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Finesse image haunts Chargers

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Aug 13, 2010.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    [​IMG]


    Team perceived as 'soft' by opponents

    By Kevin Acee , UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
    Thursday, August 12, 2010 at 9:56 p.m.


    The New York Jets came here in January and felt they could take advantage of a Chargers team that lacked tenacity.

    “We saw them as a front-running team,” said Donald Strickland, then a nickel back for the Jets. “If you were close at the end of the game, they’d fold. That was our mindset.”

    Shortly after Strickland signed with the Chargers in March, he shared that view with his new teammates. And he wasn’t the only one.

    “They’ve always been very talented, had individual talent,” said tight end Randy McMichael , who came here with the Miami Dolphins and won in December 2005, effectively ending the Chargers’ playoff chances that year. “But it was, ‘When something bad happened, how would they react?’ ”

    To help his new team, McMichael boldly shared with the Chargers after arriving in June.

    “Nobody took it personally,” McMichael said. “Everyone was really interested.”

    Longtime Chargers don’t entirely agree with the assessments — citing their ability to battle through a rash of injuries last season, rebound from a 4-8 start in 2008 and make the playoffs despite beginning each of the past three seasons 2-3.

    “One thing we’ve shown is perseverance,” defensive end Luis Castillo said.

    But looking for a September spark and a February finish, incumbent players took to heart what the newcomers said.

    “We want to make sure we take in the criticism,” Castillo said.

    “It’s nice to get that from other players that have played against us and for us to understand that’s what people think about us and what are we going to do to change it,” free safety Eric Weddle said.

    Whether perception is reality, the Chargers appear roundly determined to change one or both.

    “When the perception is out there, other teams start to believe it and feed off it and it amps them,” cornerback Quentin Jammer said. “The only way we can stop that is by getting after people’s (backsides).”

    The entire defense has been hearing consistently this training camp from coordinator Ron Rivera about stopping the run. Defensive backs are being coached up to disrupt routes at the line and fight for the ball in the air.

    “It’s definitely a point of emphasis to be a physical group, to be tough, be fearless, and have people know that no matter what we’re going to hit people,” Weddle said. “Any chance we get we’re going to be hitting people. We just don’t want that stereotype.”

    The offense has a similar goal, even if its mantra is about doing whatever it takes to move the ball and score points.

    “When you put up a bunch of points throwing the ball, then all of a sudden you’re a finesse team,” center Nick Hardwick said. “But it’s certainly not finesse to protect the quarterback. There’s a lot of battling going on in there, a lot of punching, scratching and clawing, doing whatever it takes to keep (Philip Rivers) clean.”

    Still, head coach Norv Turner has spent much time this offseason defending his offensive line and predicting how improved the Chargers will be running the ball. He rattles off a half-dozen defenses of his team’s physicality. Still, Turner understands the need to stop the talk from outside about the Chargers being “soft” or a “finesse” team.

    “I want them to feel good about themselves,” he said. “I want them to get the respect they deserve.”

    To that end, the Chargers feel they can set a tone in the preseason opener.

    “That’s the way we’re going to approach the season, starting Saturday night,” Strickland said. “We’ve got to come out and let the NFL know we’re not soft.

    Said linebacker Stephen Cooper: “We want to let everybody know we’re a blue collar team and we’re ready to work whenever.”

    In that the recurring themes with the Chargers are how they start slow and finish flat, the question must be asked how being more physical can help a team that went 13-3 last season and has the third-most regular-season victories in the NFL over the past four years. The answer lies in a mentality the Chargers hope will carry them from beginning to end.

    “We want to shed the label of being a front-running team that will fold at the end,” Jammer said. “Our job this year is to dispel that myth. The only way we can do that is by getting after it right away. If you’re physical all year long, you’ll continue to be physical in the playoffs. Our goal is to win it all. But we’ve got to get ourselves in (the postseason). The best way to do that is by being physical all year.”
     
  2. bigmike.x.09

    bigmike.x.09 Well-Known Member

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    Please hit someone hella hard. I want these guys to punch teams in the mouth and when they're down kick 'em in the gut. I want a nasty team.


    (But not dirty)
     
  3. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Only one recipe to change this perception.

    Punch the opponent square in the mouth & keep your foot on their throat until it's done. :tup:
     
  4. HEXEDBOLT

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

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    I've been harping on this for years. If you're going to take a flag, at least make it worth it. Intimidation wins in the NFL and by the sounds of it no team fears the Bolt's.

    I'd love nothing more than to see the Bolt's pound on an opponent and beat them into submission. I tell all you bleeding heart's to play fair and be the good guy's to go watch pro rasteling.
     
  5. CoronaDoug

    CoronaDoug Well-Known Member

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    Our D makes these stupid penalties at the WORST time in a game. They need to get their minds right then worry about being tough guys.
     
  6. RM24

    RM24 BoltTalker

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    Well said man. I'm concerned about the "finesse" label but more concerned about how this team seems to implode at the most crucial times. We can go back 4 years of just STUPID untimely penalties that cost us the game. I hope and pray this team can have both the composure and the physical toughness of a team like how the Steelers are perceived. The only way to shed that image is to go out and physically kick azz as well as keep your head straight not giving the game away. This team has always had the talent, now it just needs the physical aspect and maturity to match.
     
  7. HEXEDBOLT

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

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    Good tough teams can overcome stupid mistakes, Check the 70's Stillers and Raiduds hell throw the Donks in there as well. Teams that would tackle their mother's if they were carrying the ball and trying to get a first down.
     
  8. AnteaterCharger

    AnteaterCharger Calibrating Bolttalk, Podcast by Podcast Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    First step to fixing a problem is to hear and internalize you have the problem, then you can work on fixing it

    Maybe some good will come of this, if it doesn't then I question if the team's any good at all
     
  9. HEXEDBOLT

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

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    I'll take a beat you down team over finesse any time.
     

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