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San Diego's 'Paper Tiger'

Discussion in 'San Diego Chargers Hall of Champions' started by robdog, Oct 5, 2009.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    By Curtis Egan
    <em>BoltTalk Staff Writer</em>

    <div class="alignright"><a href="http://a.espncdn.com/media/apphoto/ddc4f910-6ad8-4f22-8aa7-2e0f229b74d5.jpg"><img title="Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall, right, runs for 32-yards before being hauled down by San Diego Chargers Clinton Hart (42) in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game in Pittsburgh Sunday, Oct. 4, 2009. The Steelers won 38-28. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)" src="http://a.espncdn.com/media/apphoto/ddc4f910-6ad8-4f22-8aa7-2e0f229b74d5.jpg" alt="Rashard Mendenhall, runs for 32-yards" width="147" height="166" /></a></div>

    In San Diego, there is a Tiger. A Tiger of black and white, no I am not refereeing to a denizen of the San Diego Zoo- I am speaking of the San Diego Chargers who are a team that resembles a paper tiger. They are all stars on paper, on the field, they are less than stellar, and less than motivated.

    How many times have you recently heard that the Chargers are the leagues most talented team? It is thrown around quite a bit. But what is the measurement for talent? Great sack dances? Is it perhaps a winning smile? How about on the field performance, making plays when needed, having a fire in your belly, intestinal fortitude? The Chargers reflect none of those, a quarter ways through the 2009 season. I would suggest that the product does not fit the sales pitch at this moment and time. The Chargers are not playing like one of the leagues most talented teams, quite the opposite.

    Do the Chargers have talent? Hell yes, Philip Rivers is the best Quarterback to play for the Chargers since Dan Fouts, the receivers are the best we have seen as a group since Air Coryell. However, there is a key component that is needed to make it all go. The lines.

    For the offense it is the offensive line. To this point a porous body where even the best linemen do not play a consistent game. They are the ones that have to give Rivers time to find the Wide Receiver deep, they have to open running lanes for the Running Backs.

    The latter has not happened much this season. The offensive line is plying extremely poorly to put it mildly. Many fans claim that Running Back LaDainian Tomlinson is washed up, to old and slow to play the game. I am forced to agree with them. Because you can't make people miss 4 yards behind the line of scrimmage and still make good positive yardage. Not often any way. The same troubles have plagues speedy Darren Sproles.

    LT as LaDainian is known to the San Diego fans is getting his form back. Against the Pittsburgh Steelers last night he showed some good cuts and moves, but alas, the best cuts in the world will not help you do it alone.

    Defensively things are much worse. We have a few players who are playing their hearts out. Luis Castillo is moving around making tackles and occupying spots the way a 3-4 line man should. He is disengaging and running down plays when needed, but he is almost playing the defensive line alone. Eric Weddle is flying around the secondary and making tackles, interceptions and doing his part. Other than that, there are no real stand outs defensively.

    In fact the lack luster performance of the Defensive team through the first four games gives me the greatest concern for the Chargers. They are uninspired, unmotivated, and are not plying like they have confidence in the scheme, themselves or their ability to stop the opposition.

    Why should they have confidence in stopping the opposition? The Pittsburgh Steelers manhandled the whole defensive team for 40 minutes in the last game. The Chargers forced a punt on only 2 drives. The Steelers scored Touchdowns on 5 other drives, and a field goal on the other-

    The Chargers inability to stop the Steelers was hard to watch. It is hard to even talk about. At least twice, when the Steelers lined up for an obvious Quarterback sneak, the Chargers defense got pushed back 2-3 yards. They got dominated by a maligned and criticized Steelers offensive line. It was as if the Steelers had resurrected their dominating offensive lines of the mid 70's.

    The Chargers felt they had playmakers, one being Antonio Cromartie, Cornerback. Back might be the correct term. He made a name for himself in 2007 when he led the league with just 8 games as a starter. However since then his play has not lived up to the levels all Charger fans had hoped he would reach. This year he is playing consistently off the receiver, allowing easy completions and is in no position to create a turnover. Well last night he had an interception, after grabbing the back of the Receivers jersey and pulling him backwards- Perhaps that is why he is playing so far off, because when he gets close he seems to draw yellow flags.

    I do not mean to be overly harsh, but Cromartie did basically issue a challenge to everyone via twitter when he posted these comments shortly after the loss to the Steelers:

    <em>crimetime31 I could careless who's hating on me abt to tonight. I got to holding calls so what. They didn't attack ne they attacked our Zone defense.
    15 minutes ago from Echofon

    crimetime31 B4 u start to talk abt someone who's in the NFL doing what they *** and try to play my position. If you don't know what's going on the field
    14 minutes ago from Echofon</em>

    It is easy to understand his frustration; the fans are frustrated as well. While most of the fans will never know what it is like to play Cornerback at a professional level, which does not mean they will not heap criticism on something that looks wrong to them- That Mr. Cromartie you will have to get used to, for right or wrong. To be fair, I do think these ‘tweets' were in the heat of the moment; because it appears they were later deleted-

    I sit here shaking my head as I write this. Many people have known me to be a ‘kool aid drinking fan' meaning I look for the positives, and do not think it adds much, or shows any particular knowledge or moxy to just heap criticisms on the team just to show that I can do it. But I have to say, the way the team has come out in four games this season and played has me worried.

    There is no fire, no life. They appear to not want to be there. This is unacceptable! Ron Rivera, Defensive Coordinator was shown yelling at his Chargers on the side line in the first half of the Steelers game. It would appear they need a lot more of that. They look disinterested! How can that be? Do they not know that the teams they face will not lay down for them?

    If this team is to win the west this season, they can not hoe for a gift epic failure from Denver. They have to go out and take each and every game. Don't give me excuses about injuries. So what, we lost people, a lot of teams have. Are the Chargers going to tell us no one can accept the challenge of stepping up and replacing their fallen comrades?

    AJ Smith needs to accept some sour criticisms himself. The focus has been on bling bling players and not enough on fat, angry young men for the lines. Without lines that can hold their own at least some of the game you cant win. AJ is going to have to take a long look at the lines in the off season and try to rectify the situation as best he can.

    The Coaching staff is also going to have to look in the mirror long and hard. The team has become undisciplined (Leading the league in penalties through the first three weeks) and unfocused. They have to find a way to motivate these men and get a fire burning in their bellies. Question their manhood, question their morals, question their parentage! What ever works! <strong>DO NOT LET THEM WALK ON THE FIELD LIKE THEY DO NOT CARE!</strong>

    LT was seen telling the Defense to get some heart when the Steelers running back gashed them in the fourth quarter for 36 yards on 3 consecutive rushes. The Defense was unable to do anything against the Steelers. They let the game slip away. A game that seemed lost from the first quarter. Well every damn Charger in that locker room needs to listen to LT, and LT needs to lead by example. Do sing it, bring it!

    <strong>Game Stats (this is hard to read):</strong>
    Rivers 21 of 36 passing for 254 yards, 3 touch downs
    Rothlisberger 26 of 33, passing for 333 yards, 2 touch downs

    Mendenhall, 29 carries for 165, 2 TDs long 32
    <em> Rashard Mendenhall had a career-high 165 yards and two TDs. He's the fifth Steelers player to reach those totals in a single game since the 1970 merger.</em>

    Tomlinson 7 carries for 15 yards, long 5

    Cooper led the team in tackles at 5 solo, 6 assists.

    <strong>First downs</strong>
    SD 17.......................Pit 32
    <strong>Total yards </strong>
    SD 251......................Pit 497
    <strong>Passing yards </strong>
    SD 235......................Pit 320
    <strong>Rushing Yards</strong>
    SD <strong>16</strong>.......................Pit 177
    <strong>Penalties </strong>
    SD 3 for 20 ..................Pit 6 for 59
    SD 1 .......................Pit 2
    <strong>Punts </strong>
    SD 6.......................Pit 2
    <strong>Time of Possession</strong>
    SD 19:40.......................Pit 40:20
    Yes, Pittsburgh had the ball for two thirds of the game...

    The Chargers have had fewer than 100 yards rushing, while allowing 130-plus yards on the ground, in four straight games to start the season.

    Lastly, all of the Chargers scoring came in the second half. This was supposed to be the season to overcome the late start bug; however the team has come out playing unenthused, uninspired football the beginning of each and every game this season. This has to be addressed. I am not sure what can happen, but the Defense needs a wake up call. While the whole team needs to get a fire in their belly, or they can watch the season roll by in futility.

    Which will it be Chargers? Only you can answer-

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