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ESPN Insiders Chargers Camp Preview

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Bawl Movement, Jul 17, 2007.

  1. Bawl Movement

    Bawl Movement BoltTalker

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    By Jeremy Green
    Scouts Inc.
    (Archive)
    Insider

    Updated: July 17, 2007

    San Diego Chargers training camp
    Site: Chargers Park
    Location: San Diego
    First practice: July 28
    2006 Record: 14-2 (AFC West champs)

    Expanded NFL training camp coverage

    Three Burning Questions

    Do the Chargers have enough offensive firepower at WR to get over the hump this season?

    One of the biggest reasons San Diego lost to New England in the playoffs was marginal play at wide receiver. Eric Parker has been a starter, but he should be a No. 3 at best. Vincent Jackson improved last season, but he needs to be more consistent. The wild card will be rookie Craig Davis. Even though young receivers take some time to develop, the Chargers need him to make solid contributions if this offense is going to take that final step.

    Camp battle to watch

    CB Drayton Florence vs. CB Antonio Cromartie
    This cornerback battle should shape up to be very interesting. Cromartie will be entering his second season; the former first-round pick was not on the field as much as the team would have liked in his rookie year. Florence is in the last year of his contract and has been fairly vocal about looking forward to free agency if he and the team can't get a deal done before the start of the regular season. The team would like to see Cromartie unseat Florence as the starter this season, but he will have to improve a lot in terms of his instincts and route recognition if that is going to happen.
    Can new head coach Norv Turner deliver?
    Say what you want about former head coach Marty Schottenheimer's career playoff record, but he still led this team to an NFL-best 14-2 record in 2006. He has also had a lot more coaching success than Turner. Turner will have to win over this team, and if the Chargers start out slowly, grumbling from players could emerge.

    Is Philip Rivers ready to take the next step and become an elite NFL starting QB?

    He showed signs of becoming that guy during the first half of last season. Over the second half of the season, especially late in the year, he struggled. His accuracy was not as good and he was not throwing the deep ball as effectively. Rivers will have to prepare himself much better this season, both physically and mentally, so he does not wear down. Rivers does not have a big-time arm, but his intangibles are off the charts, and he needs to rely on those intangibles to play better down the stretch. If he can do that, we think he can eventually develop into an elite NFL starting QB.

    The player under the microscope

    WR Craig Davis. It is tough to put a rookie under the microscope, but the Chargers don't have a lot of players who fit the category because they are as deep and talented as any team in the NFL. Davis is a rookie with excellent speed, but some experts feel he was a reach in the bottom of the first round. Davis has the speed to make an immediate impact, and that is what this offense is searching for. The Chargers need Davis to be able to stretch the field, which will open things up for TE Antonio Gates in the middle of the field and prevent teams from trying to sneak eight men into the box to slow down RB LaDainian Tomlinson.

    Fantasy take

    Norv Turner's arrival means the Chargers will run the ball in the red zone almost all the time. See how this affects the use of Michael "One Hammy Away From Greatness" Turner, who got a lot of work early last season, and if Antonio Gates continues to get red-zone opportunities, or if he becomes entirely a possession target.
    -- Matthew Berry

    Breakout player

    Vincent Jackson. With the departure of veteran WR Keenan McCardell and no legitimate No. 1 receiver to speak of, Jackson has a chance to seize the role as the Chargers' go-to receiver. Jackson has improved his route-running skills and is now a receiver whom Rivers feels he can rely on. Even though the team selected Davis in the first round, Jackson is the odds-on favorite to develop into Rivers' favorite target.

    Comeback player of the year

    FS Marlon McCree. With the departure of safety Terrence Kiel, McCree is now the clear leader in the secondary. He will likely be playing next to rookie Eric Weddle. McCree did not have a terrible 2006 season, but his tackle and interception numbers were down from 2005. Kiel was more of a box player, which forced McCree to play more in coverage. Even though Weddle is a rookie, his athletic ability and range should allow McCree to be a much bigger factor in run support this season.


    Offensive philosophy


    Even though San Diego has a new head coach, don't look for much to change on offense. Turner installed this offense when he was with the Chargers in 2001, and it is a system that will continue to be built around Tomlinson, the best playmaker in the NFL. Former running backs coach Clarence Shelman will take over for Cam Cameron as the play-caller, but Shelman was with the team last season and will call a similar game plan. The basic offensive philosophy will be to pound the ball between the tackles in an attempt to open up the vertical passing game. Whether the vertical passing game is there will depend on how quickly Davis develops. With Tomlinson, Gates (the best pass-catching tight end in the NFL) and potentially Davis at wide receiver, the Chargers are looking for the "big three" concept in terms of playmakers.

    Defensive philosophy

    The Chargers also have had changes on defense. Former defensive coordinator Wade Phillips is now the head coach in Dallas. New coordinator Ted Cottrell is a veteran coach and a Phillips disciple. Even though both work off the 3-4 concept, Phillips is a much more aggressive play-caller than Cottrell has been in his recent stints as a coordinator. If the Chargers are going to maintain their spot as one of the best defensive teams in the NFL, they will have to maintain the defensive philosophy that has worked in the past. The Chargers' secondary is still a bit suspect, but the defense has been able to compensate for that by getting excellent pressure from the front seven. If the Chargers become less aggressive on defense, the secondary will be exposed.
     
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  2. SanDiegoRon

    SanDiegoRon BoltTalker

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    First practice: July 28

    11 days....:abq2:
     
  3. boltssbbound

    boltssbbound Well-Known Member

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    Jeremy Green is a tard.
     
  4. PowderLove

    PowderLove Former Mod, Current Slacker

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    ICAAAANTWAAAIT!!!!!!11
     
  5. exodus

    exodus Well-Known Member

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    I hope Cro benches Flo by the start of preseason...
     
  6. LittleTrain

    LittleTrain BoltTalker

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    Cross our fingers he's wrong. Sounds like playing conservative on both sides of the ball, even moreso than Martyball.
     
  7. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    :yes: :tup: :abq2: :abq1: :icon_banana: :icon_toast: :flag: :bolt:
     
  8. MasterOfPuppets

    MasterOfPuppets Charger fan since 1979

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    No mention of Malcolm Floyd and in one paragraph they state that VJ will be the #1 but later on they say that Davis will be looked upon to complete the "big three" :icon_shrug:
     
  9. 17Rocks

    17Rocks Well-Known Member

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    That is true only if VJ and Floyd can stay consistent, Parker ain't flashy, but he is consistent in the regular season.




    I'll take less aggressive as long as he stays away from the prevent late in the half...:icon_evil:
     
  10. sdchrger

    sdchrger Well-Known Member

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    The dumbass didn't even realize that we already have "the big three" (LT, Rivers, Gates).
     
  11. chargerlipz

    chargerlipz Leading the league in nose hairs.

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    Wasn't Philip Rivers invited to play in the Pro Bowl? Wouldn't that qualify as "an elite NFL starting QB?"
     
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  12. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Well another probowl quality year and a ring will go a long ways to solidifying it for good.
     
  13. Thread_Killer

    Thread_Killer Well-Known Member

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    I know. One of the biggest factors for our offensive success last season was TD percentage in the Red Zone. Hopefully Norv will look at film and incorporate the things that Cam did so well inside the 20.

    I’m also concerned that Norv might ask our OL to employ more of a “mashing” style. That isn’t a strength of guys like Hardwick, Goff, and Olivea. If Norv thinks he can just run it up the gut and impose our will on the ‘D, then we’ll be settling for a lot of short field goal attempts.
     

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