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Short yardage gains?

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Aug 17, 2010.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    [​IMG]



    By Kevin Acee , UNION-TRIBUNE
    Tuesday, August 17, 2010 at 7:40 p.m.


    The Chargers in 2006 converted 22 of their 23 third-and-one rushes and both of their fourth-and-one rushes into first downs.
    The combined 96 percent conversion rate remains best in an NFL seasons since at least 1995.
    They have converted just 76 percent in the three seasons since.
    One series in Saturday’s preseason opener against the Bears may indicate an improvement in short yardage situations.
    Jacob Hester took a handoff as the fullback on a third-and-one and got two yards through the right side behind guard Louis Vasquez and tackle Jeromey Clary . Later, Ryan Mathews followed Hester through a giant hole on the right side again created by Vasquez and Clary, as well as tight ends Randy McMichael and Kris Wilson.
    “(Mathews) finishes every run,” Philip Rivers said. “Going out of bounds on a couple of those, he was the punisher more than the one being punished. He tries to finish the run with a little oomph. But the fourth and one … there was a hole. He’s a great runner, but there was a hole there I could have got through. The guys up front, there was a hat on a hat.”
    To finish that drive, Mike Tolbert ran one yard into the end zone behind Tolbert and the line’s left side, including Brandyn Dombrowski, having reported as a tight end.
    “There’s not question (Tolbert) will be good in short yardage and goal line,” Turner said. “Ryan will be outstanding on goal line.”

    Just giving ‘em work

    For the first time since the 2004 preseason, someone besides Nate Kaeding attempted a field goal for the Chargers.
    Conspiracy theorists and Kaeding haters, do not get excited.
    “I don’t want to kill Nate,” Norv Turner said, explaining why he had Nick Novak attempt kicks from 43 (good), 48 (good) and 41 yards (wide right) on Saturday.
    Despite his postseason mishaps, there is no chance Kaeding won’t be the Chargers’ kicker in 2010, and there is no chance a roster spot will be given to Novak.
    “Getting to 53 is going to be a challenge, as is,” Turner said.
    Kaeding, who spent most of the offseason rehabbing a groin injury, made his one try Saturday, from 28 yards.
    Turner planned to have backup punter Cort Johnson kick against the Bears as well, but the Chargers punted just twice.

    Making it happen

    Creating turnovers is always a point of emphasis in training camp, but a Chargers team that has just 49 takeaways over the past two seasons (one more than they had when they led the league in 2007) is clearly intent on returning to a place where their defense make more game-changing plays.
    “We didn't have the turnovers and sacks that we had in years past last year,” linebacker Stephen Cooper said. “That's what our focus is this year, getting after the quarterback, getting turnovers and getting the ball into (Rivers’) hands, so they can put up points. If we can do that, we'll have a great year.”
    To that end, the defense has stepped up its efforts in practice to get the ball away from offensive players, even picking up incompletions and running them back and continuing to try to strip footballs from ballcarriers long after plays are finished.
    “We’re pests,” safety Eric Weddle said.

    Nuts 'n' Bolts

    •  A fairly physical camp concludes on Monday, but it does not appear to be slowing down. Tuesday afternoon’s practice in pads was arguably the most physical since the team’s first in pads back on Aug. 2. Said guard Kris Dielman: “Last two-a-day. Gotta make it look good.”
    •  Rookie receiver Jeremy Williams made an over-the-shoulder, twisting, one-handed catch in the end zone that had jaws dropped and his teammates talking afterward.
    •  Mathews dropped a few balls early in camp, prompting him to do extra work during and after practices. He has been much improved on a consistent basis and Tuesday afternoon made a grab while turning almost 180 degrees on the run.
     
  2. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Again - I hope Gale Sayers was watching when Ryan plowed Urlacher. :icon_twisted:

    And Hester ain't no one to be trusting on short yardage or anything else. :tdown:
     
  3. HEXEDBOLT

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

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    The Bolt's "D" needs to be as great stopping short yardage play's as the offense hopes to be in picking them up.
     
  4. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

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    No kidding. We give up way too many big plays on 3rd down because we can't quite reach the QB in time. Merriman, Phillips, English, and Castillo are going to have to stay healthy and step up to the plate.
     
  5. markrc99

    markrc99 BoltTalker

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    I have examined the Chargers first preseason game, most of it, I should say. I did not spend much time observing the defense. All I will say there is that I noticed a lot of blitzing and on several occasions Charger defensive linemen were often getting off on the count, rather than the snap. It was really the offense I wanted to focus on.

    On the Chargers 1st 3rd down situation, Rivers pass (slant to Naanee) was thrown behind him, although Naanee should've caught it. Early on I was taken by the Chargers in obvious pass sets. Later, once Rivers was done they did commit more to the run. On a 3rd & 10 Rivers found a wide-open Buster Davis, but again, Davis has to break stride to make the grab. After several penalties Rivers connected with Naanee for a TD down the right sideline out of a 4-WR set. What happens here is the CB, Zachery Bowman, lets Naanee get behind him and while trailing is seen looking back into the short zone. As the TV analyst contends, it's as if Bowman is expecting help over the top from the safety, which arrives too late. The announcer emphasizes Rivers pump-fake to the slot rec'r on that same side, freezing the late arriving safety.

    The pre-snap read shows the Bears in their nickel package, which conveniently affords the Chargers a mismatch on a LB in the slot. This is the sort of thing you shouldn't see at this level, the Bears should've been in their Dime package. It's a no-brainer, it's 2nd & 14 and your opponent is a pass-oriented offense. It appears that the Bears tried to run some sort of trap that blew up. The OLB, responsible for covering the strong-side slot is faking an inside blitz, leaving the slot uncovered. On the post snap, the same LB is racing out there to get into coverage. I think the Bears intentionally left the slot uncovered, hoping that Rivers and/or the rec'r would make the adjustment and take the easy pickup. Again, you have the LB and Bowman expecting something in the short zone, which doesn't materialize.

    I'm not trying to take anything away from the Chargers. For their part, Rivers had excellent protection and the ball was perfectly placed. It's very likely that even if Bowman had great coverage, that was going to be six! I'm just pointing out there was a lot going wrong on the defensive side.

    On Matthews nice 19yd pickup, the Chargers were in a tight run formation. The CB collapses to the inside and Briggs slides wide, and is clean to make the stop, which he does 99.9% of the time. But as the analyst points out, he leaves his feet. Worse, he makes no attempt to wrap up. I know some Charger fans have to have it that Matthews broke the tackle, but the fact is, it was a very poor attempt by Briggs. That said, Matthews displayed a tendency to fight through tackles. This play wasn't one of them. Further, after Briggs, there's a huge vacuum, no pursuit to speak of. Once Matthews was in the open field, he could've done more to set up his cut back inside.

    Scouts say this kid gets behind his pads and runs downhill. For me, he was running too high. He does possess a nice combination of speed and power. He did exploit some nice holes, although it didn't take a special back to make something of those opportunities. This is all based on one brief, preseason game. Merely, initial observations, nothing more. I was not impressed with Matthews ability to cut clean, didn't explode out of his cuts. His balance may come into question. Given the media-washed hatred spewed toward Vincent Jackson, my tendency is to be even more reserved with that which is directed toward L. Tomlinson. If at all possible, I would've attempted to bring him back to help the team transition to Matthews.

    "The Chargers traded up 16 spots (from 28 to 12) to get Mathews, even though he wasn't projected to get picked until the Chargers original selection spot. While the Chargers did need to get a RB in this draft, the Chargers should have grabbed a player that they could not have selected with the 28th overall pick, like Tennessee DT Dan Williams." http://bleacherreport.com/articles/384259-chargers-draft-pick-by-pick#page/2 Matthews stock was based entirely on one year at Casino St. He's out early and the Chargers reached to get him. I hope for their sake that whatever they see, it's what they get.

    I like the team's depth at TE. #62, the guy at LT, that's Dombrowski? I just checked his numbers, wow. He looks undersized, yet he's listed at 6'5", 320+. He just didn't appear to have the wingspan or the lead to anchor. He looked to me like he got away with lining up off the ball on a few occasions. This last observation is more indulgence, meant to be taken with a grain of salt. But I swear it was déjà-vu watching those penalties on offense. What do I mean? Well, like the false-start on a run play that was away. Meaning, the OT committing the penalty was on the back side of the run, his block wasn't crucial to the play's success. When Turner was in Washington this sort of thing used to drive some of us crazy. It was rumored, more than once, that WR Albert Connell would purposely commit penalties, forcing a passing situation. Again, I reject any notion that I'm implying anything other than what it reminded me of.

    That said, if there's a knock on Turner that has merit it's that he doesn't emphasize the run. I also know that the ability to move the ball on the ground is a reflection of the entire unit, not just the ball carrier. Matthews may be the second coming, but I'm 100% convinced that Tomlinson could've exploited the lanes Matthews did.
     
  6. nickelbolt

    nickelbolt Fuggedaboutit

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    Hester as fullback = clusterfcuk wrapped up in a **** tortilla.


    Norv is trying to serve it up hot & fresh to us.


    I ain't eatin' it. :tdown:
     
  7. wrbanwal

    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

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    So, your basically saying everything we did on offense was enhanced by the poor play of the Bears defense. Sounds like you should write for that rag bleacher report you linked to.

    I like the take they had on Matthews -

    The Chargers could have easily waited until the 28th or 40th pick to get a serviceable running back prospect such as Auburn’s Ben Tate, Stanford’s Toby Gerhart, or Tennesee’s Montario Hardesty


    really?

    how did the Ben Tate pick work out for the Texans?

    our 2nd round pick would have been after Minny picked Gerhart

    and from a glance at Montario Hardesty, it looks like he has injury concerns.

    :tdown:
     
  8. sdbound

    sdbound Well-Known Member

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    ?

    Please elaborate.
     
  9. wrbanwal

    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

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    maybe a metaphor for a dearly departed Charger??

    :icon_shrug:


    :lol:
     
  10. markrc99

    markrc99 BoltTalker

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    wrbanwal:

    I think you've misread what the article said. The point, which I've read elsewhere, suggests that Matthews himself, not someone else, would've still been on the board at 28. Meaning, the Chargers didn't have to reach the way they did. This is refutable of course. You can show me the forecasts, suggesting when Matthews was projected to be picked. I have two such publications, Pro Football Weekly and the Sporting News. PFW had Matthews projected as a 2nd-3rd rounder. Sporting News had him at #39. Now, what would be better is what the team's rationale was. They may have known something, or believed something that influenced what they did.
     
  11. wrbanwal

    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

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    markrc99:

    I'm not sure what article you are referring to. I was responding to your initial post and that rag they call the Bleacher Report.

    Some guy saying they could have picked Mathews at 28 has no credibility to me for the simple reason it's all speculation. So even having a conversation about it is pointless.

    I did however point out how absurd I think the b/r take was on the Mathews pick.

    :bolt:
     
  12. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Sayers had some critique for the Bears team awhile back & Urlacher basically told him to fu.ck off since he'd never won a championship.

    IMO, Urlacher can suck a legendary dick.
     

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