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Chargers Training Camp Preview

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Jul 7, 2007.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

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    Source: <a href="http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/writers/bucky_brooks/07/05/tc.preview.afc.west/index.html" target="_blank">SI.com</a>

    <img src="http://i2.chargers.com/assets/178/33125_699w393h.jpg" title="Chargers @ Mini Camp/ Photo from Chargers.com" alt="Chargers @ Mini Camp/ Photo from Chargers.com" height="175" width="306" />

    By Bucky Brooks

    <strong>Challenge No. 1:</strong> Make a smooth transition from <strong>Marty Schottenheimer</strong> to <strong>Norv Turner</strong>

    Though Schottenheimer had led the Chargers to a 13-3 record and is one of the winningest coaches in league history, he was dismissed following last season due a disappointing playoff performance. Turner's familiarity with the team should make the transition easier since he was the offensive coordinator in 2001 and the team still was using most of his offensive principles last year. He also wisely retained most of the offensive assistants during the coaching transition. Having continuity with his offensive coaches will undoubtedly help him as he continues to build the attack around the talents of <strong>LaDainian Tomlinson</strong>, <strong>Antonio Gates</strong> and <strong>Ph</strong><strong>ilip Rivers</strong>. Defensively, his decision to hire defensive coordinator <strong>Ted Cottrell</strong> also will keep things running smoothly on that side of the ball. Cottrell spent several years working under <strong>Wade Phillips</strong>, and his defense relies on the same elements and principles previously established by Phillips. Though he is sure to tweak the scheme to suit his tastes, the defense should be able to build off the momentum and success they have created over the past two seasons. The pressure is on Turner and the Chargers to take the next step, but how well they make the transition to Turner will determine if they can pull it off.

    <strong>Challenge No. 2:</strong> Expand the playbook for <strong>Philip Rivers</strong>

    Rivers finally got his opportunity to lead the Chargers last season and responded with a Pro Bowl season. Compiling a 61 percent completion percentage and a 22-to-9 touchdown to interception ratio, Rivers has shown that he has the tools to be one of the league's best quarterbacks. Heading into his second season as the starter, Rivers will benefit from Turner's expanded playbook. After San Diego spent most of last season relying on play action passes with Gates and Tomlinson as the primary targets, Turner will craft an attack that features more drop-back passing with vertical routes and incorporates the receivers into the gameplan. Expanding the playbook will give young receivers <strong>Vincent Jackson</strong>, <strong>Malcolm Floyd</strong>, <strong>Eric Parker</strong> and <strong>Craig Davis </strong>their chances to make plays down the field. If they can deliver during the preseason, the Chargers will show more diversity in their offensive approach this season.

    <strong>Challenge No. 3:</strong> Find another starting safety<img src="http://bolttalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/08/alarm_button.gif" alt="time" align="right" />

    The Chargers enter training camp with <strong>Marlon McCree</strong> penciled in at one safety position, but without a clearly defined starter at the other spot. Veterans <strong>Clinton Hart</strong> and <strong>Bhawoh Jue</strong> are battling second round pick, <strong>Eric Weddle</strong>, for the safety position opposite McCree. The Chargers do not label their safeties, but McCree is best suited to be a deep middle player in the defense. His savvy, experience and intelligence makes him the perfect guy to control the back end. With him in the middle of the field, the other safety needs to be a physical player with the toughness to fill the alley versus the run. Hart and Jue both have the size to be a box defender, but neither has much experience in that role. Weddle lacks the size, but his savvy and penchant for playmaking makes it hard to keep him off the field. Finding the right player for the position is critical for a defense regarded as one of the league's best.
     

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