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Blues and Golds - Preseason #2, Chargers at Rams

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by BlueandGold, Aug 17, 2008.

  1. BlueandGold

    BlueandGold The Oracle

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    In a game where 2nd Stringers played Starters, it's hard to have real substantial remarks either way, so I'll try to stick to individual evaluations on this one.

    BLUES

    1. WILHELM. And no, I'm not talking the WWI German Kaiser here. Last week, I said the middle linebackers in general - this week, it's just Matt Wilhelm. Both him and Cooper finished with 3 tackles apiece, but Cooper at least made two great plays in the Red Zone - a pass deflection in the end zone of a Bulger potential TD pass to Dan Kreider, then a solo go-ahead TD-saving fourth-down open-field tackle (that's a lot of hyphens, eh?) of Brian Leonard that killed the Rams drive. He, at least, demonstrated the clutch and playmaking ability required of a starting MLB. Wilhelm? Missed some assignments in an ugly fashion, missed some tackles in an ugly fashion. He needs to step it up big time or I think of sitting him and giving a harder look to the proven vet Derek Smith (2 tackles) or a more physically talented Anthony Waters (3 tackles).

    2. WHITEHURST. Hm, another BLUE whose last name starts with a W. Anyway, I'll let his statline make speak on its own: 6 for 14 with 67 yards. That's a 43 percent completion rating, for a 12 yard average. It all adds up to a dismal 57.7 QB rating for the day, better than only Mark Bulger (20.8) on both sides this day - and two interceptions had something to do with that one. That's in one half of play against the Rams' third and fourth stringers. And he didn't even look that good - he threw to some covered guys, made some weird decisions, and generally did not look confident at all. Hey, at least he didn't throw an interception or two - which was really the only way he could have looked worse.

    3. WTF IS UP WITH NOT GOING FOR THE WIN? Hey, I had to start my last BLUE with a W too, for theme's sake. Anyhow, I know some of you are going to say, "It's only preseason, we have to evaluate the guys, yada yada." Well, great... we know that Whitehurst can throw incomplete passes on fourth down now, as well as third down. Sarcasm aside, I would have rather, ahem, evaluated Nate Kaeding from distances of 33 and 51 yards, instead of watching Whitey do what he had all game and fly home with the loss. Yes, I know it doesn't matter, but all things considered, I didn't think we gained much evaluation from those two fourth-and-shorts, and I think kicking even ONE of them for the win would have been better for the teams' - and Whitehursts' - mental state.

    GOAT OF THE GAME: Matt Wilhelm, for the reasons explained above. I never want to see a game that bad from him again.

    GOLDS

    1. VOLEK. Listen - the dude was playing behind a patchwork offensive line, and as a result suffered from some intense pressure and was sacked a dismal 3 TIMES IN ONE HALF. Despite the complete and utter lack of protection, he completed 5 of 7 passes for 58 yards, an 8.3 yard average (up from his 3.0 average against Dallas last week) and finished with a 96.1 passer rating. Unlike Whitey, Volek drove the team in the time he had, they just couldn't finish the deal in the red zone. He showed improvement from last week, even if he had worse players around him. I'm good with Volek as our backup guy and I think he'd do just fine with the No. 1 O as well.

    2. CLARY. I know, he didn't look good at first. But check out Leonard Little's stat line when all was said and done - 2 tackles and one sack. The other two sacks on Volek came from Will Witherspoon and Quinton Culberson - linebackers both of them. That means that Clary, after giving up the early sack and pressure, solidified his game against the Pro Bowler and even limited him to 2 whole tackles (including the sack, by the way). On the Witherspoon sack, Clary had Little stonewalled and basically pancaked, and Little was obviously frustrated at that point in the second quarter. That's what I like to see in the preseason - improvement, and Clary demonstrated that in the course of a half against one of the more complete pass rushers in the league. That gets a thumbs up from me.

    3. LAMAR DIVENS. Who? That's right, our (hopefully) heir apparent to Jamal Williams. L-DIV tied for the team game lead in tackles with four, and threw a forced fumble in there for good measure. This was after he put up no stats in very limited playing time against Dallas. Good show, Lamar. I'm hoping to see more of the 6-3, 333 pounder next week.

    PLAYER OF THE GAME: Mike Scifres. In a game where field position ruled, one punter stood above them all. OK, with less dramatic effect, let's take a look at the stats. Yesterday, Sci-Fi had 5 punts for a 46.2 yard average. His net average? 44.2 yards. That's a 2 yard average return for the Rams on 5 punts. What else can I say? Sci-Fi rules.

    THE GAME IN ONE SENTENCE:
    Rams win a snoozer, but player evaluation junkies probably enjoyed themselves anyway.
     
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  2. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Agree with your assessment of Wilhelm, but Derek Smith looks even worse. The answer is going to be one of our younger guys. Clary didn't impress me. Newberry & Withrow looked bad, too. And they should have gone for it at least the first time, IMO. Just for morale's sake.
     
  3. BlueandGold

    BlueandGold The Oracle

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    I knew my assessment of Clary was going to be at odds with most of you, but it was the play that I mentioned (Volek sacked by Witherspoon) that made me notice that, hey, I haven't heard Little's name all that much. Then, on the replay, you see Clary more than holding his own against Little. I thought to myself, "Hm, good recovery."

    Checking Little's stat line basically confirmed my initial impression - that Clary had done a decent job of holding off a Pro Bowler after a shaky start. Little had that sack, then a tackle on the next drive, and that was it from him for the half. Not bad.
     
  4. LV Bolt Fan

    LV Bolt Fan Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunatly, not everything show's up in the scorebook or box score.
     
  5. Thunderstruck

    Thunderstruck BoltTalker

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    Stop evaluating veterans based on preseason. Or I will kill you.
     
  6. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Oh yeah! I see your kill me, and raise you to kill your family!:icon_twisted:
     
  7. Thunderstruck

    Thunderstruck BoltTalker

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    I will kill you and everyone you have ever met!
     
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  8. LV Bolt Fan

    LV Bolt Fan Well-Known Member

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    I'll go all in and just kill everybody. :icon_rofl:
     
  9. maestro876

    maestro876 BoltTalker

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    I'm not taking much from these pre-season games, for the simple fact that no one is really playing very hard except the rookies battling for a roster spot, meaning hardly anyone on our team.

    I really think we need to take a breather and not freak out about anyone until the real games start. For example, take a look at the Pats and Colts. Neither team is playing well in the pre-season, starters or backups. Does anyone think they will get off to a slow start? Not me.
     
  10. BlueandGold

    BlueandGold The Oracle

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    I'm not freaking out, guys, as I hope you can tell from the tone of my post. Does it sound that way?

    I'm still ultimately confident in our football team, and I know that preseason is no indicator of future performance. I know that the bulk of our starters were out. But we can say who looked bad and who looked good at the time, yes? For example, I don't think anyone can deny that Matt Wilhelm looked bad out there. Whether it was the scheme, whether it was not playing hard, whether the coaching staff was INTENTIONALLY make him look bad, or whether he's just plain bad, he looked BAD out there. That's all I'm stating, and that's really all you can state around preseason.

    Am I saying Wilhelm will BE bad this season? No, of course not. But he looked bad last night, and if he continues to look bad, perhaps the coaching staff has to give him (and his backups) a harder look.

    That's all I'm saying. As I hope that most of you who have read my posts before know, I'm no chicken little.
     
  11. maestro876

    maestro876 BoltTalker

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    Thanks God we don't have anyone named Mike Wilhelm on our team.:icon_tease:

    But seriously, I completely agree, that all we can say at this point is who looks bad, but we can't say why.

    My comments weren't necessarily directed at you, but more at people who are panicking.

    I think that Wilhelm has lost something between last winter and now. He came on strong to end last year and showed more aggressiveness and instinct than he did to start. He doesn't appear to be doing that now. Whether we can say that he's actually regressed or is just taking it easy is impossible at this point. We need to wait for the regular season to start so we can see what the real culprit is.

    But I do know I would sure feel a lot better if he would just tackle and get in the right damn gaps. C'mon Matt!

    At least he's good in coverage.
     
  12. BlueandGold

    BlueandGold The Oracle

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    Dammit, you know, I had to correct that about three times in my OP too :lol:

    Something just makes me want to refer to him as MIKE. :lol:
     
  13. in_a_days

    in_a_days dgaf

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    Another excellent write-up B&G! :bolt: :icon_toast:
     
  14. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Maybe I'm dumping too much solely on Clary. There seemed to be a number of missed blocking assignments to me & Little was eating Clary's lunch there for awhile. The lackluster performance could be from Newberry or Withrow blowing the calls. What I DO know is that these guys need to come together in the next couple of weeks.
     
  15. Thunderstruck

    Thunderstruck BoltTalker

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    Could it maybe, possibly have something to do with the fact that we don't prepare for these games?
     
  16. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    I realize that preseason is largely for player eval & because the NFL wants to wring out every dime that they can from the fans. There's no panic on my part.

    BUT ..... we should be preparing for the games. The coaches need to be honing their skills just as much as the players - making game plans, adjustments, etc. If they aren't doing that, they're missing part of the plan.
     
  17. Thunderstruck

    Thunderstruck BoltTalker

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    First of all, how can you possibly prepare for an opponent who isn't going to be playing they way they'll play in the regular season and won't be using the same packages or even showing the same looks they show in regular season?

    Secondly, why would coaches have to "practice" game-prep? I honestly can't say that I understand that. Preseason is for evaluating yourself, not your opponents.
     
  18. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Preseason is for evaluating everyone - coaches, players, opposing players. You never know who may get injured, who will have to step in, or how your game plan will change based on those facts. Don't think that Norv isn't watching how Fat Teddy reacts to how his guys respond to their opponents. If he isn't, he's missing the boat.

    These games may not "count" towards getting to the SB, but they count. Ask the players & coaches if they prepare for these games or not.
     
  19. Thunderstruck

    Thunderstruck BoltTalker

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    I don't have to ask. I've watched every news conference and interview with Norv over at CMB and he has stated unequivocally that they do minimal game prep for opponents in preseason, and that the game prep they do revolves around what our coaches want to see from our players. They put forth almost no effort looking at the opponent. You really think Norv spent a lot of time game-prepping to come up with his "we're going to run the ball 80% of the time" plan?

    Preseason games do not count for anything. The coaches and players will always say "we want to win," because winning is always preferrable to losing, and because they know that fans pay good money to watch preseason, but all you have to do to know that they don't care is look at interviews after losing a preseason game. No one gets depressed. No one actually cares that they lost.

    Seriously, preseason games are nothing. They are glorified practices. They're even worse than glorified practices because both teams are tripping over themselves trying not to reveal anything. That's the opposite of game prep. You would probably know more about what the Chargers will look like in the regular season if you didn't watch a single snap in preseason.
     
  20. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Do you think that Norv is gonna tell the dip-**** mediots what they do or don't do to prepare? :icon_huh:
     
  21. Thunderstruck

    Thunderstruck BoltTalker

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    Yes. Because it's preseason and there's no reason for him to lie. And because it would be stupid for him to waste time prepping for a meaningless preseason game when he's got to spend time sorting out which of the 80 players on his practice-field are going to make the final 53 + the practice squad while also installing our playbook and implementing new schemes.

    All you have to do is look at the friggin game to see how little time we spend prepping. You really think we're going to run the football three-quarters of the time in the regular season?
     
  22. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    If Volek or Whitey are in there, it's a damn good possibility.

    Like you said, it's preseason so I'm not gonna argue with you about it. I stand by my assessment of some of the players to date. I have full confidence in our team, but think that there may be some folks who are gonna get nudged out by rising players. Read that as you will.
     
  23. Thunderstruck

    Thunderstruck BoltTalker

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    I don't have a problem with people saying "our tackling has been sloppy" or making observations like that. The truth is the truth. Where I'll interject is when people start making rock-solid player assessments based on what they're seeing without seeming to realize that what they're seeing is several players who are more concerned with getting out of the game injury free than they are with making a play.
     

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