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Inside Slant - 1/16/07

Discussion in 'San Diego Chargers Hall of Champions' started by robdog, Jan 17, 2007.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    Source: <a target="_blank" href="http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/chargers/home.htm">USA Today</a>
    <div class="inside-copy"><img width="203" height="322" align="left" title="San Diego Chargers' Marty Schottenheimer watches from the sidelines before the game against the New England Patriots in their AFC Divisional playoff game in San Diego, Sunday, Jan. 14, 2007. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)" alt="San Diego Chargers' Marty Schottenheimer watches from the sidelines before the game against the New England Patriots in their AFC Divisional playoff game in San Diego, Sunday, Jan. 14, 2007. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)" src="http://espn-i.starwave.com/media/apphoto/CAME10301142155.jpg" /> Does he or doesn't he?</div>
    <p class="inside-copy">While the Chargers are hanging their heads on Sunday's heartbreaking loss to the New England Patriots in a divisional playoff game, the talk turns to Marty Schottenheimer.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">Is the Chargers coach on the way out? Or will he be given an extension?</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">Schottenheimer's contract expires after next season, but no coach - or organization - lets the head man go into his last season as a lame duck.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">So does Schottenheimer get the blame for the loss, which sent his playoff record to 5-13? Or does he get credit for taking the team to its best regular-season in team history?</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> Maybe the Chargers are saying much by saying little. If Schottenheimer is to be rewarded for this past work, doesn't it make a sense to let Chargers fans know he's fine? Wouldn't general manager A.J. Smith find a podium before the media to let everyone know that Schottenheimer's work is appreciated and the talk of him being shown the door is premature?</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">The players were adamant after the game and on Monday that they felt Schottenheimer is a solid coach. And that they would enjoy him coming back.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">"The players make the plays, not the coaches," cornerback Quentin Jammer said. "Now if all of sudden we started running the ball third-and-10 and getting back to Marty Ball, maybe then you can blame that on Marty. But that is not what happened.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">"What happened was we dropped balls, we didn't cover well, too many turnovers. All those things - especially against that bunch."</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">The hunch on Schottenheimer?</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">That Smith will finally get rid of a man he seldom speaks with. Never mind he's a coach who has won consistently in the regular season - two AFC West titles in three years - but has yet to win a playoff game since coming to San Diego in 2001.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">Looks like, on the surface, he won't get that chance again.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"><strong>NOTES, QUOTES</strong></p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said he was encouraged by recent developments to keep the Chargers in the San Diego region. Oceanside is among the three San Diego County cities considering a stadium complex to replace Qualcomm.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">"We know how important it is to keep the Chargers here and we're hopeful," Goodell said. "If there is some role (the NFL) can play, we would be happy to do that. We recognize how important they are to the community."</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">How about Las Vegas' chances? It's among cities contacting the Chargers, but so far the team hasn't seriously considered sites outside of the county.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">"We're not focused on Las Vegas," Goodell said. "We're focused on making out teams work where they are."</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-The Patriots didn't appreciate reading in Saturday's paper that the Chargers were preparing to sit down and speak with the club regarding a post-Super Bowl parade in downtown San Diego.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">- Faced with a third-and-10 at his 34 on Sunday, Tom Brady found former Charger Reche Caldwell in single coverage with Quentin Jammer down the right sideline. Jammer said he got robbed on the game-changing pass play to Caldwell.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">"He pushed off, but I can't complain because they were out there letting us play football," Jammer said. "I won most of my battles out there on the field but that was one battle I lost. What can you do?</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">Brady put it in a perfect spot.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">"When I turned to look back at the ball I thought I had a chance to jump. When I was fixing to jump, Reche kind of nudged me. He caught me at the perfect time. What can you do?"</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">--ILB Randall Godfrey might have played his last game. The 11-year pro is contemplating retirement for the second straight year.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">"I don't know yet I'm going to sit down with my wife what's going to happen," he said. "I worked so hard and I wanted it so bad, it's going to take some time.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">"But this is a good group of guys. This is going to be a team to be reckoned with the next five years. I see a bright future for this team."</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">- RB LaDainian Tomlinson was livid over the Patriots celebrating in front of the Chargers' bench when Nate Kaeding missed a 54-yard field goal in the final seconds. The Patriots then imitated Shawne Merriman's lights out dance on the Chargers' logo; earlier they had clutched their throats in the Chargers' eye sight.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">"I was upset, very upset," he said. "When you go to the middle of the field and you start doing the dance that Shawne Merriman is known for, that's disrespect to me and I can't sit there and watch that. Just the fact they showed no class at all, absolutely no class and maybe it comes from the head coach - there you have it."</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-Finding a silver lining Sunday was akin to locating a smiling face in the locker room. "We had a good season we just couldn't put it together," glum center Nick Hardwick said. "We definitely are disappointed and we'll all be in a small state of depression for the next coupe of weeks. But slowly, you get over it and have to come out and do it again next year."</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"><strong>STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL</strong></p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-DE Jacques Cesaire wasn't able to go Sunday with a knee injury. It remains to be seen if he needs offseason surgery.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-LG Kris Dielman remains among the missing links in the offensive line not signed to a long-term deal.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-WR Eric Parker had a rocky game against New England, dropping two passes and then muffing a punt.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-ILB Stephen Cooper had another good game subbing for Randall Godfrey in spot play. If Godfrey retires, Cooper would be a good fit.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-LB Donnie Edwards went out on a high note. In his final game as a Charger, he had a game-high 13 tackles and an interception. GM A.J. Smith has made it clear Edwards, the team's leading tackler in each of his five seasons, will not be invited back.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"></p>
    <p class="inside-copy">REPORT CARD VS. PATRIOTS:</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">PASSING OFFENSE: C - Philip Rivers was decent in his first playoff appearance. But he did have some rough patches getting out of the way of the Pats' blitz packages. Rivers was a victim of at least four drops, which hurt his numbers (14 of 32 for 230 yards and a score). What killed Rivers were drops by Eric Parker (twice), Antonio Gates and Vincent Jackson. The pass protection was decent - three sacks - although Rivers was hurried on more than a few occasions.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">RUSHING OFFENSE: A - LaDainian Tomlinson was fabulous as he rushed for 123 yards and two scores. The run blocking was sweet as it consistently gave Tomlinson room to run. Lorenzo Neal, too, was a big part of the run-blocking. Don't overlook Michael Turner, who bullied his way in for a 6-yard scoring run. Not much to complain about here.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">PASS DEFENSE: C - Three picks here, but when it really counted the team was exposed by Tom Brady. On the touchdown right before the half, Antonio Cromartie, Bhawoh Jue and Quentin Jammer got beat on for a touchdown. Then there was Jammer getting beat down the sideline for a 39-yard pickup which set up the winning field goal.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">RUSH DEFENSE: A - The Pats never could get their running game going as Jamal Williams dominated in the middle. Their running backs could manage but 48 yards on 19 carries. Great game, too, by Donnie Edwards as he had a game-high 13 tackles.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">SPECIAL TEAMS: F - Killer mistake by Parker as he muffed a punt which breathed new life into the Pats. Same goes for the dumb penalty by Shane Olivea on his 15-yard penalty for getting caught with the second hit. Kassim Osgood was special on downing a punt on the 2. And asking Nate Kaeding to match his career high with a 54-yard field goal to tie the game was asking a lot. But the playoffs ask for such performances and Kaeding was unable to come through.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">COACHING: F - Once again Marty Schottenheimer falls in the playoffs, although this one can't all be laid at his feet. Still, it's the time of the year where a loss is a ticket home and Schottenheimer was unable to keep the Chargers on their road to their first Super Bowl win. Strange call at the beginning of the game when he went for it on fourth-and-11 from the Pats' 30. With a Pro Bowl kicker? He also wasted a timeout when challenging McCree's fumble which had no chance of being overturned. That time out - and those potential three points - looked awfully big as Rivers desperately tried to get in field-goal range near the end of the game.</p>

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