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Frustrated Chargers attempt to move forward

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by ChargerRay, Sep 19, 2005.

  1. ChargerRay
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    ChargerRay Producer/Host of BoltTalk Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    Chargers.com

    Chargers coach Marty Schottenheimer, an old linebacker, stood before the media as he does every Monday afternoon, this time following Sunday’s 20-17 loss at Denver that dropped his team to 0-2.

    He fended off the questions, one after another, about the lack of passes to LaDainian Tomlinson, the lack of protection for quarterback Drew Brees, about the new offensive line coach, about the pass defense and about the state of the team. He probably shed the questions more smoothly than he ever handled blockers as a career backup in his playing days.

    “The bottom line is we play a game in which two or three plays frequently determine the outcome of a game,” Schottenheimer summed up. “We’ve found ourselves in situations in those two games we have played where we have failed to make those plays and as a result we’re 0-2. I don’t think it’s any more complex than that.”

    The Chargers return home for a 5:30 p.m. game Sunday against the New York Giants with an ESPN national television audience watching from Qualcomm Stadium.

    “I’ve been doing this for a long time,” said Schottenheimer, in his fourth season with the Chargers and 20th as an NFL head coach. “I know better than to get caught up in the past, whether it’s good or bad. You better focus on the long haul and the next step in front of you. For us right now, that’s to get on the practice field and correct mistakes.”

    One of those most surprising statistics of the Chargers’ young season is Tomlinson, the Pro Bowl running back who caught 100 passes two seasons ago, has yet to catch a pass this season. But Schottenheimer explained the Chargers have faced two teams blitzing from man-to-man coverage.

    “We would have liked have done more of that, particularly against Dallas,” Schottenheimer said of the season-opening loss. “But we’re getting a considerable amount of man-to-man coverage with pressure. Protection comes first in the passing game.”

    Schottenheimer doesn’t expect all teams to adopt the strategies that Dallas and Denver used because not all teams are built for man-to-man coverage. But he said the Chargers must find more ways to get Tomlinson the ball when they do see similar defensive game plans.

    “It’s just one of those things that hasn’t happened yet,” Chargers quarterback Drew Brees said. “I’m confident we’ll get him in the passing game as we go down the road. We’ll also get him the ball in the running game. Whether it’s running or passing, we’ll get him his touches.”

    Schottenheimer said throwing a screen pass to Tomlinson against man-to-man defense would result in Tomlinson being hit in the backfield. Tomlinson said he wants to see the ball more, but he’s not the type of player to complain on the sidelines he’s not getting the ball.

    “I don’t want to make it sound like I’m complaining I’m not getting the ball,” Tomlinson said. “I had the ball 19 times in both of the last two games. Anytime I touch the ball that much, I’ve got to make something happen. I haven’t done that.”

    Schottenheimer added the breakdown in pass protection has come from several players, which complicates fixing the problem. He said the five returning offensive linemen haven’t played as well as they did a year ago, but he quickly shed one question about former line coach Hudson Hauck leaving for Miami and being replaced by Carl Mauck.

    “It has nothing to do with Hudson, and he’d be the first to tell you that,” Schottenheimer said. “That’s not the only thing that’s different. We have receivers, tight ends and quarterbacks that are all part of that. This is not a five-man game. None of us are doing as much as we need to do.”

    On the other side of the ball, Schottenheimer had praise for secondary, even though Denver quarterback Jake Plummer completed 23-of-37 passes for 248 yards.

    “I think they made a positive step forward against a pretty good team that throws the ball effectively and has thrown the ball effectively against us in the past,” he said. “We gave them 13 points defensively, but at the end of the day we need to hold them to 10.”

    Long snapper goes long

    Long-snapper David Binn played in his 100th consecutive game and 177th overall against Denver. He moved into fifth place on the franchise’s career list.

    Binn, in his 12th year out of Cal, is the Chargers’ longest-tenured player. With four more games, Binn can tie Hall-of-Fame quarterback Dan Fouts for fourth place on the team’s all-time participation list at 181 games when the Chargers play on Oct. 16 at the Oakland Raiders.

    Injury update

    Rookie wide receiver Vincent Jackson (calf) and second-year defensive end Igor Olshansky (thigh) may return to the practice field this week with a chance of being activated against the Giants. Jackson has been inactive for both games and Olshansky was inactive last week after being injured against Dallas.

    Defensive end Jacques Cesaire injured his ankle at Denver, but there is no fracture. Schottenheimer said the team will need to watch his progress in practice this week before determining if he can play Sunday.
  2. Bolt-Thrower
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    Bolt-Thrower BoltTalker

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    I just hope the players are handling this as well as Coach is.

    I look at it like we really allowed 19pts to thier O. Those Elam misses aren't gonna happen often. That being said the red zone D was vastly improved from last week(cowpies 100%-all for tds).
    Just make your opponent kick fgs rather than get td's and our offense should be able to put up more than 17, even against the best defenses

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