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Cory Withrow fills in for Pro Bowler

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Oct 15, 2007.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006
    October 15, 2007
    You don't replace a Pro Bowler with just anyone. It generally takes another Pro Bowler to make such a transition seamless.
    But having an eight-year veteran who knows how to prepare as a backup certainly helps.
    <TABLE cellPadding=2 width=284 align=right><TBODY><TR><TD>[​IMG]
    JIM BAIRD / Union-Tribune​
    Starting center Nick Hardwick exited the game with a sprained foot after seven plays and did not return.

    </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>The Chargers yesterday benefited from the experience provided by Cory Withrow after starting center Nick Hardwick went down with a sprained foot seven plays into the game. “It was very impressive,” LaDainian Tomlinson said of the job Withrow did. “But to be honest, I'm not surprised. Cory in practice, he's doing the right things. He knows what he is supposed to do. He stepped in before. He's always ready. He's a pro. He's been in this league for a long time, and there's a reason why. It's hard to lose a Pro Bowl center, but Cory did a good job.” It is not known how long Hardwick will be out. He said his foot was stepped on as he engaged Terdell Sands on a pass block. He finished the play, then went down and knew he was finished. By the second quarter, he was on the sideline wearing a protective boot on his right foot and walking with the aid of crutches. “I'll find out (more) tomorrow,” Hardwick said. Withrow, signed before the 2006 season, played two crucial series against Cincinnati last season when Hardwick got hurt. Other than that, he has mostly been consigned to mop-up duty and been a nice insurance policy. Yesterday, he paid off. “My whole career I've always backed up Pro Bowl centers,” said Withrow, who played behind Matt Birk in Minnesota. “It's easy for me to learn from them. Even thought Nick is younger than me, I still learn from him. Playing next to the guys you play next to, they make it easy. We have guards who are great and they protect the little guy in the middle. It's easy. “We have great coaches. They don't just prepare the starters, they prepare all of us during the week. I just try to fit in when I can. There is no way I can replace Nick.” They couldn't runThe Chargers spoke all week of hoping the Raiders ran the ball. When the Raiders finally did yesterday, the Chargers backed up their words. After failing to advance the ball with a quick lateral passing game in its first two series, Oakland tried the run and also went nowhere. “When you take (the pass) away, they can't really do anything,” defensive end Igor Olshansky said. “We were always going to be able to stop their run because of our personnel.” Coming in averaging 194.3 rushing yards a game and 5.3 per carry, both tops in the league, the Raiders had just 53 yards on 23 carries yesterday. “For as much as they rushed coming into this game, we just wanted to prove we're not going to have a team come out and run the ball on us,” linebacker Shawne Merriman said. “They're going to have to come out with some pretty creative things to move the ball.” This closeTomlinson had his eighth 100-yard rushing game in 13 tries against the Raiders. But what he will remember, besides the victory, is that he was 2 yards from his second 200-yard game against them and the fifth 200-yard game of his career, which would have put him alone in second on the all-time list. He recalled a play in the middle of the game on which he broke the wrong way. “I just missed it,” he said. “That's always going to eat me up.” Sweet revengePlayers had noted this week how Norv Turner had quietly made it clear how much he wanted to beat the Raiders, and yesterday Turner finally acknowledged his satisfaction publicly. “Certainly there is,” he said when asked if there was any special pleasure he took in the victory over the team that fired him in January 2006. “I'm not going to lie about it. But that's personal. It's not the issue.” CBs get picksThe Chargers had two interceptions by their cornerbacks after not having any in the first five games. Both were special for personal reasons. Antonio Cromartie's snag of an overthrown ball he appeared destined to have from the time it left Daunte Culpepper's hand was the first of his career. The talk about waiting for his potential as a playmaker can stop now. “The frustration is over,” said Cromartie, a first-round draft pick in 2006. “I dropped two in Green Bay. I had to get over something. Today I got my first one. Now they'll start to come in bunches.” Drayton Florence made a brilliant catch just above the grass in the first quarter, getting the ball from fellow Vanguard (Fla.) High alum Culpepper.
    Nuts 'n' Bolts
    [​IMG] The Chargers reported these injuries in addition to Hardwick: receiver Buster Davis (ankle), defensive end Jacques Cesaire (ankle) and guard Mike Goff (thumb).
    [​IMG] After going two games without doing so, Mike Scifres landed all four of his punts inside the 20 yesterday.
    [​IMG] Scoreless in the first halves of their first two games, the Chargers have scored on their first possession in four straight games.
    [​IMG] For the second straight week Philip Rivers was not sacked. [​IMG] Presumably because the team was doing relatively well, there were more Raiders fans in Qualcomm Stadium than in any of the three previous seasons. Strangely, many of them seemed to be cheering when the Raiders had the ball, so there was no appreciable difference in the noise created for the Chargers' defense.


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