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Chargers will need special effort against Eagles

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Johnny Lightning, Nov 12, 2009.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006

    Casey Pearce
    Posted Nov 12, 2009

    The Chargers were much better in the kicking game last week in New York and they’ll need another big performance against Philadelphia’s talented special teams units.

    Chargers fullback Mike Tolbert[​IMG], who leads the team in special teams tackles this season, says that covering kicks is a mindset.
    “It’s about being disciplined and going down there as hard as you can to make a play,” Tolbert said. “We did a lot better job of that last week.”
    Indeed the Chargers did. They kicked off four times last week against the Giants and gave up an average of just 18 yards per return to Domenik Hixon. The previous three weeks, the Raiders averaged 29 yards per kickoff return, the Chiefs 24.5 and the Broncos 31.6 including a touchdown. In each of those three weeks, it was a long return that caused the average to skyrocket.
    “We’ve actually, for the most part, been good,” Head Coach Norv Turner said. “We’ve had bad plays and the bad plays have been a result of young guys and guys getting out of their lanes; not completely understanding their assignments. We worked hard last week on it. I think (Special Teams coach Steve) Crosby did a great job with extra meeting time.”
    Injuries have caused the Chargers to shuffle their special teams lineup more this year than usual, but Turner was pleased with how some of his young players responded. Linebacker James Holt[​IMG] and safety C.J. Spillman[​IMG] were both active for the first time in their careers and were among new faces in the lineup last week.
    “Those young guys are a week better,” Turner said. “We need to continue to be better. Obviously it’ll be a big part of this game.”

    Vick factor
    The Eagles may not be using quarterback Michael Vick as much as some thought they would when they signed the former Pro Bowler this summer, but don’t tell Turner that it’s because Vick isn’t still a very dangerous player.
    “The people who are saying he doesn’t look as fast aren’t the guys who are getting ready to play him that week,” Turner said.
    Vick has thrown just six passes and run 12 times for 27 yards on the season. Earlier this week, starting quarterback Donovan McNabb said he expects teams to see more of Vick later in the season.
    “Believe me,” McNabb said. “It’s coming.”
    The Chargers are spending plenty of time preparing for Vick’s unique skill set.
    “They’re using him sporadically right now,” linebacker Shaun Phillips said. “They’re trying to put him in situations where he can break a big run. He hasn’t been able to do much this far, but you never know. He’s an explosive guy and he’s done it before. We’re going to prepare.”

    Red Hot
    After having some struggles in the red zone early in the season, the Chargers have been much better of late. Last week they were a perfect 3-for-3 on trips inside the Giants’ 20-yard line, and San Diego has put the ball in the end zone on six of their last seven red zone visits.
    “I think we’re the turning corner,” Turner said. “We’re getting better play and executing better down there, which is significant.”
    Linebacker shuffle
    With weakside linebacker Akeem Jordan unlikely to play Sunday, the Associate Press reported Thursday that middle linebacker Will Witherspoon is expected to slide over to the weak side, a position he’s played with both the Rams and Panthers earlier in his career. Strongside linebacker Chris Gocong will likely move to the middle and according to the report, rookie Moise Fokou will start on the strong side.
    “It’s hard, but we did it last week,” Turner said. “They’ve got very good football players and the guys they’re moving around have got experience at the different positions. I know what to expect from them. We’re going to get a great effort from them.”
  2. bigmike.x.09

    bigmike.x.09 Well-Known Member

    Oct 22, 2006
    I got one question for everyone --
    • Like Like x 1

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