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Hart’s first year as starter has been strong

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Dec 28, 2007.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    Chargers.com

    When Clinton Hart earned the Chargers’ starting strong safety job in training camp, he made a list of things he’d like to accomplish in his first year as a full-time starter. As the 2007 regular season comes to a close this weekend in Oakland, he looks back and sees a season he can be pretty proud of.

    “It’s all about learning and gaining more and more experience,” Hart said. “This is the first year that I’ve started a full season and I believe I’ve been very productive. I think the coaches are happy with me. The guys that have surrounded me in the secondary have done a great job. We’re one of the best secondaries in the NFL right now, and I’m just happy to be a part of that.”

    The first thing on Hart’s list was to be more of a leader since he’d been given a platform to do so. His hope was that his play on the field would serve as an example to younger players and thus make his voice one that is respected.

    “I’ve tried to take the role of being a leadership and just being a responsible and accountable veteran,” Hart said. “When you’re a starter you have to lead by example and you have to lead vocally. There are little things you can do as a starter because you’re back there every play and guys watch you.”

    As he was coming off the field following Monday night’s victory over Denver, Steve Gregory affirmed Hart’s role when Gregory told him he was proud of the way Hart has played.

    “I play with passion,” Hart said. “I play with energy. That meant a lot to me for him to acknowledge that.”

    Hart also set a goal of six interceptions this season. Monday night against the Broncos, he recorded his fifth. He’ll have a chance to reach that goal Sunday in Oakland, but regardless of the numbers, Head Coach Norv Turner is extremely pleased with the way Hart has performed throughout the season.

    “Even without any of the interceptions, he’s played at a high level,” Turner said. “You start getting the interceptions, that’s kind of like a free safety should be. He’s a ball hawk back there. He’s gotten two or three balls that have been tipped. He’s in the right place at the right time and he’s carrying out his assignments.”

    Hart made it a goal to raise his level of play as the season progressed. He did so by investing extra time in the film room and spending as much time as possible making sure he was on the same page with his teammates.

    “The thing I like about him is he’s gotten better with every game,” Turner said. “The one thing a guy like Clinton does because he works so hard at it and he prepares so well, he brings a consistency.”

    Most importantly, Hart’s wish for the season was that the Bolts’ secondary as a whole would improve and that the group would become more cohesive. Entering the final week of the season, the Chargers lead the NFL in interceptions with 29 and have held six of their last eight opponents under 200 yards passing.

    “It’s been fun to be a part of,” Hart said. “We’ve really come together and played well as a group. Coach (Bill) Bradley and Coach (Kevin) Ross have done a great job of leading up. We haven’t given up a lot of big plays because we’re communicating well and we’re consistently in the right place. It’s been a fun season to this point, but our hope is that we can carry it over into the next month. That’s the challenge, and I believe we’re up for it.”

    Injury update

    Linebacker Marques Harris (hand), kicker Nate Kaeding (leg) and fullback Lorenzo Neal (leg) did not practice Thursday. Defensive tackle Jamal Williams (hip) and linebacker Shawne Merriman (knee) were limited.

    The Chargers are hopeful that Williams will play Sunday but said he’d have a better idea of where he stands following Friday’s practice.

    Kicking it

    Turner believes Kaeding will be available to kick field goals Sunday, but the Chargers brought in four kickers for workouts Thursday but the team has yet to decide if they’ll sign someone.

    Former Chiefs and Packers kicker Dave Rayner, former Cowboy and Saint Billy Cundiff, former Redskin Nick Novak and Josh Huston, who has spent time with the Bengals and Giants, all auditioned for a roster spot.

    Going for nine

    A win Sunday would give the Chargers their ninth-consecutive victory over the Raiders. The current eight-game roll is the Bolts’ longest win streak in the entire series, which dates back to 1960.

    The Chargers won six straight over the Raiders from 1960-62. Raiders owner Al Davis was a Chargers assistant coach during those three seasons. Oakland leads the all-time series 55-39 and there have been two ties. The Bolts have won three straight and four of the last five at McAfee Coliseum.

    The Bolts’ eight straight wins in the series matches the team’s longest win streak against any one series opponent. They also won eight in a row against the Seattle Seahawks (1977-81) and Houston Oilers (1963-67).

    Eleventh heaven

    Turner is looking for the first 11-win season of his coaching career. With 10 wins, he already matched his career-high (1999, Washington). Turner and Bobby Ross (1992) are the only coaches in team history to win the AFC West in their first season.

    A victory over the Raiders Sunday would give the Chargers their second-straight season with 11-or-more wins and their ninth in team history. The last time the Bolts racked up 11 or more wins in consecutive seasons was 1979-80.

    Finishing strong

    The Chargers are 4-0 this year in December, they have won nine straight games in the month of December and are 14-4 in December since 2004.

    Lighting it up

    The Chargers are 18 points away from scoring 400 points for the fourth-straight year. The Bolts have scored 382 this season. It would be the longest stretch of 400-point seasons in team history.

    The current three-season streak is matched by the 1979-81 squads that reached 400 three straight years.
     
  2. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

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    Lighting it up

    The Chargers are 18 points away from scoring 400 points for the fourth-straight year. The Bolts have scored 382 this season. It would be the longest stretch of 400-point seasons in team history.

    The current three-season streak is matched by the 1979-81 squads that reached 400 three straight years[/QUOTE]

    That is a telling stat. Norval has produced. A lot of this is out of the second half of the season. Other teams really need to fear us, now.
     
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  3. Boltjolt

    Boltjolt Well-Known Member

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    Yep...Hart overall has played well. He isnt the problem.

    Weddle should replace McCree next year.
     
  4. 400HZ

    400HZ BoltTalker

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    I think Hart has progressed to the point that he's better than McCree...which isn't saying much.
     
  5. Boltjolt

    Boltjolt Well-Known Member

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    He did that weeks ago
     
  6. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

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    I said before that Hart is a guy who brings his lunch pail. He will not ever be confused with Jack Tatum or Ronnie Lott, but he is a competent football player. Nobody can afford a unit full of pro bowlers. We have Cro, Jammer(who plays at that level), with a rising Weddle and Oliver in the wings. Gregory is in the mix and even if he doesn't start next year Mother McCree is quality depth. Great teams are made up of stars and dominant players, and their edge is in filling the rest of the roster with guys who can do the job, who show up and play and don't throw tantrums when they aren't the center of attention. Guys who know they are lucky to be where they are, are willing to do what it takes to stay where they are and have the talent and the temperment to carry out their assignment. That's Hart. He's a football player. That's a lot from a young guy. Considering what's happened with other guys who brought their lunch pails every day to Murphy Canyon Road in that last three years, it might not be a bad idea to lock him up, too.
     
  7. Trumpet_Man

    Trumpet_Man Well-Known Member

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    Clinton Hart makes me look good. :clap:

    I feel vindicated. :nana_dance:

    My boys play speaks for itself and has only gotten better with his first full year starting.

    Clinton Hart deserves a freaking RAISE !!!!

    Pay my boy AJ. :bolt:
     
  8. foober

    foober BoltTalker

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    I was way down on hart earlier in the season. LIke 3 games ago. He was just slow at picking up recievers that he should have. And it was killing us. But in the last 3 games he's seeming to be more aware of recievers going into his area and he's picking them up. All I can say is thank god.:yes:

    And mcree is to blame as well. I'm having to guess its just the d-backfield being organized. I'm praying they're way organized for the playoffs.

    NOw if only the o-line can get organized and solid. We can win a super bowl.
     
  9. Trumpet_Man

    Trumpet_Man Well-Known Member

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    My boy and Cro account for 15 out of the 29 picks.

    Without using my abacus, I can see that is more than 50% of the league leading teams output in INT's.

    Not too shabby plus that sack of Cutler by Hart and total destruction of the blocking back like some rag doll will haunt your dreams. :icon_eek:
     
  10. Chargeroo

    Chargeroo BoltTalker

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    Hart certainly has been making more and better plays recently. His run support has been very strong and his pass coverage has improved. This years d-backs are doing what we expected last year. :tup:
     
  11. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

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    He's playing great. His sack was awesome, he totally bulldozed both Henry and Cutlet like rag dolls.
     
  12. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

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    I think Weddle and McCree should be our starters next year.

    Hart is the luckiest guy in the world when it comes to catching tipped INT's, but he has no forced interceptions (if you get what I mean)
     
  13. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

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    You have to admit, Hart is always in the right place to get those tips.

    And my Joker is better than yours, :lol:
     
  14. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Weddle & Hart for the playoffs!!! :tup:
     
  15. HEXEDBOLT

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

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    Harts play improved greatly after Dflo demotion and Weddles play as a rook skyrocketed. I'm glad he had it in himself to keep improving instead of folding like a card house.

    I'd still rather have large safeties with speed that bring the lumber and will knock you the fawk out.
     
  16. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Like Jammer?? :lol:
     
  17. HEXEDBOLT

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

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    Even though you mean that as a joke, yes, like jammer and I'll take two please, Thank You.
     
  18. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    I'm with ya, bro. :yes:

    Nothing that I'd like better than to see Jammer at safety & Oliver become a good CB in his QJ's place.

    Fun to dream, huh? :lol:
     
  19. HEXEDBOLT

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

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    Sure, when Jammers done playing corner, kind of like Rod Woodson did.
     
  20. Dublin Bolt

    Dublin Bolt BoltTalker

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    That sums it up for me.........
     
  21. Bergo23

    Bergo23 BoltTalker

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    Harts play has made me think we can live without a safety to improve this D, sure it would be nice......but Hart and the improving Weddle sure must make McCree unsure about 2008.

    Since the Colts locked up Sanders that dream is gone, maybe the struggling Ravens would deal Reed for a 2009 first rounder. In the event that doesn't happen....we will be fine.......and its still possible Oliver could turn into a safety.

    We may pick a tweener in the draft, like a Brandon Flowers but he wouldn't unseat Hart the way he is playing. People forget Hart's best football is still probably ahead of him, unlike McCree.
     
  22. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Draft fat guys first!!! :yes: :tup:
     
  23. Trumpet_Man

    Trumpet_Man Well-Known Member

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    I have been preaching BEEF and preaching it and still we get posters who want flashy WR's who are gambles to make the transition to the pros. The same can be said of the fatmen but the war is won right in the trenches - The lines. We have neglected the lines traditionally as a franchise and the thinking has to turn around if we want to be consistent.

    I would rather sacrifice a number 2 pick on a Chris Chambers to get a proven commodity that helps us at a critical area of need to change the dynamics of the team for the better versus developing 7th round no wing span draft picks such as Olivea. Enough is enough is the way I see it.
     
  24. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Rivers needs a pocket & LT needs a slice of daylight. Mean, agile fat guys are essential for that.

    Go Fat First!!! :icon_banana:
     
  25. Boltjolt

    Boltjolt Well-Known Member

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    He is a safety.....which means he is in the right place to be able to make those INT's on tipped passes and he has been solid against the run.If getting an INT from a tipped ball is lucky because he is in the right possition then im OK with it but not all of Harts INT's have came from tips.

    McCree sucks and Weddle should be taking his place next year.
     

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