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Chargers hope to punch up pass defense

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Aug 7, 2005.

  1. robdog
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    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

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    <strong>August 7, 2005</strong>
    Source: <a href="http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2005/08/06/sports/s150657D38.DTL">SFGate.com</a>

    This time last year, the Chargers' defenders were swimming.

    Their heads, anyway.

    Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips was installing his 3-4 scheme, and the players hardly absorbed it as easily as 1-2-3.

    "It takes two years to really learn this," outside linebacker Steve Foley said.

    The Chargers are hoping for big improvements from the unit this year. Not so much in stuffing the run, where the Chargers allowed but 81 yards per game and finished with the NFL's third-best ranking. But the Chargers had trouble with defending the pass, their No. 31 ranking being no mirage.

    So during the days leading up to Thursday night's exhibition opener at Green Bay, the Chargers have been intent on getting better on passing downs.

    "That's one of the keys to camp," cornerback Drayton Florence said.

    Coach Marty Schottenheimer is pleased so far with the progress the defense has made, especially when viewed alongside last summer's performance.

    "It's very difficult to make that comparison because of so much that they have learned about the defense and the way it is utilized," Schottenheimer said. "It's even beyond night and day. It's much, much improved."

    The Chargers, the defending AFC West champions, will need to pick it up a notch when tackling a schedule which includes both Super Bowl participants on the road, along with away games against the Indianapolis Colts and New York Jets.

    When including the wild-card loss to the Jets, the Chargers were 1-5 against playoff teams last season.

    But that was in year one of the 3-4. Schottenheimer is confident those numbers against playoff squads will improve based on the improvement his defense is showing in training camp.

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