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Chargers aim for quick start

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Johnny Lightning, Sep 12, 2009.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006

    Casey Pearce
    Posted Sep 12, 2009

    September hasn’t been the kindest month to the Chargers the last two seasons, but Head Coach Norv Turner has identified two key reasons why his team hasn’t gotten out of the gate fast.

    During Chargers training camp this summer, there were two constant images that could be seen in practice each day.

    One involved defenders doing everything in their power to wrestle the ball away from the ball carrier. The other was secondary coaches Steve Wilks and Cris Dishman along with defensive coordinator Ron Rivera coaching the defensive backs after every play.

    There was purpose behind each of those situations. Earlier this week when Chargers Head Coach Norv Turner was asked about the slow starts his team has experienced to each of the last two seasons, he identified ball security and allowing big plays as key factors.

    “It’s very clear to me,” Turner said. “It’s not about emotion; it’s not about how hard we’ve played, and it’s not about our conditioning. What we’ve done in September is we’ve turned the football over and we’ve given up big plays defensively. If you do those two things in September, October, November or December, you’re probably not going to win.”

    In 2007, the Chargers had an interception returned for a touchdown in New England and saw Tom Brady hit big plays down the field in a Week 2 loss. The next week it was a 57-yard catch and run by Greg Jennings that gave Green Bay a fourth-quarter lead in a tight contest, and the next week the Chargers lost two fumbles in a loss to Kansas City, one of which was returned for a touchdown.

    Last year, Carolina’s Chris Gamble stripped Antonio Gates[​IMG] and returned the loose ball for a third-quarter touchdown and Dante Rosario caught a 14-yard game-winning pass on the final play of a two-point game. In Week 2, Denver spread the Chargers out and hit numerous big plays in the passing game.

    “For some reason we’ve made some mistakes in those areas, but we’ve worked hard on offense to protect the ball and I know those guys on defense have worked hard to limit the big plays,” Gates said. “We know what we’re capable of as a football team. We just have to play sound football.”

    While things haven’t gone so well the last two Septembers, the Chargers are 9-0 in December under Turner. While they’re happy with how they’ve finished, the Chargers would like nothing more than to put together a strong opening month.

    “If things don’t go our way early, we know from experience that we can’t panic because we can still get where we want to go,” safety Clinton Hart[​IMG] said, “but we’d much rather not dig that hole for ourselves. That’s why we’ve done the things the way we have this summer. Hopefully it pays off for us with a good start to the season.”

    Cesaire questionable

    Defensive end Jacques Cesaire[​IMG] (calf) was limited in Saturday’s practice and is questionable for Monday’s opener in Oakland.

    “I feel good about where Jacques is at because of what he was able to do on Thursday,” Turner said. “He’s got two days rest now and we’ll see where he’s at.”

    Offensive tackle Marcus McNeill[​IMG] fully participated Saturday after being limited Friday with a hand injury. McNeill is listed as probable for Monday. His Oakland counterpart, Khalif Barnes, is doubtful with an ankle injury, while Raiders cornerback Nnamdi Asomaugh (wrist) and linebacker Kurt Morrison (elbow) are probable.

    Seymour factor

    According to reports, newly-acquired Raiders defensive end Richard Seymour plans to play Monday night against the Chargers. San Diego is prepared to face the five-time Pro Bowler but Turner hasn’t spent much time worrying about Seymour’s situation.

    “We have no control over that,” Turner said. “We just go play. He’s an outstanding player. We’ll just adjust if he plays and to where he plays.”
    Seymour was traded to Oakland from New England last Sunday but as of Friday had not reported to the Raiders.
  2. Enormo

    Enormo BoltTalker

    Jul 22, 2007
    I've never been a huge Norv supporter (please let's not get into that discussion) but I like his take on this. Find the problem and fix it. None of the typical hyperbole and arm-waving you usually get with these sorts of answers.

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