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After time to reflect; Chargers slow start

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Concudan, Sep 27, 2010.

  1. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    The fans of the San Diego Chargers are still mad. It is another year and yet another ‘slow start’ to the season for the Chargers under Head Coach Norv Turner. Many fans are wondering if this is the year where the Chargers do not recover from their early miscues, mistakes and poor performance to make the playoffs at the end of the year.

    Who is to say if this is the year or not? The players will of course have a say about that on the field. One thing is for certain, the two games the Chargers lost thus far were winnable games. Both of the losses occurred on the road to mediocre teams, before hostile, loud crowds, but winnable games. Both of the losses were highlighted with terrible performances by the Special Teams units.

    Lets be frank, some of the worst special teams play I have seen in a long time was on display by the Chargers in the first three games of the season. The Chargers special teams have in 3 games allowed 3 touchdowns, 2 on kick returns and 1 on a punt return. This is the biggest, though not only reason the Chargers sit at 1-2, instead of 3-0.

    Nothing can sap momentum quicker than a punch to the face score on special teams. However as I mentioned the losses are not solely on the shoulders of the special teams. The offense also shares a level of blame. At time in both games the offense did not look like they were on the same page. Though I think it is important to note that the last game looked much better than the first, thus we can see improvement. Arguably that is not the case with special teams however.

    Some fans, predictably have begun to come out of the woodwork, pointing the finger of blame and call for the termination of everyone from General Manager AJ Smith down to the towel boy. I call this the Madden syndrome. Because in the Madden game you can do anything and fix your team in moments, rather than have to work day in and day out to maintain continuity and improve.

    In the wake of the latest loss, fans have cried for AJ’s head. Explaining how he is destroying the team, tearing everything down. Wow, really? The Chargers are enjoying their greatest level of success since the Air Corryell days. AJ Smith has assembled the most talented, and deep team that I have seen. In the days of Dan Fouts, the Defense was not very good. Today we have a rather good balance between Offense and Defense. I have to laugh when I hear fans talking about AJ tearing down the team. Since AJ has taken over as GM the Chargers are 4th in games won. That is not tearing down anything.

    Of course the annual ‘FIRE NORV!’ cries have resurfaced. Even though the offense is currently ranked number 1 in the league, that foe some reason is not good enough. I have never seen a winning coach so dislike by the fans of his team. The problem is not Norv. He needs to be, and is part of the solution. That is not where fans should point the blame, and I welcome anyone to explain where I am incorrect in this statement.

    Steve Crosby, the Special Teams coach is also getting called out. Fans have the feathers and are heating up the tar. While I agree, the special teams have been the biggest problem I am not a proponent of making changes to coaches unless things are dire. To change a coach breaks down continuity and momentum. If the Chargers were to replace Crosby now, someone would have to fill the void. There would be changes, and the players have to learn something different. That takes time to get right. So while I am giving the evil eye to Crosby right now, I am not ready to vulcanize him with the tar just yet. One more game like the last one and I may be carrying the pitchfork and torch myself.

    So what is going wrong?

    Killer Instinct; The Chargers need to come out in every game ‘guns a blazing’. We currently have the number 1 rated offense in the league after 3 weeks. The Chargers should be running up the score and making the opponents play catch up. I understand the Chargers will not score on every drive, and this is of course something that is easier said than done. But with Philip Rivers, Antonio Gates, Malcom Floyd and the rest of the talented offensive players we should be able to maintain drives longer.

    The offensive line has to do its share, and up until the last game the accounted admirably for themselves. Last game they lost Luis Vasques and had to play Tyronne Green in his place, which proved to be part of the problem, which is to be expected in a situation like this. Brandyn Dombrowski has been playing Left Tackle so far while Marcus McNeil held out. He did well but in the game against Seattle he was beaten a number of times.

    Even given the challenges on the offensive line the Chargers have been in position to win all of the games. I can’t help but think that with a little more aggressive play calling we might have won the games. I could be wrong; playing arm chair Head Coach is always easy because we have the benefit of hind sight as we second guess the play selections.

    Special Teams; As I mentioned before I think this is the biggest problem facing the team at this juncture. It appears that they are not maintaining their zones of responsibility on returns and that has let some talented and speedy returners eat the Chargers coverage alive.

    As you could possibly guess the Chargers have allowed the most returns for touchdowns in the league. 21 points have been scored in result of those returns. Of the 61 points allowed by the Chargers through the first 3 games, 34% of those points are from the 3 returns.

    The Chargers will have to focus on special teams if they wish to make that last season run we all hope for, because these special teams have been making it an uphill climb for the offense and defense so far this season.

    Why is there reason to have hope?

    Defense; simply put the Defense is playing better than it has in the last few years. They are playing well. If you take away the 3 special teams allowed score, then the defense is allowing just 13 points per game. That is some excellent defensive output there! They have allowed only 1 rushing touchdown, 3 passing touchdowns, and 4 field goals in the first 3 games. They are currently ranked as the 4th defense in the league and have managed to maintain the level of play even with injuries hitting the linebacker corps… They are pressuring the opposing Quarterbacks and have even registered a sack early in the last game. Some fans feel the Defense is not playing well, that they are not defending the middle of the field. I simply say the numbers speak for themselves. The Defense is not the problem on this year’s team.

    Rivers and Gates; Rivers continues to play at high levels, but arguably Gates is the best player on the team right now. It is like no one can cover the guy, and he must be a mutant, because his ability to catch the ball with one hand makes me think he has suction cups on his fingers. This tandem gives the Chargers a chance each and every game. The offense as aforementioned is ranked #1 in the league, 2nd in passing, 12th rushing, and 5th scoring. The unit all in all can compete with any team in the league.

    History; It is infuriating… It seems as if the Chargers have to get their backs to the wall to wake up and win games. They have done it year after year under Turner. So with just 3 games into the season, now is not the time to panic. That said, we have some tough games coming up. He Chargers have to put the wins in the bank now against the mediocre teams.

    I believe that is the basis of all the frustration and worry on the part of the fans. These are the teams the Chargers should be beating. They have Arizona, Oakland and St. Louis coming up; they should win all of those. Just like they should have beaten Kansas City, and Seattle... After the Rams, New England, Tennessee, Houston, Indianapolis, and Cincinnati appear on the horizon. These are not ‘give me’ games. So the Chargers need to start winning now, because they may not win all five of those games listed above.

    The Chargers can win, they can right the ship so to speak, and they have done it in the past. They could very well beat all five of those tough teams, the offense and defense are certainly playing well enough to win, what is needed is for the special teams step up and do their part! If they don’t, I am sure the Chiefs would not mind winning the AFC West this season.
     
  2. scratchnz

    scratchnz BoltTalker

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    I respect your opinion greatly Conc and this is another well-written and thought proving article by you...but I do not agree totally with some of your points.

    Whlist I will admit that AJ is directly responsible for bringing scouting and bringing in the talent on this roster, unfortunately he is undoing all that good work with his attitude to the players (at contract time) and with his ego in general.

    His hire of Norv was completely in HIS OWN best interests, not the Chargers and I will continue to believe that no matter how many games we win! If we win a supbowl under Norv than I will gladly eat my words, but I just dont see it. I hope it. I pray it. I just dont see it.

    Norv is a YES MAN. A great Offensive Coordinator. Not a coach. His record in this matter speaks for itself!

    I know what AJ was thinking when he hired Norv..."I have one of the most talented teams, stacked with young talent and plenty of experience guys...all this team needs is talented play designer to put them in positions to make plays...they dont need to be hammered with learining the basics now...this team is ready" That hasn't panned out...we are still making stupid basic mistakes like missing easy tackles and dropping/fumbling the ball.

    I truly believe that our players are not properly motivated on gameday and this is because Norv is not a motivator of men...he is an academic...a number cruncher...and although he designs a nice offence...he doesnt command the same respect as alot of the other coaches out there.

    The Chargers need to get back to basics, if they are going to succeed..this year and beyond.
     
  3. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    I dont agree with your comments, but I will fight to the death for your right to say them! ;o)

    I cant see how Norv, who is now I believe the winningest coach in Chargers history has shown himself to be a yes man. I will tell you, I HATED the hire of Norv. I riled against it, cursed AJ and spit fire and brimstone.

    I told everyone who would listen that we would not have any winning sesaon, and that he could not inspire or discipline this team.

    I was wrong. The first training camp I went to Norv was chewin bubblegum and chewin players arse! He was actually out of bubble gum. The players do rspect him and him play calling. He has the knowledge and history to take this team to the playoffs and the superbowl. Of course the latter we will have to wait and see on.

    As far as AJ goes, are you judging based on the VJ and McNeil negotiations? Do you feel Gates dislikes AJ? How about Rivers? Dielman? AJ may not be a nice guy, but he is ensuring stability of the team. That is his job. If AJ gave in to every player demand for more money the team would be in cap hell.

    I believe, honestly believe they will get it going. I am very concerned about special teams though. I place both losses on them, that has to be fixed. AJ and Norv are not the problems in this, that is my opinion at least.

    Thanks for the feedback, and the comments I enjoy getting the perspective of others.
     
  4. CoronaDoug

    CoronaDoug Well-Known Member

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    AJ is the almighty God!

    Special teams suck.

    I did succumb to "Madden Syndrome" concerning Steve Crosby. I still am for him being replaced. I would think that his firing would be compared to the replacement of Ted Cotrell. It was necessary and it may actually light a fire under these players bums.
     
  5. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    The D actually regressed stat wise after Cotrells firing.

    I just dont buy the whole "fire a coach after XYZ" when last season everyone was talking about the good job he was doing...
     
  6. CoronaDoug

    CoronaDoug Well-Known Member

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    Do you really think our ST can regress? I don't recall there being praise for him but I could be wrong. I have not called for a coaches head since Cotrell. It was the right thing to do. Can we really afford to have another ST fiasco? What the hell are we going to do when we play a team with a real return guy? I say get him out now so we can get a guy in and get his scheme going before it is too late.
     
  7. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    There is a difference with this situation here. With Cotrell (I called for his head as well) we had a replacement on the staff working in the system already. Yes Rivera was a step up, but statistically the D took s light step back with Rivera before rushing forward each year since.

    There is no Rivera behind Crosby. It is a whole new ball of wax and YES they can get worse. If things dont improve they may have to make that change. Changing personnel packages is the first change that needs to happen however. Because now the ST 'can' get worse. Get rid of Crosby and they 'will' get worse before they get better.
     
  8. CoronaDoug

    CoronaDoug Well-Known Member

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    If we do not replace him now (early) then we are stuck with him for the rest of the year. The players do not respect or fear Crosby. We also should not have to bring in our starters to play on ST to make up for the debacle. If one of them gets injured then it will be the beginning of the end.
     
  9. CoronaDoug

    CoronaDoug Well-Known Member

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    Patrick Crayton is not happy with San Diego's special teamers

    Posted by Gregg Rosenthal on September 26, 2010 10:18 PM ET
    When the Cowboys struggled over the last few years, wide receiver Patrick Crayton wasn't afraid to point out exactly where they needed to improve. Joining a new team in San Diego hasn't changed his penchant for brutal honesty.

    On Sunday, San Diego's league-worst special teams took the brunt of Crayton's criticism after Seattle upset the Chargers 27-20 on the strength of two Leon Washington kick return touchdowns.

    "Right now, [special teams] coach [Steve] Crosby is [ticked] off. I don't blame him. The guys who are sitting in the meetings are not taking him seriously when he tells you to do a certain thing on a kickoff," a frustrated Crayton said. "He's been in this league I don't know how many years. He's been around a while for a reason, obviously. You have to take this stuff seriously."

    Crosby is upset because he knows he's on the hot seat. The Chargers' special teams also cost them a game in the season opener in Kansas City.

    Without a dominant defense, the Chargers can't afford to have the worst special teams group in the league. Through three weeks, that's exactly what they have.
    Patrick Crayton is not happy with San Diego's special teamers | ProFootballTalk.com
     
  10. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    OK, be the GM. Fire Steve. Now who do you replace him with and how long do you give him to turn it around and how many games do we lose while turning around?
     
  11. CoronaDoug

    CoronaDoug Well-Known Member

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    How many more games do we lose with him?! We are not fortune tellers. We need to turn it around early before the games start counting (playoffs). As for a replacement... Ted Cotrell?:icon_rofl:
     
  12. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    I contend that what you are doing is calling for a knee jerk reaction. The Special teams has been a stregth of the team for the last 3 seasons. I do recall before that we called for Crosby's head a lot. But what changed? Is it something Crosby cannot fix, just becasue Crayton says so? I am not ready to throw the baby out with the bath water. Norv said today there will be some changes.

    I am sure Aj will not sit back and let ST derail the team, but it is too early to get rid of Crosby. If there is no improvement then possibly at teh bye...
     
  13. CoronaDoug

    CoronaDoug Well-Known Member

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    Not knee jerk. Calling for Norv or AJ is knee jerk. We will see what is changed! Ok I will be waiting in the wings.... just in case. :lol:
     
  14. LightEmUp

    LightEmUp Banned Banned

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    Excuse me???

    This latest loss is what made fans call for AJ's head? LOL

    just ignore the fact most of us have been bitching about the same thing for YEARS now so you can write a silly thread. :)
     
  15. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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  16. scratchnz

    scratchnz BoltTalker

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    It sounds like, from what Crayton said, that the onus is on the players as they are not listening to Crosby!

    Conc - I guess time will tell on this discussion. If we win the Superbowl this year or next...then I guess all the AJ/Norv fans will be right and can throw it back in our faces...

    ...but if we dont make the superbowl now or next year...will you still believe that we are on the right track? If we continue to fumble the ball, miss game-winning tackles...continue to play bad on special teams etc... when will the responsibility switch to the coaches and GM and not the players???

    Also, refering to ST...ST is pretty basic...you run down the field and tackle the guy with ball...no intriqute schemes are required here, just a basic marking plan... to me it comes down to motivating the players to make that stop! If the players are not motivated, they wont show the hussle required to make the plays needed. The current chargers coaches dont do this very well. Maybe Riveria is the exception as the defence seem to be responding to him.
     
  17. CoronaDoug

    CoronaDoug Well-Known Member

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    Let me rephrase.. This latest loss has made the fans that call for AJ's head INSANE! LOL
     
  18. CoronaDoug

    CoronaDoug Well-Known Member

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    “One of the ways to address it is to get some guys who have done a great job in the past who aren’t featured on the coverage teams,” Turner said. “Obviously, I’m talking about guys who are starting players who have been good special teams players in the past … We have some young guys that need to grow up and while they’re getting ready to grow up we need to put some guys in there that have done it so we don’t have the issue.” NORV

    Changes coming on special teams - SignOnSanDiego.com


    I do not like risking starters for ST coverage.
     
  19. scratchnz

    scratchnz BoltTalker

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    Is it just me or did Special Teams play pretty well under Marty's head-coaching? Maybe because he lit a fire under their asses to go out and make a play.

    IMO we need a coach with man-management skills who is a motivator of men and leave the fancy play-calling to an Offensive and Defensive coordinator...I was a big Marty fan but sadly I know those days are long gone...
     
  20. scratchnz

    scratchnz BoltTalker

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    Sounds great Norv, why didnt you do that from the begining you F*king d*ckhead!
     
  21. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Ahhh omniscience is supposed to be something mortal men are not given.


    Futher how mad will you be if a starter is lost because he is blown up in a special teams play?
     
  22. scratchnz

    scratchnz BoltTalker

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    Thats a fair point Conc
     
  23. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Its all good. We cheer for the same team!
     
  24. CoronaDoug

    CoronaDoug Well-Known Member

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    Well get ready to roll the dice. Our starters are coming back to ST.
     
  25. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Yeah I saw that.
     
  26. ThunderHorse17

    ThunderHorse17 Lone Wolf

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    Good Read.

    Agree that there is no need to panic about the Ds performance. Also dont think its time to fire anybody. Sucks too I dont think there is more than 10% of all Charger fans that DID like how Marty was let go/Norv was picked as replacement YES man. Not sayin Marty didnt get himself fired, but we tryed to keep him around with a low ball contract exstension *i think could have been decent compensation* and he dangled around the idea of going/staying. He did want AJ to bring in his son and AJ wasnt budging on that so he ultimatle said he wouldnt take the contract offer. And so we were weeks in to the whole NFL team needs a HC situation before we even got into the running. I cant remember all the available coaches up for a potential HC job, but believe that Mike Smith was one we missed on. When we did get into the HC race all the best were gone and we had Norv and Chow and Rivera as HC canidates. We took Norv Norv took Riveria as LB coach and of course Cotrell lost his job, which I think was also a Norv hire/decision. AJ let Norv for the front anyway be the GUY who said who we got... I dont hate Norv after how he has appeared to keep this ship afloat. With hardly any major turbulence in our overall production/ability. Well he did get us alot more postseason wins than Marty ever did. I do wish we could still find a better choice for HC. Norv deffinatly will always have a OC job with SD to me as much as Wade could always come back to DC. Rivera to HC years ago might have played out differently in fans opinions of the coaching staff.
     
  27. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

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    Sometimes I wonder if there's any circumstance where Conc would want someone fired.

    Granted, we weren't posting on the internet in the Beathard days (or at least I wasn't) so there probably was a time.
     
  28. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    I wanted Cotrell fired... I dont think it says anything special of me to knee jerk and call for heads to roll with every loss.
     
  29. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

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    Oh yeah, I forgot you was on that one as well.

    I agree about knee-jerking, by the way.

    It's hard to argue that Crosby's doing a good job right now, but I also recall posters praising him not too long ago.

    Either way, the special teams are a mess and he's the guy at top.
     
  30. powayslugger

    powayslugger Feckless Slappy

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    With this schedule we had the chance to start out 6-0. Sucks to use a slow start each year.
     

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