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Smith's Chargers better wake up before it's too late

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by ChargerRay, Nov 15, 2007.

  1. ChargerRay

    ChargerRay #FireMcCoy #FirePagano Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/columns/story?columnist=wickersham_seth&id=3111763

    It's so easy to rip Chargers general manager A.J. Smith, isn't it? Someone always needs to get the blame, right?

    It's easier than you think, and it's not just because the Chargers look about as uninspired as any 5-4 team in recent history, which would be OK if a group of players that produced the best record in the league in '06 and fed the most Pro Bowlers to Hawaii were anything other than, oh, completely intact. And it's not just because Smith couldn't patch up his relationship with Marty Schottenheimer, a coach he loathed and mocked to friends.

    Smith made it easy all by himself. He sat in his office in August, and while discussing his team's prospects for 2007, he brought up the fact that struggling sometimes is good for a team. That being the best regular-season team isn't all it's cracked up to be.

    "Do your history," he said then. "Do me a favor, and go back 10 years. Tell me what home-field advantage has done for the world champion."

    The answer? Not much. Only three of the past 10 world champs were the No. 1 seed: the '03 Patriots, '99 Rams and '98 Broncos.

    Smith smacked the table for emphasis. He was excited. He'd seen what his team had done with home field: blew a fourth-quarter lead to the Patriots in last season's playoffs. See, this was a test, a challenge. And Smith loves challenges. Loves being aggressive. Loves taking risks. Those challenges and risks are why San Diego has the roster it has, but also why it has the coaching staff it has.

    As crazy as this sounds, it was obvious on that August day that, deep down, Smith wanted the Chargers to struggle a little this year. He wanted them to be tested and wanted to see how they'd react. "We really haven't done anything yet with our talent," he said.

    Now, of course, they've done less. Philip Rivers' passer rating is down 14 points from '06. LaDainian Tomlinson is averaging a yard less per carry than last season. A defense that led the league in sacks is tied for 16th. The players, according to a Yahoo! report, don't seem to respect their coaching staff. And according to the San Diego Union-Tribune, several Chargers missed curfew Saturday night.

    Smith, the consummate gambler, is ultimately responsible. He is, after all, the one who asked for permission from Chargers owner Dean Spanos to attempt to win a Super Bowl "by all means."

    "I'm just like the players," Smith said. "I'm just like the coach. I have no idea how long I'm going to be the general manager. None."

    In bringing in coach Norv Turner, Smith thought he was bringing in a guru who could elevate Rivers' play. Now, who knows what to think of Turner? Rivers looks lost with him, while a few hundred miles north, Alex Smith looks lost without him. And on the other side of the ball, San Diego's defense, nasty a year ago, got gutted up by the one-dimensional Vikings.

    So 2007 looks like Tomlinson's admitted nightmare -- a wasted year, right? There's no way the Chargers, especially with a talented roster and a suspect coaching staff, are going to make a dent in the playoffs, right?

    Just like the Steelers couldn't in 2005, when they were 7-5 after 12 games and Ben Roethlisberger seemed incapable of doing anything right except handing off?

    Just like the Bucs couldn't in 2002, when they faced a team that owned them -- the Eagles -- and had to close down the Vet with, uh, Brad Johnson calling signals?

    Just like the Ravens couldn't in 2000, when they were a wild card and had an offense that ... wait. Did the 2000 Ravens even have an offense?

    See, you don't have to be great through nine games to win the Super Bowl. As poorly as the Chargers have played, they still are first in their division, still are by far the most talented team out west, still could go on a roll and finish 10-6 or even 11-5. And considering how beat up Indianapolis is, last Sunday's lucky win over the Colts could mean the Chargers end up as a No. 3 seed behind New England and Pittsburgh. That was what the eventual-champion Colts were last year, which means a home game -- and a chance.

    "That's what you want," Smith said. "I don't care what your numbers are. You can have 15 wins and get a bid. You could have nine and get a bid. Just get to the tournament, hopefully be healthy, re-focus and get after it."

    Could happen. But that getting after it better come soon.
     
  2. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

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    I dont buy it.
    Fire Norv, hire Cowher.
     
  3. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

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  4. Chargers-Superhero

    Chargers-Superhero Just win the Damn SB !!!

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    I second that motion:tup:
     
  5. Shamrock

    Shamrock Well-Known Member

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    It reads like the kindler, gentler version of Mikey Silver's article.

    Still, he's implying that AJ Smith wanted the team to lose more game this season than last season. I don't buy that logic at all.
     
  6. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    The whole article (and AJ's comments, if true) smell strongly of BS. Someone is either trying to stir the shiit or cover their arse. Either way, the "logic" espoused in the article does not compute. :no:
     
  7. wrbanwal

    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

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    CUT SPROLES!!!!




    :icon_tease:
     
  8. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    :conc: :beat: :trout: :trout: :beat: :conc:
     
  9. PhillyChargerFan

    PhillyChargerFan Well-Known Member

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    :bow::bow::bow::clap::clap::clap:
     
  10. Electric Chair

    Electric Chair Well-Known Member

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    :yes::yes::yes::yes::yes:

    I am looking forward to seeing where we are come January.
     
  11. HEXEDBOLT

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

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    Cut Conc!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:bolt::icon_rofl::icon_tease:
     
  12. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    :icon_huh:
     
  13. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

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    Wait, I don't get it, it's AJ Smith's fault that the same group of players aren't performing at the level they're capable of?

    That's not AJ Smith's job that's Norv Turner's job.
     
  14. Electric Chair

    Electric Chair Well-Known Member

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    Mmm. Actually, I put that at the players feet. You get paid millions to do something, you should do it to the best of your capabilities. You shouldn't break curfew on the road, regardless of who the HC is. Do you think that Dungy has to properly motivate the Colts? :icon_shrug:

    Beat the guy in front of you. Not that difficult of a concept.

    Seriously, the BS about motivation is on the players.
     
  15. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

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    So what changed between last year and this year?

    They're the same players...
     
  16. Electric Chair

    Electric Chair Well-Known Member

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    They spent the offseason listening to how great they were. They have a Super Bowl hangover, even though they didn't do **** last year.

    At least that's how I see it.

    Leo, if you want my honest opinion that I shared with a few guys at the tailgater, I think that AJ locking all these guys up long term is what hurt the team. You have a roster full of guys that like to party that aren't playing for a contract. They all have the security of a long term deal. It makes a huge difference when you really think about it.
     
  17. Trumpet_Man

    Trumpet_Man Well-Known Member

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    Coaching changed.

    We lost our beloved Donnie Edwards due to mean posters and Foley got shot but the posters had nothing to do with it - so far.

    Godfrey said adios mother fuc-kers.

    LT got some phat endorsements and may be suffering a closet Pac-Man Jones syndrome but does it at home screaming how biitching he is and how well hung he is....you get the picture.

    My paycheck motivates me to the Nth degree as it should any professional who gives a fuc about their jobs and their familes.
     
  18. MtlBoltsFan

    MtlBoltsFan Jesse Ventura/Howard Stern 2016

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    I HAVE A PLAN

    - Andrew James Mortimer Smith
     
  19. Shamrock

    Shamrock Well-Known Member

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    Yes and no.

    Although they have long term deals, a lot of the money is in roster bonuses, instead of one large signing bonus. Dielman would be the biggest exception to that. The rest of them still are in a year by year deal, and it wouldn't be a huge cap charge to dump/trade some of those who have been extended in the last few seasons.
     
  20. Shamrock

    Shamrock Well-Known Member

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    Trumpie -

    Please out those meanies. Who would do such a thing ???
     
  21. Electric Chair

    Electric Chair Well-Known Member

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    :icon_rofl:

    Shammy, I see what you are saying about guaranteed money, but do you think that these guys would be whining and slacking if they were still playing for contract #2?

    I am no fan of Norv, but this comes back to the players imo.

    These guys love to party. I know this because of the little lady. She has met half the team on school nights.
     
  22. Shamrock

    Shamrock Well-Known Member

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    I agree. They need to fuggin' focus, quit talking about playoffs, and the "we're good" ****, and go out and kick ***. Like that clip I posted of McNeill from last year. I want that ..... lots of it.
     
  23. RM24

    RM24 BoltTalker

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    I third it. You can tell by my sig......
    I don't want to hear BC's "Brokeback Love" for Marty will prevent him from coming here. Money and the opportunity to win another Lombardi will bring him here. Not to mention the Pro Bowl talent we have and golf courses in San Diego. :yes:
     
  24. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

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    You're right....but what you're forgetting is that it's the head coach's job to get them in line.
     
  25. Electric Chair

    Electric Chair Well-Known Member

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    Not forgetting at all.

    Do you really think Dungy has to keep his guys in line? Belicheat?

    Good teams regulate from within.
     
  26. OverVolt

    OverVolt BoltTalker

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    I can see exactly what AJ is thinkin'...however, when you go through the ups and downs of a mentally tough season (as the Bolts are doing this year) one of two things happens.
    The first is good, your team actually gets mentally tougher, and by the 10th or 11th game, they are winning the close games with toughness and skill, they know exactly what they are doing, and the machine is becoming well oiled. Their approach to adversity is "we'll overcome this", and the whole team feeds on the idea of finding a way to win.

    OR the second thing happens, which is bad...the team loses it's confidence, and starts to revert back to a culture of losing, the mental focus becomes "oh no, here we go again", and the team finds a way to lose, because no one can step up and make that first or second big play.
    What AJ is taking about is mental toughness, and we are about to find out where this team is.

    Right now, CRO is just what this team needs as the "step up and make a play" guy...Sproles may be on his way to being another big sparkplug for this team...but the one we really need to step up is Rivers.
    When your QB can be counted on to make a few big plays when they are really needed, the rest of the team feels it's never out of the game...championship teams count on this level of confidence

    That said, I'm still pissed at him for making this harder than is had to be.
     
  27. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

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    Now we know what Karl Rove is doing in his spare time. Ghost writing.
     
  28. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

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    Good teams bring the bad apples into line. Teams need a focal point of leadership. Normally that's a combination of the coach and the QB, sometimes one or the other. Anything else is anarchy and that resembles what we are seeing on the field.
     
  29. Ray Dahayder

    Ray Dahayder BoltTalker

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    I still like AJ, but we need to get Cowher in here next year and get a real coaching staff that knows how to WIN!!!! Enough with hiring losing coaches.

    I was willing to give Norv a chance and I bought into all the reasons of him being the OC here and 'continuity'..... but I'm ready for a winning coach with a winning record that will win a SB for us.

    AJ.... "find him!!!!"
     
  30. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Most of what's being said here about the players being responsible for 110% effort, focus, motivation is largely true. I do think that some are suffering from rock star syndrome. They need to pull it together & decide if they want to win championships or not.

    The coaching staff (HC in particular) is responsible for discipline on the team. Sure, teammates should help to keep each other in line, but coaches enforce rules like curfews. They're also responsible for helping to create a positive, upbeat, winning attitude, designing strong game plans, midgame adjustments, & good decisions. Based upon what I see on the field, I'd have to give the head staff a"D".

    And where is AJ's blame? He hired Norv & Cottrell. This BS about how he'd rather the team face these adversities & grow is hogwash. AJ leads the pack in avoiding accountability.

    Bottom line - if the players don't somehow rise above the staff, the AFC West title is the best we're looking at for this year. Then everyone gets a look at their status for next year.
     

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