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Contrary to popular belief, the Chargers are average

Discussion in 'Smack Talk' started by Blue Bolt, Feb 15, 2012.

  1. Nomad
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    Nomad Very Senior Member

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    It's often fun to come to this forum to see all the sh!t flying about. :)
  2. DenverBolt67
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    DenverBolt67 BoltTalker

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    Please give me an example, if not, shut the F' up.

    I swear, I cannot make it 3 days on this board before big bad Conc, the board bully and excuse maker, goes on full on attack
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  3. Ikeman83
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    The talent on the Chargers is "average". Actually, if you look across the league, everyone's talent is, with little variation, "average", this being a result of the draft's "worst-team-first" principle and the salary cap. It's very unusual for a team to deviate from "average", not only in the long-term, but over a single season as well.

    13/32 teams had between 7-9 wins. 9 were "above average" with 10+, but of those 3 had 10 wins. Of the "bad" teams, 3/10 had 6 wins, that puts 19/32 teams within a 2 game swing of 50%. The overwhelming majority of the league is "average", with only a tiny group of 6 teams (half the playoff field) having over 12 wins.

    2010 was exactly as "average". 19/32 teams within 2 games of 50%. Only 4 teams had 12+ wins, and 4 vice 5 teams had 4 or fewer.

    The bottom line with discussions of average in terms of performance vice talent is that with very little exception, talent is more or less evenly distributed across the league, with the main dividing factor between teams which are exceptionally poor and those which are not typically being quarterback play.

    I would contend that the biggest differences between the remaining teams (the .500 range and better) are who they play in a given season, the quality of the coaching they receive, and the decision-making of the individual players on the field, not necesarily in that order.

    The Chargers' roster has roughly as much talent as the rest of the league, with the real difference being in where that talent is playing (or not). We have a lot of long-term investment in the left side of our line, but all three of those players were out at various points this season, some of them for long stretches. When someone as expensive as McNeil goes down, it's a 10 million dollar black hole in your team's talent. Further, look at how little we've invested in the most critical area of the defense, i.e. passrush.

    Saying the Chargers are average isn't really news, but contending that our overall talent is below average is somewhat misleading. The Chargers are in a decent position, inspite of the absence of all but 2 of our 5 first rounders from 2005-2008, and the presumably coming departure of our 2009 first rounder. If the Chargers are able to sign some decent talent in FA (i.e. a passrush) then the developmental track of the team would be restored, as all of the departed first rounders would be on their second (i.e. more expensive anyway) contracts at this point in their careers.

    A good GM could right the ship here, and combine our "decent" available money with our current talent holes to give us an above average roster, which, combined with good coaching, playmaking, and facing our opponents at the right time, could put us back in the playoffs. I personally believe that our GM is a moron, who won't be able to do this, but I could be wrong.
  4. Blue Bolt
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    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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  5. Concudan
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    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Ahh hello McFly.... If you cant keep up takes notes. For one, you saying what you do about me. Fiction. You making all your claims about what the team does/thinks/wants... Fiction...

    I love how you always want to play the victim. Shall we all shed a tear for you, the poor innocent victim? Maybe you need a good ole hug, because clearly you lack the testicular fortitude to play in the deep end of the pool, even though you keep diving in that end...
  6. Savage Lizard
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    Savage Lizard Charger fan at 7000'

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    I'm just curious, how do you prepare Philip Rivers to not fumble a snap at a key point in a game, especially when he hadn't done so in a similar situation before? I'm guessing you have him take a bunch of snaps in practice, which I'm sure he does. So what else? Is Norv supposed to walk over to Rivers prior to every game or every series and tell him to not fumble? Perhaps whisper it into the helmet mic prior to every play?

    How do you prepare Novak to not miss kicks? I'm guessing you have him kick a bunch of field goals from various lengths during practice, which I'm sure he does. What else? Is Norv supposed to tell him to make the kick, even though I'm sure Novak already knows that he needs to make it?

    How do you prepare people to not fumble, not make false starts, not do whatever other stupid sh_t players do during the course of the game? What do you suppose the coaches do at practices and in meetings all week? You don't think stuff like that is covered?
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  7. Buck Melanoma
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    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    SL, you're asking for accountability.

    Apparently that isn't required unless you have an ax to grind with the person in question.
  8. Ikeman83
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    Couple things here. First, the Rivers fumble is a given as a freak accident, for which no one outside of Rivers can be held responsible, if even he can really be held accountable for that nonsense. Second, Norv cannot impact a kicker's ability to accurately kick the ball (although he does have the ability to impact where on the field the ball is kicked from).

    That said, your last paragraph is wrong. Ball security is coachable. Running the ball where into the gap the play is designed to be run into is coachable. When Mathews is carrying the rock with about as much care as a drunk carrying a glass of water, it isn't surprising that it's so easy for defenders to strip him. The same is true of Tolbert. Speaking of Tolbert, look at his "Hey, I'm Barry Sanders!" moment in the NE game. He literally had nothing else to do other than run into the hole, and pick up a couple of yards, instead he reversed field, ran 5 yds backwards and got stripped. These are, actually, coached behaviors.

    Are you actually contending that false starts aren't a reflection of poor player discipline?
  9. HEXEDBOLT
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    HEXEDBOLT Well-Known Member

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    The players get their checks, the coaches get their checks, management get their checks and Dean gets his check. They all count their dough but no one is accountable, no heart or will to win but they all get paid.
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  10. DenverBolt67
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    DenverBolt67 BoltTalker

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    Totally agree
  11. Concudan
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    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    First of all a coach has ZERO ability to modify what a player does in dynamic play. To pretend otherwise is to make 'excuses' and conjuncture. A play may call for the RB to attack the 1 gap, but then during dynamic play (you know after the ball is snapped and the defenders are trying to stop the offense, and the offense is trying to move the ball... Dynamic...) the RB may decide to bounce out and attack the 5 gap. There is nothing a Coach can do about that, no matter what Coach it is... Well other than video tape the defensive calls I guess... They can talk about it during meetings, work on it during practice, yet in dynamic play, it is hands off. To pretend otherwise is simply making up fiction to defend uneducated, or unrealistic theories.

    Team work on ball security, players work on ball security but it is not an on/off light switch. How many seasons did it take Barber with the Giants to stop fumbling, for the better part of his career he was a 'fumbler'. Barber and the coaches worked on it. Just as our coaches are working on it with Mathews. I have been to the practices where Mathews has been getting solo work with the RB Coach for this. In fact, Savage Lizard was at that practice as well...

    False starts are not ONLY a display of lack of discipline. Crowd noise, a smart Defensive Lineman, the particular play called can all impact if a false start occurs. You may live in a black and white world, but reality is full color. If false starting is habitual, that is an indication of dicsipline. If it is caused by another factor every now and again, it is not.
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  12. HEXEDBOLT
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    HEXEDBOLT Well-Known Member

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    Anticipation??? Kind of like waiting on that damned red light.
  13. Buck Melanoma
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    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Good post, Conc. You're at least temporarily removed from the ball-watcher list. :p
  14. Concudan
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    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    NOOOOO! I wont go!
  15. Concudan
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    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    And back from left field.....
  16. Ikeman83
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    A coach has no input during dynamic play, but to say that a coach has no ability to MODIFY it is a gross overstatement. The RB may see the A Gap and decide to bounce it outside, but that would be somewhat different from coming to a complete stop, turning around, and running backwards before being stripsacked by the backside pursuit. Proper running can be coached, just look at Shanahan. Tolbert is a perfect example of a player who should have his eyelids propped open while "one cut and go" scrolls across a screen for 6 hours a day. The answer to your Barber question is 1 season. He changed how he was carrying the ball in a single offseason and his fumblitis disappeared. He went from carrying the rock next to his balls to carrying it high and tight. Imagine that, coaching!

    With regards to the elements, other than a lack of discipline, which can cause a false start, those are, except for "smart DLineman", true. However, if crowd noise or the play cause a false start, then that player has not been properly coached to either A) look at the center/guard or B) know his playbook well enough to know his assignment well enough to be able to react without having to have 40 seconds of personal reflection time about it.

    I don't make excuses for players. They play/execute well or they don't. However, I do look to the question of "Why do they play/execute well or not?", and frequently the answer comes down to coaching (both on and not on game days) and playcalling, when it's not a question of individual player ability.

    There are many, many factors which play into the success or failure of a team on the field, and while the coach isn't responsible for all of them, he is responsible for a lot of the critical factors which differentiate between players of similar physical ability.
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  17. Concudan
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    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    A Coah has ZERO ability to change or modify dynamic play. There is no way to refute this fact. Once the ball is snapped it is up to the player. Regardless of what is covered in practice, meetings or yelling on the side lines. A Coach has no input in dynamic play.

    I am sorry, you are incorrect. That is dynamic play. A player will sometimes seek to make a play, and yes even make desicions that turn out poorly. But that occurs in DYNAMIC play. There are no shock collars, open mics or remote controls for players in dynamic play outside of the electronic game environment. You cannot simply put everything on the coach because it is convienant for you to do so. There is plenty we can lay at Norv's and the other coaches feet. Descisions made in dynamic play are not one of them. You even said so above, prior to contradicting yourself.

    Proper runnin CAN be coached. Yet even Shannahan's RB's had negative plays, due to what occured during... wait for it... DYNAMIC play. Further, Shanahan's blocking scheme had far more to do with his running success than the actual running backs emulating Sanders or Smith.

    Incorrect, Barber worked many seasons on it. Tryning different elbow coverings, holding techniques etc. I would suggest you invest some time to look into that, it was not an over night one season turn around. From 2000 through 2003 he was a fumbler. he tried different things in 2002, 2003, and not until 2004 when Couglin and his RB Coach Ingram began working on a myriad of things with him; including delivering a hit instead of taking one, upper body conditioning and patience as a runner did his numbers start to come down. Its out there in Google, feel free to check it out.

    I call bull crap on this. So you are saying that all false starts by crowd noise are lack of dicipline or bad coaching? Even when it happens to the best lines in the NFL? Really, it seems to me that this is just a convienant stance for you to take to further your agenda against the Coaches. Is it not? A lineman does not cop a squat and simply have one thing to focus on. They are working a lot of things out, pointing out defenders anticipating where the attack is comming from and how much 'head start' they can get away with to beat the defender. The best OL players in the game have had false starts, that alone sheds a lot of question on your theory.

    Coaches are part of the equation. However, I think focusing on only the problems has blined many 'realistic' fans to what is going on. The Chargers offense works well under Norv. Not perfect, but I would say relly good. Can it get better, absolutly. Can another Coach have get a better result than Norv, sure. or worse. But while Norv has his faults, and things he needs to improve upon, trying to blame him for every false start and poor desicion made in dynamic play is just asinine and an excuse. No other way to look at it. If you look at the good and bad and measure from that, then I agree with you. If you just make stupid claims that the Coach (any Coach) sucks because the team is not perfect, then I would suggest that anyone fitting that bill, go back to their Madden world and cheat codes.

    I can agree with that. Bottom line, Coaches do their work in between games, and in between plays. Players do their work during play.
  18. Buck Melanoma
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  19. Ikeman83
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    I think that you're dramatically undervaluing the impact of training. There's a reason that some militaries are more effective than others. There's a reason that the SEALs are an elite fighting force. It's training. Although your assessment that there are no remote controls on NFL players in the hands of the coaches is correct, your contention that the coaches cannot modify player action during dynamic play is not. Coaches CAN imbed the responses that players will have to the inputs they see. Coaches CAN teach players behavior. The coach can't make the player perform any particular action, however the coach can teach the player what reaction he should have and coach him to react that way.

    Everything an NFL player does is a trained behavior. There is nothing "natural" about the behaviors exhibited in the game of football. How players play in a game is an instinctual reaction based on trained responses to perceived inputs, and it's the coaches' job to train the correct responses, in order to ensure optimal reactions.

    Coaches (good ones) do their work in between games, and in between plays, but the RESULTS of their work are apparent in the decisions made by the players during the play itself.


    *edited for subject-verb agreement
  20. Buck Melanoma
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    I think you're overstating this. There ARE natural athletes who exhibit motions during ANY sport that simply come to them based on inherent ability. I won't dispute that much is trained behavior & that training/repetition imparts both intellectual & muscular "knowledge", if you will. But to state that there's nothing natural about any football behavior, or physical behavior in general, is far too broad a statement to support.
  21. Ikeman83
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  22. Ikeman83
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    which behaviors from football are natural? The only one that comes to mind is running, and even in most instances of a player running, except on special teams, even that isn't normal running. Receivers aren't running, their running routes. RBs aren't running, their making cuts, moving behind/between blockers, securing the football.

    If you don't think that all behaviors in football are unnatural, take 22 Europeans, explain the rules of Football to them, toss them a ball and see what happens.

    edit: You make a good point about natural athletic ability, and that certainly plays a role in how effective players are once they've learned the requisite behaviors to properly play football, however some of the best Athletes in the world make terrible football players (workout wonders/track stars who don't translate come to mind).

    Natural athletic ability is a MUST to play in the NFL, however, unless they can properly use that ability to perform properly, players, in spite of tons of natural athletic ability, can/will wash out of the league.
  23. Buck Melanoma
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    So making a spin move to elude a tackler doesn't come natural for good athletes?

    Tipping the ball into the air in order to keep it alive, while I'll admit gets coached, doesn't come naturally to plenty of athletes?

    A QB changing the elevation or angle of his throwing motion doesn't come naturally to the good ones?

    Being able to feel the soft spots in a defense doesn't come naturally to the better athletes - this one applies in spades to basketball players as well.

    Timing a jump to high-point a ball isn't as much the result of natural hand/eye coordination as it is coaching?

    I'm not going to belabor the point with you as I place accountability on all aspects of a team when talking team sports. I just think it's short-sighted to think that any and all athletic behaviors have to be taught. Some come as a natural response to a stimulus to the more gifted athlete. If that weren't true, how can you explain the ability of a guy like Gates transporting his skills from basketball to football? His natural athletic ability gives him an edge in physical competition.
  24. Ikeman83
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    Making a spin move doesn't come naturally. It's practiced. The player has done the spin move before, has practiced both in games and in practice how to place his feet and when to start the spin to maximize its effectiveness. How gifted an athlete is will determine how fast he can spin, how well he maintains his balance, and how much straight-line speed he maintains while executing the spin, but it will not magically teach him how best to execute the behavior.

    Tipping the ball is a combination of several behaviors, but does have a high minimum level of hand-eye coordination and finger dexterity/strength to be able to perform. The player has to learn to impart the necesary spin to the ball to get it to move in the direction he wants it to in order to make it ever increasingly catchable. The reason the fingertip rolling ball bobbles for a catch are so impressive is because if the player hadn't perfected the hand actions necesary to maneuver the ball into an often one-handedly catchable position, and didn't have the amazing manual dexterity and hand-eye coordination to maintain control of the ball in the air, it wouldn't be a catch.

    Are you saying that QBs don't practice making their throws? Making pinpoint passes requires arm-strength, depth perception, and most of all, learned behavior. They know how to throw the ball based on the distance to their target, and their ability to judge the changing positions of the defenders and the receiver as he runs his route. Both good and bad QBs practice making the throws, i.e., foot placement, body rotation, arm movement, grip, and wrist flick. What differentiates the good QBs from the bad ones is the ability of the good QBs to read the defense, compare what they see with what play their running, decide where the defense will be 2-4 seconds in the future relative to their receivers, and based on that information throw the ball. Throwing the ball is a coached behavior, reading the defense is a coached behavior, and understanding the interaction of your receivers routes within the framework of the defense is absolutely a coached behavior. This is why you can coach a good QB and make him great, but it's difficult to take a bad QB and make him good. The driving principle is the speed of their decision making, but everything that they do once they make that decision, as well as everything they base that decision on is learned/coached.

    Being able to feel weak spots in a defense is mostly spacial recognition, which is absolutely a natural talent. You've got me there. I would say though, that recognizing the allignment of the defense, and understanding where the weakspots will be is coached based on film study.

    Timing a jump to high-point a ball is as much natural hand/eye coordination as it is coaching. However, knowing how to box out the defender while doing so is not.

    Gates transporting his skills is a myth, as evidenced by his 2003 stat line http://espn.go.com/nfl/player/stats/_/id/5362/antonio-gates. Gates had to learn/relearn a lot of football behaviors before having a real breakout in 2004. After a year of NFL coaching by one of the better TE coaches in the game, he did an amazing job combining the skills he had been coached in as a basketball player (attacking the ball at its highest point, boxing out other players, body control, spacial recognition), with his elite athletic ability and optimal body type for the position to be an elite player from 2004 on.


    I am absolutely not saying that natural athletic ability is irrelevant to the game. To suggest such a thing would be absolute madness. However, I also believe that all (again, with a limited exceptions) behaviors in football are A) coachable and B) that the quality of the coaching of these behaviors has a direct impact on the quality/effectiveness of player performance, and, that this coaching has a direct impact on player performance in dynamic play (to steal Conc's term) and can be used to modify dynamic play throughout the course of a game, though, obviously, one cannot coach behaviors in the instant that one expects them to be executed.

    "Hmmm, Mathews is probably about to get stripped, I probably should've told him not to carry the ball down so low..."
  25. Blue Bolt
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  26. Concudan
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    The Coaches can only teach. I am glad you brought up military because there is an old saying. No plan survives the first encounter with the enemy. Same goes for the NFL.
  27. Blue Bolt
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    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    Except Norv's game plan vs the Ravens....... #exceptiontotherule ;)
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  28. Buck Melanoma
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    Would this fall into the "even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometime" category? :rolleyes:
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  29. Concudan
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    We did spank them didnt we. It must have been all the players in spite of Norv... ;)
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  30. Blue Bolt
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    Perhaps........ the nut was lost somewhere on the way to Detroit. ;)

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