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Ricky Henne's Fan Mailbag
Q: Ricky, what’s your opinion on moving Quentin Jammer immediately to strong safety? Nothing against Atari Bigby, but Jammer isn’t getting any younger. I believe he will fit perfectly at SS with his hitting ability and coverage. Has anyone considered it? – Jose Herrera
A: There’s a bunch of fans clamoring for this change, and you may be on to something in the future. But for now, Jammer is our best corner. You can’t weaken one area to try to strengthen another. Plus Bigby has played relatively well. That being said, as Jammer gets older, safety could certainly be a better fit for him the Chargers defense, making the switch much like Ronde Barber did in Tampa Bay. But to do that, you need him to be 100% committed to that change as well as have a complete offseason to work at it.
Q: Hello, Ricky, Rivers has shown great abilities over his career and I think he's a great asset in the locker room, but given his quarterback play the past couple years, do you think the Chargers should target a QB in next years' draft? Thanks, Joe – Joe Lippman
A: Should they target a QB to replace Rivers? Absolutely not. Despite his recent struggles turning the ball over and a few questionable decisions, Rivers is still in the upper echelon of NFL quarterbacks. Look around the league. There are so many teams out there struggling to find a franchise quarterback they can rely on. To get rid of a quarterback of Rivers caliber would be a huge mistake. He still has a lot of years left in this league. Instead I personally would focus on improving the offensive line and help get some weapons around him to assist rather than replace him. Now, I wouldn’t be against drafting a quarterback later in the draft with talent to develop behind Rivers and back him up. But that’s another story.
Q: What do the players think of Norv as head coach? – Xavier Chao
A: The players love Norv Turner. They respect him and want to go out there to win for him. Obviously a 4-5 record is not ideal, but the players have put the onus on themselves for this. Actions speak louder than words so the team needs to go out there and show it. But they all think he has a great football mind, is a good man and honorable coach to be able to play for.
Q: Mr. Henne, thank you for answering my question. This is your first year covering the team right? What has been the biggest surprise for you? – JT Tolliver
A: Yes JT, this is my first year with the Chargers. Your question was very easy to answer. Donald Butler. The guy is an awesome player. I didn’t really know much about him before training camp and he has earned my complete respect with the way he goes out on the field and competes. In my opinion he should not only make the Pro Bowl this season, but he deserves to start.
Q: What is the mood like with the team? – Cindy King
A: I’m very happy I got asked this question because I’ve been very impressed by the attitude of this team. Yes, they were somber following the game in Tampa Bay and on the flight home, but they came back in on Monday fired up and ready to go. They realize they have a chance this week against the Broncos to erase some recent missed opportunities and make themselves a legit playoff contender. They are focused and ready to go.
Q: Do you still think this team can go 10-6 or 9-7? – Rick Shields
A: Yes, I do. It won’t be easy, that’s for sure, but then again very little in the NFL is. All it takes is one run of wins, and when you look at the Chargers roster, they certainly have the talent to put that run together. More important than what I think though is that the team believes they are about to go on a winning streak. But they need to start that run sooner rather than later as time is running out. That’s why most of them are talking about what a crucial match this upcoming week is against the Denver Broncos.
Q: Do you think this Week 11 matchup against the Denver Broncos will be the deciding factor in the Chargers making the playoffs? – Edson Contreras
A: That’s a very tough question to answer Edson. I don’t think it will be the deciding factor in them not making the playoffs, but if they win and the team does reach the postseason, I think they will look back at this game as the one that launched them there.
Q: I'm so impressed by Danario Alexander. He has great chemistry with Rivers. Why have they had so much success right away? – Greg Erikson
A: First off, DA has a ton of talent. Speaking with some of the guys in our scouting department, they had a second-round grade on Alexander heading into the draft before he tore up his knee. Without that injury he would have been a high draft choice. St. Louis released him in training camp as he battled a hamstring injury, and the Chargers wisely scooped him up as soon as he was healthy. Secondly, at 6-foot-5, 217-pounds Alexander is the type of big, physical receiver that Rivers loves to throw to. So far, it’s been a great pairing and hopefully the two of them keep it up.
Q: What's this week's bold prediction? – Leo Pullman
A: Antonio Gates has 80 touchdown catches in his career, one behind Lance Alworth for the franchise record in TD receptions. My bold prediction is that he not only ties Alworth this week, but will break it with a pair of scores in Denver.