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Chargers defense focuses on tying up opposing tight ends

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Oct 3, 2008.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006
    Whether it was a breakdown or a bad defense is up for debate, safety Clinton Hart being the one responsible for that portion of the field but essentially in a no-win situation with too many men to cover.
    But what was undeniably driven home by Zach Miller's 63-yard touchdown reception last Sunday is that tight ends are killing the Chargers this season.
    Carolina's Dante Rosario caught the game-winning touchdown in the season opener. Denver's Tony Scheffler had two touchdown catches the next week. The Jets' Dustin Keller and then Miller had a touchdown. That's five of the nine receiving touchdowns the Chargers have allowed. In all, eight tight ends have caught 29 passes for 354 yards through four games.
    Tight ends are catching passes everywhere, but that play up the seam against a zone on which Miller scored has been particularly damaging.
    “We've had a tough time with it,” coach Norv Turner said. “We're going to see it until we stop it.”
    Like this Sunday, when they play the Miami Dolphins, whose quarterback (Chad Pennington) is the most accurate passer in history and whose tight ends have all three of the team's receiving touchdowns.
    Anthony Fasano is tied for the team lead with 11 receptions and leads the team with 150 receiving yards. David Martin has eight catches for 106 yards and a touchdown.
    “Tight ends have had big days against us,” Turner said this week. “It's things we're working on and just continuing to get our guys to understand where we're being threatened, where we're being attacked and how we have to defend it.
    “There's no question that Miami's done a great job with the tight ends to this point. They do a great job finding them, getting the ball to them. I don't think anyone is going to fool Pennington. I don't think there's anything he hasn't seen. We just have to continue to be sound in what we're doing.”
    Tucker hamstrung
    Linebacker Jyles Tucker was the lone Charger not participating in Thursday's practice because of a right hamstring strain.
    Tucker said he “has no idea” if he'll be able to practice Friday or play Sunday.
    “I'm not sure about the severity, although I was feeling pretty good today,” said Tucker. “I'll know more when I get to the training room tomorrow.
    “It's tough, though. I'm finally getting a chance to do things and this, I guess, it comes with sports.”
    Fullback Mike Tolbert (ankle) and defensive tackle Jamal Williams (knee) saw limited participation yesterday while tight end Antonio Gates (hip) and guard Mike Goff (knee) returned to full participation after not practicing Wednesday.
    Air show The skies were alive with action above the Chargers practice field Thursday afternoon, but it wasn't all due to the passes of quarterback Philip Rivers.
    The Blue Angels were practicing for this weekend's air show at Miramar, flying just about the canyon rims surrounding the Chargers facility. During individual drills, players could be seen looking skyward when it wasn't their rep.
    “They were going over us pretty good just before practice,” Turner said. “We got a good look at them.”
    Staff writer Bill Center contributed to this report.


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