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Inside Slant

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Oct 24, 2006.

  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>
    <div class="inside-copy"><img width="199" height="298" align="left" alt="A helmetless Shawne Merriman celebrates a sack." title="A helmetless Shawne Merriman celebrates a sack." src="http://photos.signonsandiego.com/gallery1.5/albums/061015niners/SMHchargers260197x0025.jpg" /> Shawne Merriman isn't suspended for a positive steroid test - yet.</div>
    <p class="inside-copy">The Pro Bowl outside linebacker finally met with the media late Monday afternoon, as the appeal of the positive steroid test works its way through the process.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">Merriman, the defensive rookie of the year in 2005, said the positive test was the result of a tainted supplement. He practice with the team on Monday, one day after the Chargers suffered a 30-27 defeat in Kansas City.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">"I will try to deal with it accordingly," Merriman said. "I hope nobody makes any kind of judgment or anything that makes me guilty of anything because nothing has been done wrong on my part.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> "I will try to get it straightened out as soon as possible without missing any time."</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">If his appeal is denied, Merriman would miss four games. The Chargers are already thin at the outside linebacker spot, with Steve Foley out after being shot by an off-duty police office and Shaun Phillips suffering a calf strain against Kansas City last week.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">"What is important for me is to try and get back on the field and help this team win," Merriman said. "It is something that I am dealing with and I will take a lot of effort in doing the right thing, and I will continue to do the right thing.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">"No matter what happens I will be taking responsibility. I am not running from the situation here; I will do what is best for this organization and this team."</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">"I have no reason to do anything wrong especially when I am already in the spotlight. This obviously is a mistake that has to be dealt with and hopefully no judgment is made about me before everything comes out. Believe me, when I am able to speak on these things, I will."</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"><strong>NOTES, QUOTES</strong></p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-LB Shaun Phillips suffered a calf strain and will be out 2-4 weeks. The Chargers were optimistic that he won't be sideline longer.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-LB Marques Harris will replace OLB Shaun Phillips for the next 2-4 weeks. Harris had a sack and a forced fumble in Sunday's loss at K.C.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-If Merriman is sat down for four games, he would be replaced by Carlos Polk, a six-year pro who is a decent run-stopper.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-RG Mike Goff had surgery on his right hand, but is expected to practice and play this week.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-QB Philip Rivers got a bit of a stinger in the game, but he is said to be fine.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-S Bhawoh Jue (knee) is expected to return to team drills this week. He could play this weekend.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-LT Roman Oben (foot) said he will return to practice on Wednesday and is shooting to be added to the active roster for the Bengals game on Nov. 12.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"><strong>STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL</strong></p>
    <p class="inside-copy">REPORT CARD VS. CHIEFS</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">PASSING OFFENSE: C - Philip Rivers had a rocky start, fumbling away one ball and throwing an interception. But the pass-protection was shaky, especially early on, when the crowd seemed to get under Rivers' skin. Rivers rallied in the second half and his work was among the reasons they came back to tie the game. And don't overlook LaDainian Tomlinson tossing his fifth career touchdown pass. But too many mistakes early put the Chargers in a 14-0 hole and it proved to be a hill too big to climb.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">RUSHING OFFENSE: B - Improvement here, but the Chargers still don't have the we're-going-to-run-then-ball down your throat mentality it once did. Tomlinson averaged 4.4 yards per carry but he only carried it 15 times - instead he had more yards (72) in the pass game. Tomlinson has now gone five straight games without getting 100 yards. The Chargers, as a team, fell 3 yards short in getting to the century mark. Overall, the run blocking was average.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">PASS DEFENSE: C - If the Chiefs' Trent Green drops 232 passing yards on you, that's one thing. But it was Damon Huard doing the damage and in particular the Chargers couldn't cover Tony Gonzalez - he had six catches for 138 yards. The pass rush took the week off, with the Chargers only getting to Huard twice. Quentin Jammer got burnt for one touchdown. The tackling here was bad.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">RUSH DEFENSE: D -The Chargers never did look confident squaring up on Larry Johnson, and he went for 132 rushing yards. The tackling on the runs was terrible, and that will be addressed in this week's practice. The Chargers were missing run-stuffer Igor Olshansky and it showed. Johnson has now gone for 100 yards in his last two games against the Chargers; only two other rushers have done it once since 2004.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">SPECIAL TEAMS: B - The coverage units were solid in keeping Dante Hall under wraps; he was slowed, too, by a sore hip. Nate Kaeding kicked two field goals, but he'll remember the 47-yarder he missed -- especially with the Chargers losing by three. Michael Turner had a 24-yard kick return; Antonio Cromartie had a long of 19. Eric Parker delivered a great third-quarter spark with his 50-yard punt return.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">COACHING: C - The Chargers looked unprepared early on, when the Chiefs blitzed more than they expected. The defense had trouble tackling all day, and it ended up costing them the game - then there was Tony Gonzalez seemingly running free whenever the Chiefs needed a key catch. It wasn't that the team was flat, it just seemed they were playing catch-up to what the Chiefs were doing.</p>
     

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