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Ball Watcher’s Perspective on the Chargers vs. 49’ers

Discussion in 'San Diego Chargers Hall of Champions' started by robdog, Aug 31, 2007.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    By Curtis Egan
    <em>BoltTalk Staff Writer</em>

    <strong><img src="http://us.i1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/sp/getty/45/fullj.getty-76072255sd012_san_francisco.jpg" title="SAN DIEGO - AUGUST 30: Running back Andrew Pinnock #34 of the San Diego Chargers carries the ball in a preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers at Qualcomm Stadium August 30, 2007 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)" alt="SAN DIEGO - AUGUST 30: Running back Andrew Pinnock #34 of the San Diego Chargers carries the ball in a preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers at Qualcomm Stadium August 30, 2007 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)" align="right" height="247" width="175" />Ball Watcher's Perspective on the Chargers vs. 49'ers</strong>

    I have to say, it was a great night to be a Charger fan. No it is not that the team played to the level that indicated to me that we would win the Superbowl with our backups alone. It was the atmosphere. Lets start with the tailgater, happy faces all around, people enjoying the company of one another and all breathing a sigh of relief that the real season is just around the corner. The Pollo Asada and Carne Asada were hot and delicious, there was ‘Da Bomb' hot sauce that actually made me want to take a drink, but football was in the air.

    You enter the stadium and it is awash with new jerseys, showing why they have quickly become the hottest item on the open market, there were a sprinkling of 9'ers jerseys here and there, but all was good. I had sponged seats on the club level and I have to tell you-. WOW! Front row, 50 yard line seats, I was in Ball Watcher heaven-

    Before the game there was a great tribute to our Military. During halftime an induction of about 200 new enlistees into the Military and a display of all 50 American flags. The two fly over by the Coast Guard helicopters was impressive as well. One thing I think that will stick with me though is when several wounded Military personnel were honored at half time and the cheers and applause they received, especially the last one, a young, brave marine who has been wounded twice in Iraq. From the bottom of this Ball Watcher's heart, thank you all for fighting so I can watch a football game, safe at home.

    On to the game shall we? Yes oh, do lets! This being the last preseason game of four this year we should have expected to see the backups and third stringers most of the evening, and the Chargers did not let us down. Now many non-Ball Watchers will complain about not seeing the Likes of LT, Gates, Rivers, and so on out on the field. But I think it is even more exciting to see young players striving for a roster position. Also we are seeing the people who will come into the game when we are in a pinch and play for us. We are seeing what they can do, and possibly formulating ways in our minds of where they can be used to make the opposition off balance.

    In my mind many of the rookies didn't disappoint. I thought that the Chargers were going to have to call Corky's Pest Control last night, I kept hearing Roach, was there and infestation? I believe the 9'ers must have thought so, because #48 Nick Roach seemed to have his head in on every play. Now the NFL.com game center has him accredited with 3 tackles and a sack, but I am sure I heard his name called on the PA much more than four times.

    By the way, there was a Wilhelm sighting last night. The first time starter got to go in his first preseason game of the year, he played about, oh ten downs but was in on two or three tackles and reassured the QB on at least one play. Welcome back Matt, glad to see your calf is feeling better!

    So typically with the Game reveiwes now I would jump in and tell you who I thought was good, who was bad and who was in the middle. But today I will mix it up a bit. I want to pass on some things that hit me as I was sitting in those prime seats.

    <strong>Observations from the Ball Watcher: </strong>
    Ok, here are some things that struck me as the game progressed;

    <strong><em>Running to the inside:</em></strong>
    Now correct me if I am wrong but through four preseason games most if not all the Chargers rushes were for the dirty yards on the inside. Between the hash marks on the field where the lines clash, tackles roam and yards are hard to come by. This is not a bad thing, but we have not seen much ran to the outside and used the speed of our backs. Now when we have a running back named Race, it seems natural. Is this Norv's rope a dope move? Show everything tight and in the center, no pulling or tendencies that will give the Bears something to review? Or is it just this ball watcher being far too clever in his analysis of the game? Don't answer that, I am fragile.

    <strong><em>Rivers shadowing Norv</em></strong>
    Throughout 90% of the game, when I looked down to the side lines to see where the coaches were, I would only have to look for the #17 jersey. Rivers was all over Norv, like white on rice (the non-brown kind), and ugly on an ape (but don't let an ape hear you use that one). When ever Norv talked to a player, Rivers was right there listening. When ever Rivers saw something on the field he would instantly point it out and talk to Norv. At least that is how it appeared from where I was at.

    This got me thinking, was this a good thing? I can only think that it is YES! This tells me that our head Coach/Offensive Coordinator is building a relationship of respect with the chief signal caller on the team. It also says to me that Rivers is actively seeking out information from Norv and accepting what he hears. That is chemistry, the same type that lead another of Norvs star pupils, Troy Aikman to request that the current head coach of the San Diego Chargers give the induction speech for him as he went into the NFL Hall of Fame.

    I cant tell you how much this excites me. We have arguably one of the best offensive minds in the league getting right with our young star quarter back, then I look and I see that we have the premier coach of the running game coupled with the best player in the NFL today. It gives this Ball Watching Charger fan goose bumps- Really! Look!

    <strong><em>Interceptions off the deflection</em></strong>
    Man our young defensive players had their heads in the game. This was not some walkthrough for them and they showed it. Several balls were intercepted after being tipped or bouncing off the intended receiver. I LOVE seeing that! To me it says that they are concentrating, keeping their eyes on the ball and ready to make a play when possible. If this rolls over into the regular season watch out! Turnovers can make or break a season, and nothing changed momentum like a turnover. Ohhh-rah!!!!

    <strong>Who was looking good?: </strong>
    <strong>Turnovers:</strong> Plus six on the evening. (A plus six turnover number indicates that the Chargers recovered six more turnovers than they had lost; e.g. if the Chargers had lost 4 balls on turnovers (interceptions, fumbles etc-) they would have recovered 10 turnovers to get to a plus six number.) The Chargers did not cough up the ball once. I love to go into the regular season like that, especially given that we open against the Chicago Bears, whose defense is arguably much better in the early part of the season. If the Chargers keep brining it proper like this we will have one hell of a season!

    <strong>30 Eldra Buckley:</strong> Our back ups back ups are not supposed to be this good. Eldra in the final third of the game took over and started pushing piles of 9'er defenders for clock robbing yards. He ended the evening with 56 yards on 18 carries. As stated above these where all into the teeth of the defense, all tough yards. I was impressed with his ability, and his long rush of 8 yards.

    <strong>84 Craig Davis:</strong> Davis was on the verge of making my naughty list and getting a lump of coal. Then there was that 40 yard touch down reception where he pulled the ball away from the defender and all was right. Davis did have a few drops on the evening, but hey it is not Rivers throwing him the ball. Davis ended his evening with 2 receptions for 48 yards and a touchdown.

    <strong>32 Eric Weddle:</strong> This kid has got to be one of the most popular jersey selections out there for a rookie. There were TONS of 32 jerseys. I can see why, two interceptions 4 passes defensed and a great night all together, he is making a statement to the Coaching staff that he wants to start, and start now. He may not be the starter at strong safety on opening day, but it is coming- Like the rollin thunder chasing the wind-

    <strong>51 Tim Dobbins:</strong> three solo tackles, 2 assisted tackles, one sack, and disruptive to the 49'ers offensive unit. How do you plead? <strong>GUILTY!</strong> Tim had a great night roving behind the big butts on the defensive line. I swear to you on a stack of Sports Illustrateds, that we have the elite line backing corps in the league. Bank on it, it is a Conc Lock!

    <strong>48 Nick Roach:</strong> As stated above, until his injury he was everywhere. The 49'ers must have though him a roach because they could not get rid of him. His name was called much more often than the three tackles and a sack he is accredited for indicate.

    <strong>53 Anthony Waters:</strong> six solo tackles, 2 assisted tackles and a whole night of hitting the opposition. This guy as I have said before was the steal of the draft, he will turn BIG dividends for us before the season is out.

    <strong>In the middle:</strong>
    <strong>40 Legedu Naanee:</strong> He had a few drops I think he should have hauled in, he ended his evening with two receptions for sixteen yards. He is not ready to be a starter, but with his versatility and ability he will be a great backup this season.

    <strong>offensive and Defensive lines:</strong> the big boys accounted for themselves well tonight I though. At the end the 49'ers were getting too many rushing yards and out quarterback was getting a little too much pressure for me to move them into the good section. Sorry guys, I wanted to do it, but my status as Ball watcher means I have to act with honor in this regard.

    <strong>6 Charlie Whitehurst:</strong> 7 of 14 for .76 yards and a touchdown. I was almost going to drop you into the bad, because a lot of your throws were well off of the mark. But you left the game with a 90.2 passer rating so due to the Ball Watching bylaws section 17 paragraph 7, note number 6 states, and I quote *ahem* "<em>A ball watcher may not, cannot, and will not put a Quarterback in the bad section when they have a quarterback rating of greater than 90 with out express written consent of the President of the Ball Watchers Association; Trumpet_Man.</em>" It is true, it says that, and I am not one for breaking the rules-

    <strong>Who was looking bad?:</strong>
    <strong>87 Scott Chandler:</strong> one reception for one yard. Several missed opportunities. This was not all his fault, but he needs to man up and take the criticism with the praise.

    <strong>Penalties:</strong> while four penalties for twenty five yards wont kill you, it was the type of penalties that irritated me. They were the type you get when you don't have your head in the game. That is with the exception of the offensive holding penalty when the entire 49'ers defense was in the backfield, that one made sense.

    <strong>31 Antonio Cromartie:</strong> how it pains me to do this, but Antonio, you have not had a good preseason. While you were not thrown at much on the evening, I also did not see you in on any tackles. Man you need to be attacking; you have the ability and physicality to be an attacking ball hawk. Take the hood off and take to the wing after your prey!

    <strong>16 German Race:</strong> I like this kid, but he left after being stacked up and bent over at the line of scrimmage. Reports are that it was a toe injury. I liked this kid a lot, and he made my 53 man roster at BoltTalk.com. I hope this injury does not derail him.

    <strong>48 Nick Roach:</strong> Nick was having the game to land him on the active roster. He was everywhere doing everything. When he left the game it looked like it was his shoulder or neck that was being looked at. I hope this is not serious because nick was starting to look like another find by master gemologist AJ Smith, the man who excels at finding diamonds in the rough.

    <strong>65 Cory Winthrow:</strong> Cory left the game in the third limping. Reports from Chargers.com indicate it is a sprained foot. Get better soon Cory!

    <strong>In conclusion:</strong>
    It was truly a great night to be a Charger fan. I am ready for the regular season, bring on them BEARS!

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