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Mailbag: Former Chargers to Root on in the AAF?

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Q: Hi Ricky, I saw highlights of (Braedon) Bowman and (Mike) Bercovici this weekend in the AAF. Do you know how many ex-Chargers are playing so I can root for them? Bolt Up – Tar Ginzoa

A: Sure thing, Tar. And I must mention I love the fact that you still root for those with Chargers ties. I’ll be doing the same thing, and hope to get to a game or two eventually. Anyway, by my count there are 17 former Chargers suiting up in the Alliance of American Football. The Atlanta Legends boast DT Bijhon Jackson and K Younghoe Koo while the Birmingham Iron have Bowman, K Nick Novak, RB Anthony Manzo-Lewis and CB Channing Stribling. The Salt Lake Stallions feature former fan favorite RB Branden Oliver as well as DT Tenny Palepoi while the San Antonio Commanders roster includes RB Kenneth Farrow, TE Cole Hunt and K Nick Rose. However, no team has more former Chargers than the San Diego Fleet with six. They include QB Mike Bercovici, RB Terrell Watson, WR Nelson Spruce, TE Ben Johnson, T Brett Boyko and CB Greg Ducre.

Q: My boy and I keep debating who is the best tackler on the Chargers. I say Melvin Ingram and he says Derwin James. Settle this, Rick! – Jonas McFadden

A: Man, it’s hard to answer this question without knowing more context. Are we talking about tackling in open space? Taking down the quarterback? The hardest-hitting tackler? Those are just a few of the scenarios that may change my pick. There are several guys I want to mention, but overall, I have to go with your buddy and say Derwin James. After all, he led the team in tackles and became the first rookie in franchise history to surpass the record of at least 100. He is outstanding in the open field, can really lay the lumber and wrap up with the best of them. One tackle in particular stands out, and that came in the Week 15 comeback thriller over the Kansas City Chiefs. The Bolts desperately needed a stop, and he had to bring down the powerful 6-5, 260-pound Travis Kelce. Well, he did just that, tackling the tight end just shy of the sticks without giving up an inch to force the Chiefs to punt. So, while there are so many others I want to mention, including Joey Bosa and Adrian Phillips to name a few, I have to go with the All-Pro safety.

Q: You ready for the Combine? – Colton O.

A: Heck yeah! Are you?? We’re gonna have great stuff all week long once again from Indy, so be sure to stay tuned for content galore!

Q: Am I the only one excited for Cardale Jones next year? We don’t hear nothing about him anymore and I watched him at Ohio State and I’m telling you the guy is the future. – J.J. Vaskili

A: I think you’ll start hearing more about Cardale as we get closer to the start of the offseason program. He spent all last season honing his craft on the practice squad, and he certainly has the arm and raw skillset to play the position. This offseason will be a big one for the quarterback, so I’m right up there with you as someone quite excited to see him back on the field. As Head Coach Anthony Lynn has often pointed out, there’s something to be said for a quarterback who didn’t lose a single game in college. Speaking with him throughout the year, it’s clear Jones is motivated to go out there and state his case that he’s a starting caliber NFL quarterback. And after seeing what he did for the Buckeyes, I’m not going to ever bet against Cardale Jones!

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