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Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Sep 27, 2010.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    [​IMG]

    By Christopher Smith, Chargers.com
    Posted 4 hours ago

    Cleaning up special teams coverage is a top priority, as is eliminating turnovers.

    SAN DIEGO – The Chargers can claim the No. 1 offense and No. 4 defense in the NFL.
    They can acknowledge Philip Rivers[​IMG]’ franchise-record 455 yards passing and smile about a defense that’s allowed fewer than 14 points per game.
    The one thing San Diego (1-2) can’t celebrate is a winning record.
    Three special teams touchdowns and a spate of turnovers and penalties crippled what in many ways were two superlative efforts on the road and led to losses. But in measuring the trajectory of his team, Head Coach Norv Turner doesn’t think it has changed course.
    “We’ve played three games and we have a lot of work to do in all three phases,” Turner said. “We have a ton of work, but when I watch the tape and look at the guys that are doing things the way we want them to do it and executing at a high level, I get excited about the prospects for this team.”
    Total offense and defense can be misleading without being analyzed in context, but the numbers prove San Diego had no trouble moving the ball and preventing long drives through three weeks.
    Special teams has been a major culprit in two road losses. The Chargers allowed Dexter McCluster to set a Chiefs record for longest punt return in Week 1. Leon Washington set his own team record for the Seahawks in Week 3, taking the kickoff 101 yards to start the second half.
    A tight, low-scoring game took a bad turn for San Diego when, during a two-minute drive, the offense sputtered with three incompletions. The first two were intended for Darren Sproles[​IMG], who one week earlier turned a screen pass upfield to spring a touchdown drive that shoved Jacksonville out of reach at halftime.
    Instead, the Chargers punted and Matt Hasselbeck threw his only touchdown pass. A fumble on the ensuing kickoff nearly gave Seattle more points, but the clock ran out after a Hasselbeck sneak to the 1-yard line.
    Washington struck on the next play, the second-half kickoff. San Diego fought back, converting four consecutive plays in the end zone to counter two penalties and tie the game, 20-20. But Washington put Seattle up seven again seconds later.
    “You barely catch your breath and you’re back down seven. That was tough, but we regrouped and said, ‘Hey, let’s go score again,’ and had two more opportunities,” Rivers said. “Two more possessions to go down there and score. We just didn’t get it done.”
    Correcting special teams mistakes is a high priority this week, Turner said. He expressed confidence in the players on the coverage units but said he’d evaluate the performances and look for the best possible solution.
    “One of the ways to address them obviously is to get some guys who have done a great job in the past who aren’t featured on the coverage teams and that’s one thing we’ll look at,” Turner said. “I’m talking about guys who are starting players who have been good special teams players in the past.
    “They still have a role on special teams but we minimize them a little bit. We’ll pick that role back up as we get the young guys to where they need to be.”
    Turner also noted the absence of Larry English[​IMG] and Jyles Tucker[​IMG], whom he felt provided a physical presence on kick coverage against Jacksonville. Young players asked to carry a role on special teams have put in extra time to understand their responsibilities, Turner said, but they need to better comprehend how their assignments tie to the players next to them.
    “In some cases, it’s guys trying to do too much. They want to go down and be the guy to make the play when the play in that particular instance might not be their play,” Turner said. “They need to be doing something to help another guy make the play.”
    TICKETS STILL AVAILABLE: About 8,000 general tickets and 2,000 Club seats remain for sale for the Arizona game scheduled to kick off 1:15 p.m. Sunday at Qualcomm Stadium.
     
  2. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    Changes coming on Chargers' special teams

    By Kevin Acee
    Monday, September 27, 2010 at 5 p.m.

    The Chargers are the only team in the NFL to have its offense and defense ranked in the top 5. They are scoring more than all but seven teams. Their defense has allowed fewer points than all but six teams.
    Yes, turnovers have stifled the offense’s progress toward points, and the defense would like a few big plays back.
    But through three games, those two units have played well enough to have the Chargers being all they were expected to be.
    And yet the Chargers have stumbled to another 1-2 start despite having assuredly outplayed inferior opponents through much of their two defeats.
    Talk of “all three phases” is usually perceived as so much gobbledygook. But, oh, what might be if only the Chargers had a third phase.
    “That’s the killer,” cornerback Quentin Jammer said Monday.
    Jammer was among several veterans who since Sunday’s 27-20 loss at Seattle basically volunteered for kick coverage duties.
    That willingness is fortunate, since it coincides with head coach Norv Turner saying that some starters will see action on special teams for at least the time being.
    “We have issues to address in our coverage teams,” Turner said. “We have enough good players, we have a good enough scheme that we can address those issues … One of the ways to address it is to get some guys who have done a great job in the past who aren’t featured on the coverage teams. Obviously, I’m talking about guys who are starting players who have been good special teams players in the past
    “We have some young guys that need to grow up, and while they’re getting ready to grow up, we need to put some guys in there that have done it so we don’t have the issue.”
    A combined eight kickoffs and punts have been returned for touchdowns across the NFL this season. Three of those have been given up by the Chargers.
    Dexter McCluster had the longest-ever punt return against the Chargers, 94 yards in the season opener. It was the Chiefs’ final touchdown in their 21-14 victory. Sunday in Seattle, Leon Washington became the first man to ever return two kickoffs for touchdowns in a game against the Chargers. His first, 101 yards, was the second-longest the Chargers had ever given up. His second, 99 yards, accounted for the final points in a 27-20 Seahawks victory.
    Monday’s special teams meeting at Chargers Park was crowded and unpleasant.
    “It was worse on tape,” Jammer said. “It was bad. It was bad. It is embarrassing, and we will get it fixed, because as a football player and as a guy who has been here nine years, I have never seen that before in my life. That is kind of attacking our pride and attacking us as a team.”
    Additionally, Chargers’ opponents’ average starting point after kickoffs is beyond the 37-yard line, best in the NFL. Opponents’ are average 25.5 yards on punt returns, making the Chargers punt coverage unit the league’s second-worst.
    Next up for the Chargers is Arizona’s LaRod Stephens-Howling, who on Sunday returned a kickoff 102 yards.
    While he will fill holes with players in different roles, roster moves were not ruled out by Turner, who huddled with general manager A.J. Smith and vice president Ed McGuire on Sunday night after the team returned to Chargers Park.
    It is likely that cornerback Dante Hughes will be re-signed Tuesday after being let go last week to make room for running back Curtis Brinkley. With Ryan Mathews’ ankle apparently healthy, Brinkley can be sent back to the practice squad. Also available is practice squad receiver Richard Goodman, who is blazing fast and showed well both returning kicks and covering in the preseason.
    “We’re going to do everything we can in the kicking game to get better,” Turner said. “We have the guys in our building that can go do what we need to do … We’re always looking for the next guy, someone out there that can help us whether it be a guy on our practice squad, whether it be someone who is not playing right now.”
     
  3. szarmes

    szarmes I am the Walrus

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    This is really starting to get under my skin. I can't take it much longer. How the f u c k do we have the #1 offense and #4 defense, yet are only 1-2?!!?? Oh right, our special teams sucks balls that's why. I'm glad to hear heads are rolling for this and that changes are going to be made but I'll believe it when I see it. The only solice I have is that we play Arizona, Oakland, and Saint Louis next, which pretty much guarantees us to be 4-2... But weren't we supposed to beat KC and SEA easily too? Jesus Christ we better step it up. I hope Crayton steps it up and calls out who needs to be called out and gets their sh!t together. If all he does is that in his career here, then he is well worth the 7th we gave for him.....
     
  4. CoronaDoug

    CoronaDoug Well-Known Member

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    Crayton admonished

    Receiver Patrick Crayton, who became a Charger via trade on Sept. 2, inferred after Sunday’s game that some special teams members were not paying attention to special teams coach Steve Crosby.

    “Right now, coach Crosby is pissed off,” Crayton said. “I don’t blame him. The guys who are sitting in the meetings, or are not taking him seriously when he tells you to do it, but dang it, the technique on a kickoff return ... The dude has been in this league for about 100 years. He’s been around for a while for a reason. So you’ve got to take this stuff seriously. It’s not a sense of entitlement. It’s a privilege to put on the uniform every day. Some guys have got to straighten up.”

    His sentiment may or may not have been dead on, and his words may or may not have been essentially echoed by other veterans. But head coach Norv Turner did not appreciate it and let Crayton know.

    “Patrick is new to our organization,” Turner said. “I don’t think you’ll hear any other comments form Patrick. He knows the way we handle things is in house. If there are issues we have to handle, we have a great leadership group … I think Patrick understands I’m the spokesman in terms of how we’re preparing.

    “I have a problem with guys who analyze things. The next step is being in the broadcast booth because that’s what they do -- after the fact they tell you what’s happening. If he had told me that wed morning and said, ‘Hey these guys aren’t taking it seriously.’ Then you look at it and say, ‘Wait a minute.’ “

    Turner disagreed with Crayton’s take, saying he sits in on special teams meetings. He noted that there were some changes to the teams midweek and several players spent extra time in the meeting room on Thursday and Friday.

    Vasquez to miss a least two weeks - SignOnSanDiego.com
     
  5. CoronaDoug

    CoronaDoug Well-Known Member

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    • Turner said the Chargers will decide on a week-to-week basis whether Crayton or Darren Sproles is their primary punt returner.
     
  6. scratchnz

    scratchnz BoltTalker

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    ...so NO consistency then
     
  7. Savage Lizard

    Savage Lizard Charger fan at 7000'

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    Yeah, because when a team uses a different pitcher in baseball each night there is no consistency. I swear, some of you guys will look for any little thing to spin into a negative and bitch about.
     
  8. RM24

    RM24 BoltTalker

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    :clap:
     

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