Hayward was an under-the-radar signing out of Green Bay last fall. Now the team has to hope similarly conspicuous moves can have the same effect.
The Chargers made few headlines when it came to adding defenders this offseason. They used the franchise tag to retain Melvin Ingram, an undersized but relentless pass rusher with 18.5 sacks over his last two seasons. After that, their biggest move was either retaining the services of Damion Square, a serviceable lineman who made his first career sack last season, or inking safety Jahleel Addae to a contract extension. They didn’t select a defensive player until the fourth round of this year’s draft.
Instead, they’re betting on Ingram, new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, and a handful of young veterans to blossom in the franchise’s first season in LA. The Chargers struck gold by landing Joey Bosa with the third overall pick of last year’s draft. His blend of power and speed on the edge enhances his ability to get to the quarterback while opening lanes for his teammates to exploit:
It seemed like all the pieces were in place to dethrone the Seattle Seahawks for good and make a serious run at a Super Bowl title.
Unfortunately, that never came to fruition. Injuries and inconsistent play doomed the Cardinals, who could never put together a strong stretch and finished with a 7-8-1 record. It was a bitter setback just one year after going 13-3 and reaching the NFC Championship. With the core players one year older and some key talent leaving in free agency, Bruce Arians suddenly has more questions than answers heading into his fifth season in the desert.
Palmer had an MVP-worthy campaign in 2015, but his momentum came to a screeching halt in the NFC Championship, when he threw four interceptions and lost two fumbles in a lopsided loss to the Carolina Panthers. Palmer was playing through a finger injury, which might have explained Cheap College Jerseys his Cheap Discount Jerseys struggles.
But it’s hard to explain away much of what went wrong in 2016.