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BLUES AND GOLDS - Preseason #3, Seahawks at Chargers

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by BlueandGold, Aug 26, 2008.

  1. BlueandGold

    BlueandGold The Oracle

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    That was a weird game. At the end of the first half, I felt strangely like we were down 30-3, the way the 'Hawks ran all over us (and how we made Charlie Frye look like Mike Vick, sans electrocuted Pit Bulls). But when I looked at the scoreboard, it said San Diego 10, Seattle 7.

    Say what you like about how bad it looked. The fact is we limited a Seahawk team that was running wild in the first half to a meager 7 points. Something about winning ugly?

    Oh, and before I begin, I'd like to say something to Michelle Tafoya - your interview of Luis Castillo was a disgrace. One of the best young defensive players in football, and example in his community, and as well-spoken an athlete as there is, and all you ask him about is Shawne Merriman to the point of nausea. Bad form, Michelle. Bad form.


    BLUES

    1. WILHELM. Last week's Goat makes it back-to-back. Veteran Derek Smith didn't look all that great either (3 tackles), but Wilhelm looked just plain sorry out there. He was painful to watch. It seemed like he was behind on every single play, and when he did get to the ballcarrier in time, he missed the tackle. He ended the day with 4 tackles and an assist, but in a defense designed to funnel tackles to the inside 'backers, I just have to expect better. Now, some of you will say that we're in a vanilla scheme, and that perhaps he's not playing full speed, but that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about a good first step. I'm talking about filling your lane. I'm talking about good angles. I'm talking about good tackling. I'm talking about hitting the ballcarrier instead of letting him hit you. I'm talking about FUNDAMENTALS, and right now he looks like he's got none at all. It's three games into the preseason, TC is over, and our #1 ILB has gone from a worry to an outright fear for me. I hope those of you who will lambast me for this opinion are right, and that he'll flip a switch against Carolina and become the solid rock and leader that an ILB has to be in this defense - but right now I just don't see it. He looks awful, and it's even worse compared to the guys around him like Shaun Phillips and Quentin Jammer, who leave it all on the field every play, even in "worthless" preseason games. He sticks out like a sore thumb, he's that bad.

    2. VOLEK. After a good game last week, he looked terrible this week. Finished 3/9 with 33 yards... not an encouraging stat line. He also missed - should say overthrew - 6'7" TE Scott Chandler, who was wide open in the end zone. That's kind of like, well, not being able to hit the broad side of a barn. Still, he did throw the winning two-pointer after Hester scored two plays later, so he redeemed himself somewhat. At least one of his three completions made a difference.

    3. HESTER. He had a rookie game. It happens. It's just a discomfort that he had a bad game on the goal line, where he's supposed to shine. He finished the day with 9 touches for 21 yards. That's 2.3 yards per carry. On the bright side, Holmgren-coached Seattle is a very solid team in the red zone defensively, so he had an uphill slope. He'll get there.

    GOAT OF THE GAME: Matt Wilhelm... again. I think I've said enough on this.


    GOLDS

    1. JAMMER. For all the crap he's gotten in San Diego over the years, he is without a doubt the best all-around defensive back on this team - and that means one of the best all-around defensive backs in Charger history. Yesterday was a great preseason game for Q, who finished with a team-leading 5 1/2 tackles, which would have also lead Seattle for the day. He made a terrific textbook open-field tackle on a Seattle RB to save a first down early in the game that made me think to myself, "Safety? Move him to Inside Backer!" Seriously though, he had a terrific game and I think he's poised to have his best year yet.

    2. SPROLES. Uh... 13 carries for 102 yards and a touchdown, most of that in ONE HALF. I think he would have finished with 3 touchdowns, if the coaching staff had left him in instead of giving Hester a look in goal line situations. Enough said. Those of you who were a bit nervous at losing Michael Turner should rest easy, because Sproles can and will carry the load when LT needs a breather... and who knows? Perhaps he'll do a little scoring himself.

    3. TOLBERT. I can't tell you guys how excited I am about this guy. He hits on all his blocks, always in the right place, pretty good hands (better than Lo at any rate) and leaves it on the field every single play. Not bad for the 5' 9" 22 year old UFA from Coastal Carolina. (Say where now?) Nobody in this entire preseason has impressed me more than this guy has in the grand scheme of things. Sorry, but if it's up to me, Pinnock goes and Tolbert stays. The kid has a future in this league.

    PLAYER OF THE GAME: The Little Tank, Darren Sproles. No question about it.


    THE GAME IN ONE SENTENCE:

    The middle of the defense still leaves me very nervous, but I think this offense (and the team as a whole) are ready for prime time.
     
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  2. TheLash

    TheLash Well-Known Member

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    Great write up B&G. I'm hard pressed to find anything to disagree w/.
     
  3. Aggieman

    Aggieman I bleed blue and gold

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    Agreed...but Derrick Smith (sp*) was going after it and made some good tackles. For the first four games at least, he'll be fine at linebacker. We're all scared for Wilhelm and we're also collectively wishing he turns it around by the season BUT Wilhelm is THE leader and he is going to stay in action 3/4 downs to be the defensive captain, that gouy with a green sticker and I don't see Norv trusting anyone else with that job. Sorry but I think Wilhelm is going to stay out there and continue to dissapoint but also continue to lead. Maybe he should be used exclusively as a coverage 'backer. But he's got to learn the art of tackling 'cause it's pretty embarassing. Oh! and Volek is only good under pressure. He's clutch but that's it. See: two-pt. conversion.
     
  4. mandude

    mandude BoltTalker

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    what happened to waters? wasn't he supposed to be the second coming?
     
  5. maestro876

    maestro876 BoltTalker

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    Waters is basically a rookie. I don't know why so many people hyped him without seeing him play, but there it is. He needs time to grow. Perhaps he will learn and be getting playing time some point in the season.
     
  6. Cheapseats

    Cheapseats Loud, proud Charger fan

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    A couple of things I noticed: It was nice to see Floyd getting involved in the offense. When the #1's were against the # 1's we were down two offensive starters and Rivers only got sacked once, and Rivers claimed that he forgot to say "gun" in the huddle prior to Newberry hiking to no one in particular. (Note: you would think the center would have noticed that there were no hands ready to receive the snap.) Our offensive production was pretty well balanced between passing and running, very few penalties and very few timeouts taken...all good signs this time of year. I got a little annoyed when our drives stalled, but I keep telling myself "...no LT, no Gates....yet". I haven't seen Pinnock on the field much if at all due to his injury and I am rapidly becoming a member of the Tolbert fan club.

    Note to the defense: It is OK to wrap your arms around somebody and tackle them...really! I am hoping that when Jamal returns to the field people won't be able to run up the middle at will like they have so far.

    My friends and I had been discussing how having Jyles Tucker would take some of the sting out of having Merriman out of the line up. I held my breath for a minute when Tucker came out of the game with the head trainer on one side and the team doctor on the other. Towards the end of the game I felt much better when they took the ice packs off of his leg and he put his shoe back on...he wasn't going anywhere, but they weren't calling for the cart.

    I thought Kaeding and Scifres had a great game and the special teams coverage units look solid. Seattle actually had a wedge set up and our guys got to the returner before he got too far downfield....very nice.

    I will watch the "scrub-a-thon" on Friday night to see who locks up the last couple of roster spots and who our likely practice squad guys will be....I am just glad I don't have to pay for this one.

    Is it September 7th yet?????

    Go chargers!!

    :flag:
     
  7. maestro876

    maestro876 BoltTalker

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    Unfortunately for the scrubs, 'taint no more roster spots. Tolbert and Floyd have probably snagged the last couple available. Was never any question that Cason and Hester were making the team. The only other thing is Dobbins, Siler, and Polk fighting to make sure they aren't the LB who gets cut. Of course, if we IR Shawne, then all three are making the roster.

    Therefore, the rest of the guys are playing for the practice squad.
     
  8. Zeus

    Zeus BoltTalker

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    Tolbert looks ALRIGHT. Like Waters he is a little over hyped. His hands aren't as good as Pinnock's. Tolbert does have good blocking, then again we aren't a FB team anymore.

    I doubt VERY strongly we keep both of them.

    People continue to go after Matt, but he has shown he can play well in REGULAR season games where it MATTERS. Siler has shown he is one of our better special team players. Anderson is a stop gap, but I don't think he can replace Matt. Waters looks to be developing, however it looks like he needs a little more help.

    Dobbins is horrible in pass coverage. He has shown this in regular season and shows it in preseason. He is too slow to catch most players. He has poor ball instinct and bad tackling. I have seen him take bad angles and hit gaps where there were no players. He seems more like a pass rusher than an ILB.

    Matt's job is to prevent plays in the middle. People are whining about his play in the earlier of the season when he first started and coming back from an injury. Later he was spot on. People complain about the Viking game where Matt had the most tackles, by far. Matt was making tackles, more tackles than our entire D-Line did that game.

    The team does funnel people to Matt, but it isn't his job to tackle every single one of them. The D-Line is supposed to stop the running game and drive back the O-line. They did not do that in the last couple of preseason games.

    This is just preseason, most first string players treat it as such. They are not going to go all out there against rookies with reckless abandon. They are going to try, but don't expect them to be regular season form.
     
  9. Gridreaper

    Gridreaper BoltTalker

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    ...Very nice job, BlueandGold :tup: Hester probably never had that happen to him at LSU, so he's probably still shaking his head. Like the announcers said though..when the defense submarines, you have to go over the top instead. He'll adjust. As for your "Golds" right-on...and I couldn't agree more. Tolbert is another one of AJ's UDFA finds. He needs to stay for sure. Sproles? My comfort level is sky high with him behind LT. I heard two ESPN analysts evaluting Sproles and when asked if he could be a viable back-up for LT, they both said a resounding ABSOLUTELY!!! :bolt:
     
  10. Enormo

    Enormo BoltTalker

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    Great analysis and very enternaining read. Very nice job.

    I've really liked the way Tucker has played. I've Tivo'd the games and watch plays multiple times. Tucker has been great at shedding blocks and being around the ball. Even the plays where he's not making the tackle he's second or third man on the scene.

    Will take some of the sting off of losing Merriman. A.J. is a freaking genius or the luckiest man alive. I choose the former.
     
  11. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    OL looked a lot better - just ask Sproles!! My boy lit it up in the first half.

    Let's see - yes indeed, Wilhelm sucked again. Maybe he just doesn't want to show his "regular season form" yet. :icon_rofl:

    Defense - wrap up!!! Carolina is gonna run all over us if we don't tighten up this defense & start tackling properly.

    Where was Buster? :icon_shrug: Didn't see him at all in the box score.

    I sure as hell hope Jamal IS healthy & stays that way. :icon_evil:
     
  12. Gridreaper

    Gridreaper BoltTalker

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    ...Luis needs to stay healthy as well and since Shawne's giving it a shot, well he needs to survive period. Attitude is definitely missing for some reason on tackling and rush defense in general. I have no idea what happened :icon_shrug: Maybe Waters or Siler will step up because Wilhelm and Smith don't seem to be the answers either.
     
  13. cranberry

    cranberry BoltTalker

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    Just a reminder how less predictable preseason games are for the real season.:tdown:
     

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