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Lightning Crashes

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Concudan, Aug 29, 2007.

  1. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Like the distant sound of thunder rumbling on the sky at dusk, and the distant flashes of lighting as it assaults the ground beneath it the 2007 regular season is quickly approaching, looming ever closer each day, and the Chargers are ready to strike. Thursday August 30, 2007. The last preseason the San Diego Chargers play this season, and then it is for real. But it is this time every year in which fans and sports talking heads alike begin to scratch their heads and ponder "What if?”

    The “What ifs” are running rampant on San Diego Charger’s fan forums as fans try to be the first to find that ***** in the teams armor. Some want the insulate themselves in the event of a let down, some want to have the “I told you so” rights, others want to discuss a topic and get other takes on what they are seeing. But all end up asking questions. The topics have changed over the past few months since the opening of Mini camp. Questions like, “Will Parker be cut?”, “Can Hart beat Weddle? ”, “Will Cromartie start? ”, “Is Olivia good enough? ”, “Will our secondary get the job done? ”, “Where is the pass rush? ”, and many more. All could be legitimate questions as we all try and prognosticate and decide how our team will do in the upcoming season.

    Some call this arm chair coaching, Monday morning quarterbacking, or simply spouting off our opinions. One this is certain, it is a time honored tradition practiced by fans of every team in the NFL. It is our right, our honor, nay our duty to try and prognosticate, and build up our team, just as much as it is to talk smack with the fans of the opposing teams.

    So heading into the regular season we Charger fans are in regular season form when it comes to raising questions about the team. There is an excitement in the air, Charger football is returning. The team is poised to do great things, but there are always those questions:

    Can Norv Lead the Team to more Regular Season Wins?
    This has been asked time and time again since he was announced as the fourteenth head coach of the San Diego Chargers. My answer is simple: “Does it matter?

    The stated goal of the team is to make the playoffs. If that is done with 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, or 16 wins the result is the same. Of course I would love to see 16 wins, but what I truly want to see is the team winning in post season. Playoff victories, that should be the question, “Can Norv coach the team to more playoff wins than last season?” That will be the proof in the pudding for me. Fourteen regular season wins last season did not equate to a playoff win, so to me the number of wins greater than what we need to make the playoffs is just extra frosting on an already good season.

    Norv Turner has experience in the playoffs, his record as a head coach leaves some scratching their head, but look at it this way… Since the Superbowl implosion, who has found success in Oakland as their head coach. No one. Who has been able to find success as a head coach under Daniel Snyder? No one, not even the NFL Hall of Fame head Coach Joe Gibbs. This season will be the true measurement for Norv Turner as a head coach.

    Until then we can see some positives from the three preseason games played under Norv’s watchful eye. That being that in each game there were fewer flags thrown against the Chargers. I for one am excited to see what Norv can do with an already potent Chargers offense.

    Next Question:

    Can LT Surpass Last Season?
    Can? Yes! Will he, time will tell. I am sold that LT is the best running back in the league right now, if not the best player. He has the vision, balance, ability, and metal ability to make the cuts, get the tough yards, deliver a 'lightning bolt' stiff arm, and get the TD. He is not just a running and receiving threat, he can pass the ball when the Defense bites too hard on him being in the back field.

    We have a solid offensive line who have shown that they can open the holes for him, big bodied wide outs and huge fullbacks and tight ends to pave the way for him. Will he see as many opportunities this season? He may just maybe see even more. Norv Turner is known for his running game and he is coupled with an offensive coordinator in Clarence Shelmon who is one of the premier coaches in the league when it comes to the running game.

    LT no longer has to be a one man show; with Gates, Manumaleuna, Turner, Floyd, Davis, Jackson and the other budding talents on the offensive side of the ball opposing defenses will have to carefully pick whom they will provide double coverage on. The Bears I believe will be eager to shut down LT and prove that the commercial where LT gashes the Bears defense is fiction.

    The Bears may be able to key on LT and prevent him from gashing them, but the other weapons on the Offense will take up the slack. LT is an elemental, a force of nature, you can contain him only so long before he explodes. He could indeed do better than last season, but I am sure that reaching the playoffs and advancing in them is a bigger goal to him.

    Next Question:

    What is the Weakest Link?
    During this past off season Charger fans debated as to whether it was the secondary or the receiving corps that were the weakest links. There were a few camps of thought on this:

    First Camp:
    Largely many fans thought that the pass rush covered for some of what they saw as inadequacies in the Chargers defensive backfield. In fact the Chargers secondary must have felt like the unwanted stepchildren, the Fans cheered the Line backers, the Defensive Tackles and chanted “YOU CANT RUN!” repeatedly. But to my recollection there were never any chants of “YOU CANT PASS!” In fact the secondary went largely unnoticed unless they produced a yellow hanky on the field, or delivered a WWE-esque Head-butt at an inopportune moment.

    But should we take another look at this. Yes, do lets! Not many teams had a successful time running the ball against the stingy run defense last season. So what does that mean? That means that our defensive secondary saw a lot of balls thrown through the air at them. They were one of the most thrown on units last season, this was not because they were a weak link, no it is because players like Jamal ‘the Wall’ Williams prevented the opposition from getting yards on the ground. But the secondary did indeed do their job, we won a lot of games last season, even with the opposition feeling their best chance was through the air. So something was going right. Was it perfect? No, name one pass defense in this league that is, with out naming a unit playing the Raiders. But they did enough to help the team win, and that was their job.

    The Second Camp:
    The second camp were comprised of the fans who would say that our running game was so good, it made our receivers look better than they are. I am sorry, but this is one I just don’t get, perhaps it is the ball watcher in me, or I am being obtuse, but Philip Rivers had an extraordinary season last year, one that very few first time starters have. So did all of his completions go to the running back, fullback, or tight end? I don’t think so. Again I point out that this is a team sport. I recall several time seeing the wide outs throwing a block on a running play. I saw them blocking for their quarterback. They do what they can when they can and they got first downs for our team.

    No I do not see them as a weak link, perhaps they are the sexy pick because we have arguably the best running back, fullback and tight end in the game. We only have ‘Good’ receivers. So it is easy by comparison to say that our receiving corps is not that good, because they don’t rank very high on my fantasy list. Well this year they might get some fantasy points, they may not. But I bet to a man, getting the W is more important to them that getting personal accolades.

    My take is that it will be neither the Secondary nor the Receivers who will be the weak link. I hasten to point out that on this team a weak link is probably a solid squad on 20 other teams. I am most interested to see how the containment on kick offs and punt coverage is when it is for real. That is an area that is very important to the game, it can set the tone for the drive and give a boost to, or kill momentum. That is what I want to keep an eye on. Those mentioned by the other camps, they will do fine.

    Next Question:
     
  2. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Will Merriman be the Sackmeister Again?
    Much like getting more wins than last season, I am on the mindset “Does it matter?” So long as Shawne and Shaun help the defense to prevent the opposition from scoring it doesn’t matter to me. It would be nice to see either side of Shaun Squared lead the league in sacks, but a more telling number for me would be how many tackles they have, and how many are for losses.

    In my opinion we have the very best outside line backing tandem in this league. They will get theirs, and it is possible that Shawne could very well lead the league in sacks again. Ted Cottrell has been known for an attacking defense, and has coached a number one defensive unit before. But it is hard to tell. The coverage and schemes will of course have changed some with the coaching change the team went through this season, but I don’t think it was solely the schemes that lead to Shawne’s success last season.

    So He is very capable of repeating as the man who abuses the opposing Quarterbacks the most, but I will not be disappointed if he does not gain that solo honor. I want the whole defensive unit to do well, Team first, individual second is my theory.

    Outlook on the AFC West:
    Ohh I feel it coming back again! Like a rolling thunder chasing the wind! I see no other way to see it. The AFC West is the Charger’s to lose.

    In Oakland there has been a big shake up but some of the bigger locker room cancers are still there. Their shaky offensive line is largely unchanged, and they have a rooky head coach. I am not saying they wont win some games, but THE RAIDERS ARE ON THE CLOCK.

    Kansas City, they used to have one of the best offensive lines in the league, that is no longer the case. This is perhaps the oldest team in the AFC West and the crows feet at the corner of their eyes are beginning to show. This team will have to have a season for the storybooks to see the post season.

    Denver. I can’t stand this team or their coach, but they will be in the hunt. However I see inconsistency in the defensive line, and their run defense. That is bad news for them as they face some of the best running backs in the league several times this season. A wildcard possibility, but they have to pry the West from the Chargers. I do not see that happening.

    In Closing:
    The “What Ifs” and all questions are soon to be answered. They Chargers open against the defending NFC champion Chicago Bears at home before traveling to Foxborough to take on the new England Patriots in a rematch of the playoff game which ended the Chargers 07 season.

    Like them, hate them or what have you, these are two very good teams the Chargers open against. These two games while not a make or break situation by any means, will be a good sounding rod by which to judge the teams. Each team will be looking for the advantage, the means to get their season started right.

    As a fan and an admitted homer I find that I am excited when I think about these games. The bears defense is great, but they have to choose their poison. Who do they double team. Do they bite and key on LT, leaving the remainder of the field in man-to man? Or do they try and sit back and react to what we do? Either way I see big play potential.

    New England, I think this will be war. There is bad blood between these two teams, and I am sure that LT and Philip Rivers will be looking to show the ‘sorriest corner in the league’ that they do not appreciate his antics. I think that the Pats also will have to pick their poison, who do they defend? Do they leave the tight end in the backfield to protect Brady, or go all out? We will see, but one thing is sure, first come the Bears.
     
  3. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

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    Our secondary still sucks balls, our recieving corp is way better IMO thanks to Davis, and I actually don't believe the Raiders will finish with the #1 pick.
     
  4. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    I am hopeful on the secondary. But our run defense doesnt make it any easier on them.

    You going to the game tomorrow?
     
  5. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

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    Of course I am. I'm not like p88f, trying to make a profit, i've been waiting for this season so impatiently....

    :icon_party:
     
  6. SDRaiderH8er

    SDRaiderH8er Well-Known Member

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    Do you think they might drop all the way to #2?
     
  7. LFEpooh124

    LFEpooh124 BoltTalker

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    With the rate they're going, I wouldn't be surprised if they selected JaMarcus Russell again with the #1 pick.

    Al Davis's thinking: if we can't have him, no one else can. :icon_rofl:
     
  8. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

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    Top 10.

    Because a) I think they will be better this season, and b) there's always a team that looks good on paper and then completely blows *** in the regular season.

    I'm actually thinking it's gonna be KC fighting for that #1 pick in the draft.
     
  9. TheLash

    TheLash Well-Known Member

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    the secondary still scares the hell out of me.

    Nice POst Conc.

    see ya'all at the game tomorrow.:icon_toast:
     
  10. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Looking forward to it. Thanks to everyone for making this possible, word cant express the level of gratitude I feel.
     
  11. AnteaterCharger

    AnteaterCharger Calibrating Bolttalk, Podcast by Podcast Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    great article

    note on KC, ironically they used to be a shoot out team but both Oakland and KC have good defenses. ONly san Diego in the AFCW has a powerful offense. THat will be the true key.
     
  12. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

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    I agree Lash, secondary scares the **** outta me too. I have NO FAITH in them as a unit.
     
  13. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    I think the secondary will be alright. Once the pass rush comes out for real, the secondary will have more help....
     
  14. AnteaterCharger

    AnteaterCharger Calibrating Bolttalk, Podcast by Podcast Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    i think too many people are still hissing from the last few years (03-05) when we really did have the worst secondary. I think we've improved in alot of areas (Mcree's leadership, Jammer's play, Florence and Cromartie, Hart as a great hybrid safety) but because we are heavily snake bit, we don't see the positives
     
  15. boltssbbound

    boltssbbound Well-Known Member

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    I agree. I'm not really too concerned. These guys played light years better last year. They finished in the top half of the league, and that was with Terrence Kiel manning one of the safety spots. But everyone needs something to fret over, and the pass defense is the worst part of our team. Our pass D is not the joke it once was. Once the real games start, I think we'll see alot of improvement from these guys.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  16. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

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    Please answer my PM so that I may do what you requested...:tup:
     
  17. SanDiegoRon

    SanDiegoRon BoltTalker

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    speaking of lightning crashes... from SI...

    NFL Marquee Matchups for 2007

    LaDainian Tomlinson vs. Adalius Thomas

    [​IMG]

    When the Patriots danced after knocking off San Diego in the 2006 playoffs, the normally stoic Tomlinson called them out for lacking class. Whether or not the Pats added that in the off-season, they surely added firepower with free agent Adalius Thomas, who tried his hand at nearly every defensive position as a Raven. Says Tomlinson, who rushed for 98 yards but no TDs against Baltimore last year, ''The guy is just a freak of nature.'' LT's a do-it-all guy himself. Not only did he score a record 31 TDs in '06 -- 28 on the ground, three through the air -- but he also tossed two TD passes. In this matchup of AFC Super Bowl contenders, may the best slash w


    Larry Johnson vs. Shawne Merriman

    [​IMG]

    The legends of Johnson and Merriman each date to a ferocious hit on Oct. 30, 2005. Merriman, then a Chargers rookie, laid out Chiefs running back Priest Holmes, giving LJ, then languishing in Dick Vermeil's doghouse, his chance. Over the next nine games Johnson rushed for 16 TDs; Merriman, meanwhile, was named defensive rookie of the year. Since then, Johnson has done some of his best work versus the stout Chargers, averaging 116 yards and a TD. He'd be even better in those games if not for Merriman. In three head-to-head matchups, Merriman has ridden Johnson to the ground 15 times. Rematch: Week 13

    Marcus McNeill vs. Dwight Freeney

    [​IMG]

    Is Freeney finally slowing down? The man with 56 1⁄2 sacks over the last five years had a mere 5 1⁄2 last year. It's a deceptive stat. According to Pro Football Prospectus 2007 , Freeney hurried quarterbacks 33 times, tops in the NFL. In Week 10 he'll try out his nonpareil moves on San Diego's second-year left tackle, the 6-foot-7, 336-pound McNeill. The two didn't face each other in McNeill's rookie year, but rest assured the league's most promising line prodigy knows what he's up against. "I usually watch a lot of tape of defensive ends," McNeill says. "I just catch him on his highlight film." And what does he see? "Speed, speed, speed. Spin, spin, spin."


    Are you ready for some football...
     
  18. AnteaterCharger

    AnteaterCharger Calibrating Bolttalk, Podcast by Podcast Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    i met him once, I'm 5'9, i got up around to his stomach
     
  19. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Thanks Chispa.
     
  20. TheLash

    TheLash Well-Known Member

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    I think you could be right about the snakebit part and I hope you're right about the secondary. I have trouble remembering a time when they didn't spook me:icon_eek:

    19 Hours
    49 Minutes:abq2: :icon_toast: :abq2:
     
  21. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

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    This is why I get nervous about the lack real action in the preseason with these guys. They need some time to function as a unit with the front line defense before the season starts, where their screw ups won't cost us a real game. They don't look like they've gelled yet, since they've screwed up some pretty simple schemes.
     
  22. PowderLove

    PowderLove Former Mod, Current Slacker

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    OMG I am ready for this right NOW. I just traded smack talk with a guy at work who's a Bears fan, and I am literally ITCHING for the season to start. No more of this pre season bs (no offense meant to our second and third stringers), no more of this "yeah, well with LT in there...." I am freakin ready FOR FOOTBALL DAMMIT!!!!!!!!!!
     
  23. Rule12b

    Rule12b Well-Known Member

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    War is an understatement. I actually got my tickets from the Patriots Organization. Their CFO couldn't believe he was getting two seats for a pair of opposing fans to their HOME OPENER. New England will be fired up in the extreme. We'll face one helluva a challenge to go in there and take the W in their home opener.
     
  24. Charger Dave

    Charger Dave Dead account

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    IMO, the Chargers have a lot less to lose in that game than the Pats.... A win would be "vewy, vewy, schweet"!:tup:
     
  25. foober

    foober BoltTalker

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    Here's to the chargers finally winning a gad dammm super this year. :bolt: :yes: :flag: :flag:
     
  26. AnteaterCharger

    AnteaterCharger Calibrating Bolttalk, Podcast by Podcast Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    New England is seeing this as a game against a good team but I do not think they know or they are underestimating what this game means to all of us
     
  27. cranberry

    cranberry BoltTalker

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    It's a strong start for the Chargers, you've picked it . New England
    will be a mentally and physically showdown. But when the Bolts
    come through it looks like a shining season. Question ist to avoid injuries.
     
  28. cranberry

    cranberry BoltTalker

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    There'll sure be a lot of improvement, but some mistakes probably too. Hope nobody will say it's Edwards to miss.
     
  29. Rule12b

    Rule12b Well-Known Member

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    I think you are mistaken. I spend a lot of time at Patriots Planet and they all think we are looking at that game as our superbowl.
     

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