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Bolts look to get ground game rolling

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Oct 16, 2008.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006

    Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson had what Head Coach Norv Turner called his best performance of the season in the Bolts’ 30-10 win over New England Sunday night. But LT still felt frustrated.

    “We need to run the ball better,” Tomlinson said. “We’re not very good at running the ball. I’m just going to be honest with you. That’s the only way I know how to be.”

    Through six games, the Chargers lead the NFL in scoring (29.7 points per game) and have the league’s eighth-best passing offense (238.8 yards per game). But their running game, which has been the team’s bread and butter throughout LT’s career, ranks just 22nd as the Bolts are averaging 98.5 yards per game and 3.8 yards per carry as a team.

    When asked to put a finger on why the Chargers aren’t having the success he’d like to see, LT was unable to deliver specific answers.

    “I don’t know,” Tomlinson said. “That’s something that we have to find out. It starts with me, being one of the leaders on this team.”

    Tomlinson wouldn’t use his sore toe as an excuse, although it has caused him to miss practice time and has hampered his cutting ability. Turner has acknowledged that the injury has affected LT but believes Tomlinson’s 74-yard performance on Sunday was a step in the right direction.

    “He found some rhythm,” Turner said. “I think he’s dealing with less pain than he had to deal with over the first month. I think we need to continue to get better in the run game, run blocking, the things we’re doing in the run game. I think as he feels better, the combination of those two things will help us run the ball better.”

    In addition to Tomlinson’s health, the Chargers have only had their starting offensive line in place for three of the team’s six games. Left tackle Marcus McNeill missed the first two games of the season and center Nick Hardwick missed the first three.

    It took the Chargers some time to get rolling in the run game in 2007 as well. During the club’s first three games, they averaged just 2.4 yards per carry (84 rushes for 202 yards). In the three games that the starting offense line has been in tact this season, the Bolts have rushed for 299 yards and a 3.8 per carry average, which is better but isn’t where they’d like to be.

    “It takes some time,” guard Kris Dielman said. “Practice gets it a little bit but you need to get into a game situation. You need to get the reads at full speed, get the communication down, get back to knowing the way Nick is going to step, the way Marcus is going to step. The biggest thing is the communication amongst everybody.”

    While the big plays in the running game haven’t been there, the Chargers are certainly having success in the air. In six games this season, they’ve completed 21 passes of 20 yards or more and 10 of 40 or more.

    Bills Head Coach Dick Jauron points out that the big plays in the passing game can correlate to the difficulty the Bolts have had finding consistency on the ground.”

    “Obviously people do go to some extreme measures to try to stop the run,” Jauron said. “When they do that, they become vulnerable to the passing game. Particularly on Sunday night, the passing game contributed to some huge plays in that football game.”

    Tomlinson and company face a Buffalo team this weekend that is in the middle of the pack in rushing defense. They’re ranked 18th in the NFL against the run, giving up an average of 114.2 yards per game. The last time LT faced the Bills, he carried 28 times for 178 yards and two touchdowns.

    “We’ve been patient and hopefully a really big day (on the ground) is right around the corner,” McNeill said. “We’ve got a coach that’s committed to the run and a runner who’s the best. We’ll get there.”
  2. Enormo

    Enormo BoltTalker

    Jul 22, 2007
    I had a dream this morning before I woke up.

    LT broke off a 60 yard run cutting and slashing the whole way into the end zone. He was back.

    The prophecy has been foretold.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. BFISA

    BFISA Well-Known Member

    Nov 16, 2005
    I believe this'll happen sooner rather than later.
  4. 17Rocks

    17Rocks Well-Known Member

    May 12, 2006
    The television coverage of the game did a great job sunday night highlighting the difference in his running style. cuts from his right foot were flat footed instead of from the toes.

    LT will work through this and be in prime shape for the playoff run.
  5. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

    They did capture that well. He also hopped as if the toe really hurt on one shot that they got. Here's to hoping that he's healthy soon. :icon_toast:
  6. VikingBolt

    VikingBolt BoltTalker

    Oct 8, 2006
    I've been very sad that LT hasn't accomplished what he CAN do. Hopefully it will turn around from here on all the way THROUGH our last game of the season AT the Super Bowl. :bolt::bolt::bolt:
  7. Cheapseats

    Cheapseats The fight for LA is over....LA lost.

    Jul 24, 2008
    I expect to see more improvement in the running game on Sunday, primarily because our 5 starters on the O-line will have had one more week of working together. I am not expecting to see the LT we are all used to until about the KC game in November. Last week he still was not able to make those aggresive cuts that make people miss, but his burst appears to be coming back. I think we will see the O-line start to open some holes for LT. If the Bills decide to stack 8 in the box, Rivers and our receivers will light them up! It is nice to have more than 1 offensive weapon available. I would even be OK getting Hester involved in the running game...I'm sure he would like to atone for dropping the rock last week.

    Go Chargers!!!

  8. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

    Aug 3, 2006
    If I was going to call it, my first play would be play action pass off LT and then I'd run a reverse off of him, just to set them back on their heels. Then a screen to LT, just to get him warmed up.
  9. RM24

    RM24 BoltTalker

    Jul 27, 2007
    I say on the first play do what we did to the Cheats and bomb it downfield to VJ or Floyd again. THAT will wake the Bills up! :yes:
  10. Gridreaper

    Gridreaper BoltTalker

    Jan 19, 2008
    ...Usually the best time to have a dream is BEFORE you wake up :icon_rofl:

    Just funnin with ya :lol:

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