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Like Chargers defense, Castillo falling short

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Dec 12, 2008.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    Thursday, December 11, 2008

    This was to be the first season of the rest of his career.

    Young and ultra-rich, Luis Castillo expected to commence his best days on the field in 2008.

    So excited on the day he signed a new contract in July, one that made him the league's fifth-highest-paid defensive end, he said that was just the beginning for him and the Chargers.

    This is not the beginning he had in mind.

    He has spent more time on his backside than dropping quarterbacks on theirs. Through 13 games, Castillo has just 1½ sacks, 3½ knockdowns and four hurries.

    “I need to do a better job of helping this team win and making big plays in big games,” Castillo, 25, said recently. “It has not been the year I wanted; it has not been the year we expected as a team.”

    With no Shawne Merriman, in a time when Castillo and others on the defense would need to be better than ever, they have faltered.

    “We had a few guys where there was the expectation we had to pick up the slack, and we should have had big seasons,” Castillo said. “And we haven't.”

    As a defense, the Chargers have 26 sacks, a pace that has them on track for about three-quarters the number they had last season (42). They have totaled just 63 knockdowns and hurries, a pace that would leave them 42 shy of last season's total.

    “When we don't have sacks and we don't have much pressure on the quarterback, a big part of that is on me,” Castillo said. “There are a few of us that are expected to get there.

    And I have to do a better job of that.”
    In this season of discontent, Castillo became in the eyes of many the poster boy for an underachieving team full of young supposed stars.

    He knows it. Not once in several interviews over the past week did Castillo make an excuse.

    In fact, presented with the fact he has played at less than full strength all season after injuring his back, Castillo shook his head.

    “If you're on the field, you're on the field,” he said more than once.

    And of the fact that former coordinator Ted Cottrell had Castillo playing inside more, where his speed and athleticism are less effective, there was merely a shrug.

    “It all comes down to winning your one-on-ones,” he said. “And that's where I need to improve. Talk about all the other things – injuries, scheme, the ups and downs in a game. Why am I struggling? Because I haven't won as many one-on-ones as I need to.”

    Maybe he was bowing to a lack of strength due to a back injury that kept him out half the preseason and has never allowed him full health.

    “I didn't start the year with the intensity and physical play I need to,” Castillo said, speaking of his run defense.

    In his pass rush, he may have tried to do too much, or maybe that was also due to his injury. (No way to know for sure, since he wouldn't talk about being hurt.)

    “I got away from doing some things that could have helped,” he said. “I got away from doing some things in terms of being more physical in the pass rush. I got too much hands, too much trying to finesse instead of using power and getting up field and changing things up. I got one-dimensional in pass rush and a little predictable.

    “The last few weeks have been about changing that. It hasn't shown up in numbers, but I've done things much better pass-rush wise because I'm mixing things up more.”

    Castillo, who got an economics degree with a minor in business from Northwestern, has given this season a lot of thought. Those close to him have spent time listening and offering input as he has talked about the turns this season has taken.

    He appears to have come to a conclusion that it's a learning experience. He knows he will be healthy. He has improved under Ron Rivera's guidance and an altered scheme that more often has him paired with outside linebacker Shaun Phillips.

    “It's incredibly disappointing because of the fact the numbers weren't there and more so because we don't win the games we need to,” he said. “We've lost (six) games by less than seven points, so a play here or a play there would have changed things.

    “I have to realize there is a lot of football left. Whether it's this year or future years, being able to say these are the areas where I didn't do the things I need to. Where can I make a difference? Where can I make sure when those times come I can win those situations? I feel like I'm getting better.”

    By Kevin Acee
     
  2. AnteaterCharger

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

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    at least he isn't making excuses or blaming other people, I'll give him that
     
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  3. RM24

    RM24 BoltTalker

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    Castillo just better up his game. Guy used to be real good, but is always getting hurt, THEN, he regresses this season where we needed him to step up with Lights out and he didn't. He better just man up and produce and WIN those "one on ones"! :icon_evil:
     
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  4. HEXEDBOLT

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

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    It's all Norv's fault, he twisted castillos back.:lol:
     
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  5. TheBeast

    TheBeast BoltTalker

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    Talent isn't the problem with him. Dedication is though.
     
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  6. pure-sol

    pure-sol Well-Known Member

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    I don't think any of us know whether it's dedication or not. Seeing as how we really only have his press conferences and his play to go off of, it looks more like it's his injury that has hurt him more than he's letting on and the schemes that Cottrell had him playing under. It's just that Castillo is a man and won't put blame on others and point fingers regardless of whether they deserve it or not.

    That doesn't sound like a lack of dedication to me.
     
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  7. Ride The Lightning

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

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    Needs to get back on the roids.
     
  8. Enormo

    Enormo BoltTalker

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    That's kind of a straw man argument there. Of cource Norv is not physically making Castillo play poorly. And, yes, every player is responsible for their own performance.

    But is it just some incredible coincidence that 90% of the team is suffering the same let downs that Castillo is?

    What if we did an experiment? What if we took this article and once a week for 45 weeks we substituted another players' name for Castillo's name and re-published the article; each article a mutually exclusive declaration by that week's player that he has been underperforming and he has to change what he's been doing to improve his own performance and the performance of the team. Week after week after week after week...

    I'm guessing that we would get about 7 or 8 weeks into our experiment before most of us would be saying, "Enough of this crap. Do you really expect us to swallow that each individual player is having their own little crisis? And that the each one is going solve this crisis on their own by pulling themselves up by their bootstraps and improving their own play? And that after 45 weeks of mea culpas and 180 bootstraps being pulled up (2 strapps per boot x 45 players) one at a time that this team is is finally going to be okay?"

    Ever heard of Occam's Razor? The 2008 San Diego Chargers' problem is the poster boy for Occam's Razor. There is centralized problem somewhere and it's not Luis Castillo and his back.
     
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  9. Boltjolt

    Boltjolt Well-Known Member

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    He isnt using it as an excuse but if your back isnt right.........that will hold you back. I dont know what hurts in his back but i have back pain everyday and getting out of bed sometimes is a B***h.

    The guy can play. we have seen that. For some reason he isnt himself this year.

    Just is'nt our year. We will rebound!
     
  10. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Nice post. There is a single point of failure here that is leading to an overall problem. I'm not letting the players totally off the hook, but the whole team isn't just going to have a down year w/o there being a root cause.

    Enter Norv & Cottrell. One is gone - the other may take awhile. :tdown:
     
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  11. MtlBoltsFan

    MtlBoltsFan Jesse Ventura/Howard Stern 2016

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    The guy can play when he gets Igor to stick a needle in his buttcheek and inject him with juice.
     
  12. foober

    foober BoltTalker

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    the problem is IGOR god bless him gets handled by one o-lineman. Jamall and CAstillo usually have two o-linemen double teaming them. Offensvie line coaches watch tape they know who's dangerous and who isn't. IGOR just can't shed a block and all he seems to know is a bull rush. He's good at holding his ground but thats about it. WE need another castillo or a guy like tommy harris of the bears. A guy that can't be stopped by one o-line blocker.

    We need another super stud d-lineman. We really do. And we need anther good center and or guard. And someone has to teach mcneil how to block. Shuffle your feet with short quick steps and stay square to the pass rusher. Mcneil is so big with long legs he slides and spreads himself out and leans forward when he sees the pass rusher is changing direction. And whoosh the pass rusher is past him.
     
  13. wrbanwal

    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

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    So, do we move him to the middle and let him take up space?


    He is the strongest dood on the team

    :icon_shrug:
     
  14. pure-sol

    pure-sol Well-Known Member

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    fixed! :lol:
     
  15. 400HZ

    400HZ BoltTalker

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    No, we move him out of town and find a player who isn't a slow, worthless turd.
     
  16. Boltjolt

    Boltjolt Well-Known Member

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    Considering he signed a contract that states he gives all his signing bonus back if he tests possitive ever again, i say that is false!
     

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