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Mailbag: Who Was the Biggest Surprise on 53-Man Roster?

Q:  You agree with the captains this year? I called all but I thought Verrett over Te'o – Denny Simpson

A:  Jason Verrett would have been a great option as well, but the Chargers voted on the exact five players I expected to serve as captains this season.  Philip Rivers, Antonio Gates and Darrell Stuckey speak for themselves.  On defense, Brandon Mebane has been a de facto captain from the moment he arrived in March. He showcased the temperament, attitude and leadership the Chargers coveted when they signed him from Seattle.  As far as Manti Te'o goes, few are able to command a room like the inside linebacker.  He has a naturally inspiring way of communicating, and becoming a captain seemed to be a matter of when rather than if from the moment he was drafted.

Q:  Rick! What was the biggest surprise on the 53-man roster? – Marva Fodorko

A:  I don't think it was a surprise to anyone based on how they played during training camp and the preseason, but when looking at the roster when they signed in May, I think Spencer Pulley and Kenneth Farrow might have had the longest odds to be the undrafted free agents to make the squad.  The Bolts had four centers in the fold already in Matt Slauson, Max Tuerk, Chris Watt and Trevor Robinson.  Meanwhile, Farrow was joining the likes of Melvin Gordon, Danny Woodhead, Branden Oliver and Dreamius Smith.  The fact they were able to make the final 53-man roster is a testament not only to their ability and work ethic, but also the Bolts' willingness to make it a true competition no matter the position

Q:  We got some playmakers with those claims! How were they available? Caraun Reid is a stud. – Bobby Rindler

A:   First off, I think it's important to temper expectations as all three players must go through a crash course of learning the playbook and system after arriving on Monday.  There is no telling how long it will teach each new addition to get comfortable, but they are a trio of players the team is excited to add to the roster.  As far as how they were available, General Manager Tom Telesco pointed out how all three came from teams that underwent changes to the head coach and/or general manager:

"We're trying to upgrade our depth the best we can. The more we can do with the depth, the better.  They are still young players under 25 years old, but they all have (a good amount of) starts under their belt, including Caraun Reid who started 12 games last year.  These guys have played a good amount of football, and have some ability.  All three guys came from teams that either had a GM change, a head coaching change or in some cases, both.  So (with) a new regime, sometimes that will get some players to maybe not fit what they are looking for, but they fit us right now.  We're lucky to have them here."

Q:  What matchup you looking forward to most against the Chiefs? – Pete Klein

A:  I'll have my key matchups coming out on Thursday where I'll delve into it more, but for me, it's Keenan Allen vs. Marcus Peters.  One of the best young wideouts in the game going against a second-year player who made the Pro Bowl a year ago and led the league with eight interceptions as a rookie.  What's not to like about that?   

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