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Inside Slant

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Oct 10, 2006.

  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>

    <img width="254" height="165" alt="SAN DIEGO - OCTOBER 08: Running back LaDainian Tomlinson #21 of the San Diego Chargers runs the ball against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the 2nd half of their NFL game on October 8, 2006 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)" title="SAN DIEGO - OCTOBER 08: Running back LaDainian Tomlinson #21 of the San Diego Chargers runs the ball against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the 2nd half of their NFL game on October 8, 2006 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)" src="http://us.i1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/sp/getty/b6/full.getty-71465328dm016_pittsburgh_st_12_09_39_am.jpg" />
    <div class="inside-copy">After the Chargers played so well in the second half Sunday night in rallying to defeat the Steelers, coach Marty Schottenheimer doesn't expect a letdown.</div>
    <p class="inside-copy">Never mind the 49er are up next, which is quite a step down after whipping the Super Bowl champions at home before a Sunday night national TV audience.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"> Games just like the one coming up this week gave the 2005 Chargers fits. Among the losses that just kept them out of the playoffs were pratfalls to the Dolphins and Chiefs last year.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">But Schottenheimer said whatever potential trap there might be in playing the 49ers, his team won't fall into it.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">"They are 2-1 at home, they are batting 66 percent at home, and we will not be lured into the trap, I promise you," Schottenheimer said.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">The Chargers have completed their first quarter of the season, and at 3-1 they feel good about their chances of seeing the playoffs for the second time since 1995. But to do so, the team knows it can't take any opponent lightly, including the 49ers.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">"We have an opportunity to win one game this week, and it is the only one we play," Schottenheimer stressed. "And it is going to be imperative that we have the focus and attention that was evident last Wednesday - we talked about the quality of that practice - and again on Thursday.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">"Believe me - when you practice that way, you play that way."</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">Added quarterback Philip Rivers: "We will be ready."</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">Schottenheimer doesn't want to hear the talk of the Chargers being 3-1. Instead, he looks at every week as if it presents a fresh canvas.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">"From our perspective, we are looking at it that they are 0-0 and we are 0-0," he said. "And that is the way we approach every game, quite frankly."</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">Linebacker Shaun Phillips agreed.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">"For us, we're playing for the playoffs," he said. "We have but no choice than to play our hearts out."</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"><strong>NOTES, QUOTES</strong></p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-Among the key plays in Sunday's night's win was QB Philip Rivers scampering 12 yards for a first down in the fourth quarter. Before he went down, he wrapped up the football with two hands, as if he could hear coach Marty Schottenheimer harping in his ear about ball security. "I could hear footsteps behind me, too," Rivers said. "I knew they were going to get there at some point."</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-The Chargers defense has allowed just 818 yards, the lowest total through the first four games of a season in franchise history.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-RB LaDainian Tomlinson, while pleased with the win, didn't put too much significance into it. "I wouldn't say it was a statement game," Tomlinson said. "I would just say it was just the next game that we really needed to win."</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-NT Jamal Williams was sensational in the middle Sunday. "If I hadn't see it so much before, I would say remarkable," coach Marty Schottenheimer said. "But it was very typical for him. There is nobody in this league that can block him one-on-one. If you were going to find a guy and say this is the prototype for the nose tackle position, it clearly would be Jamal Williams."</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-WR Keenan McCardell got back involved in the passing game after being held without a catch the previous week. McCardell had four catches and is now tied with the Rams' Isaac Bruce for ninth on the all-time list with 835 receptions.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-Schottenheimer was happy with his win over his old pal, Bill Cowher. It marked but the second time in seven regular-season games that Schottenheimer came out on top. "He still has a pretty good edge on me," Schottenheimer said.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"></p>
    <p class="inside-copy">PLAYER NOTES</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-LT Marcus McNeill suffered a fractured right hand Sunday. He will not require surgery and isn't expected to miss any practice time this week, or Sunday's game.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-LT Leander Jordan (stinger) isn't expected to practice this week.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-S Bhawoh Jue (knee) could work this week, but expecting him to be active for Sunday is likely a stretch.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-RB Michael Turner continues to prove he is the best backup in the league. Turner has rushed for 277 yards on just 41 carries; he's No. 24 among all backs in the league in yardage. The Chargers running game is ranked No. 2 in the league.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-QB Billy Volek hasn't been able to supplant rookie Charlie Whitehurst as Philip Rivers' backup.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-CB Drayton Florence is among the most improved Chargers, playing in a secondary that has helped the club to the No. 1 ranking against the pass. S Marlon McCree has predicted Florence will have five interceptions this year; he got his first Sunday.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">-CB Markus Curry, a member of the practice squad, was arrested on a domestic violence charge and released Monday.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy"><strong>STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL</strong></p>
    <p class="inside-copy">REPORT CARD VS. STEELERS</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">PASSING OFFENSE: B - Philip Rivers came of age against the Steelers, as coach Marty Schottenheimer finally took the shackles off him. Rivers led the team from a 13-7 deficit to a 23-13 victory. Rivers was especially sharp in the second half, going for 11-for-16 for 137 yards and a score with no interceptions. The pass blocking wasn't good early on, then made some adjustments against a confusing Steelers blitz defense that had an extra week to put in some wrinkles. Eric Parker continues to make the difficult catches; Antonio Gates was found again and cashed in a touchdown. But this was all about Rivers growing up.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">RUSHING OFFENSE: B - LaDainian Tomlinson isn't the leading Chargers rusher - stop the presses. Michael Turner continues to prove he is worth every carry he gets. He averaged 5.1 yards on 11 carries, with a long of 23. Tomlinson could manage but 36 yards - a 2.8-yard average. The run blocking left a lot to be desired in the first half when collecting but 8 yards rushing; the Chargers finished with 119 rushing yards.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">PASS DEFENSE: A-minus - The Chargers got interceptions from Drayton Florence and Marlon McCree as the back end of the defense continues to show improvement. After finishing No. 28 last year, it remains No. 1. The pass rush was stout as well, as the Chargers collected four sacks. But that doesn't tell the whole story of how much pressure Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger was under. There were eight quarterback hurries, and there was even pressure from the interior.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">RUSH DEFENSE: A - Williams was awesome for the second consecutive week. He not only was among the key reasons the Steelers managed but 68 rushing yards, but he also had a sack, six tackles and a quarterback hurry. The linebackers were active, in part because the Steelers had their hands full with Williams and ends Igor Olshansky and Luis Castillo.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">SPECIAL TEAMS: A - The Chargers were in desperate need of a jolt to open the second half, and Turner supplied it with a 51-yard return. The kicking game was also keen, as Nate Kaeding nailed all three of his field-goal attempts. P Mike Scifres had three of his efforts land inside the 20, and his net was 40.7. A few leaks on the kickoff return coverage, but overall it was a pretty solid effort.</p>
    <p class="inside-copy">COACHING: A - Schottenheimer was pounded pretty good about his conservative ways leading up to the Steelers game, and not that he gives a flip, but he did come out throwing the ball to loosen up the Steelers. But the keys here were the halftime adjustments. The second-half Chargers didn't look anything like the first-half version, which had trouble collecting yards and protecting Rivers.</p>

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