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Defense disrupts Bears

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Aug 15, 2010.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    [​IMG]

    By Christopher Smith, Chargers.com
    Posted 12 hours ago
    8-14-2010


    The Chargers attacked Chicago’s quarterbacks, clogged the line and took the ball away.

    SAN DIEGO – Matt Forte went nowhere. Jay Cutler and Caleb Hanie got licked. Paul Oliver took the football away twice.
    The defense wracked up six sacks, three forced fumbles and two turnovers and held Chicago to 2.3 yards per carry and zero first downs rushing.
    “That means all the D-linemen are doing their job. That’s what we need,” said Antonio Garay, who started at nose guard and was flanked by Luis Castillo and Jacques Cesaire. “Right now I think a lot of guys are leaving with smiles on their faces, so that’s definitely a good start for the preseason, but we’ve got to carry it over week to week and to the regular season.”
    Donald Strickland roared past a running back on a nickel blitz to sack Cutler, then forced Hanie into a bad throw. Dante Hughes later got a sack on a similar blitz.
    “I tried to cause a fumble but I didn’t get the guy,” said Strickland, signed as a free agent after playing for the New York Jets last season. “It just shows the physicality that we’re going to come with this year. We’re going to pressure the quarterback and try to get him to throw into coverage and make some plays.”
    Oliver intercepted Hanie in the third quarter and returned it 38 yards into Bears territory, then pounced on a fumble Antwan Applewhite caused when he blindsided the quarterback. Each turnover led to a field goal.
    “I played my responsibility. I saw the quarterback staring at me. I was in good position, read the route and jumped it,” Strickland said of the interceptions.
    Said Applewhite: “The quarterback just got flustered, ran out of the pocket and I just kept working on the edge and he held the ball. Sometimes quarterbacks don’t realize they need to get the ball off and he still had the ball when I got there.”
    Five different Chargers recorded sacks, led by Applewhite with two. The defense that has discussed being physical and aggressive at length did so on the field Saturday.
    “It changes the game. It gives the offense the ball more so they can score. It definitely gets in the quarterback’s head,” Strickland said of the disruptions. “He might rush a pass, he may hold onto the ball a little longer. He’s trying to get it out faster, so now he’s making more mistakes when we’re in his face.”
    Starting running back Matt Forté rushed four times for seven yards. Backup Chester Taylor didn’t fare much better, gaining 10 yards on six carries.


    SPECIAL NIGHT: Richard Goodman hadn’t returned kicks since high school.
    That all changed after a mid-week conversation with special teams coach Steve Crosby, which led to a 51-yard kickoff return against the Bears.
    The Chargers gave a handful of players repetitions during OTAs (Organized Team Activities) and training camp, but not the former Florida State receiver – until this week.
    “I was running fast on punt coverage. I went to (Crosby) and said, ‘That same speed, I can transfer it with the ball in my hand. All I need is a crease.’”
    Goodman practiced catching punts before practice as a Seminole in case of emergency, but played too big a role in the offense to do it during a game. He got an opportunity during special teams practice mid-week and found himself staring at Robbie Gold during the first quarter Saturday.
    The return set up a 28-yard Philip Rivers touchdown pass to Legedu Naanee.
    “I thought I brought a spark tonight. That’s what coach was looking for,” said Goodman, who also caught a pass for 12 yards and made two special teams tackles.
    Fellow undrafted rookie Brandon Lang also made an impact on teams, blocking a Brad Maynard punt in the end zone for a safety.
    “That was my first time ever being on the punt rush team,” Lang said. “Coach Crosby always teaches moving your best pass-rush move to get past them and that’s what I did. It was real exciting. That’s my way of making this team.”


    BLUE CORNER: Naanee figures to expand upon his two career touchdowns during the regular season.
    He looked ready to add to that total after his 28-yard touchdown Saturday against Chicago.
    Naanee overcame late double coverage to haul in a Rivers pass near the right pylon, touching off a celebration inside Qualcomm Stadium and giving the first offense a touchdown.
    The 6-foot-2, 220-pound receiver diagnosed a Cover 2 defense. With four vertical routes, he knew the safety faced a difficult assignment with the tight end up the seam.
    “I saw Philip diagnosing the whole side, looking at the safety, looking at the corners, so I knew it was coming to me,” Naanee said. “I knew that I just had to do my job.”


    BOLTS: Jacob Hester threw an effective block on Goodman’s return … Travis Johnson reached running back Chester Taylor in the backfield and stripped him of the ball. Lance Louis recovered for Chicago … Shawne Merriman, as expected, did not play but was on the sideline after signing his one-year tender Friday. He possibly could play against Dallas next Saturday … Darren Sproles, Larry English, Brandon Siler and Scott Mruckzkowski were among the Chargers that did not play against Chicago … C.J. Spillman and Donald Strickland worked at gunner during the first punt coverage opportunity of the season.
     
  2. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    We played OK on D but before we go celebrating a SB win, go back & look at the 2 Cutler to Knox completions. WFO

    There's plenty of work to do & water should be consumed vs. kool-aid.

    :icon_toast:
     
  3. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    You gotta let the other team catch the ball once in a while... :lol:
     
  4. wrbanwal

    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

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    thought the same thing, but bend don't break is not a bad play when you have PR on offense

    :bolt:
     
  5. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

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    Cutler is an NFL starting QB and no team will hold them without any completions. Nobody is using full packages yet. There were lapses aplenty, but no one who really figures to make the team failed to play well.
     
  6. Boltdiehard

    Boltdiehard Well-Known Member

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    The run defense looked excellent IMO and we'll see what kind of pressure we get with Merriman and English in there.

    I hope Cam Thomas keeps it up. :tup:
     
  7. ThunderHorse17

    ThunderHorse17 Lone Wolf

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    Sweet read indeed.

    I forgot to say hell yea bout Lang doin so well so now I am.
     
  8. HEXEDBOLT

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

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    It's a bit early to plan the Lombardi victory party after one exhibition game. Let's just hope they continue to grow and sustain no major injuries.
     
  9. ThunderHorse17

    ThunderHorse17 Lone Wolf

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    Who said anything about the SB?

    O well I did about a month ago, tho im not sayin 1 exhibition game makes us THERE yet. But seriously we out scored out defended what more do you want out of guys competing for their NFL lives?

    Oyea and i still dont got a feeling about us this year...
     
  10. RM24

    RM24 BoltTalker

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    What??? I got a good feeling about this year. I got a feeling we are going to Dallas in Feb 2011 and winning it all! :abq2:
     
  11. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    :yes: :abq2: :tup:
     
  12. foober

    foober BoltTalker

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    Rivera finanlly has most of the pieces in place to have a good defense.

    Were looking about as good as we can get. Just wish we had another good left tackle.

    Come on mcneil. Fire your agent and go and talk to the chargers personally about wanting to play.
     
  13. Workplay

    Workplay scompl

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  14. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

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