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Chargers' McCree won't let himself dwell on playoff gaffe

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Jul 27, 2007.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    By Kevin Acee
    UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER

    July 27, 2007

    <!--- BODYTEXT --->Marlon McCree answered the phone one day last January and heard his mom's voice, a seeming beacon in the foggy aftermath of the Chargers' playoff loss to New England. “Hey, Mom.”
    “Baby, why didn't you just get down?”

    McCree laughed long and hard yesterday as he recounted that exchange. It was the resigned laugh of a man who has done a lot of thinking and recovery in the past six months.
    “If my mom gave it to me,” McCree said, “I can only expect the fan who doesn't love me, doesn't know me, to feel the way they feel.”
    Among the dozen blunders that contributed so mightily to the 24-21 loss to the Patriots, McCree's fourth-quarter interception-then-fumble stuck out for what it might have been. With 6½ minutes remaining in a game the Chargers led 21-13, McCree bee-lined to step in front of a fourth-down Tom Brady pass at San Diego's 31-yard line. As he controlled the ball, he saw a path along the far sideline in which he had only to beat an offensive lineman on his way to the end zone. After bobbling the ball briefly, he crossed over to his left and took off.
    But because he had been slowed as he bobbled the ball coming down, and because he held it in his right hand, Patriots receiver Troy Brown was able to reach McCree quickly and strip the ball. New England receiver Reche Caldwell fell on it, and the Patriots had a first down at the 32. They scored five plays later, then converted a two-point play and the game was tied 21-21.

    The McCree pick-and-drop has rankled fans ever since, because they saw it as the most egregious of the Chargers' bonehead plays that day. Had the Chargers retained possession, they very well might have won.
    Fans and commentators have wondered ever since why McCree did not simply bat the ball down or at least fall down after catching it.
    That night, McCree steadfastly defended his decision to intercept the ball. He did so again yesterday. “I would definitely get the interception,” he said. “I wouldn't bat the ball down. I would run up the near sideline. The only thing I second-guessed was my decision on which way to run. Had I run to the right, the ball wouldn't have been exposed.”
    Bill Bradley, the Chargers' new secondary coach and a man who led the NFL in interceptions two straight years in the early 1970s, thought McCree made a great play until he chose to run to the left.
    Bradley has chosen to see the gaffe as a learning tool. He will stress to the defensive backs to fall and protect the ball in similar situations in the future.

    But no one who knows better blames McCree for not simply batting down the ball.
    “They've been ingrained all their life to make an interception,” Bradley said of defensive backs. “I'd have tried to run with it – run up the sideline.”
    Bradley also lamented, “It's a shame it happened, because that's how Marlon is remembered. No one remembers how he got everyone lined up or got the checks right in the previous 16 games.”
    McCree's great contribution to the secondary last season, his first in San Diego after signing as a free agent, was his six years of experience. He prodded the young defensive backs to study more and spend more time together. The result was a drastic improvement in their individual and collective play.
    McCree believes the addition of Bradley and assistant Kevin Ross, combined with the group's growth, will allow him to be a different player this season.
    “These guys don't miss a beat,” McCree said. “That's helping me focus on how I can get better and make more plays and put myself in position and not be so worried about getting everyone lined up.
    “I don't think my role will be as vocal this year. I'm going to try my best to lead by example and make as many plays as I can.”
    He is not shy about his goal of having at least five interceptions, and he believes nine picks are possible.
    “I think everyone is going to improve from having these coaches,” he said. “I'm just looking forward to it. I know my play is going to pick up. If my play picks up, (Antonio) Cromartie's play will pick up and Jam's (Quentin Jammer) play will pick up and Flo's (Drayton Florence) play will pick up. Good play is contagious.”
    McCree is well aware that bad plays are contagious as well, the evidence being Jan. 14.
    “I've forgiven myself,” he said. “Maybe I should have done some things different, but I'm just trying to make a play that helps my team advance to the next round. And out of all my years of playing football, that never, ever happened to me and never, ever will again.”
    At that, he laughed again. “I was bummed,” McCree recalled. “I took that loss to heart. I took it personally. And it doesn't help when your mom calls you . . . and wants to know why you messed up.”

    http://www.signonsandiego.com/sports/chargers/20070727-9999-1s27chargers.html
     
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  2. LittleTrain

    LittleTrain BoltTalker

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    Dude tried to be a hero and it killed the team. It was a selfish play all the way. It's laughable he says he just wanted to return it to run some clock. That shows no confidence in our offense OR our defense.
     
  3. WonderSlug

    WonderSlug Well-Known Member

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    I think D'Flo's phack-up was much worse.

    At least McCree was trying, actually did, to make a play when he was stripped.

    What's D'Flo's excuse? We had just sacked Brady, and put the Pats in a 4th-and-17 to where they'd have to punt or try a 50 yard FG, and then D'Flo begins going wild, trash talking, and then, WHAM! Headbutt! 15 yards, automatic first down.

    McCree was the victim of a lucky strip.

    D'Flo was the victim of a major league brain fart.
     
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  4. boltssbbound

    boltssbbound Well-Known Member

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    This is complete BS. There were still 6 minutes left and we were leading by one score. McCree thought he saw an opening to take the INT back for a score and seal the game. There was nothing selfish about it. Frankly, I want guys out there who are trying to make plays. Obviously, he misjudged Troy Brown's proximity to him, and he phucked up. But I've got no problem with his mentality. You've got the chance to finish off a dangerous team, you take it. It didn't work out, but McCree was not being selfish.

    That was a very rare play, a fluke. I don't know if i've ever seen a team intercept a pass on 4th down and then fumble it back to the opposition.

    What McCree should focus on is ball security. But you can't have players playing hesitantly. They need to be out their trying to make plays.
     
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  5. Trumpet_Man

    Trumpet_Man Well-Known Member

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    I do not agree it was selffish. These guys are taught to catch the ball and run. If McCree breaks one tackle and cuts right, he has a TD. I see that as trying to help the TEAM and not necessarily himself. An INT and TD seals the win pretty much.

    I was rooting for him to catch it and run and screw batting it down. I saw a hole and said ****, TD.

    To me batting it down with an open field and a possible TD was not even a consideration. Many disagree with me but I was there and that is what I saw and felt. I wanted a TD off an INT.
     
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  6. LittleTrain

    LittleTrain BoltTalker

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    It probably was much worse, but had less an impact on the outcome. NE would have kicked the FG anyway. They kicked a 50 yarder earlier with plenty of room to spare and right down the middle.

    DFlo's excuse? He was hit late on the play from a cheap b@stard coming from his blindspot to get in a cheap hit away from the ball. A guy Flo had just punked between the whistles. It was a cheap hit. Flo jumps up to tell the guy he's a punk and bumps his facemask while he's yelling at him. I've seen a ton of players get up and get in a guy's face after a cheap hit or even a big legal hit. Usually they are seperated and the two go back to their huddle with no flag. This time Flo's facemask made contact and all the sudden its a "headbutt".

    It was stupid. It only gave them an easier FG in the end and we were still up two scores late in the 4th quarter. I look at screwups after that as bigger and more important in the grand scheme of things overall.

    You don't see an INT and a fumble back on 4th down much because throws downfield aren't typically intercepted if its 4th down because its better for the team to knock it down.

    I guess on a hail mary players should now try to intercept the ball if they think they have a shot at a runback?? It's selfish. Knock the ball down. Attempting an INT only opens up more options for the offense to get the ball back. Knocking it down kills all those options, which is the ultimate goal. This play was just a perfect example.
     
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  7. HEXEDBOLT

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

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    I backed McCree's decision then and I still do now. I do remember those of the, you just knock it down ilk. I can agree with that inside of 2 min's and from the red zone in but not with that much time and real estate left.

    Dflos play was nothing but pure stupidity, he kept a NE drive alive all on his own. I wonder if Brady sent him a Christmas gift?:bolt:
     
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  8. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

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    :yes:

    I want my defensive players to be aggressive. Balls get stripped, knocked lose and just plain dropped from time to time. If he'd held on to the ball, we get it back in great field position. Didn't happen. Those are the breaks of naval air-air breaks. Dflos lack of composure is just part what filtered down from Schittenheimer's own lack of composure in big games. He wasn't the only player to screw up that day. Norval isn't the panicky type, so let's see what happens next time.
     
  9. HEXEDBOLT

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

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    Under norv, I think this team is going to come alive, kick *** and take names later. :bolt: :icon_toast:
     
  10. LittleTrain

    LittleTrain BoltTalker

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    Like his other teams have with him as the leader?? lol Putting up the worst record for an experienced coaching hire I think we have to hope Norv does just the opposite of what he's done before. Even in his glory years at Dallas the team had a better offense the year AFTER he left.

    We have to hope we have the talent to overcome Norv. There is nothing in his past to make us think he's going to improve the talent.
     
  11. BoltzRule

    BoltzRule Well-Known Member

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    The Cowboys offense went from 26th in points 28th in yards in 1990 to 7th in points and 8th in yards in 1991. In one season Turner turned the Cowboys offense from one of the worst to one of the best.

    And really crediting the OC that took over for Norv is like crediting Switzer for his coaching job. The talent was already there all they had to do was not screw up.

    Ernie Zampese took over as OC in 1994 and coached until 1997.

    1994: The offense ranked 2nd in points and 13th in yards (significant drop in yards from previous seasons)
    1995: 3rd in points, 7th in yards
    1996: 25th in points, 26th in yards
    1997: 22nd in points, 21st in yards

    What he did is no different than Switzer.
     
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  12. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

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    I will annoy you by simply agreeing. I think it's time to open up some bubbly.

    :icon_toast:
     
  13. LittleTrain

    LittleTrain BoltTalker

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    There were significant stars aligning when Norv took over. Troy was coming into his own. Smith was just getting started. The OL finally came together. Almost anyone would have taken that talent and improved on the past in Dallas.

    The year after he left they scored 40 more times than his teams scored 30.

    The talent was already there and all they had to do was not screw it up?? lol So are you going to give Marty and Cam all the credit for what happens this year since "the talent is already there" and all Norv has to do is "not screw it up"?

    Dallas is his ONE bright spot and they were better the year AFTER he left than they ever were WITH him. Spin it however you want. That's the facts.
     
  14. BoltzRule

    BoltzRule Well-Known Member

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    #1 Norv installed the offensive system they used. Without it who knows how they would of done, a lot of teams have talent, it doesn't mean they'll be successful.

    #2 Troy Aikman has credited Norv numerous times for his success and was upset he didn't replace Switzer.

    #3 The Cowboys team was a SB team, the Chargers can't even win a playoff game. There's nothing Switzer did that Johnson didn't, while Norv can do what Marty and Cam haven't and that's succeed in the playoffs with the Chargers. No one will be patting Norv on the back for making the playoffs because it's already proven it can be done with this team.

    I am not spinning anything. I'm just point out the truth. Norv has a history of improving the offense everywhere he's gone.

    He improved the Cowboys offense.

    He improved the Redskins offense.
    25th in points, 26th in yards to 13th in points and 19th in yards the next year.

    He improved the Chargers offense.
    26th in points, 28th in yards to 14th in points and 15th in yards. Last time the Chargers had a WR with 1000 yards (Conway- 1125), it was also Conway's best season yardage wise

    He improved the Raiders offense.
    27th in points, 25th in yards to 18th in points and 20th in yards. The year after Turner was fired the Raiders were dead last in points and yards.

    He improved the Niners offense.
    30th in points and 32nd in yards to 24th in points and 26th in yards.


    You can deny all you want but Norv has a proven track record of improving bad offenses in 1 year, and 3 of those team went from being among the worst in offense to middle of the pack in that 1 year.

    But yea, let's not give him credit for turning around the Cowboys offense when Norv has shown he can do it elsewhere.
     
  15. BoltzRule

    BoltzRule Well-Known Member

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    We weren't kicking their ***. He just lost his composure, but so did Marty. How can you expect the team to be composed when the coach isn't?
     
  16. Charger Dave

    Charger Dave Dead account

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    That article bothered my on several different levels about both Marlon and Bradley.. I'll just shut up and watch what happens for now - but I damn sure *will* be watching the FS position for any sign of further selfishness and lack of personal accountability.
     
  17. BoltzRule

    BoltzRule Well-Known Member

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    I think McCree had the right mindset, but once he bobbled the ball he should of just gone down. If he doesn't bobble the ball and returns it for a TD the game's over.

    So I can understand why he tried to do it, because at the time the game could of still gone either way.
     
  18. Thumper

    Thumper WHS

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    I hate that he made this terrible play, but I hate more that he actually defends the play. It was terrible judgment and a horrible play, period. You're taught in peewee football what to do in that situation, knock the ball down. It was forth and there was little or no chance of making any gain. Knock the ball down and the Chargers win. Intercept and he gets a playoff interception added to his career stats.

    Let me ask, which is the more selfish play? Going for the glory, or practically guaranteeing a playoff win? I saw one interview where he said he if he ran the other way he might have got a touchdown. That statement alone tells me what was on his mind. Personal glory, not a team victory.

    I've liked McCree since he's been a Charger. He's a player. The mistake is something I can forgive. His insisting it was the right thing is something I can't. McCree just doesn't get it. In this case, the unselfish thing, was the right thing. Eff Marlon McCree! :tdown:
     
  19. Charger Dave

    Charger Dave Dead account

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    Thump - this is one of those rare occasions wherein we are in total agreement. (Blue moon outside?) I disagree with the Eff part a bit, it may turn out to be premature - but again will be watching our FS very closely for anything that looks remotely like another selfish act.:icon_sad:
     
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  20. Thumper

    Thumper WHS

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    TD was very unlikely. I have reviewed this play so many times. As recently as a few days ago I must have watched this one play 15 times on my TiVo. There was traffic. There was no change dude was going to get back to the line of scrimmage, let alone a TD.

    I really don't see how anyone can defend his play. Knock it down we win. Simple as that. But, NO! Dude wanted to be a hero. The smart play was to knock down the ball. The selfish play was to INT and run with it. The idea dude might get a TD is ludicrous.

    Only conclussion I can come to is that McCree is ether selfish, or not smart. Eff Marlon McCree! :tdown:
     
  21. Shamrock

    Shamrock Well-Known Member

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    I'm in total agreement with Thumper. I'll have a jaded eye on McCree this season. I hope his ego doesn't cost us another playoff victory.
     
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  22. Thumper

    Thumper WHS

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    rare occasions? hmmm...

    Well anyway, knocking down the ball in this situation is what you're taught at every level of football growing up. Ok, so dude made a mistake. What really bugs me is that he doesn't think it was a mistake. Tells me a lot about his mindset.

    Maybe the eff him part is a bit strong. There were a lot of bad plays that day. Some were physical lapses. Some were emotional mistakes. But to me, this was the biggest bonehead play that day.

    Parker on the flubbing the punt return. He misjudged the ball. It happens. Florrence with the headbutt. Very stupid, but it was an emotional response. Not that makes it ok, but at least I understand.

    I just can't spin the McCree blunder in any positive way. He either isn't smart or he's selfish. I'm leaning toward selfish.
     
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  23. Charger Dave

    Charger Dave Dead account

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    Suck up! :lol:
     
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  24. DefenseWins

    DefenseWins Well-Known Member

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    A minor thing - you're right about sheet happens sometimes, but the actual error was him trying to pick it up after he flubbed it and take off, instead of covering the ball on the spot. You don't have time before a punt coverage team gets to you to take the risk he took (and lost on). :no: That too is taught from pee-wee on.

    But... you can pick any one of a good baker's dozen of plays that could have been the difference in the game. It's over - TC has started and a new season is upon us :abq2::bolt::abq2:
     
  25. Thumper

    Thumper WHS

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    I agree with you on this. Parker should have just dropped on the ball after he missed it.

    The difference to me is Parker doesn't try to tell everyone he did the right thing.

    I also agree that there were mistakes on many plays. So many catchable balls were dropped. In all truth I believe we were the more talented team that day, but the Patriots handled the pressure better. They had been there before and acted like it.

    Well this season when the playoff come, we'll have been there before and I think we'll have learned a thing or two.
     
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  26. Trumpet_Man

    Trumpet_Man Well-Known Member

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    Yeah but deja vue dude.

    I feel it.

    I feel it big time :yes:
     
  27. DefenseWins

    DefenseWins Well-Known Member

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    :yes:More talented, definitely:yes: You're right about the pressure as well. NE played "street ball" games with the Charger players and crawled in between their ears big time I think.

    I too think they've learned from that experience - and am hoping to be going to Az next year :tup::icon_banana:
     
  28. WonderSlug

    WonderSlug Well-Known Member

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    So, one bad decision and the guy is a leper?

    Okay.......

    If that's the standard, then "eff half the Chargers players".
     

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