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Mailbag: Who Replaces Manti Te'o?

Q:  With Manti out for the season, will we see more of Joshua Perry? I haven't heard much from him. – Shafee Syed-Quadri

A: It's certainly safe to assume the Bolts may call Perry's number more than over the first three games of the year.  The rookie was active the first two weeks, and produced on special teams.  He was a healthy inactive against the Colts when the Bolts opted to keep an extra offensive lineman active after King Dunlap was a late scratch due to illness.  Still, it looks like the first two who will get the crack to step into Te'o's shoes will be Jatavis Brown and Nick Dzubnar.  Brown has what Head Coach Mike McCoy calls a "wow factor" when he plays, and made a big impact last week with a strip-sack that led to Caraun Reid's fumble return for a touchdown.  Meanwhile, Dzubnar has an extra year of experience under his belt.  The team also signed Korey Toomer off the Oakland Raiders' practice squad on Wednesday, so more light should be shed this week on how the Bolts plan to move on without Te'o.

Q:  What do you think the reason is that Philip Rivers struggled recently? – Jim Rolbes

A: Philip Rivers will be the first to say he had an off day by his standards against the Colts, missing a couple easy throws.  However, to say he is "struggling recently" is not accurate at all.  You are talking about Week 2's FedEx Air Player of the Week who is also the first Chargers quarterback to not throw an interception in the team's first three games since Stan Humphries in 1994. Rivers boasts the third highest passer rating right now in the NFL (109.5) and is tied for eighth with five touchdown passes despite not throwing one in Indy.  Number 17 is off to another strong start overall, so I disagree with the premise of your question.

Q:  Is there any rhyme or reason why the Chargers travel on Fridays for some games and Saturdays the other? – Chris Bahkar

A: Yes, and it's quite simple.  Whenever the Bolts are playing somewhere at least two time zones away, they leave on Friday in order to adjust to the time difference.  If less, they takeoff on Saturday.  This season, the only one-day trips will be Oakland and Denver.  The exception to this rule is the preseason as the team departs the day beforehand regardless of where the game is played.  Hope that sheds some light!

Q:  What are your thoughts on Drew Brees coming back to the Q? – Troy F.

A: I think you should politely cheer the first time he runs onto the field for warm ups…and then make as much noise to disrupt him once the game begins.  He did a lot for the team on and off the field as a member of the Chargers before leaving over a decade ago.  That is to be respected.  Still, when the game kicks off, I hope Qualcomm is rocking the way it was against the Jaguars.  The noise was deafening at times a couple weeks back, helping the Bolts cause three turnovers and hold Jacksonville scoreless until the fourth quarter.  So we definitely need more of that!

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