SAN DIEGO -- Asked if he sought quarterback Ryan Lindley's knowledge of the Arizona Cardinals' playbook upon his arrival, San Diego Chargers head coach Mike McCoy put it bluntly to reporters after practice on Monday.

"We're looking for him to help us win football games through the entire year -- not just this week," McCoy said.

So you didn't have a conversation about Arizona's audible system coach?

"We're trying to win this football game," McCoy said. "We're trying to do whatever we can. We didn't make the move to sign Ryan because we're playing Arizona this week, and you can highlight that, bold it, underline it -- whatever you want."

A sixth-round selection by the Cardinals in the 2012 draft, Lindley, 25, started four games for Arizona. Along with his potential as a developmental prospect, McCoy said one of the reasons San Diego pursued Lindley was his relationship with Chargers offensive coordinator Frank Reich, who served as Arizona's receivers coach in 2012.

Lindley said he's been asked a few questions by the coaching staff about his former team.

"I've talked to these guys a little bit about it," Lindley told The Mighty 1090 AM radio. "I'm sure as much as we game plan they will probably ask me a few things from playing with them for two years, and we'll go from there. But at the same time, it's about guys executing on Monday, and we'll do that."

A San Diego native, Lindley says he's excited to return home and learn from one of the elite quarterbacks in the NFL in Philip Rivers.

"I've watched him since I was in high school, and you can see why he has the success he has on the field," Lindley said. "The amount of work he puts in, just from being in there this morning with him, I'm looking forward to sitting in there and racking his brain and see what's going on."
SAN DIEGO -- Two years into the retooling effort for the San Diego Chargers, general manager Tom Telesco said more debate went into final roster cuts in putting together this season's roster -- and that's a good thing.

"Cuts are hard no matter what because you're dealing with people," Teleseco said. "But yeah, we just felt like this year there were a number of guys that warranted consideration for the 53 and our practice squad than I remember last year. So that's usually good because it means we're moving in the right direction talent-wise."

The Chargers cut two selections from this year's draft in sixth-round running back Marion Grice and seventh rounder receiver Tevin Reese. San Diego also kept three undrafted rookie free agents in running back Branden Oliver, cornerback Chris Davis and defensive tackle Tenny Palepoi.

Telesco said his pro personnel department also did a nice job in mining two diamonds in the rough in former CFL standouts receiver Dontrelle Inman and pass rusher Cordarro Law. Inman made the roster as the final receiver over Vincent Brown, while Law had a productive preseason and was added to San Diego's practice squad.

"It's a little bit of an unknown," Telesco said about Inman. "At least he had some production in the CFL. But he picked up the system very quick. He's a very good route runner. He consistently performed in practice against some pretty good DBs this year. And when his number was called in the game, he produced."

In deciding to part ways with Brown, Telesco said that ultimately the five receivers that remain on the roster were productive during training camp, while the San Diego State product couldn't get back on the field due to a lingering calf strain. Brown was waived/injured over the weekend. He cleared waivers and was placed on San Diego's injured reserve list.

However, Brown is close to being healthy, and will likely receive an injury settlement so he can play for another team this season.

"He did a lot for us last year," Telesco said about Brown. "He's a great kid, a good football player. Those are just tough decisions to make. I'm glad we have tough ones, and not easy ones."

Telesco said his job isn't over with final roster cuts completed, as the 53-man roster remains fluid throughout the season.

"It's never really done," he said. "Certainly, with injuries we're constantly moving things around. We have a lot of players that aren't even here that we'd like to get back at some point, so you may have to juggle it.

"We're constantly watching our players to see if they perform when they need to perform. And if they don't, then we may have to make a move."
SAN DIEGO -- Two potential starters on the defensive side of the ball returned to practice for the San Diego Chargers on Monday, a signal the duo could play in the team’s season opener against the Arizona Cardinals.

Inside linebacker Manti Te'o missed the last two preseason games with a sprained left foot, but worked with his position group during the early portion of practice on Monday.

Starting defensive tackle Sean Lissemore, who has not played or practiced since suffering a right ankle injury against the Seattle Seahawks in the second preseason game on a cut block by tight end Zach Miller, also was on the practice field working with the defensive linemen.

Joining Lissemore was fellow defensive lineman Lawrence Guy, who had not practice since suffering a shoulder injury in the exhibition opener against the Dallas Cowboys.

Safety Jahleel Addae remains out with a hamstring injury. Cornerback Chris Davis and receiver Jevontee Herndon also did not practice due to unknown injuries.

The Chargers are not required to release an injury report until Wednesday.
SAN DIEGO -- In need of depth along the defensive line, the San Diego Chargers announced the signing of defensive tackle Ricardo Mathews on Monday.

Mathews
Mathews
At 6-foot-3 and 300 pounds, Mathews was among the final roster cuts for the Houston Texans.

Mathews was a seventh-round selection by the Indianapolis Colts when Telesco worked in that team’s personnel department in 2010, and spent his first four seasons in the NFL in Indianapolis.

Although Telesco has some familiarity with Mathews, he said the team brought Mathews in because the athletic defensive lineman is a movement guy who can play all of the interior defensive line positions.

Mathews also has some scheme familiarity from playing for Chuck Pagano’s defensive in Indianapolis, the older brother of Chargers defensive coordinator John Pagano. Mathews replaces running back Marion Grice on the 53-man roster. Grice was waived by San Diego on Monday.

The Chargers now have seven defensive linemen on the active roster -- Corey Liuget, Kendell Reyes, Sean Lissemore, Lawrence Guy, Ryan Carrethers, Tenny Palepoi and Mathews.

Telesco said the Chargers made a tough decision in letting Grice go, but ultimately the team would like to bring him back on the practice squad. The Chargers have an open spot on the practice squad, should Grice clear waivers.

Chargers release RB Marion Grice

September, 1, 2014
Sep 1
12:54
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SAN DIEGO -- The San Diego Chargers continued to churn the roster as they prepares for the regular-season opener at Arizona.

The Chargers released sixth-round selection Marion Grice on Monday, according to a source. If the Arizona State product clears waivers, he’ll likely be added to the team’s practice squad. The Chargers have one remaining spot on the practice squad, as it stands now.

Grice was released in favor of undrafted rookie free-agent running back Branden Oliver, who remains on the team’s active roster as the fourth running back behind Ryan Mathews, Danny Woodhead and Donald Brown.

The move opens up a spot on San Diego’s active roster. The Chargers are thin at defensive line, and could be looking for a player to add depth and experience up front like 31-year-old veteran Kevin Vickerson, released by the Denver Broncos during final roster cuts.

San Diego will hold a practice at Chargers Park at 1 p.m. ET on Monday.
Good morning. Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego reports that San Diego Chargers offensive lineman Jeromey Clary had a second surgery on his ailing hip, and could miss the entire 2014 season.

Clary
Clary had offseason shoulder and hip surgery, and was placed on the reserve physically unable to perform (PUP) list, meaning he will miss at least the first six weeks of the season. Clary also took a pay cut. Scheduled to make $4.55 million in 2014, Clary will now make $1.6 million in guaranteed salary.

The Chargers carried five running backs, but just eight offensive linemen on the 53-man roster, so depth could be an issue down the road if Clary can’t get back on the field. San Diego has four linemen who can play guard in Johnnie Troutman, Chad Rinehart, Chris Watt and Rich Ohrnberger.

They also have another option at guard in Craig Watts on the practice squad. And Kenny Wiggins, released during roster cuts, remains available on the open market.

According to Jimmy Kempski of Phlly.com, the Chargers have the fifth-oldest team in the NFL, with an average age of 26.64.

Trey Cunningham of Pro Football Focus offers five reasons to be confident and five reasons to be concerned for the Chargers this upcoming season.

Tom Krasovic of U-T San Diego wonders if this is the final season for Ryan Mathews with the Chargers, as this team was built to be less dependent on his services.

Paola Boivin of the Arizona Republic notes that Cardinals starting running back Andre Ellington averaged 5.5 yards per carry his rookie season. Run defense was an issue for the Chargers during preseason play.

Josh Katzowitz of CBS Sports does a by-the-numbers look at NFL cut-down day.

Mike Tanier of Sports on Earth writes that Labor Day is New Year's Day for NFL fans.
SAN DIEGO -- He played against the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday, but now outside linebacker Thomas Keiser will get an opportunity to play for the Cardinals against his former team in the regular-season opener on Monday night.

Released by the San Diego Chargers during final roster cuts on Saturday, the Cardinals claimed Keiser off of waivers on Sunday. Like San Diego, the Cardinals run a 3-4 defensive front, so the transition shouldn’t be that tough for the Stanford product.

Keiser finished third on the Chargers with 4.5 sacks last season, but he was in a log jam at outside linebacker behind rookie second-round draft choice Jeremiah Attaochu, second-year pro Tourek Williams and ex-CFL standout Cordarro Law. Now, the Cardinals can use Keiser to help game plan for his former team, getting information about San Diego’s personnel and scheme.

The Chargers also can do something similar, getting information on the Cardinals from quarterback Ryan Lindley, a recent practice squad addition who was released by Arizona on Saturday.

Chargers seventh-round selection Tevin Reese cleared waivers and has not been added to an NFL team’s practice squad. Offensive tackle Mike Harris was claimed off of waivers by Minnesota.

According to the Chargers, receiver Vincent Brown cleared waivers and was placed on the team’s injured reserve list. Brown is close to being fully healthy, so look for an injury settlement and Brown getting a chance to play elsewhere soon.
SAN DIEGO – Quarterback Ryan Lindley is returning home. Released by the Arizona Cardinals during final roster cuts, the San Diego native and former San Diego State player made his way through waivers and will be added to San Diego’s practice squad, the team announced.

Lindley
A sixth-round draft selection by the Cardinals in the 2012 draft, Lindley, 25, started four games for Arizona. Lindley’s career stats in the NFL aren’t impressive. He’s completed 52 percent of his passes for 752 yards, with no touchdowns and seven interceptions. Lindley’s been sacked 12 times and has a career 46.7 passer rating.

However, he does have a relationship with Chargers offensive coordinator Frank Reich, who served as Arizona’s receivers coach in 2012. And at 6-foot-3 and 235 pounds, Lindley has a strong arm, offering potential as a developmental prospect.

With Lindley in the fold, it appears the Chargers are moving on from second-year pro Brad Sorensen, who was released during Saturday’s final roster cuts. Sorensen finished the preseason with 178 passing yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions, completing 56.4 percent of his passes. Sorensen was sacked five times and had a 46.7 passer rating.

Along with Lindley, the Chargers added receivers Javontee Herndon and Torrence Allen, offensive lineman Jeremiah Sirles and Craig Watts, defensive lineman Chas Alecxih, outside linebacker Cordarro Law, cornerback Greg Ducre and safety Adrian Phillips to the practice squad.

The Chargers have one open spot remaining on the practice squad.
SAN DIEGO – Marion Grice said the San Diego Chargers showed heavy interest in him during the draft, attending his pro day at Arizona State and also explaining how they would use him in the team’s offense at the NFL scouting combine.

So it’s little shock that San Diego’s sixth-round pick in this year’s draft landed on the final 53-man roster. The surprise, of course, is general manager Tom Telesco and head coach Mike McCoy chose to keep five running backs on the roster, including undrafted rookie free agent Branden Oliver.

[+] EnlargeMarion Grice
AP Photo/Lenny IgnelziMarion Grice took advantage of his opportunity in the final preseason game and made the Chargers' roster.
At 6-foot and 208 pounds, Grice is a back that can do everything. He’s a physical runner who can get it done between the tackles, but also has enough speed to get outside in the run game. He’s smooth catching the ball out of the backfield, but also smart and physical enough to pick up blitzes in pass protection.

Grice is familiar with the zone running scheme from his time at Arizona State, can line up as a slot receiver and returned kicks in college. But what’s sometimes goes unnoticed about Grice is his ability to move the pile in the run game.

“He’s a big guy,” Chargers offensive coordinator Frank Reich said about Grice. “He’s strong, runs hard. He’s tough to bring down and has great balance.”

With Ryan Mathews, Danny Woodhead and Donald Brown, the Chargers are loaded in the backfield, so Grice said will have to figure out how to earn time on special teams.

Grice didn’t have much an opportunity to show what he could do during offseason work as he rehabilitated a leg injury. But his unique skill set began to emerge during training camp, blossoming in the final preseason game, when he finished with 79 yards on 19 carries.

“It was great to get an opportunity to play a little longer, get into a rhythm and just play hard,” Grice said about his effort against the Cardinals on Thursday.

Added McCoy: ““He’s done a nice job for us. I think he just got more opportunities. And that’s what we talked about earlier, is that some guys got more opportunities than they did earlier in the preseason. And that’s what this business is all about, making the most of your opportunities.”

Now that he’s on the roster, Grice will continue to focus on honing his skill set, watching and learning from the talented runners in front of him on the depth chart.

“I make sure I work on it every day in practice, trying to be a complete back,” Grice said. “I don’t want to just settle on being a third-down back. I want to be an every-down back. So I just keep working hard on it in practice.”
Most significant move: An impressive offseason performance and the continuity that would have been achieved by keeping him on the roster did not save veteran receiver Vincent Brown, who was waived/injured by the Chargers. Brown had not practiced since suffering a calf strain during the second day of training camp July 25 but was considered solidly on the roster because of his experience in San Diego’s offense. Brown played all 16 games for the first time in his NFL career in 2013, finishing with 41 receptions for 472 yards and a touchdown. Brown had only one drop on the season. Scheduled to make $1,431,000 in base salary for the upcoming year, Brown’s salary would have been fully guaranteed if he was on the Week 1 roster. The Chargers are about $5 million under the salary cap, so Brown’s release could be a move by San Diego to clear more salary-cap space for transactional moves during the season. The Chargers also like ex-CFL standout Dontrelle Inman and will likely run more two-tight-end sets with the emergence of Ladarius Green. Brown will revert to San Diego’s injured reserve list if he clears waivers.

Bolts go with two QBs: San Diego went with two quarterbacks on this year’s roster, releasing developmental prospect Brad Sorensen. The Southern Utah product had an uneven performance in games and in practice during training camp. He’ll likely be added to the team’s practice squad if he clears waivers. The Chargers kept Sorensen on the active roster as a rookie last year, keeping three quarterbacks. But in 2011 and 2012, San Diego kept only two quarterbacks, so they'll go back to that model in 2014. The Chargers likely needed a roster spot in order to add more depth along the defensive line, and Philip Rivers has the second longest streak of games started by a quarterback behind Eli Manning at 128, so San Diego doesn’t necessarily need a lot of depth there.

Are the Chargers a running team? Yes, San Diego has one of the most efficient quarterbacks in the NFL in Rivers and will run more no-huddle this year. But the Chargers showed their hand in keeping both rookie running backs Marion Grice and Branden Oliver on the active roster -- San Diego is a running team. The Chargers finished 13th in the league in rushing in 2013 with 1,995 rushing yards. But with Ryan Mathews injured at the end of last season, San Diego could not lean on the run game in an AFC divisional playoff loss at Denver. That should not be an issue this year, with five quality running backs currently on the roster and a physical run blocker in fullback/tight end David Johnson.

What’s next: All players waived Saturday are eligible to be claimed off waivers by other NFL teams at 9 a.m. PT Sunday. Teams can start setting practice squads at that time, once waiver claims have been settled.

Chargers' moves: San Diego released 22 players -- TE Mike Flacco, CB Crezdon Butler, DE Doug Worthington, DE Joe Kruger, WR Tevin Reese, QB Brad Sorensen, OL Craig Watts, WR Vincent Brown, DL Chas Alecxih, WR Torrence Allen, LB Victor Aiyewa, S Alden Darby, CB Greg Ducre, T Mike Harris, WR Javontee Herndon, LB Thomas Keiser, LB Cordarro Law, S Adrian Phillips, LB Colton Underwood, OL Kenny Wiggins and C Khalil Wilkes.
Good morning. The San Diego Chargers are expected to announce final roster cuts close to the Saturday 4 p.m. ET league deadline. As soon as they are announced, we will have a post on the released players and an analysis of the team's final roster.

News of players getting released continues to trickle out this morning. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports tight end Mike Flacco, the younger brother of Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, has been told he will be released by the Chargers.

Reportedly, the Chargers also released Crezdon Butler, Brad Sorensen, Tevin Reese and defensive linemen Doug Worthington and Joe Kruger. The team has not confirmed those moves, but that would put the Chargers at 69 players as they work on whittling the roster down to 53.

Ben Stockwell of Pro Football Focus praises Cordarro Law for his play in the final preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals.

Ricky Henne of Chargers.com provides five lessons learned from San Diego’s final preseason win against Arizona.

Jay Paris of the Sports Xchange gives us an early preview of the regular-season opener at Arizona.

Tom Krasovic of U-T San Diego writes that cutting Sorensen makes sense for the Chargers because it frees up a roster spot for a team attempting to make a deep playoff run.

Russell Baxter of Bleacher Report gives the Charges a C grade for the team’s performance during the preseason.
SAN DIEGO -- The most effective edge rusher last season for the San Diego Chargers, outside linebacker Thomas Keiser, could be looking for work elsewhere when final roster cuts are made Saturday.

And Keiser says he's OK with that.

[+] EnlargeThomas Keiser
AP Photo/Phelan M. EbenhackThomas Keiser filled in on a depleted Chargers defense last season, but he has since been passed over on the depth chart.
"It's like a mixed feeling," he said. "Half of me is not happy that I've been at the bottom of the depth chart. When you're at the bottom of the depth chart, you can get a ton of reps, or none. And so it's really more a nuance of what's the competition I'm going against. Because when I go out there and I make plays against the third string, they're like, 'Well, he's supposed to make plays against the third string.'

"I need to go out there and make plays against first-team guys, because that's how I continue to develop as a player."

Keiser seldom got those opportunities to show what he could do against starter-level competition during training camp and in the preseason. Being at the bottom of the depth chart was an odd position for Keiser, who finished third on the Chargers with 4.5 sacks in 2013. With Dwight Freeney, Larry English, Jarret Johnson and Melvin Ingram missing time last season, Keiser helped fill the void for the Chargers' ailing pass rush, playing a career-high 380 snaps.

But during preseason play, Keiser, 25, was passed over on the depth chart by rookie second-round selection Jeremiah Attaochu, second-year pro Tourek Williams and ex-CFL standout Cordarro Law. Those three outside linebackers played an average of 22 plays a contest through the first three preseason games, while Keiser saw an average of 12 snaps a game.

Also not helping matters for Keiser is that he pled guilty to misdemeanor battery and received probation, including an order to attend anger management classes, after attacking an employee at a local bar in downtown San Diego last December.

"It's a very difficult and precarious situation to be in, trying to keep your job in the NFL when you're in that situation," Keiser said. "But you just kind of have to make due. Things are never ideal. So I had to fight though and make the most of my opportunities."

Keiser accomplished that, finishing with two sacks, two forced fumbles and five total tackles during preseason. If things don't work out in San Diego, Keiser is confident he'll land with an NFL team somewhere else.

"I've been sitting at the bottom of the depth chart since March," Keiser said. "So I was like, 'You know what, I have to work on my personal development as a player. I'm going to be playing football in the NFL somewhere this fall, regardless of how things work out here.'"
SAN DIEGO – San Diego Chargers head coach Mike McCoy emphasized that Thursday’s final preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals was about picking the best 53 players for the regular season and not game-planning for the team’s regular-season opener against the same team on Sept. 8.

McCoy
“It was a very productive offseason,” McCoy said. “And now it’s the tough time of the business for us, as coaches and as an organization, the personnel department – everything – of making some very tough decisions moving forward of who the best 53 are for the football team, and picking the practice squad.”

McCoy said the team will not announce roster cuts until Saturday’s 4 p.m. ET deadline. However, news has trickled out on a couple of the releases.

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports that San Diego released cornerback Crezdon Butler.

Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego reports receiver Tevin Reese, quarterback Brad Sorensen, and defensive linemen Doug Worthington and Joe Kruger have been released.

None of these moves have been confirmed by the team.

In terms of the schedule, McCoy said his coaching staff will evaluate film from Thursday’s game and clean up mistakes made by players who make the final roster. And then the Chargers will begin preparing for Arizona, with a couple extra days to get a jump on game-planning for the Cardinals.

“You’ve got to study,” McCoy said. “You’ve got to watch as much film as you can. And we’ve got some extra days to take advantage of it. But I also think it’s important for some guys to take a deep breath for a couple days. Take care of your body No. 1, and get ready for the marathon. It’s a long season.”
video

Christopher Harris discusses the draft value of the Chargers' tight ends.

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