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Is it misfortune, or a sign of things to come?

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Sep 8, 2008.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    Eric Weddle grazed the ball, but he couldn't grab it. He misread its flight between sunlight and shadows and he mistimed his jump by maybe a millisecond.
    The Chargers' free safety felt Jake Delhomme's final pass flick off his fingertips Sunday afternoon – just enough to know it, not enough to knock it away – then turned to find the football in the gleeful grip of Carolina's Dante Rosario.
    This was Weddle's misfortune rather than his mistake, more of a fluke than a flaw – Matt Wilhelm, the linebacker, thought he touched it, too – but Weddle could not let it go at that. He would leave Qualcomm Stadium in a green T-shirt and a backward ballcap, resolved to watch the replay, to relive the agonizing end of a 26-24 defeat.
    Like most of his stunned city, Weddle wanted to know exactly what went wrong.
    “I'll be mad at myself because I know I can make that play,” the second-year safety said. “But I'm a short-lived kind of guy. I'll look at it and I'll go home and watch it as soon as I get home and see what I could have done better. Then Monday comes around, and it's over with, move on to the next opponent.
    “You've just got to remind yourself what happened and that feeling and tell yourself and everyone else that it's only the beginning.”
    The Chargers will need all of their powers of rationalization this week. Losing a home opener to an ordinary opponent operating without its most extraordinary player is a recipe for recrimination, for disgust, for doubt. It adds weight to Sunday's game in Denver – a place already fraught with peril – and supplies the region's abundant Chicken Littles with a route home to roost.
    It's only the beginning, but it has to feel like a sledgehammer in the schnozz if you're a Chargers fan. It has to feel as if the juggernaut you envisioned has evaporated, replaced by a bunch of guys who get shoved around at the line of scrimmage or have lost a crucial step to injury.
    It's only the beginning, but it needs to get better right quick.
    “I think it took a while to get going, and I don't know what to attribute that to,” running back LaDainian Tomlinson said. “But it wasn't fast enough, where we need it to be, and it came back and bit us.”
    Had Rosario failed to catch Delhomme's final pass after time had expired, the Chargers might have been able to convince themselves they had deserved victory because of their dramatic comeback. But the resolve and resourcefulness quarterback Philip Rivers displayed on back-to-back touchdown drives did not make Shawne Merriman's knee seem any sounder or Antonio Gates' gait any quicker.
    Merriman was in and out of the lineup with knee brace issues – the Pro Bowl linebacker was conspicuously absent during the Panthers' go-ahead field goal drive at the close of the first half – and Gates missed significant stretches in his first game since toe surgery. With these two premier playmakers far from peak efficiency, the Chargers generated a relatively feeble pass rush and Gates lost a costly fumble.
    It's only the beginning, but both of these guys have a long way to go.
    “The judgment part of it is what makes it tough: whether I'm helping the team or hurting the team,” Gates said. “That's something that we'll still have to build on going through the season. I have to make the right judgment on whether I'm beneficial for the team or not.”
    A season opener is a poor sample for sweeping judgments. It offers clues, but not conclusions. Like Weddle, strong safety Clinton Hart was eager to view the game video in order to identify problems, and planned to stop by the Chargers' practice facility after the game to see what he may have missed.
    To the extent that Hart's errand reflects determination rather than dejection, it can be read as a sign of confidence. To the extent that many of his teammates preferred not to dwell on the defeat can be read as a sign of their sanity.
    “The only thing I'm watching,” nose tackle Jamal Williams said, “is my weight and my meals.”
    Hart's initial impression was that Carolina's winning score unfolded like “street ball,” with five receivers racing straight for the end zone on the theory that one of them might get open.
    Hart figured Delhomme would look first for the 6-foot-4 Dwayne Jarrett, isolated against the Chargers' 6-foot rookie, Antoine Cason, so he drifted in their direction. This, Hart thought, prompted Delhomme's pump fake and his decision to seek out a secondary target.
    “Eric (Weddle) did a good job even being in the right area because that wasn't his side,” Hart said. “He was on our right, their left. He actually was reading the quarterback. He's the underneath guy in that coverage. So just for him to get that close was good.”
    Weddle left his feet about 5 yards deep in the end zone. Rosario caught Delhomme's pass while leaping above the top of the letter “D” in San Diego, right beneath the goalpost's crossbar.
    Instinct told Weddle that this was a play he should have made, but he still wanted video confirmation.
    “I'll be mad,” he said, anticipating his mood. “I'll definitely be mad. I'll just sit there and I won't talk to anybody. I won't talk to my wife or anybody. (They'll) just let me be alone for a while. Then, when I come out of my dungeon, I'll be all right.”
    It's a beginning.

    By Tim Sullivan
     
  2. Aggieman

    Aggieman I bleed blue and gold

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    fine you didn't get it but then you double failed because you didn't force him out! New rule change Weddle, if you can hit the dude out of bounds If he still gets in, oh well but if he doesn't....
     
  3. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

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    DB's are trained and drilled to go for the ball. Weddle would only have been in a position to shove Rosario if he was trailing him and that's not a good place to be. Gambling like that in that situation is the lowest percentage play there is. If Wilhelm did tip the ball, then Weddle had no time to react to it. That's the breaks of Naval Air-Air brakes.
     
  4. Aggieman

    Aggieman I bleed blue and gold

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    Yeah...I know.
     

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