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    The official San Diego Chargers pre-game show.

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    The Chargers and the San Diego Blood Bank are gearing up once again for one of the community’s longest running and most successful life-saving events of the year; Chargers Blood Drive XXXVI.

Fans to see Bears, Cowboys in preseason

Posted by Joel Price on March 31, 2010 – 12:06 PM

The San Diego Chargers’ 2010 preseason schedule features games against some of the NFL’s marquee teams, including the Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys and the reigning Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints.

The Chargers will open the preseason at home against the Bears on the weekend of Aug. 13-15. The exact date and time is to be announced.

San Diego’s high-powered offense will be put to the test by a Bears defense and six-time Pro Bowl linebacker Brian Urlacher. The game also will renew the rivalry between quarterbacks Philip Rivers and Jay Cutler and mark Cutler’s first game against the Chargers since being traded to Chicago in 2009. The Chargers roster features several former Bears, including recently signed cornerback Nathan Vasher, and several of San Diego’s coaches, including Defensive Coordinator Ron Rivera, also spent time in the “Windy City” as members of Bears’ coach Lovie Smith’s staff. This will be the Bears’ first visit to San Diego for a preseason game since 1982.

Preseason Week 2 (Aug. 20-22) brings another exciting opponent to San Diego when former Chargers Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips leads Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys into Qualcomm Stadium. These teams met just three and a half months ago at the Cowboys’ new home in Arlington, Texas and the Chargers prevailed in a defensive struggle, 20-17. The Cowboys’ high-powered offense features Romo along with running backs Marion Barber and Felix Jones, and receivers Miles Austin and Roy Williams. Dallas’ roster also lists one of the league’s top outside linebackers in NFL sack-leader DeMarcus Ware. This will mark the second time in three years that the Cowboys will play a preseason game in San Diego. The Chargers beat Dallas, 31-17, in a preseason game in San Diego in 2008. Again, the exact day and time of the game will be announced at a later date.

The Chargers are on the road in Preseason Week 3 when they are featured in a nationally-televised game on CBS against the reigning Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints. It’s a special Friday night telecast on Aug. 27 with kickoff set for 5:00 p.m. PDT. These two teams are extremely familiar with one-another as the Saints are led by former Chargers quarterback Drew Brees and running back Reggie Bush, an alum of Helix High School (La Mesa, Calif.) and the University of Southern California. Saints Head Coach Sean Payton also has San Diego ties, having started his coaching career at San Diego State in 1988. It is extremely rare for these two teams to meet in the preseason. In fact it will be the first time it’s happened since 1985. The Chargers and Saints had a memorable regular-season meeting in 2008, facing off in an NFL International Series Game in London, a game that wasn’t decided until late in the fourth quarter with the Saints barely prevailing, 37-32. Rivers and Brees posted nearly identical numbers in that game with Rivers passing for 341 yards and three touchdowns, while Brees threw for 339 yards and three scores of his own.

The Chargers will conclude the NFL Preseason slate against one of their oldest preseason rivals, traveling to San Francisco to meet the 49ers at Candlestick Park the weekend of Sept. 2-5. The Chargers and 49ers have met every year in the preseason since 1987 and a total of 37 times dating back to 1968. The Chargers hold a slight 19-18 edge in the series. The 49ers are one of the NFL’s up-and-coming teams, led by Head Coach and Hall of Fame linebacker Mike Singletary and quarterback Alex Smith, a former Heisman Trophy finalist and prep teammate of Bush’s at La Mesa’s Helix High.

Exact dates and kickoff times for the Chargers preseason games against Chicago, Dallas and San Francisco will be announced in the coming weeks.

Chargers season tickets for the 2010 season are on sale. They can be purchased by calling 877-CHARGERS, visiting www.chargers.com or stopping by the Chargers’ ticket office at Gate C at Qualcomm Stadium, open Monday through Friday from 8-5 pm.

The San Diego Chargers’ 2010 preseason schedule features games against some of the NFL’s marquee teams, including the Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys and the reigning Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints.

The Chargers will open the preseason at home against the Bears on the weekend of Aug. 13-15. The exact date and time is to be announced.

San Diego’s high-powered offense will be put to the test by a Bears defense and six-time Pro Bowl linebacker Brian Urlacher. The game also will renew the rivalry between quarterbacks Philip Rivers and Jay Cutler and mark Cutler’s first game against the Chargers since being traded to Chicago in 2009. The Chargers roster features several former Bears, including recently signed cornerback Nathan Vasher, and several of San Diego’s coaches, including Defensive Coordinator Ron Rivera, also spent time in the “Windy City” as members of Bears’ coach Lovie Smith’s staff. This will be the Bears’ first visit to San Diego for a preseason game since 1982.

Preseason Week 2 (Aug. 20-22) brings another exciting opponent to San Diego when former Chargers Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips leads Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys into Qualcomm Stadium. These teams met just three and a half months ago at the Cowboys’ new home in Arlington, Texas and the Chargers prevailed in a defensive struggle, 20-17. The Cowboys’ high-powered offense features Romo along with running backs Marion Barber and Felix Jones, and receivers Miles Austin and Roy Williams. Dallas’ roster also lists one of the league’s top outside linebackers in NFL sack-leader DeMarcus Ware. This will mark the second time in three years that the Cowboys will play a preseason game in San Diego. The Chargers beat Dallas, 31-17, in a preseason game in San Diego in 2008. Again, the exact day and time of the game will be announced at a later date.

The Chargers are on the road in Preseason Week 3 when they are featured in a nationally-televised game on CBS against the reigning Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints. It’s a special Friday night telecast on Aug. 27 with kickoff set for 5:00 p.m. PDT. These two teams are extremely familiar with one-another as the Saints are led by former Chargers quarterback Drew Brees and running back Reggie Bush, an alum of Helix High School (La Mesa, Calif.) and the University of Southern California. Saints Head Coach Sean Payton also has San Diego ties, having started his coaching career at San Diego State in 1988. It is extremely rare for these two teams to meet in the preseason. In fact it will be the first time it’s happened since 1985. The Chargers and Saints had a memorable regular-season meeting in 2008, facing off in an NFL International Series Game in London, a game that wasn’t decided until late in the fourth quarter with the Saints barely prevailing, 37-32. Rivers and Brees posted nearly identical numbers in that game with Rivers passing for 341 yards and three touchdowns, while Brees threw for 339 yards and three scores of his own.

The Chargers will conclude the NFL Preseason slate against one of their oldest preseason rivals, traveling to San Francisco to meet the 49ers at Candlestick Park the weekend of Sept. 2-5. The Chargers and 49ers have met every year in the preseason since 1987 and a total of 37 times dating back to 1968. The Chargers hold a slight 19-18 edge in the series. The 49ers are one of the NFL’s up-and-coming teams, led by Head Coach and Hall of Fame linebacker Mike Singletary and quarterback Alex Smith, a former Heisman Trophy finalist and prep teammate of Bush’s at La Mesa’s Helix High.

Exact dates and kickoff times for the Chargers preseason games against Chicago, Dallas and San Francisco will be announced in the coming weeks.

Chargers season tickets for the 2010 season are on sale. They can be purchased by calling 877-CHARGERS, visiting www.chargers.com or stopping by the Chargers’ ticket office at Gate C at Qualcomm Stadium, open Monday through Friday from 8-5 pm.

Posted via email from Chargers Media


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Chargers add Vasher to bolster secondary

Posted by Joel Price on March 30, 2010 – 11:58 AM

The San Diego Chargers bolstered their defensive backfield today when Nathan Vasher, a veteran of six NFL seasons with the Chicago Bears (2004-09), agreed to a two-year contract.

Vasher, 28, has started 46 of 73 career NFL games, recording 19 interceptions, including eight in 2005 when he was voted to the NFC Pro Bowl squad. Also that season, Vasher returned a missed field-goal attempt versus San Francisco 108 yards for a touchdown that at the time was the longest play in NFL history.

In 2009 he played in 15 games and recorded 15 tackles and one interception. In his only matchup against the Chargers, Vasher recorded two tackles and a quarterback sack in the 2007 season opener in San Diego.

“In Nathan Vasher, we’re adding a proven NFL player with experience in the league,” said General Manager A.J. Smith. “Having played in Chicago under Chargers Defensive Coordinator Ron Rivera (2004-06) and Secondary Coach Steve Wilks (2006-08) is an added bonus.”

Vasher was originally selected in the fourth round of the 2004 NFL Draft out of the University of Texas. He was the Longhorns’ starting strong safety as a sophomore in 2001 in the same backfield as senior cornerback Quentin Jammer.

Up and running: The team’s offseason conditioning program started today for select players and, as expected, attendance was high. Nearly 40 players were at Chargers Park for the voluntary workouts, most notably, restricted free agent Darren Sproles. Veteran players aren’t due to officially begin workouts until next week, but several vets, including Philip Rivers, Jacques Cesaire, Jeromey Clary and recently-signed free agent Donald Strickland, were present today.

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Owners approve new OT rules

Posted by Joel Price on March 23, 2010 – 1:00 PM

The proposal to change overtime rules in playoff games passed by a 28-4 vote at the NFL Annual Meeting.

New postseason overtime rules

  • Both teams must have the opportunity to possess the ball once during the extra period, unless the team that receives the opening kickoff scores a touchdown on its initial possession, in which case it is the winner.
  • If the team that possesses the ball first scores a field goal on its initial possession, the other team shall have the opportunity to possess the ball. If [that team] scores a touchdown on its possession, it is the winner. If the score is tied after [both teams have a] possession, the team next scoring by any method shall be the winner.
  • If the score is tied at the end of a 15-minute overtime period, or if [the overtime period's] initial possession has not ended, another overtime period will begin, and play will continue until a score is made, regardless of how many 15-minute periods are necessary.

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Chargers receive compensatory draft pick; Bryd released

Posted by Joel Price on March 22, 2010 – 4:02 PM

The Chargers were awarded a compensatory fifth-round draft selection (168 overall) in next month’s NFL Draft, the NFL announced today, as compensation for losing free agents last season.

Under terms of the NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement, a team losing more or better compensatory free agents than it acquires in the previous year is eligible to receive compensatory draft picks. Last year the team lost defensive end Igor Olshansky and guard Mike Goff and signed linebacker Kevin Burnett in free agency.

Compensatory free agents are determined by a formula based on salary, playing time and postseason honors. The formula was developed by the NFL Management Council. Not every free agent lost or signed by a club is covered by this formula. A total of 32 compensatory choices in the 2010 NFL Draft were awarded to 19 teams.

The Chargers also have released wide receiver Demetrius Byrd. Byrd was a seventh-round choice out of Louisiana State in the 2009 NFL Draft who suffered major injuries in a car accident just days prior to the draft. Despite the injuries, the Chargers selected him and generously extended him a contract for the season.

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Whitehurst to Seahawks for draft compensation

Posted by Joel Price on March 18, 2010 – 9:18 AM

The Chargers completed a trade with the Seattle Seahawks today, sending quarterback Charlie Whitehurst to the Seahawks for undisclosed draft considerations.

The 6-4, 220-pound Whitehurst is entering his fifth NFL season. He has played in only two regular-season games during his career and has yet to throw a pass in a regular-season contest. He did however score a rushing touchdown on a 14-yard run against Tennessee in Sept. 2006.

Whitehurst’s father, David, is also a former NFL quarterback. He played for Green Bay from 1976-83.

The trade leaves Philip Rivers and Billy Volek as the two remaining quarterbacks on the Chargers’ roster.

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Chargers, Scott agree on one-year deal

Posted by Joel Price on March 17, 2010 – 4:43 PM

The Chargers have agreed with veteran defensive lineman Ian Scott on a one-year contract. The 6-3, 315-pound Scott appeared in the final 13 games last season, making eight starts, including the Chargers’ Jan. 17 playoff game against the New York Jets. He signed with the team five weeks into the regular season after being released during training camp and saw immediate action. Scott lined up at both end and tackle and played 258 snaps on the season, recording one sack and 19 tackles, including three for loss.

Scott rejoins fellow returning veteran defensive linemen Luis Castillo and Jacques Cesaire along with the recently re-signed Alfonso Boone.

Scott, whose father Randy went to training camp as a free agent linebacker with the Chargers in 1979, originally came to San Diego in 2008, however he appeared in just four games during the season. His career totals include 175 tackles, three sacks, an interception and 23 tackles for loss.

The Chargers have agreed with veteran defensive lineman Ian Scott on a one-year contract. The 6-3, 315-pound Scott appeared in the final 13 games last season, making eight starts, including the Chargers’ Jan. 17 playoff game against the New York Jets. He signed with the team five weeks into the regular season after being released during training camp and saw immediate action. Scott lined up at both end and tackle and played 258 snaps on the season, recording one sack and 19 tackles, including three for loss.

Scott rejoins fellow returning veteran defensive linemen Luis Castillo and Jacques Cesaire along with the recently re-signed Alfonso Boone.

Scott, whose father Randy went to training camp as a free agent linebacker with the Chargers in 1979, originally came to San Diego in 2008, however he appeared in just four games during the season. His career totals include 175 tackles, three sacks, an interception and 23 tackles for loss.

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Steeg moving on to pursue “further challenges”

Posted by Joel Price on March 16, 2010 – 12:19 PM

San Diego Chargers Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer Jim Steeg announced today he is leaving the organization effective March 31 to pursue “further challenges.”
“I have decided that there are further challenges that I would like the opportunity to pursue during my professional career,” Steeg said. “Given my goals and aspirations, I did not think it was fair to Dean (Spanos) and the organization to begin the process of pursuing other career options while in my current position.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my five-plus seasons with the Chargers and am very proud of the accomplishments of the organization during this time. I will always be appreciative of Dean and the Spanos family for the opportunity I was given in 2004 and will continue to be available to help in any way I can.”
During Steeg’s tenure with the team, season-seat sales increased from 35,000 to 56,000 and the Chargers sold out 48 straight regular-season and postseason games. He played a key role in relocating the team’s training camp to Chargers Park, creating new radio and television partnerships, and the expansion of the team’s sponsorship and stadium revenues. His experience also was vital to the team’s American Bowl trip to London in 2008 as well as the organization’s successful 50th Anniversary promotion in ’09, including the selection of the 50 Greatest Chargers. Also in 2007, the Chargers were named the NFL’s most fan-friendly franchise for stadium parking and ambiance by FansVoice.com.
“I’m disappointed to see him go,” said Chargers President Dean Spanos. “Jim provided solid leadership and many bright, new ideas for our front office. I’m extremely grateful for his dedication and loyalty to the Chargers and our family.”
Spanos said that Steeg’s duties would be divided among the team’s front office leadership with the goal of “continuing the fine work that Jim did to improve the fan experience at our games.”
Prior to joining the Chargers, Steeg spent 26 years in charge of special events for the National Football League. He grew the Super Bowl from a championship football game to a week-long extravaganza featuring signature events, including The NFL Experience. He was the driving force behind Super Bowl charitable events that raised more than $50 million for host communities and impacted thousands of children. Steeg also launched and championed the Super Bowl Minority and Women-Owned Emerging Business Program in the early 1990s, mandating that whenever possible, the league and its various vendors and corporate clients work with local minority and women-owned businesses.
Beyond his Super Bowl duties, Steeg organized the NFL Draft, American Bowl Games in Berlin and Barcelona, and NFL television events. He also planned and executed the closing of Times Square and the Mall in Washington D.C., for NFL Kickoff Celebrations in 2002 and ’03. He chaired the NFL’s league-wide 75th Anniversary celebration in 1994 and Pro Football’s Greatest Reunion in 2000. He also initiated the return of Throwback Uniforms in 1994 and was among the inaugural class inducted into the Special Events Hall of Fame in 2002.

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Chargers agree with Strickland

Posted by Joel Price on March 12, 2010 – 6:38 PM

The Chargers announced late Friday afternoon that they’d reached an agreement on a two-year contract with free agent cornerback Donald Strickland, formerly of the New York Jets.

The 5-10, 185-pound Strickland played in 11 games with two starts for the Jets in 2009, including a reserve role in New York’s Divisional Playoff win in San Diego. He finished the year with 25 tackles, two sacks, four passes defensed and three tackles for loss. He also contributed nine tackles on special teams. Strickland saw action off the bench in the Chargers’ playoff game against the Jets, collecting three tackles and a pass defensed.

Strickland will be 29 years old at the start of the 2010 season. He came to the NFL in 2003 as a third-round pick of the Indianapolis Colts and spent two and a half seasons in Indianapolis before being waived midway through the 2005 season. He would later sign with Philadelphia for the remainder of the ’05 season before spending the 2006-08 seasons in San Francisco.

His regular-season career totals include 58 games played, 24 starts, 185 tackles, two sacks, two interceptions, 20 passes defensed and 38 tackles on special teams.  Strickland has also played in five career postseason games, racking up 21 tackles and seven passes defensed.

A native of San Francisco, Strickland prepped at Archbishop Riordan High School before an All-Big-12 career at the University of Colorado. His uncle, Raymond Bell, played at UCLA and his cousin, Herb Ward, played at Southern California and in the NFL with the Dallas Cowboys. Strickland’s father, Donald, is a retired photographer for the NBC affiliate, KNTV-11 in the Bay Area.

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Chargers acquire Mason off waivers

Posted by Joel Price on March 8, 2010 – 6:28 PM

The Chargers added depth to their offensive backfield on Monday, claiming running back Marcus Mason off waivers from the Washington Redskins.

The 5-9, 215-pound former All-America running back from Youngstown State spent the better part of his first two NFL seasons on the practice squads of the Redskins and Baltimore Ravens before getting an opportunity to play last season for the Redskins. In nine games in ’09, Mason averaged just under 4.0 yards per carry, toting the ball 32 times for 127 yards. He will attempt to earn a roster spot on a team in San Diego that averaged just 3.3 yards per carry last season.

“We’ve followed his progress through his young career,” said General Manager A.J. Smith, “and when he came available, we decided to give him an opportunity to earn a spot with the Chargers.”

The 25-year-old Mason played two collegiate seasons at YSU after transferring from the University of Illinois. He averaged an impressive 5.7 yards per carry in two seasons for the Penguins, racking up 2,739 yards and 31 touchdowns on 478 carries. He set a school record with 1,847 yards as a senior, en route to being named Offensive Player of the Year for the Gateway Conference.

The Redskins signed Mason as a free agent in 2007. He spent one week on their active roster, though he did not appear in a game, and the rest of the season on Washington’s practice squad. In 2008, Washington released Mason following training camp and the preseason in which he led the NFL in rushing with 371 yards on 66 carries, a 4.8-yard average. That year Mason would spend eight weeks on Baltimore’s practice squad and six more weeks on the New York Jets’ active roster, but he did not appear in any games for the Jets. The Redskins re-acquired Mason off waivers from the Jets in April, 2009.

The Chargers added depth to their offensive backfield on Monday, claiming running back Marcus Mason off waivers from the Washington Redskins.

The 5-9, 215-pound former All-America running back from Youngstown State spent the better part of his first two NFL seasons on the practice squads of the Redskins and Baltimore Ravens before getting an opportunity to play last season for the Redskins. In nine games in ’09, Mason averaged just under 4.0 yards per carry, toting the ball 32 times for 127 yards. He will attempt to earn a roster spot on a team in San Diego that averaged just 3.3 yards per carry last season.

“We’ve followed his progress through his young career,” said General Manager A.J. Smith, “and when he came available, we decided to give him an opportunity to earn a spot with the Chargers.”

The 25-year-old Mason played two collegiate seasons at YSU after transferring from the University of Illinois. He averaged an impressive 5.7 yards per carry in two seasons for the Penguins, racking up 2,739 yards and 31 touchdowns on 478 carries. He set a school record with 1,847 yards as a senior, en route to being named Offensive Player of the Year for the Gateway Conference.

The Redskins signed Mason as a free agent in 2007. He spent one week on their active roster, though he did not appear in a game, and the rest of the season on Washington’s practice squad. In 2008, Washington released Mason following training camp and the preseason in which he led the NFL in rushing with 371 yards on 66 carries, a 4.8-yard average. That year Mason would spend eight weeks on Baltimore’s practice squad and six more weeks on the New York Jets’ active roster, but he did not appear in any games for the Jets. The Redskins re-acquired Mason off waivers from the Jets in April, 2009.

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