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Bolts ‘D’ working to create more turnovers

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Aug 22, 2007.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    Tuesday, Aug 21, 2007
    By Casey Pearce, Chargers.com

    Ask a variety of NFL coaches and they’ll tell you that the most telling statistic in professional football is turnover ratio. Teams that finish in the black usually win a lot of games. Those in the red don’t.
    In 2006, the Chargers committed just 15 turnovers, the fewest in the NFL. However, they finished tied for 15<SUP>th</SUP> in takeaways with 28, a number they’d like to see increase.

    “That’s something we’ve talked about a lot, but there has been even more talk this year,” linebacker Stephen Cooper said. “If we consistently take the ball away, we’re giving our offense a chance to score a lot of points. We’re trying to find ways to create more turnovers.”

    Said Head Coach Norv Turner, “It’s been emphasized since day one of the first mini camp.”

    Through two preseason games, the Chargers have experienced some success taking the ball away. They’ve forced six turnovers in their opening two contests, not including an interception that was called back on a penalty. Three of the six takeaways were the result of the ball being stripped.

    Linebacker Shaun Phillips, who forced two fumbles in Saturday night’s win at St. Louis, said the new coaching staff has introduced new drills in practice that have helped. Last season, inside linebackers coach Ron Rivera’s Chicago Bears led the NFL in takeaways and fumble recoveries. In 2001, defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell’s New York Jets posted a league-best 39 takeaways.

    “They came in and got us doing a couple extra things,” Phillips said. That’s how defenses practice. We’re doing a few new ball-stripping drills. We’re also seeing on tape who we can take advantage of. If a guy doesn’t protect the ball well, we know we can try to strip him. We’re just trying to find little things like that to help.”

    Chargers players also believe they’ll have more opportunities to make interceptions thanks to some scheming Cottrell has cooked up.

    “We’re mixing things up and disguising our coverages a lot better,” said cornerback Drayton Florence. “The quarterbacks don’t know what we’re doing or where we’re going to be. He’s got to try to read it on the run. He throws the ball where he thinks nobody is and somebody makes a play on it.”

    The Chargers will also bank on their ability to get to the quarterback to help them create turnovers. The Bolts led the NFL in sacks with 61 last year and figure to field one of the league’s top pass rushing units again in 2007. Not only do sacks regularly result in fumbles, but pressure gives quarterbacks less time to make decisions and often leads them to make choices that aren’t the wisest.

    “When you can rush the passer, you help create turnovers that other teams might not get,” Turner said. “We’re awfully fast and athletic. Guys get to the ball and have a chance to get it pulled out. That’s going to help us.”

    Healing up

    Several Chargers including tight end Antonio Gates, safety Eric Weddle and linebacker Anthony Waters were back on the practice field Tuesday after sitting out Monday. The only players to miss Tuesday’s work were defensive tackle Brandon McKinney (ankle), linebacker Matt Wilhelm (calf), guard Erik Robertson (ankle) and defensive end Igor Olshansky (groin).

    Still catching

    Wide receiver Greg Camarillo wowed fans again Tuesday afternoon with a leaping catch in traffic. When asked if it seems like Camarillo provides a highlight reel catch every day, Turner responded, “It does seem like that, doesn’t it. He’s really having a good camp. He’s not only done a good job catching the ball, but he’s done a good job on special teams.”

    Through two preseason games, Camarillo has two receptions for 22 yards and also has two special teams tackles. Teammates seem to appreciate his work ethic and attention to detail.

    “He reminds me a lot of an Eric Parker in the sense that he’s dependable,” quarterback Philip Rivers said. “You know Greg is going to run his route and be at the right depth at the right time. He can play a lot of different positions. He understands the offense.”

    Taking advantage

    While the Chargers are anxious to get Wilhelm back on the field, his absence has given Tim Dobbins a chance to grow as a player. The second-year linebacker has started both preseason games in place of the injured Wilhelm and has caught the eyes of his coaches.

    “It’s been good for Tim to have to come out and play,” Turner said. “I think he’s impressed us as a guy who can play.”

    Dobbins has seven tackles in two preseason games.

    Chandler shines

    When the Chargers drafted tight end Scott Chandler, they knew they were getting a player that would use his 6-7 frame and his athleticism to make plays in the passing game. He’s done that with six catches for 59 yards this preseason. However, it’s his physical play in other areas that has his coaches smiling.

    “I think every session, he’s gotten better with his feet, he’s gotten better with his hand placement and he’s gotten better with his shoulder level,” Turner said. “He’s a tall guy. He just has to keep learning how to play lower. He’s doing that and he’ll continue to get better as he continues to keep his shoulder pads down. He’s shown that he’s going to be a good player.”

    Hot hand

    Rivers has been solid throughout camp, and his competitiveness and leadership have brought some fire to the Bolts offense. The Chargers’ starting signal caller was particularly impressive Tuesday afternoon as he completed a 55-yard touchdown pass to Vincent Jackson on a post pattern and then hit Malcom Floyd for big gain on a corner route.

    Closing down

    The last training camp practice open to fans will be held Wednesday afternoon from 2-4 p.m. at Chargers Park. The team will break camp Thursday following an afternoon session that is closed to the public.

    Godfrey signs

    Former Chargers linebacker Randall Godfrey will continue his playing career as he signed a contract with the Washington Redskins Tuesday. Godfrey played for Redskins defensive coordinator Gregg Williams in 2000 as a member of the Tennessee Titans.
     
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  2. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Anything that puts the ball back into our high-powered offense's hands is a very good thing!

    I'm not so sure that Osgood isn't going to lose his job to Camarillo. A special teamer who can make tough catches, too? And if you've noticed, Norv hasn't seemed all that pleased with Osgood on a few plays during preseason.

    When are final cuts made? :icon_shrug:
     
  3. WonderSlug

    WonderSlug Well-Known Member

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    So far, 3 INT and 3 forced fumble w/recovery in two preseason games this year.

    Last year, I think we had only 3 turnovers caused (2 INT and a fumble recovery) in all 4 preseason games.

    We're already ahead of the mark. :tup:
     
  4. WonderSlug

    WonderSlug Well-Known Member

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    August 28 -- Roster trimmed to 75 players

    Sep 1 -- Final cuts to 53 players

    Sep 2 -- Assign 8 eligible players to practice squad
     
  5. Trumpet_Man

    Trumpet_Man Well-Known Member

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    Casey Pierce is the **** for Chargers.com. Damn good writer. I believe he said he was from Arkansas when he showed up at our minicamp tailgater last year. Nice guy and very personable. Easy to talk to sort of dude.

    Thanks for the read !!! :tup:
     
  6. Trumpet_Man

    Trumpet_Man Well-Known Member

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    There is something about Scott Chandler that reminds me of a super-sized Pete Holohan. Smooth hands.

    If anything one of my beefs was at the TE spot. We needed a third ball buster at TE and Scott Chandler looks like the answer. I am getting sports wood. Yup. This dude is going to be special. :yes: :tup:
     
  7. turbo_turtle

    turbo_turtle In Disguise

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    That is my boy Scott. Philip Rivers has another weapon in his arsenal of many weapons.

    Trumpy you think you are sporting major tentage I am as well about my Giant Boy Scott Chandler.
     
  8. Prito James

    Prito James BoltTalker

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    So how can we keep Chandler, Osgood, Camarillo,Sproles, Gordon, Oliver, Siler,Pinnock,Bingham,MicKinney,Polk,Legadu and Waters?

    We can't keep all these players.:icon_sad:
     
  9. turbo_turtle

    turbo_turtle In Disguise

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    Just my opinion here.

    Siler, Oliver and Waters might be part of our Practice squad.

    I think that we as Chargers fans will be shocked as who will be either cut or practice squad material. To get us to the 53 man roster.
     
  10. Prito James

    Prito James BoltTalker

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    But we invested draft picks in those draft picks in those players. They won't be protected on the PS. I don't want to loose any of these guys, but Pinnock and Bingham have had enough time to develope. I don't want to sacrifice a developing player for one of these guys. As much as I like Osgood, he can't seem to catch, so I'm not so thrilled about keeping him over Camarillo. I don't think Polk gets cut, we wanted him back and he signed a two year deal.

    The only way I see us holding on to all of our draft picks this year is to IR Waters and keep Siler on the roster. Siler may be able to remain unpoached on the PS, but I think he has enough upside to warrant concern there. There is no way Chandler or Legs would even pass waivers if we cut them, they won't even make to the PS.
    We need Mckinney, Sproles is a weapon and deserves a spot and Cletis Gordon is much improved and he's has good physical tools. Perhaps Oliver could pass waivers and make the PS but I'm not so sure. We may have to keep him on the roster or say goodbye. The numbers game on this roster is really going to be tough.

    To make matters worse we know Florence will be gone next season, so we need keep Gordon and Oliver around to develope for that reason. When Cro moves into Dflo's spot Oliver and Gordon will move up in the depth chart and we won't be stuck with playing a buch of green db's again.
     
  11. LAHotBoy

    LAHotBoy BoltTalker

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    Okay, I've been reading for a while now. this is my first post (here). Let's make it a controversial one. Here goes!

    What has Cro done to deserve "When Cro moves into Dflo's spot" ... that's an assumption. He's done nothing to distinguish himself from Gordon or Oliver. All he shown us is that he's fast and atheletic. Nothing special about him as a DB. I think Cro, Gordon and Oliver are all going to compete for that job next year.
     
  12. WonderSlug

    WonderSlug Well-Known Member

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    D'Flo is likely gone to Free Agency after this year.

    Then Cro will move into D'Flo's vacated spot.
     
  13. LAHotBoy

    LAHotBoy BoltTalker

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    U state this as if it is a fact. It doesn't work like that in the NFL. Guys are not just handed a spot. The other two guys have played well. Gordon has stepped up. Oliver is a little behind now but he won't be as time passes. By this time next year Cro could be considered a "bust". Not sayin he will. I dont want that for the chargers either. Just sayin he hasn't shown himself to be any better than the other two guys. He won't just get that spot because he got drafted so high. Gordon and Oliver will compete for that spot too. (I realize he's a safety, but Weddle looks good too and could compete for time at nickel this year)
     
  14. WonderSlug

    WonderSlug Well-Known Member

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    Gordon and Oliver are nowhere near Cro's ability.

    Regarding Cro showing himself, the coaches seem delighted with what he's been doing in camp this offseason, it's just that D'Flo has been a little better than him.
     
  15. LAHotBoy

    LAHotBoy BoltTalker

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    U base this on what? The coaches seem delighted with what all these guys are doing right now.
     
  16. WonderSlug

    WonderSlug Well-Known Member

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    I state this on the fact that Cro is designated the nickelback, which means he's the #3 CB.

    If Gordon was as good or better than Cro, why wouldn't he be designated the nickel back? Gordon's had a year with the squad just like Cro.

    Oliver's just joined the team a few months ago and is still learning the system.

    If anything, it will be Gordon versus Oliver for the nickel back spot next offseason.
     
  17. Chavez

    Chavez Well-Known Member

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    We may need to create alot of turnovers this year the way the first units have moved the ball on our D thus far!
     
  18. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

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    I am probably going to have to relent and keep Camarillo over Osgood. Pinnock hasn't done enough to warrant giving up a good young player for to keep on the roster. Sproles is far more valuable to this team. If Waters isn't completely healthy, I IR him. We dropped a WR, two tightends, two linebackers and a DB from last year's roster, so we do have some room. Polk has reached his peak and is the most expendable of the linebackers. Bingham is not especially impressive, but since this team never tells the real facts behind injuries, we don't know how bad McKinney's injury actually is. The same with Wilhelm. Besides, with two more games in the exhibish, there will be some more medical cases. I would be in favor of an NFL reg that requires teams to list in detail the extent of injuries to players as well as an adjustment to the trading deadlines. The league needs a farm system akin to baseball's, and it needs the ability to protect a few players on the Ps, once they clear initial waivers.
     
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  19. Boltdiehard

    Boltdiehard Well-Known Member

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    That's something I've always thought about and you are the first person I've heard bring it up in the forums. Not sure how it would work and why they don't do it (money maybe?) but I agree there is a need there.
     
  20. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    They had a farm system. It was called NFL Europe.
     
  21. Trumpet_Man

    Trumpet_Man Well-Known Member

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    That is what the NFL Europe was suppose to do.

    The Practice squads for instance, could be doubled in size and "protected" to have our own farm system. The players union and NFL Mgt. council would have to approve it all but it can be done and is to a certain extent with the PS's.
     
  22. bigcarson50

    bigcarson50 Well-Known Member

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    NFL Europe, while a minor league of the NFL, wasn't set up like minor league baseball.

    As far as injuries are concerned, I really think it is time for the NFL to revisit the IR rules. Why can't we have 4 or 8 game disabled lists, where players can be replaced? I think, especially in light of being more cautious when it comes to head injuries, that the current concept of IR needs to be revisited.
     
  23. Prito James

    Prito James BoltTalker

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    Thats what they need to do, but to keep sanity they could limit the number of protected PS players each season. Keep the same rules of tenure and so on. This keeps it fair for everyone.

    They need to do something as there will be a lot of good players on the street that could be developed.
     
  24. bigmike.x.09

    bigmike.x.09 Well-Known Member

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    man, it would suck to be norv right noww because you have SO much talent on ur team, its like a dream team and u dont know who to cut, on the otherhand, its gotta be awesome being norv cuz hes gunna lead us to a SBV
     
  25. WonderSlug

    WonderSlug Well-Known Member

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    I don't think we're going to score 50 points a game all that much.

    The 1998 Vikings and the 1999 St. Louis Rams, two of the most prolific offenses in NFL history, only scored 50 points in a game just once between the both of them.

    Last year, the Chargers, Colts, and Saints had the 3 highest rated offenses. Of the 48 regular season games between the 3 of them, how many times did any of them score 50?
     

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