Morning Links: Foundational players

December, 10, 2013
12/10/13
9:25
AM ET
SAN DIEGO -- Good morning. In this ESPN Insider piece, former Indianapolis Colts general manager and ESPN NFL Insider Bill Polian identifies potential foundational player for each team in the league. For the Chargers, Polian points to offensive tackle D.J. Fluker and receiver Keenan Allen as two players that could develop into cornerstone pieces for this franchise.

Polian on Fluker: “I had my doubts whether he'd be good enough as a pass-protector to function in a heavy dropback passing offense, but that's been no problem. He's a giant, powerful man. Defensive coordinators always talk about setting the edge against the run. Well, Fluker resets the edge, breaking it down with his strength. You almost don't have to double team his run-blocking assignment, as he wins a lot of one-on-one battles in the run game and he's athletic in the passing game. I know the Chargers feel good about where they are with him -- and they should. Good offensive tackles are hard to come by, and Fluker looks like a keeper.”

Polian on Allen: “When I scouted him for the Colts, I thought he reminded me of Reggie Wayne. Chargers GM Tom Telesco thought highly of him as well. That's high praise from those who have been around Reggie. Allen shows great instincts and understands the game. He's not the fastest receiver -- and he battled injury in his senior season at Cal -- but he looks like he's overcome it and become the Chargers' go-to receiver. He's another part of what is shaping up as a great 2013 draft for San Diego.”

ESPN’s Kevin Seifert gives Philip Rivers kudos in his weekly QB report. Seifert: “Rivers sliced through the New York Giants secondary, completing 17 of 23 passes -- including three scores -- against their standard pass rush. He all but put the game away during a red-hot second quarter, completing 11 of 13 passes for two touchdowns as the San Diego Chargers scored 17 points. His QBR on third down was 99.9, thanks to seven completions in 10 attempts for 128 yards and two of his touchdowns. In his past three games, Rivers has seven touchdowns and one interception, and is leading the NFL for the season with a 70.8 completion percentage.”

ESPN Broncos beat reporter Jeff Legwold reports that Denver receiver Wes Welker likely will miss Thursday’s game after suffering his second concussion in four games last week against the Titans.

Robert Mays of Grantland tabs Keenan Allen as one of his winners from Week 14.

Ben Stockwell of Pro Football Focus gives Allen, Kendall Reyes and King Dunlap good marks for last week’s effort against the Giants.

Ricky Henne of Chargers.com provides five lesson’s learned from San Diego’s win over the Giants.

Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego writes that Ryan Mathews has proved he can shoulder the workload of an every-down back this season.

John Gennaro of Bolts from the Blue writes that Mathews is having a breakout year.

I talked with Scott Kaplan and Billy Ray Smith of the Mighty 1090 AM radio about Melvin Ingram's first game in this audio link.

Eric D. Williams

ESPN San Diego Chargers reporter

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