixth round.

Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Curran: McDaniels staying with Pats shouldn't be a shocker

Curran: McDaniels staying with Pats shouldn't be a shocker

For weeks the speculation regarding Josh McDaniels wasn't a matter of "if" but "when."

But while national media had McDaniels signed, sealed and delivered to multiple landing spots, the proposition that he'd leave at all was never a likelihood. 


The Rams weren't attractive to him from the outset. Jacksonville didn't excite him, either. And on Monday, he passed on the 49ers opportunity. 

The lure of a blank slate in San Fran at quarterback and GM didn't outpace the uncertainty of going cross-country to work for a seemingly dysfunctional franchise that's cycled rapidly through coaches and has an unrealistic sense that it's a long, long way removed from its glory days, the only remnant remaining from that being perhaps the logo on the helmet. 

With four kids and a job McDaniels considers one of the 10 best on coaching -- head man or no -- he will stay on as the Patriots' offensive coordinator.

"I was really impressed with (Niners owner) Jed York and (team executive) Paraag Marathe . . . and the people that came from the 49ers organization," McDaniels said on a conference call this morning. "They did a great job with their presentation. Humbled to be included in that process. At this time it's just best for my family and myself to remain here in New England and focus on this year's playoffs and finish out the year however it turns out."

The same faulty speculative reasoning that had McDaniels as good as gone from the Patriots will move on undeterred today and surmise that McDaniels is staying with the Patriots because he knows, or has been promised, that he'll receive the head coaching job when Bill Belichick steps aside. 

While the Kraft family certainly thinks highly of McDaniels and that could come to pass, anyone tapping their foot and checking their watch waiting for Belichick to step down is in for a long wait. He's showing no signs of wrapping it up and, while I haven't been told directly McDaniels isn't the automatic successor, he wouldn't be taking interviews at all if he were assured that. 

What will be interesting to see is whether interest remains high in him for other jobs or the perception that he's never going to leave means teams don't bother to ask. San Fran obviously had its heart set on McDaniels. Even though Nick Caserio passed on the chance to interview with the Niners for their open GM job, the team did talk to Louis Riddick about the spot. He and McDaniels have high regard for each other. 

Between McDaniels, Caserio and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, the people closest to Belichick on the coaching flow chart all had chances to go somewhere else and all passed on the chance. It's another example of not why the Patriots are good but why they remain good. Stability. 

McDaniels: 'Best for my family and myself' to remain with Patriots

McDaniels: 'Best for my family and myself' to remain with Patriots

Josh McDaniels will be staying put in New England, he said on Monday, because that's what's best for him and his family at this point in time. 


The Patriots offensive coordinator was a front-runner for the open head-coaching job in San Francisco but has removed his name from consideration.

"I was really impressed with [Niners owner and CEO] Jed York and [Chief Strategy Officer and EVP of Football Operations] Praag [Marathe] and [Director of Football Administration and Analytics] Brian [Hampton] and the people that came from the 49ers organization. They did a great job with their presentation. Again, humbled to be included in that process.

"At this time it's just best for my family and myself to remain here in New England and focus on this year's playoffs and finish out the year however it turns out."

Next season will be McDaniels' sixth full season back with the Patriots since returning during the playoffs of the 2011 season.

"I've always said how grateful I am to have this opportunity to work here with Mr. Kraft and his family, and coach under Bill with a lot of great guys on our staff, and to have the privilege to get to work with the players that we work with each day," McDaniels said. "It's a great opportunity. I'm very thankful to be here, and very much looking forward to this week against Pittsburgh."