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Inside Slant - 1/8/07

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Jan 9, 2007.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

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    Source: <a target="_blank" href="http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/chargers/home.htm">USA Today</a>

    <img width="314" height="236" alt="Marty Schottenheimer" title="Marty Schottenheimer" src="http://photos.signonsandiego.com/gallery1.5/albums/051211dolphins/051211marty_tell.jpg" />
    <div class="inside-copy">Much is made of Marty Schottenheimer's teams getting the boot in the playoffs.</div>
    <p class="inside-copy">This week, his starting quarterback is wearing one.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">Philip Rivers reported to work Wednesday sporting a boot on his sprained right foot, which he injured in Sunday's win over the Arizona Cardinals.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">The Chargers don't have to worry about his availability this week, as the AFC's top seed enjoys a bye. But it's never a good to see a starting quarterback restricted to the degree Rivers is, this close to the team's second postseason appearance since 1995.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">"I will feel good," said Rivers, electing to speculate on next week, when he's expected to return to practice.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">Schottenheimer said Rivers has a "soft tissue injury" and that an MRI showed no structural damage. And, if the Chargers had a game this week, that Rivers would be able to go.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">"I would hate to be the one to tell him he wasn't going to play," Schottenheimer said.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">How he plays will go a long way in solving the Schottenheimer curse. While the veteran coach's teams usually shine in the regular season - the Chargers won a franchise-best 14 games - they wilt in the playoffs.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">Schottenheimer's 5-12 postseason mark is no typo.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">"It is what it is," Schottenheimer said.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">Will have Rivers have "it" in the playoffs? Despite how impressively the Chargers have been built with nine Pro Bowlers, including LaDainian Tomlinson, Antonio Gates, Jamal Williams and Shawne Merriman, much of the team's fates lies in the hands of a quarterback making his 17th NFL start.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">And with one with a foot which might hinder the grand feat of directing Schottenheimer to his first Super Bowl.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">"It's not too bad, really," Rivers said.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"><strong>NOTES, QUOTES</strong></p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-Depending on how the wild-card weekend shakes out, the Chargers will either welcome the Chiefs, Jets or Patriots on Jan. 12 or 13. If the Chiefs upset the host Colts, Kansas City heads to San Diego for the second time in less than a month. If the Colts prevail, the Chargers greet the winner of the Jets-Pats game. If it's the Jets, Schottenheimer faces his son, Brian, New York's offensive coordinator. The Chargers' coach was talking about the Pats and how much respect he has for them. "You look at the numbers, and they are a very good defensive football team," Marty Schottenheimer said. "And of course you're talking about (Tom) Brady and (Corey) Dillon; he's still a load running with it." The Chargers broke the Pats' 21-game home winning streak last year, 41-17.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-Schottenheimer is in the final year - although not season - of his contract. But there has been no movement from GM A.J. Smith about extending Schottenheimer past the 2007 season. The two still share a strained relationship, seldom speaking with one another. "We're fine," Schottenheimer said. "That's how I feel about it." Smith said the same to the AP. "Everything is fine," Smith said. But Schottenheimer said he hasn't talked to Smith within the last six months about his performance. "No, there hasn't been any discussion, nor do I think there needs to be at this point and time," Schottenheimer said. This situation is worth watching as many feel if Schottenheimer doesn't advance to the AFC Championship Game - or the Super Bowl - he could be gone.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-The Chargers will concentrate most of their work this week on the Pats and the Jets. With playing the Chiefs on Dec. 17, they are familiar with them.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-Schottenheimer is showing how he has changed, working his players but 90 minutes in each practice this week. "This is far, far different than in my early career, where the only way to get better was to work harder," he said.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron will interview Saturday for the Cards' head-coaching vacancy. Cameron spoke with the Texans last year.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-The city of Oceanside, about 30 miles north of San Diego, is curious about building the Chargers a new stadium. It's the third city in the county to show an interest.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"><strong>BY THE NUMBERS:</strong> 1993 - The last time Marty Schottenheimer won a playoff game.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"><strong>QUOTE TO NOTE:</strong> "To be honest with you, I'm just being smart right now so I'll be ready to go and get a full week of practice in next week." - Rivers, on why he is wearing a walking boot instead of working this week.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"><strong>STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL</strong></p>
    <p class="inside-copy">PLAYER NOTES</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-DE Luis Castillo (ankle) continues to avoid practice and is shooting to play next week. Castillo, who had seven sacks, missed the final two games and four others earlier in the year.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-DE Jacques Cesaire (knee) didn't practice and is a long shot to play next week.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-S Bhawoh Jue (knee) didn't work Wednesday but is fine.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-CB Quentin Jammer continues to draw praise from Schottenheimer for his play this year.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-QB Billy Volek is running the first team with Philip Rivers ailing.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-QB Philip Rivers had the boot removed from his foot but he didn't do much in the team's 90-minute workout.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-K Nate Kaeding is going into the playoff on an up note after his recent selection as a Pro Bowler; he converted 26 of 29 field-goal attempts this year. While Kaeding has been solid in his three years with the Chargers, many fans remember the overtime kick he missed the last time the Chargers were in the playoffs in their 2004 loss to the Jets.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-LB Shawne Merriman was voted the team's defensive player of the year.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-LB Randall Godfrey was voted the team's most inspirational player of the year.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-DT Jamal Williams, LG Kris Dielman and rookie LT Marcus McNeill were the co-linemen of the year for the Chargers.</p>
     

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