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Offensive line coach Mauck, assistant secondary coach Lewis shown the door

Discussion in 'San Diego Chargers Hall of Champions' started by robdog, Jan 19, 2006.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    Source: <a href="http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2006/01/19/sports/professional/chargers/21_50_101_18_06.txt" target="_blank">North County Times</a>

    By Jay Paris

    SAN DIEGO ---- The blame game in the wake of a disappointing season has started for the Chargers.

    Offensive line coach Carl Mauck and assistant secondary coach Albert Lewis were fired on Wednesday. Both had one year left on their contracts, but they won't return after the Chargers finished 9-7 and out of the playoffs.

    "At times, this can be a difficult business, and we have to make tough decisions," coach Marty Schottenheimer said in a statement. "These are good football men with valuable experience in this league. I thanked them for their hard work and wished them both well."

    Mauck lasted but one season after taking over for the popular Hudson Houck.

    Last year at this time, the Chargers declined to match the nearly $3 million, three-year contract offered to Houck by the Miami Dolphins.

    They turned to Mauck, a Chargers player from 1971-74 and their offensive line coach from 1992-95, a span in which they reached their lone Super Bowl.

    But the front line lacked consistency ---- especially in run-blocking ---- and struggled in three of the final four games, when the Chargers failed to rush for 100 yards. In all, the Chargers failed to crack the century mark in six games. They lost five of those contests.

    Still, only eight other teams rushed for more yards (2,072) than the Chargers in what was Mauck's 21st year as an NFL offensive line coach.

    The Chargers did allow 31 sacks, 11 more than the previous year. One of those sacks came in the season-finale, with quarterback Drew Brees sustaining a shoulder injury that required surgery.

    But the Chargers finished No. 10 overall among offenses and averaged 26.1 points per game, the fifth-highest in the league.

    While Mauck deserves his share of criticism, his unit was also slowed by injuries as right guard Mike Goff was the only starter to be fit for all 16 games.

    Left tackle Roman Oben missed the final eight games with a foot injury, so Leander Jordan made his NFL debut at that position.

    Left guard Toniu Fonoti hurt his hand and missed a month, then was traded to the Minnesota Vikings with the Chargers confident about his replacement, undrafted third-year pro Kris Dielman.

    Center Nick Hardwick skipped three games with an ankle sprain, forcing journeyman Bob Hallen into action.

    Right tackle Shane Olivea missed a game with a knee injury.

    The rotating door along the line led to an uneven season, which was baffling in many ways. Consider the Chargers had 268 rushing yards in their win over the New York Giants, the third-highest total in team history.

    But in the loss to the Eagles, Pro Bowl running back LaDainian Tomlinson was held to a career-low 7 rushing yards as the Chargers managed just 21 yards on the ground.

    Lewis, a four-time Pro Bowl cornerback, played for Schottenheimer in Kansas City during an 11-year playing career. Lewis was in his second year helping secondary coach Brian Stewart. It was Lewis' first NFL coaching job.

    The Chargers' secondary has long been the team's Achilles' heel. Chargers defensive backs accounted for just seven interceptions this past season, with linebackers Donnie Edwards and Matt Wilhelm getting the team's other three.

    By allowing nearly 225 passing yards per game, the team finished with the NFL's 28th ranking.

    Privately, Lewis was frustrated with the lack of mental growth from starting cornerbacks Quentin Jammer and Drayton Florence. Each finished with just one interception, and both of those came in the season's final month.

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