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Chargers report: Inside slant

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Johnny Lightning, Oct 9, 2009.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006

    Chargers general manager A.J. Smith sounds just like every other Chargers fan after the season's first quarter: He's ticked off.

    Smith built a team that is a very mediocre 2-2 and entering its bye week with more questions than when the season started.

    What's scary for the Chargers is they have been manhandled on both sides of the football in stages of every game this season. Despite beating the Raiders and Dolphins, there were stretches in those games in which the Chargers' physical presence was seriously questioned.

    Now it's Smith asking the hard ones -- as well as others of him.

    Sure, the Chargers have had injuries, but so does every team. And is this really what the rest of the season should look like, a .500 effort from a team that is 11-11 in its last 22 games?

    "I'm very disappointed in where we are, even with the record," Smith said. "To me, 2-2 is middle of the road. I was wishing for 4-0, hopeful for 3-1. The reason for that was to get out of the blocks and make a statement. When you are 2-2, you're not dead but there is no statement. It's another slow start. We are now in a hole. You turn around after a quarter, look around the division and find ourselves in chase mode."

    The Chargers are off this week and by the time the AFC West-leading Broncos roll in they could be 5-0 if they beat New England on Sunday.

    "Denver sits at an outstanding 4-0," Smith said. "Things are moving along great for them. Now here we sit, two games behind trying to compete for a division title. You know how I feel about division titles. They bring opportunity. Regardless of what opinions people have or how we feel about ourselves, just get in."

    The Chargers are trying to do that for the fourth straight time. But after coming back from a 4-8 obstacle last year, the Chargers are starting to dig another hole. And it's getting old for Smith, although he's the one bringing -- or maybe not bringing -- the players here to win a championship.

    "We're not playing well," Smith said. "We're inconsistent. Some guys aren't playing well. Some guys are playing well in spurts. Playing in spurts is not a good thing. It will not win you a division. Playing in spurts is 8-8 or less. We have some guys playing terrific football. We have others playing Pro Bowl football. The mixture is not acceptable and won't get it done."

    Is it too late to flip a squad? No, even if the Chargers have been hit with injuries to various Pro Bowlers.

    "You have to turn this thing, with 12 games to go," Smith said. "You need most of your players playing consistent football for four quarters and others playing great football. If you have that happen, you'll be in the thick of the race. We're not doing that."

    While upset with the players he hired, Smith isn't blaming the coaches he brought on board.

    "In player assessment, I'm not happy," Smith said. "At this point, I have no problem with the coaching staff with 12 games to go.

    Smith is frustrated because for stretches, the Chargers look pretty good. But doing that over 60 minutes? Good luck with that.

    "I want the players to be consistent," Smith said. "Don't play hard for a quarter and then drift a little bit. That's what I want and I think that's what they'd like to see. ... If we continue to stay focused and believe in one another and we play four quarters of hard, consistent football, things will improve."

    And if not?

    "I think we're a playoff-caliber team that clearly is not playing playoff-caliber football," Smith said. "If that doesn't turn around, you won't have to be concerned about playoffs. Right now, we're not playing at a caliber to win your division."

    --C Scott Mruczkowski (knee) didn't practice during the bye week. The Chargers can ill afford to lose Mruczkowski with starter Nick Hardwick (ankle) not expected back until December.
  2. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

    Aug 14, 2006
    I agree with AJ.

    I think its more the players right now, and less the coaches.
  3. wrbanwal

    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

    Dec 27, 2005
    really AJ?

    The perception is that your team looks unprepared, uninspired, and undisciplined. this is NOT a reflection on the coaches???

  4. sdrocks

    sdrocks Well-Known Member

    Jan 8, 2006
    That's what i was thinking too but I believe AJ's blames his coaches also. It's just not wise to bring up Coaching during the middle of the season because the players aren't going to hold themselves accountable as much. If we don't make the playoffs im sure Norv is gone and pretty sure AJ will follow.
  5. Holy_Bolt

    Holy_Bolt Well-Known Member

    Nov 18, 2007
    The Coaches own preparation! There really is no more discussion. If a player is not prepared, then don't play him...we have seen no one sit for not being prepared, but we have countless players that don't have a clue. My only conclusion is that the coaches are not doing a good job! Simple in my mind!
  6. Alpenbolt

    Alpenbolt BoltTalker

    Sep 9, 2006
    It is impossible for anyone to say we are a well coached team at this point.

    There is a talent gap in critical places for sure. But good coaching keeps those exposed areas from becoming crippling deficiences.
  7. msmith

    msmith BoltTalker

    May 23, 2006
    Agree with above comments about it is the coach's job to prepare the player.

    Example 1: Peppers with a tag on doesn't want to play hurt. This is the current Panthers' problem in defense. Only the coach can motivate him.

    Example 2: Mike Bell after being a journey man for several years, finally makes his presence felt in the Saints. He will compete with another unheard-of rb P. Thomas.

    Example 3: Mendenhall appeared to be a bust until the coach chewed him out. He ran a 168 yds against the you know who.

    Not too long ago many of the current Chargers players all appeared hungry and willing to play. That is why they all signed the big fat contracts.

    Are the players at fault for not playing their potential? Yes. Is it the job for the coach to prepare them play? Yes.

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