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2006 vs. 2008

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Boltergeist, Jun 14, 2009.

  1. Boltergeist

    Boltergeist BoltTalker

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    2006 vs. 2009

    I wanted to discuss a bit what this team's chances are of being as good or better than our most successful (at least during the reg season) team in franchise history. We have had some growing pains as we have made transitions over the past couple of years in personnel and coaching....but this is the most confident I have felt since prior to 06 that we have a REALLY good team. IMO, in spite of our tough schedule, we need to really come out of the gate strong and get that home field advantage to make a serious run in post season. We have a far more experienced team now that has finally gelled with the current coaching staff. Here are a few differences between our current group and the 2006 team:

    QB: Rivers is light years ahead of 2006. As a first year starter, he was completely reliant upon our running game, and even though he didn't perform badly...he was not 1/100th of the playmaker he is now in moving this offense...recognizing defenses...exploiting mismatches.

    OL: IMO, this is probably our biggest disadvantage to the 06 team until the unit proves otherwise. Goff and Olivea weren't great...but they were actually solid enough that year for us to be able to run right on occasion, which hasn't been the case the last couple of years....The single biggest difference has been tha McNeill hasn't played near the level he did since 2006...and we have to hope for a ressurgence from him after neck surgery...likewise, Hardwick has been a liabilty in holding up the middle as he has battled through his own injuries. Clary needs to step up his game at RT, and we need to get some solid production out of Forney / Vasquez....I'm optimistic that either will be an improvement over the hobbling Goff last year.

    RB: LT is not the player he was in his prime in 06...and never will be...but is he the player he was last year? I am convinced that he is still a star player when healthy...and that injuries seriously derailed him last year. What I saw in the Denver game at the end of the year, prior to his groin injury, was the explosion finally returning in his cuttting ability and straight line speed and he looked like the old LT....Staying healthy is the key with him now....As I recall, in 2006, Turner was used minimally...so at that time, he wasn't a major impact player on this team....This year, I think we are equipped with good change of pace guys to mix in the workload. If Gartrell Johnson turns out to be a good player...that is a major plus for us....I expect us to be carefull with how we use Sproles as he is such a weapon on ST.

    FB: 2006 is the last year Lo Neal was really playing at a high level.....but his presence also made our play calling super predictable...It's amazing the kind of production we got out of our running game when everyone knew what was coming....I feel like our FB's as a unit were lost last year and that there is no where to go but up.

    WR: This comparison is a joke...We are much better with VJ, Chambers, Floyd, Buster...than the group led by EP and McCardell. Add to that the fact that our QB is far more in sync with his receivers than at that time.

    TE: I don't think Gates has dropped off much...and a fully healthy Gates will be better than last year.....Manu on the other hand has dissappointed...He was GREAT in 2006 from a blocking perspective and really helped take the running game to another level....The last couple of years he has tailed off...and we need some improvement out of him.

    Next Defense / ST and coaching.....
     
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  2. Boltergeist

    Boltergeist BoltTalker

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    On defense, from a personell standpoint, it's pretty easy to spot that our biggest dropoff has been at the ILB position where Donnie and Godfrey manned pretty successfully...What is unmeasurable is the impact that the change in DC from a very good Wade Phillips had to incompetence (in my view) with Cotrell....I am so much happier with Chico it's not even funny.

    DT: Jamal is getting older and isn't quite the force he was 3 years ago which always worries me...He is so important to this defense. We need to find ways to spell him and we don't have very good options.

    DE: Plain and simple, Castillo has to perform...This has to be the breakout year where he earns that contract. A big year from him could do wonders for this defense. Olshansky played pretty well in 06 and has regressed since....and now he is gone...We need to at least match his production on the other side. Vaughn Martin is ridiculously raw, so I'm chalking this up to a developmental year...If we get production out of him this year...that is a major bonus. Bingham must step up.

    OLB: Just before 06, we had lost Foley and it looked disasterous...The Shawne and Shaun combo was devestating however and we also some good production from reserves with a DC who knew how to use them. This year a lot hinges on Merriman's return...I'm bullish on this group....but there are question marks...Larry English looks like a beast...but we need to see what he can do. We have a nice stable of pass rushers and I expect a HUGE improvement from the pathetic rush we had last year....I think we can match 2006 which will make all the difference in this defense. Ron Rivera knows what he is doing...and he will unleash fury in 2009 with this group.

    ILB: We will be better than last year. Period. I'm fine with Coop who is a solid player....and I think another year of growth from our reserves and a possible wild card in Kevin Burnett who may end up a starter....This group is not what we had in 2006...but we can decrease the gap / falloff from the crappy play / tackling from the last couple of years.

    CB: Jammer continues to be a solid player and I don't see a dropoff from 2006. The injured Cromartie on the other side was about as bad as it gets...but I see him being better than D-Flo was in 06....We are also deeper with Cason and an experienced Gordon.

    S: This could also be a year that Weddle breaks out into at least a solid year. He did much better with Rivera running the show last year. Kevin Ellison may also be another wild card on this team. In 2006, we had Terrence Kiel and got some pretty solid play out of McCree...We can actually be better than 2006 here...though this is considered a major weak spot on the team.


    ST: Kaeding is a better, more experienced PK who made some big kicks last year and has grown from past choke jobs. Scifres if flat unbelievable. The biggest difference between 06 and current is that Darren Sproles was injured all of 2006.....He is a major weapon and upgrade....IMO our coverage units are pretty consistent assuming Osgood stays with the team this year. We have a strong unit from top to bottom.

    Coaching: Norv may not preach fundamentals like Marty, but he is an asset with his creativity in close big games...which was Schotty's achilles heal. I was never a huge fan of Cam Cameron who was kind of a yes man in my book. I'm a huge Rivera fan....the more I hear him speak...and the results I have been seeing...I believe he can be the equal of Wade..who was a superb DC.

    Intangibles- This works both for and against us this year. This team is more experienced and playoff hardened. We have gone through a lot of downs to go along with success. We are also a lot deeper with experience....we also have a weaker division in transition....The downside is that our schedule from top to bottom is a b!tch...We are going to have a lot of tough games....Getting HFA throughout will be tough when we are competing against solid teams like the Patriots and Steelers....We will need some luck to go our way.....and I feel like we are due for it.
     
  3. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    First off, nice post Boltergeist. :icon_toast:

    I want to address each point that you made, but first I took a look at the strength of schedule measurements for both seasons. Let's look at 2009 first .....

    Our strength of schedule for 2009 is .484 - tied with the SOS for KC, btw. 18th toughest in the league, so close to the median. Our opponents record for 2009 is a combined 123-131-2. We play the following 2008 playoff contenders (bolded games are at home):
    Ravens
    Dolphins
    @ Steelers
    @ Giants
    Eagles
    @ Titans

    Of these games, I see wins at home, losses to the Steelers & possibly the Titans.

    The 2006 SOS was .488 & ranked #20 overall - a little tougher, but not by much at all & again near the median. I didn't find our opponents' combined schedules from 2005. We played the following 2005 playoff teams in 2006:
    Pittsburgh W, 23-13
    @ Cincinnati W, 49-41
    @ Denver W, 35-27
    Denver W, 48-20

    So in 2006 25% of our games were against playoff contenders from the previous year, 2 at home & 2 away. We won all 4 games.

    In 2009 we play 6 2008 playoff contenders, 37.5% of our total schedule, 3 at home & 3 away. So even though we have a slightly weaker SOS this year, we play more playoff contenders from the previous season. All in all, I give the SOS between the 2 years in question a wash.

    So now on to Boltergeist's points about the Chargers for 2009.

    QB: Agree here. There's no doubt that PR is a better QB than in his 2006 season. He has more experience, has played through pain, made a great comeback from injury, & has shown that he can carry the team. Advantage - 2009.

    OL: Again - no argument. McNeill's return to his 2006 form is a big question. Hardwick says his injury is healed. I believe that Forney will begin the season as our starting ROG, but Vasquez will wrest it away by mid-season if not sooner. ROT is the big question mark. Can Clary get the job done &, if not, who steps up? I gotta give this one a wash provided our injured guys rebound well (McNeill, Hardwick).

    RB: I think that we see a resurgence from a healthy LT. All reports indicate him looking & feeling great. With the stable of backs that we now have, there is no reason why we can't keep LT fresh & healthy for a big post-season run, barring something unforeseen. Gartrelle will contribute, especially in short yardage situations. We all know how Sproles can break a game open. He'll get a fair number of touches, even with his role on ST. Still, 2006 gets the nod here based upon LT's monster year.

    FB: Do we really have one? Norv says it's Hester, but don't count out Tolbert just yet. Neither replace a Lo Neal. Advantage - 2006.

    WR: This is a better group than in 2006, especially if CC comes back healthy. I'd like to see much more of Naanee in the mix this year as this is probably CC's last year as a Charger & VJ must work his way out of AJ's doghouse due to the drinking issues. I'm hoping for Buster to make an appearance, but not placing any faith here. Keep an eye on Banks. Advantage - 2009.

    TE: The story here is the health of Gates' foot. Healthy he makes a big impact. Hobbled, he still has to be accounted for but isn't nearly the weapon that he was in 2006. Manu has to work on his blocking. I'm giving it a wash now as the jury is still out on Gates' foot.

    Defense? Cottrell is gone, now just a bad memory that still pisses me off but can do no further damage. I'm excited about RR having a full off-season to develop schemes with his staff that will utilize our strengths & get us back to being an attacking style of defense.

    DT: Like you said, Jamal's importance to this D cannot be overstated. He's the lynchpin of it all. I think he has a good year in 2009. He knows that his career is winding down & will use that as motivation to push the rest of the guys. As for his backups - we'll see in TC. Hopefully Ian Scott can provide some quality relief along with Bingham or a TC dark horse. Another wash for me.

    DE: Ah, Luis. Who will we see this year? The return of a healthy Merriman can help Castillo a lot. He hopefully spent his offseason strengthening his body in ways to help avoid injury. Cesaire has been a steady guy at RDE. I don't see much letdown from the Igor of last year. Martin will make his presence felt by mid-season. I think losing Igor & drafting Martin is a plus for the team. Advantage - 2009.

    OLB: A healthy Merriman, the addition of English, another year of experience for Tucker & Applewhite - yeah, this group should have a good year. I expect Rivera to have this group attacking opposing QB's like heat-seeking missiles. Expect to see Shawne, Shaun, & English on the field at the same time a considerable amount. The mismatches that this creates will be disastrous for offenses. Advantage - 2009

    ILB: Cooper is steady if not spectacular. Burnett will hopefully bring the coverage element that we lost from this group with Donnie's departure. Dobbins & Siler reap the reward of another year of experience. Where does Bakhtari fit in? The guy has intriguing size. Get off my field, Wilhelm. You suck. Advantage - 2009.

    CB: I'm looking for Jammer to be solid, Cro to make a comeback, & Cason to be strong after a good rookie showing. Gordon showed some flashes last year & should help out at the nickel & dime positions. Advantage - 2009.

    S: Still our weakest spot in the secondary. With a good TC, Ellison can unseat Hart. Health will be the biggest concern as I think that he showed at USC that he has the leadership, instincts, & intelligence to pick up the NFL game. Weddle is progressing & should reap the benefit of having a DC like RR vs. the former brain-dead fat-***. Until I see an upgrade for Hart, I'm giving the advantage to 2006.

    ST: Can Kaeding get us a few touchbacks this year? He's accurate, but I would love to see a little more *** behind those KO's. Scifres is nails - make sure that he stays healthy. Sproles may share or give up the PR duties to Buster in order to keep him fresher for use at RB. The coverage teams should remain solid. Advantage - 2009.

    I see us at 13-3 with losses to the Steelers, the Chiefs @ Arrowhead, & the Titans. We sweep our home games.

    So ... similar reg season record with better playoff results. The keys will be how the defense responds to RR, Merriman's return to form, the right side of the OL, staying healthy, & bringing a nasty, killer attitude to every minute of every game.

    Here's to a historic 2009!!! :icon_toast:
     
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  4. bigmike.x.09

    bigmike.x.09 Well-Known Member

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    I'm gunna say 13-3 with losses to pitt, tenn, and either baltimore or mia.

    im saying this is the year we sweep the division, and i've been saying all this time that the year we sweep is the year we take the lombardi.
     
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  5. Gridreaper

    Gridreaper BoltTalker

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    ...I see a 12-4 record with a home loss to the Eagles, losses on the road to the Giants, Steelers, Titans and a perfect 6-0 in the AFC West. I also predict that the Eagles will either play New England or the Chargers in the Super Bowl.
     
  6. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    The Eagles game will be a tough one, no doubt, but I think that the pupil schools the teacher this time. :yes:
     
  7. Boltergeist

    Boltergeist BoltTalker

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    Good take. I don't like to get into W-L predictions, but I'm feeling pretty optimisitc right now....I always like it better when we are flying under the media radar. It definitely feels like we have a more grounded group this time which can't be underestimated either. We are no longer being lauded as the team with the most talent...instead the concensus seems to be that we have missed our "window of opportunity".
     
  8. Boltergeist

    Boltergeist BoltTalker

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    I'm not as bullish on the Eagles...I think they lost a lot of leadership and playmaking with the Dawkins departure....Yes, they have a dynamic offense...but they tend to be inconsistent also. I think a darkhorse in the NFCE is the Washington Redskins....Albert Haynesworth is going to make that defense awesome....and his departure is REALLY going to hurt the Titans.
     
  9. HEXEDBOLT

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

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    Break it down all you want, injuries and player game is what counts. If they don't fight for it, it won't happen. Get a tude team and kick some ***.
     
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  10. RM24

    RM24 BoltTalker

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    Only part I'm really concerned about....:yes:
     
  11. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Of course the injuries are unpredictable, but something tells me that we have a much hungrier team this year. The vets have got to really step up & lead by example - staying focused, not buying into media hype, just playing tough, go for the throat football.

    What could be better than winning it all in this anniversary year? :abq1: :abq2: :abq1: :bolt:
     
  12. Showmeyourbolt

    Showmeyourbolt New Member

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    :tup:



    Yep. Hopefully that mentality will show itself early in the season. A blowout of Oakland week 1 will propel this team to start the year, just like in 06!

    Also, please no more waterpark trips during training camp, these guys don't need to soak in the wave machine right before the season starts:no:
     
  13. HEXEDBOLT

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

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    I agree buck, and that mean nasty tude is going to show up. We don't need anymore of this choir boy crap, we needs bad *** dudes putting the hurt on. :icon_toast: :tup:
     
  14. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    I want mean and nasty lines. Give me mean and nasty, dominating lines and the Bolts will give is a Lombardi.

    But as they say

    ONE GAME AT A TIME!!
     
  15. HEXEDBOLT

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

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    Conc, I've been preaching that for years. If we ain't cheating we ain't trying, that's just the way it is. You don't bring home the Lombardi being nice guy's, hell kick em when they're down and call their momma names.:abq2::abq1::icon_toast:
     
  16. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    AJ drafted nasty this year. I hope it rubs off on everyone.

    If I was on this team, I'd be mad as hell that we haven't won a ring yet & I'd steamroll any friggin' thing that got in the way. :icon_twisted:

    A little OT ..... I went to a nephew's wedding on Sat. His dad's side of the family lives in Attleboro, MA which is just outside of Foxboro. Believe it or not, I really like them. :lol: Anyway, I told my nephew's grandfather that I hope Brady gets his other knee broken this year.

    He was not as amused as I was. :icon_rofl:
     
  17. Showmeyourbolt

    Showmeyourbolt New Member

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    [​IMG]




    I AM VASQUEZ, DEVOURER OF DEFENSIVE LINEMAN
     
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  18. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    :bow: I love the snarlish look he sports...
     
  19. wrbanwal

    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

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    That's one big f'n scar on a bigger f'n dude


    :icon_eek::icon_eek::icon_eek:
     
  20. Kwak

    Kwak ....

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    The 2 things I want to see is the OLine knocking peeps on their asses and the Dline collapsing the pocket.
     
  21. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    :yes: :abq2: :yes:
     

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