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Inside Slant

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Nov 1, 2005.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

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

    The Chargers tried to contain themselves. But it was hard to do in regard to rookie outside linebacker Shawne Merrriman.

    "That guy," quarterback Drew Brees said, "is a beast."

    Merriman was all over the field in Sunday's defeat of the Chiefs. In just his second NFL start, Merriman, the draft's 12th overall pick, had two sacks, five tackles and a forced fumble.

    And he nearly lived up to his nickname as well: "Lights Out."

    Merriman hit Chiefs running back Priest Holmes so hard in the third quarter that Holmes didn't play the rest of the afternoon.

    "I'm very pleased with my performance right now," Merriman said, "I have to say each and every week I feel a little more comfortable out there. I just want to fly around out there and make something happen."

    The Chargers are desperate for playmakers on that side of the ball - the exception being inside linebacker Donnie Edwards. But it was obvious to tell on Sunday that they have a potential game-changer in the former Maryland star.

    "They were just real excited the way I play the game," Merriman said of his teammates' response. "I want to just keep turning it up each and every week."

    Merriman will get plenty of chances. After sitting out the opener with a knee injury, Merriman's game has grown considerably. He took the Ben Leber's starting job away two weeks ago and looks as if he could hold for many years to come.

    "I missed the first game and I was heartbroken," Merriman said. "It just made me that much more hungry to come out there and wreak havoc and be relentless out there on that field."

    NOTES, QUOTES

    -WR Reche Caldwell is taking up residence in Schottenheimer's dog house after fumbling for the second time in two catches. "It better not happen again," coach Marty Schottenheimer said. "Enough is enough."

    -Backup DE Derreck Robinson was arrested for drunken driving early Monday morning following the Chargers game.

    -DE Shawne Merriman had his best day of his short career.

    -QB Drew Brees said the joke going around the locker room is that RB LaDainian Tomlinson is getting all his scoring passes. Tomlinson threw his third one in as many tosses on Sunday.

    PLAYER PERSONNEL NOTES

    -C Nick Hardwick seems to be on the downside of questionable this week with his sprained ankle. He would be replaced by Bob Hallen.

    -LB Ben Leber, who's been replaced by Shawne Merriman, would like the opportunity to start if that means going somewhere else when his contract expires at the end of the year.

    -CB Sammy Davis had a career-high 11 tackles on Sunday and drew praise from coach Marty Schottenheimer for his play.

    -WR Vincent Jackson, a second-round pick, could benefit from Reche Caldwell's carelessness with the ball.

    STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

    REPORT CARD VS. CHIEFS

    PASSING OFFENSE: A-minus - Drew Brees had a solid day, as the Chargers decided the way to beat the Chiefs was to heave it instead of letting LaDainian Tomlinson haul it. Brees threw the ball 43 times and collected 324 yards and three touchdowns. Antonio Gates had three touchdowns as he showed who the best tight end on the field was this day. The pass-blocking was solid; despite all those passes, Brees wasn't sacked. Don't overlook LaDainian Tomlinson throwing his third touchdown in as many throws.

    RUSHING OFFENSE: C - Not wanting to overwork a patched-up line, the Chargers weren't into running too much. Tomlinson had but 17 carries in the game; eight through three quarters. The run-blocking was decent, but not much more. That's not surprising, considering three linemen were in the game who weren't in the starting lineup in Week 1.

    PASS DEFENSE: C - Trent Green had his way with the pass defense, especially in the second half. Green finished with 347 yards and two scores. What's amazing is that despite all those passes, the secondary had but one pass defensed. Sammy Davis did have a career-high 11 tackles.

    RUSH DEFENSE: B - The Chiefs present a big test with Priest Holmes and Larry Johnson, and the Chargers pretty much met the challenge. They got a break when Holmes left in the third quarter after getting dinged in the head. Overall, the Chiefs gained 95 yards. LB Donnie Edwards had 11 tackles and Stephen Cooper, another insider linebacker, had eight tackles and a half-sack while replacing an injured Randall Godfrey.

    SPECIAL TEAMS: C - Dante Hall only punched the Chargers once in a return, going for 53 yards on a kickoff. The Chargers' return game had one bright note, when Darren Sproles went 31 yards on a return. Kassim Osgood had a fine day with four of the Chargers' seven special-teams tackles and he covered up the Chiefs last-gasp, on-side kick.

    COACHING: A - Marty Schottenheimer found a new catch phrase and the team bought into it. He said a new season started Sunday, and the Chargers are 1-0. He boiled the rest of the year down to a nine-game season - that also helped put the heartbreaker of Philadelphia behind them. But the offense was effective; although Tomlinson is a little bewildered he didn't run the ball as much as he wanted.
     

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