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CHARGERS: Defense sturdy in preseason win over Cardinals

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Concudan, Aug 23, 2009.

  1. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    SCOTT BAIR - sbair@nctimes.com | Posted: Saturday, August 22, 2009 11:10 pm

    GLENDALE, Ariz. ---- The Chargers' secondary considers the 2008 season an aberration, an outlier in an otherwise solid run of pass defense. No matter how last season was contextualized, it can undoubtedly be considered rock bottom for a talented bunch of defensive backs.

    The Chargers ranked No. 31 in pass defense in 2008, giving up 3,958 passing yards and 25 touchdowns to just 15 interceptions. The decline came equipped with rationales aplenty, from Antonio Cromartie's balky hip to the Chargers' lackluster pass rush.

    The Chargers believe this season will bring a return to form, and Saturday's preseason game against Arizona provided the first challenge to that claim. The Cardinals' air attack was explosive last season and should be again, featuring quarterback Kurt Warner and a trio of 1,000-yard receivers.

    While one exhibition does not a season make, the first-team secondary proved effective and characteristically opportunistic during a 17-6 victory in front of 61,681 at University of Phoenix Stadium.

    Warner was held in check by the Chargers and at times his own hand. While the Cardinals were occasionally productive and the Chargers' defense was far from perfect, the starting secondary made several key plays in clutch moments during the first half.

    Cromartie and safety Clinton Hart made interceptions in the red zone and Quentin Jammer broke up several passes, including one that looked like a sure touchdown.

    "That's what we expect to do," Jammer said, "to make big plays in the passing game."


    That follows the 2007 formula, when the Chargers allowed 3,412 passing yards but had 30 interceptions to 20 TDs.

    Despite a productive night, all wasn't well with the secondary.

    "We missed a few tackles too many," Jammer said. "That's not the unit we want to be. We want to be a tough, physical secondary that can not only cover, but come up, support the run and make tackles in the open field. That's why I think we did just OK."

    The Chargers fared far worse in other facets, most notably in kickoff coverage and along the offensive line.

    "The things we take a lot of pride in around here are kickoff coverage and protecting the quarterback under tough (circumstances), because we do hold the ball and throw up the field," Chargers head coach Norv Turner said. "Just because you were good at those things in the past doesn't guarantee you're going to be good, but I believe we're going to be real good in those areas. Tonight, our guys saw that we have work to do."

    The kickoff coverage team gave up a pair of long kickoff returns to Arizona seventh-round pick LaRod Stephens-Howling, who had gains of 89 and 63 yards, respectively, on consecutive attempts.

    The first-string offensive line also had a difficult time, allowing four sacks in the first half. While starting right guard Louis Vasquez struggled in his first NFL game, he wasn't the only guilty party up front.

    "It's very unlike us in the pass protection to give up that many pressures or sacks," Turner said. "I'm disappointed in that part. We didn't play like we're capable of playing there."

    Outside linebacker Shawne Merriman is making steady progress in his return from knee surgery. He played more than he did last week against Seattle and had two tackles, got pressure on Warner and knocked him down on one occasion.

    "They ran the ball my way a little bit more and I felt more comfortable in my rushes," Merriman said. "The explosiveness is coming back, although my timing is still getting there. Every week I look to go out and play a little bit better."

    Running back LaDainian Tomlinson played for a second time in the preseason. He had two catches for 18 yards and eight carries for 18 yards, but said he was able to establish a rhythm in the running game.

    Inside linebacker Kevin Burnett validated last week's decision to insert him into the first-team base defense with another solid game. He had five tackles and played well against the run and pass.

    Backup quarterback Billy Volek played well in limited action. He completed 6-of-7 passes for 66 yards and a touchdown on the team's most productive drive, a 95-yard trek that ended with a 5-yard completion to Legedu Naanee. Naanee had a number of big plays, including a 49-yard catch on the Chargers' first play from scrimmage and a 22-yard reverse made possible thanks to an excellent open-field block by center Nick Hardwick.

    Contact staff writer Scott Bair at (760) 739-6642.
     
  2. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

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    not to go completely negative but, 3 thing I did not like last night:

    1. Hart - **** this guy
    2. Missed tackles - ESP. see #1 and Cletus "wtf were you thinking" Gordon on the opening kickoff
    3. CAN WE PLEASE LEARN HOW TO COVER A GODDAMN TE?!??1
     
  3. AnteaterCharger

    AnteaterCharger Calibrating Bolttalk, Podcast by Podcast Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    But three big things you should like
    1. Some nice INTs
    2. Stopping the Cardinals constantly in the red zone
    3. A solid performance by secondary against one of the most talented receiving corps in the NFL

    Not to look at it all half empty
     
  4. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

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    I didn't, we did do some nice things on D, that's why I specified those 3 things were what pissed me off
     
  5. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

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    2 guys that deserve to be cut TODAY!

    1. Clinton Hart- Missed some huge tackles, made huge mistakes in coverage, and has arguably the weakest link on this team for the last 3yrs.
    2. Buster Davis - Was once again completely absent.


    On the bubble is Jerome Clary, the guy is horse ****. If the whole line hadn't looked that bad he'd be on my cut list today too.
     
  6. in_a_days

    in_a_days dgaf

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    That personal foul last night was complete horse ****.
     
  7. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    No doubt. Spillman hit him with a shoulder first. Clean, solid hit. He showed up pretty well last night.

    Hart? Go. Cletis Gordon experiment? Over - & take Osgood with ya.

    Buster, are you ever going to pull it together or just keep finding different ways to disappoint?

    Clary? Rivers should kick you square in the ***. The OL unit has looked pretty poor in both games to date, but this one was embarrassing. PR is the future of this team - somebody better learn to protect his *** & Clary isn't the answer. Better get Clark or someone else running with the first squad.

    Ellison looked good in run support, not so much in pass coverage. Completely lost one ball that could have been defended. He's a pretty sure tackler, though - which is an immediate improvement over Hart. Did Gregory play?

    Jammer is the man, Cro is the second coming of Deion Sanders. No that isn't a compliment to Cro. Should he be playing flag football? :icon_evil: Cason is going to take that job - just a matter of time.

    Good red zone stands. Applewhite out-played Tucker again. Beckwith is headed to the PS at best. Can Bakhtiari play inside? He's a big boy & plays fast. I see nothing much from Scott - I'd keep Grennan over him. Nwagbuo (sp?) should make the roster. Martin played like he learned a few things last week - I liked the push that both he & Nwagbuo were able to get on the pocket. Not much QB pressure from our side - WTF? :icon_evil: Hightower ran over Cooper a couple of times. :icon_eek: Merriman is looking a little more comfortable every series. Was Siler playing? Must have missed him ...
     
  8. HEXEDBOLT

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

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    Way to early to panic about the play of our team. I remember last year at this time knowing we had a long row to hoe, with all the injuries being nursed.
     
  9. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

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    I don't know how in the hell you lump Osgood into that group with them 2 good for nothing pieces of ****.

    Osgood delivers on special teams where he is needed unlike them other 2 career SCRUBS.

    Yeah, let's cut Osgood so we can keep some no name like Charley Martin because we too afraid someone like NE is gonna pick him up. OH NOES WES WELKER SYNDROME!!!
     
  10. bleed_bluengold

    bleed_bluengold BoltTalker

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    i was at the game last night in glendale. i was use to seeing the chargers taking a slow start then start playinf some real football. it was back n forth, but the charger defense kept the cards at bay, only scoring a couple field goals. the offensive line needs some work. rivers got sacked like 3 or 4 times last night. thats horrible!
     

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  11. MasterOfPuppets

    MasterOfPuppets Charger fan since 1979

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    I understand about Osgood, but, come on, that MArtin guy is doing pretty good, no need to lump HIS name with the other two

    BTW, did you guys notice tha Clitus lost containment on two huge runs by Arizona? cut that scrub.

    P.S. Spillman's hit was legit, I like the way he hits :tup:
     
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  12. Aggieman

    Aggieman I bleed blue and gold

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    :lol:
     
  13. MasterOfPuppets

    MasterOfPuppets Charger fan since 1979

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    I actually mispelled it by mistake, but it's more appropiate :lol:

    maybe a Freudian Slip :icon_shrug:
     
  14. HEXEDBOLT

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

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    I can want whoever I please to be cut but that job belongs to Norv. When the games count I'll start to worry, until then it's just plain old vanilla.
     
  15. Lawdog13

    Lawdog13 BoltTalker

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    Im just glad to see some promise out of our passing defense after last year...
     
  16. pure-sol

    pure-sol Well-Known Member

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    Funny, your #3 is in direct relation to your #1 :lol:. And I can't agree more.
    I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that Gregory has an injury so he didn't play.
     
  17. wrbanwal

    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

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  18. Zeus

    Zeus BoltTalker

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    On special teams our best players are

    Osgood
    Hester
    Cason
    Applewhite

    Siler is pretty good on special teams.

    We need to find some better tacklers, maybe who know where the returner is instead of running around like chickens with their head cut off.

    Notice our defense gets better when Hart is off the field.

    Replacing Matt and Hart are two of the biggest improvements.
     
  19. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    :icon_rofl:

    I already said that Banks is better than Martin. Martin should hit the PS, at best.

    As for Osgood - cut his *** to make room for someone who can deliver in another part of the game. An extra LB, DL, or OL is gonna be way more important towards the end of the season when everyone is hurting.

    Sorry if I hurt your widdle feelings. :icon_tease:
     
  20. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

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    You didn't hurt my feelings, you just made yourself look like a hater.

    Kassim is more valuable than both them scrubs in your post, Martin and Banks, plus all the scrubs you think we should keep instead of KO just for the sake of keeping an extra DL or OL on the team. We need to find better quality OL and DL, not simple MORE.

    Name me one scrub OL or DL you think we should keep instead of Kassim.
     
  21. Cheapseats

    Cheapseats Loud, proud Charger fan

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    I was also at Saturday's game and I was a little disappointed because Warner looked to be a little off target while he was in there. I wanted to see him really challenge our DB's so we could see them against a dangerous passing attack. Jammer was quietly having another great game. I liked Cro's pick but I sure wish he would learn how to wrap up somebody. Cason looked good...again and if he hadn't been on special teams running people down the game would have gotten ugly early.
    The other Cardinal QB's were a mixed bag, St. Pierre stunk the joint up and Leinert looked pretty sharp in garbage time, but overall we held them to about 150 yards passing and no TD's and Fitzgerald got nothing...not bad.

    I am very happy we picked up Burnett, he is making a lot of good plays inside and when he hits somebody...they stay hit. The D line will need to stuff the run a little better by September but I believe they will fix that when they get Cesaire back in action.

    I don't know Spillman will make the team, but that shoulder to the rib cage hit was awesome!...and legit...stupid refs!

    Just a quick note on the offence, I'm pretty sure if we already had somebody on the roster that was a step above Clary, #66 would be flipping burgers by now...slowly.

    Another random note: I heard one of the players interviewed on the radio this afternoon and he said that they did not gameplan for Arizona (and usually don't in the preseason) but he thought that Arizona may have done a little gameplanning on the Chargers. Interesting...

    Go Chargers!!!
    :flag:
     
  22. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Corey Clark, maybe Green, Grennan, Ngambuo (sp?) for starters.

    Siler, possibly Holt, Spillman, Hughes - need more?

    Watch Saturday's game again - Osgood wasn't close to making a tackle on ST's, couldn't separate from a rookie DB, & didn't give much effort on a ball that was off-target but possibly catchable if he had laid out. Not much effort for a guy who says he's also a WR.

    Use & over-use the hater tag, OK? I don't wish Osgood any harm - I just don't think that a roster spot needs to be held by him any longer. If my disagreeing with you or anyone else on this topic labels me a hater, then so be it.

    I haven't called him a ***** yet, like so many did of LT. Are you a hater because you want Hart gone? :icon_shrug:
     
  23. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

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    Yes. You can most definately call me a hater because I hate Hart. His stupid play infuriates me, they way he hangs his teammates out to dry with his bad decisions, slow feet, bad angles, and lack of tackling ability. Sure, he'll catch the occasional int or make a nice play, but someone said in another thread, it doesn't make up for all the times he's the last line of defense and he's outta position or whiffs on a tackle.

    I'd rather keep EVERYONE you listed over Hart.

    BTW, I did watch the game, twice. I saw Kassim down right next to two punts ready to make a tackle or at least near the return man, simply someone else made the tackle. The "seperation" @ WR, I recall 1 play, 1 down the sideline, that Whitehurst threw about 10 yards over his head. I'm not even trying to claim Kassim is a WR, he is not, but he is INVALUABLE on ST and his play has won games for us in the past.
     
  24. Enormo

    Enormo BoltTalker

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    I agree that the secondary looked pretty good but I wouldn't say that the whole defense was sturdy.

    First, the right side of the D-Line is a gaping mess. Granted that Canadian dood is Johnny-on-the-spot but it is UGLY. He's generally on his *** or backed up a yard or two. Seriously, do we not have anyone else who can fill in that has a shot at being productive this season?

    Second, Hart is making too many tackles in the run game. I'm not comfortable with a safety doing that. I attribute some of that to the right side of the line. I don't know how an entire D can get gel in the preseason with a Pop Warner player anchoring the right side of the field. Our other linemen have to get healthy and stay healthy. A project should not getting this many first team reps.

    Third, tackling. They say bad tackling in contagious. Quarantine Cromartie and Hart. Thankfully Gordon has been put out of his missery.
     

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