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Secondary aims to turn up the heat

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Concudan, Aug 21, 2009.

  1. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Casey Pearce

    Chargers Secondary Coach Steve Wilks has given his player two themes this camp, both of which they’re buying into.

    Long before Shawne Merriman showed up to training camp with a Mohawk and Kassim Osgood took to the peroxide bottle, Clinton Hart made it a habit of sending a message through his hair.

    Hart, an accomplished barber, regularly carves sayings in his own ‘do, and last week’s contained a memo the Chargers’ entire secondary is trying to play out on the field this season.

    “It says ‘212 degrees,’” Hart said. “(Secondary) Coach (Steve) Wilks made us all t-shirts with ‘212’ on them. Water boils at 212 degrees. At 211, it only steams.”

    Wilks, the team’s first-year secondary coach, is challenging each individual in his secondary to push themselves to make a difference, to be that one degree that allows the group to boil rather than steam.

    There’s another slogan Wilks and his group have adopted this summer: 31st to 1st. The Chargers finished 31st in the NFL in pass defense in 2008. It’s a number they’re not proud of, and it’s one they believe they’re well on their way to rectifying.

    “We’re all on the same page right now, which is light years from where we were at this time last year,” Jammer said. “There aren’t any gray areas in what we’re doing. Everybody knows exactly what they’re supposed to be doing and it’s just about executing and we’ve been executing at a high level.”

    Head Coach Norv Turner called the play of his starting secondary one of the highlights of last week’s preseason opener against Seattle, and he said this week that he likes the way the group is growing.

    “They’re more disciplined,” Turner said. “They’ve really bought into what Ron (Rivera) and Steve Wilks are teaching them.”

    The Chargers’ secondary will be under fire Saturday night when the team travels to Arizona for the team’s first preseason road contest. Paced by Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin, the Cardinals finished second in the NFL in passing offense a year ago.

    “The preseason schedule, and you don’t get to chose it like you used to, it’s great in terms of our preparation,” Turner said. “(Arizona) was one of the top passing teams in the league. Most people think they’ve got the best receiving core in the league and they do a great job throwing the ball. It’ll be great work for our secondary, a great challenge.”
    Jammer is also excited about the test he’ll face Saturday.

    “Their receiving core is one of the best in the league,” Jammer said. “It’ll be good work to get in there and see that kind of offense.”

    Injury update

    Linebacker Larry English (hamstring) didn’t practice Thursday and won’t play against the Cardinals. Turner is hopeful that the team’s first-round pick will return to practice next Monday.

    Guard Kynan Forney, defensive end Jacques Cesaire, linebacker Brandon Siler and wide receiver Vincent Jackson also missed Thursday’s only practice, but Turner said he and the team’s medical staff had yet to make final decisions on who won’t play Saturday night in Glendale.

    Safety Steve Gregory sat out of Thursday’s practice due to an illness, but he is expected to play against the defending NFC Champions.

    Nice work

    Guard Louis Vasquez practiced for a second-consecutive day Thursday after missing nearly two weeks of work, and he impressed his head coach with his work.

    “He’s doing great,” Turner said. “He came back yesterday and had a good practice. When you miss, you lose a little bit of ground but I think he did a good job considering what he missed.”

    With Forney out, Vasquez spent some time with the first team offense. The team’s third-round pick anxiously awaits his Chargers debut, which will come Saturday.

    “Practice is necessary and all, but you play for the games,” Vasquez said. “I can’t wait.”

    Return policy

    Chargers wide receiver Buster Davis has vast experience as a punt returner, but according to the 2007 first-round pick, the team’s preseason opener against Seattle was the first time he’d ever returned kickoffs in a game.

    “It’s fun,” Davis said. “It’s tough, but I enjoy it.”

    Davis handled both kickoffs and punts against Seattle and will likely do so again in Arizona. However, he won’t keep those duties when the regular season starts.

    “We have the ability to put two returners back, so Buster could be part of that, but (Darren) Sproles is going to be our returner during the season,” Turner said. “The fact that Buster can do it is a big plus for us.”

    Big workload

    Rookie defensive end Vaughn Martin played three quarters last week and will see similar action against the Cardinals. With Cesaire and Ryon Bingham unlikely to play, another young defensive lineman will also get another chance to impress his coaches in extended action.

    San Diego native Ogemdi Nwagbuo (6-4, 290), who spent part of the 2008 season on the Chargers’ practice squad, will receive a big chunk of snaps like he did last week.

    “He’s done a great job in the offseason getting himself ready and he played well in the game the other night,” Turner said. “He’s going to keep getting opportunities.”

    Saying and showing thanks

    The Chargers have long been one of the biggest supporters of the military, and Friday they’ll get another chance to show their appreciation to the servicemen and women who call San Diego home. The team will travel to Naval Base San Diego to hold a walkthrough.

    In 2006, the Chargers held a walkthrough on the deck of the U.S.S. Reagan, and the team has visited Marine Corps Air Station Miramar each of the last three summers.

    The team will depart for Arizona Saturday morning.
     
  2. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Casey is knocking them out of the park this year. Man I want his job! LOL!
     
  3. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Looking forward to seeing Vasquez work tonight & hopefully more of Naanee in the mix since VJ is likely out.
     
  4. HEXEDBOLT

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

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    I couldn't find the game on direct tv listed, will it be on a different channel?
     
  5. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    It shows up here (VA) on NFLN at 4am.
     
  6. sdbound

    sdbound Well-Known Member

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    380 CBSW 7pst
     
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  7. HEXEDBOLT

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

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    Thanks for the tip but it's a pay channel to me.
     
  8. Nomadic Bolt Fan

    Nomadic Bolt Fan Well-Known Member

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    Try this link and watch the NFL network at the time below.

    http://atdhe.net/

    1:30 AM ET NFL PRESEASON GAME 2009 NFL Preseason Game: San Diego Chargers vs. Arizona Cardinals
     
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