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Peace in Chargers secondary could bring prosperity

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Aug 19, 2010.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006

    By Kevin Acee , UNION-TRIBUNE
    Thursday, August 19, 2010 at 7:10 p.m.

    Donald Strickland jumps a route but has the ball clang off his hands. Eric Weddle has some constructive but urgent words for him.

    Secondary coach Steve Wilks is pleased with a play by Antoine Cason but lets Cason know he doesn’t think he finished strong enough.

    And it’s all OK.

    “You don’t have the animosity between players, between player and coach,” Weddle said. “We come out each day and we’re working hard, we’re competing and we all want to get better, and we’re all listening to our coach. There is no second-guessing. Coach says something, it applies to everyone. We’re all at the same level. We’re all holding each other to the same level.”

    There may have been more than one culprit over the years, but there is no question who is running through the scenes in Weddle’s head as he says this.
    Antonio Cromartie.

    “Me and Cro had conflicts,” Weddle said. “That’s just the way it is.”

    The way it was.

    Cromartie was traded to the New York Jets in March, ending a tempestuous four years that began with him being the No. 19 overall pick in 2006 and included some jaw-dropping moments that showed the cornerback’s perhaps unmatched natural talent but also many instances in which his allergy to contact and aversion to correction made for tension and worse.

    “It’s refreshing,” Weddle said. “I can’t tell you how nice it is to come to work every day and not have that in the room and just knowing everyone is on the same page, everyone is behind each other.”

    Weddle made a point that he didn’t want this to be an account of Cromartie vs. Weddle.

    Thing is, Weddle was by no means alone.

    It’s not coincidence there have been three different secondary coaches (not counting their assistants) since 2006. The secondary’s meeting room has had more backbiting than a soap opera.

    The bad vibe that spilled out from the defensive backs’ corner of the locker room affected much more than even just the defense. More than a few offensive players talked about the peaceful and productive offseason and how the team didn’t have to worry any more about the secondary’s “drama.”

    Cornerback Quentin Jammer is the go-to Charger for no nonsense.

    He considers Cromartie like a younger brother, attempting over the years to help him at Chargers Park and away from it. Jammer’s theory is that Cromartie “lashed out” to attempt to force a trade.

    But Cromartie’s closest friend on the team also cannot lament his departure.

    “We all know there were guys in the locker room who didn't like him,” Jammer said. “He didn't like them. We don't have to deal with that now."
    It was Jammer trying to play peacemaker between Cromartie and coaches, Cromartie and other players.

    “It’s easier for me now,” Jammer said. “... I tried my best to put out fires, tried to keep the room intact, but it was too much.”
    Why does this matter?

    Why should the fact that after much trouble coordinating logistics one day last week the entire secondary left Chargers Park for lunch together? Why does it matter that, according to Weddle and others, there has not been one “issue” since offseason workouts began in March?

    “I think 99 percent of playing in the secondary is trust,” Jammer said.

    The No. 1 refrain from Chargers defensive backs over the past several years in explaining a breakdown is that someone tried to do too much. Unsaid in those instances is that was because they didn’t think someone else would do enough.

    It’s about a safety trusting a corner to play the assignment, a corner believing a safety will have his back, a coach knowing a player is going to cover where he’s told or press when asked.

    The defensive backs are the first to acknowledge they have much to prove as the group that has allowed its share of big plays and is the last line of a defense that has ranked no higher than 11th (last season) against the pass since 1992. But there is no doubt they have had fewer breakdowns this month.

    “The room is outstanding,” said Wilks. “Those guys are focused in there and trying to carry over the things we talk about in the meetings and trying to apply it on the field. I think that’s the difference, the concentration is there ... They’re believing in one another and understanding everyone is going to do their job.”
  2. Aggieman

    Aggieman I bleed blue and gold

    Aug 14, 2008
    It's kind of interesting that Acee would put out a piece that lashes out at Cromartie for lashing out his team mates. It's refreshing to hear that such animosity has left the secondary and it's quite vindicating to hear, straight from an insider, that San Diego Chargers were as sick of Cromartie's attitude and lack of effort as their fans.

    This secondary is going to be something special. Just watch.
  3. Skuzzlebutt

    Skuzzlebutt BoltTalker

    Jan 10, 2007
    I like the Ace, I really do. But this article makes me question his insight/perception last year more than it gives me insight into this year. Why wasn't he reporting last year that there were problems between Weddle and Crymartie? Why wasn't he reporting that the reason people were trying to do too much as because they didn't trust each other.

    I know he has to dance a line between keeping the players on his good side and doing his job as a reporter, but it feel like he should have been doing more reporting and less protecting on this one.

    On a side note, continued good riddance to last years trash: Cro.
  4. charger1993

    charger1993 bad motherfucker

    Feb 20, 2010
    last year if u watched the opener vs oakland u could clearly see blame shifting,and just straight bad blood, wehn cro and hart got beat they didnt try to catch murphy they just pointed fingers,im glad theres peace maybe this team can be like the 06 team minus eric parker
  5. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006
    Acee is the place

    Just ask John Madden



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

    Jul 11, 2006
    DB's have to be able to depend on one another to be successful. If one guy is out there only doing what he wants the system isn't going to work. I'm glad the guy is gone and I can't see anything but good coming from it.
  7. ThunderHorse17

    ThunderHorse17 Lone Wolf

    Apr 10, 2010
    Agreed. I got a good feeling about our secondary this year.

    Crazy Cro is startin to look like the best subtraction our Secondary has made over the years. Amazed I didnt ever think that Id say that over the McMee release. Flo also was not sad about that release.
  8. Trumpet_Man

    Trumpet_Man Well-Known Member

    Feb 14, 2006
    Just remember - it does not matter how talented the defensive secondary is because if the D-Line is not doing their job - game over.

    BEEF. :bolt:

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