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Sneak Preview - Chargers vs. Cardinals

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Trumpet_Man, Aug 24, 2007.

  1. Trumpet_Man

    Trumpet_Man Well-Known Member

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    http://www.kansascity.com/491/story/245919.html

    NFL Preseason Preview - San Diego (1-1) at Arizona (0-2)

    By Tony Moss, Sports Network
    The Sports Network

    The Arizona Cardinals will look to nail down their first win of the 2007 preseason on Saturday night, when first-year head coach Ken Whisenhunt and his team play host to the San Diego Chargers in the third preseason contest for each club.

    The Cardinals have opened the 2007 tune-up period with losses to the Raiders (27-23) and Texans (33-20), though the defeats have not been without their share of positives.

    Starting quarterback Matt Leinart has a strong 103.9 passer rating during the preseason to date, completing 12-of-18 passes for 120 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions in the two losses. Leinart was a perfect 7-for-7 for 70 yard and a score before giving way to backups in last Saturday's loss at Houston.

    Also encouraging has been the work of the running game, which was a major weakness of the Cardinals in years past. Starting running back Edgerrin James scored his first touchdown of August on a five-yard reception from Leinart last week, and backups Marcel Shipp and J.J. Arrington have combined for a healthy 114 yards on a 27 total carries (4.2 yards per rush).

    On the injury front for Arizona this week, center Nick Leckey (knee) and tackle Brandon Gorin (knee) are among those not scheduled to appear.

    San Diego, meanwhile, will be seeking to build on a 30-13 win over St. Louis last Saturday. The victory was the first of any kind for Norv Turner as Chargers head coach.

    The Chargers looked strong in all phases against the Rams, with quarterback Philip Rivers (9-of-13 passing, 82 yards, 1 TD), running back Michael Turner (9 carries, 48 yards), and return man Darren Sproles (81-yard punt return for a touchdown) all getting in on the action. The San Diego defense did its part by forcing three Rams turnovers on the night.

    Rivers has a 109.0 passer rating in the 2007 preseason.

    This week, San Diego starters are slated to participate in about 40 plays, though that group will not include perennial Pro Bowl running back LaDainian Tomlinson. Tomlinson is traditionally held out of the preseason as a precautionary measure.

    Arizona holds a 9-7 edge in the preseason series with San Diego, though the Chargers were 38-13 road winners in the last such meeting, prior to the 2004 campaign.

    The teams also met in Week 17 of the 2006 regular season, a 27-20 Chargers victory at Qualcomm Stadium.
     
  2. Charger Dave

    Charger Dave Dead account

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    I look for the Cards receivers to show us where we are "really at" with our DBs. A very good exhibition game for us! :icon_toast:
     
  3. PowderLove

    PowderLove Former Mod, Current Slacker

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    Agreed. It will be time for Jammer to prove the doubters wrong.:bolt:
     
  4. Trumpet_Man

    Trumpet_Man Well-Known Member

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  5. Trumpet_Man

    Trumpet_Man Well-Known Member

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    :icon_evil: I see you are still a dicque :icon_twisted:
     
  6. Trumpet_Man

    Trumpet_Man Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]

    LT SEZ:

    FU leisure
     
  7. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

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    Yes, we will find out if our DB's taste great or are less filling. It appears we will also find out about Bingham. We damn well better do something besides the vanilla crap on defense. Great ice cream, crumby football. This will be the time to test the newer schemes a little bit. Our guys have been forced to play more or less back on their heels for the first two games and it's time to let them take care of business and set the attitude for the first game with DA BEARS. The new coaches need to be able to really establish themselves with the players in live fire excercises. They already know who they want for the roster, so it's time to hone the blade.
     
  8. Trumpet_Man

    Trumpet_Man Well-Known Member

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    http://www.sportingnews.com/yourturn/viewtopic.php?t=261494

    Chargers tuning up and Cardinals looking for first preseason victory

    August 24, 2007

    Associated Press

    GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- Aside from new head coaches, the Arizona Cardinals and San Diego Chargers have little in common as they prepare for their third preseason game on Saturday night.

    The Cardinals, led by rookie head coach Ken Whisenhunt, are trying to gain confidence after deflating preseason losses to Oakland and Houston, which went a combined 8-24 last season.

    San Diego is fine-tuning for a possible run to the Super Bowl under new coach Norv Turner.

    Both teams' starters are expected to play at least the first half -- except Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson, who will sit out for the third straight game to avoid injury.

    "It's a good test for us," Whisenhunt said. "We get to see where we are against a team that you know is a good football team. If we can improve and play better against a team like that, then I think that'll be something that we can really build on going into the season."

    Still, it would be unwise to draw too many conclusions based on a preseason game -- even the third one, when starters typically see lots of action.

    A year ago, the Cardinals went into Chicago and beat the Bears 23-16 in the third preseason game. Seven weeks later, Arizona blew a big lead as the Bears pulled out a 24-23 victory on Monday Night Football. Chicago went to the Super Bowl and the Cardinals went 5-11.

    The Chargers have split their first two preseason games, losing to Seattle 24-16 and defeating St. Louis 30-13. Turner said he expects the other starters to be in for about 40 plays Saturday night, or a little more than a half.

    "It's going to be the most extensive playing time our guys get," Turner said. "I like our guys to have that feeling coming out at halftime and preparing for the second half and going out and getting a series or two to start the second half."

    The Chargers will try to cut down on penalties. They have been flagged 15 times for 80 yards.

    Tomlinson, who watched from the sideline, said he was impressed by the road rout of the Rams.

    "I thought we've improved from the first game to the second game," he said. "We're doing some things well. Still some things that's killing us, you know, the penalties and stuff like that. But for the most part, when we're out there moving the football and playing defense and special teams, we look pretty good."

    San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers has completed 14-of-20 passes for 153 yards and a touchdown in the first two games. He said he doesn't expect the Chargers' attack to reach its potential until the Sept. 9 opener against Chicago.

    "I think we got a lot better Week One to Week Two, and then we also made some mistakes differently, in different areas," Rivers said. "So let's see if we can correct those and still build on what we did good. We're coming along. I think it'd be a little scary if we were where we needed to be right now."

    The Cardinals aren't anywhere close to where they need to be for the Sept. 10 opener at San Francisco on Monday Night Football. But they're going to have a good idea of how far they need to go after facing the Chargers, who return 19 starters, including all 11 on offense, from a team that won the AFC West.

    "We'll know where we're at right away," Arizona defensive end Bertrand Berry said. "This is going to be basically the last dress rehearsal, if you will, for the starters of the preseason. So we want to come out and show well and show that we're ready to get the season started on the right foot."

    The Cardinals hope to run the ball more effectively as part of Whisenhunt's plan for a more balanced attack this season. But the running game has been inconsistent so far. Through two games, the Cardinals' leading rusher is third-string quarterback Shane Boyd, with 71 yards on seven carries.

    One explanation is that starting running back Edgerrin James has only seven carries for 14 yards. Another is that the Cardinals are breaking in a line with three new starters -- center Al Johnson, left tackle Mike Gandy and rookie right tackle Levi Brown, the team's first-round draft pick.

    Whisenhunt said the line has been making progress since training camp opened.

    "I've seen some opportunities for some holes," Whisenhunt said. "I've also seen some things we need to work on better, coming off blocks, working together on our double-team blocks. But I'm pleased with the physicalness of our offensive line. We are improving in those areas."
     
  9. Trumpet_Man

    Trumpet_Man Well-Known Member

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    http://sports.aol.com/fanhouse/2007/08/21/cardinals-officially-demote-cb-antrel-rolle/

    Cardinals Officially Demote CB Antrel Rolle

    [​IMG]

    Posted Aug 21st 2007 9:23AM by Dan Benton
    Filed under: AZ Cardinals, NFC West, Phoenix

    The Arizona Cardinals have officially ended the Antrel Rolle experiment. After another disappointing performance against the Texans on Saturday, Coach Ken Whisenhunt did what many expected and demoted Rolle to the number three cornerback position.

    Although he's disappointed in his demotion, Rolle vows to improve and insists that he'll reclaim his job as the teams' starter.

    "That's the coach's decision," Rolle said of the move. "I just gotta go and play my game and be the player I know I can be."

    "I have a lot of things to work on," he added. "There's definitely room for improvement ... I've got to keep working on my technique."
    Based on his performances so far, I have little confidence that Rolle can improve enough to re-assume his starting position. And while it's still too early to call him a bust, it's not too early to suggest that the Cardinals got a bad return on their 2005 first-round draft pick.

    Free agent addition Roderick Hood and third-year player Eric Green will assume the starting roles.
     
  10. Trumpet_Man

    Trumpet_Man Well-Known Member

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    http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/story/95785

    Tight ends coming up short

    Mike Tulumello, Tribune
    FLAGSTAFF - In sports, it’s one thing to be low profile in one’s diligent pursuit of doing the dirty work. It’s another to be invisible.

    Read Mike Tulumello's Bird Watching blog

    The tight end spot in the Cardinals’ new offense will be mostly manned by grunt workers who block more than catch passes.

    So far, though, they haven’t done enough.

    Coach Ken Whisenhunt wants his current group of tight ends to make fewer mistakes, including penalties and missed blocks, and catch a few balls along the way, too.

    Whisenhunt, asked if he might start looking for possible upgrades to the position from outside the current Cardinals roster, said, “You’re always looking to better your positions.

    “If there’s somebody out there, I don’t know. We’re trying to get the guys on our team ready right now.”

    But if the current players don’t improve, he said the team will have to take a look at “what else is out there for us to get from the tight end position. The overall consistent play is not there yet.”

    In the disappointing 33-20 loss to Houston on Saturday, “There were too many mental errors from that position.”

    Though he didn’t specify the player, Whisenhunt said a missed assignment on a block by a tight end messed up a 4thand-1 run by Edgerrin James on the team’s first drive.

    That meant no score on a drive that started with a trick play — a double reverse ending in a long pass by Anquan Boldin — that netted 55 yards on an interference penalty.

    The Cardinals figure to keep three tight ends.

    At the moment, the leading applicants are Leonard Pope, who was drafted in Round 3 last year, plus rookies Troy Bienemann (a free agent) and Ben Patrick (drafted in Round 7 this year).

    Bienemann has made quite a journey to get to the Cardinals.

    He was an All-Pac 10 player (three times on the league’s allacademic team) at Washington State.

    He looked like he had an NFL future until he blew out his knee at the end of his senior year. In catching a touchdown pass vs. Oregon, “A defensive back came down right on my knee.”

    Out went the pro combine at Indianapolis. Out went workouts for individual teams.

    The bottom line: 19 tight ends were drafted in 2006, none of them named Troy Bienemann.

    He was picked up by New Orleans as a free agent. But while finishing his rehab work for the Saints, he blew out the same knee again while running pass routes.

    So he took the 2006 season off, while working for a technology company in Silicon Valley.

    His football career seemed at a dead end.

    “Once the season ended, my agent started making calls,” he said, but there were no takers. In effect, he said teams replied, “‘Nah, we got plenty of tight ends. Two knee surgeries in six months. He’s damaged.’”

    Then Whisenhunt agreed to let him try out in the Cards’ offseason program.

    “I tried out. I’m still here.”

    Bienemann figures he has “a decent chance” to make the team, but, “I’ve got to do a lot of things better.

    “I haven’t played in 20 months so I’m rusty. But I’m starting to get back into it, learning the offense and the nuances you lose after being out of the game for two years.”

    As for the other tight ends, Pope has the advantage of one year of experience.

    “I think I’m a great tight end, a big guy who can stretch the field,” he says.

    His strength is pass catching. Which is another way of saying, he needs to work on his blocking if he wants to stay for the long term.

    “That’s my main thing that I’m focusing on. I think I’ve progressed a whole lot during this training camp.”

    Patrick had done little since being drafted this year until making two catches Saturday vs. Houston.

    “I’ve definitely got a long way to go but I think I’m heading in the right direction,” Patrick said.

    All three had better be headed in that direction, or the Cards soon will be scanning the list of tight ends released by other teams.

    EXTRA POINTS: The Cards have signed quarterback Lang Campbell, who played with Austin of the Arena Football League this past spring, to a one-year contract. The team released quarterback Toby Korrodi and has reached an injury settlement with fullback A.J. Schable.
     
  11. Trumpet_Man

    Trumpet_Man Well-Known Member

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    http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/story/95652

    Cardinals notebook: Veteran players have good camp

    Mike Tulumello, Tribune
    FLAGSTAFF - It’s finally over. The Cardinals end their nearly monthlong stay in Flagstaff today with a morning practice.

    Read Mike Tulumello's Bird Watching blog

    Along the way, a number of players established themselves as stars — or at least pleasant surprises — of training camp.

    Coach Ken Whisenhunt pronounced himself “very pleased” with center Al Johnson and left tackle Mike Gandy, both free agents acquired to boost an offensive line that helped kill the team’s chances the past few years.

    “There have been a number of veteran players who you thought were good players,” Whisenhunt said. “It’s nice to see them have a good camp.”

    Also fitting this bill have been receiver Bryant Johnson, plus running backs Marcel Shipp and J.J. Arrington, all of whom “showed me in live situations that they’ve made improvements and are valuable parts of this team,” Whisenhunt said.

    FAN SUPPORT VITAL
    As the Cardinals enter their second season in their new stadium, Whisenhunt said he understands the importance of demonstrating to fans the team is improving.

    Otherwise, the team’s sold-out status could be in jeopardy a year from now.

    “I feel very sensitive to that,” the first-year coach said. “I understand that we have to prove we can do that.

    “Our goal is to put a product on the field they can support and be proud of. Everything we do is geared to being a good, consistent football team. Yes, I think it’s an important year to show that.”

    POSITION BATTLES
    Cardinals coaches plan to use Saturday night’s home game vs. San Diego to decide on starters at a number of positions.

    Aaron Francisco is battling Terrence Holt for a safety spot, though Francisco thinks Holt has locked up the job. Also, Darryl Blackstock and Calvin Pace are vying for the outside linebacker position vacated by the injured Chike Okeafor.

    At cornerbacks, Eric Green and Rod Hood seem to have a clear edge over Antrel Rolle, who is now serving as the third corner.

    The Cards will try Sean Morey at the “gunner” position on special teams.

    ONE HALF FOR STARTERS
    The team’s starters likely will play the first half Saturday night.

    At halftime, Whisenhunt will decide if the starters have taken enough snaps to call it a night.

    “Right now, we’re planning on playing them through the first half,” he said.

    BATTLE ON LINE
    Whisenhunt gave this review of players battling for backup spots on the offensive line:

    He praised Lyle Sendlein, an undrafted rookie free agent who played at Scottsdale Chaparral High School and in college at Texas. On Saturday vs. Houston, “Sendlein did a pretty good job. He’s consistently done a pretty good job.”

    Outside of a holding penalty on Saturday, third-year guard Elton Brown has “played pretty well” while Bryan Johnson, an undrafted rookie free agent from LSU, “has been inconsistent,” Whisenhunt said.

    Elliot Vallejo, an undrafted rookie free agent from California-Davis, played a “solid game” Saturday, he said.

    EXTRA POINTS
    Saturday’s game is a sellout and will be televised live on Ch. 15.

    Nick Leckey, a backup offensive lineman, is out with a knee injury. The Cardinals hope he can return to practice next week. Brandon Gorin, another backup lineman, is doubtful.
     
  12. TheLash

    TheLash Well-Known Member

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    I am so ready for some football!
     
  13. Trumpet_Man

    Trumpet_Man Well-Known Member

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    I just threw down my entire bankroll ($9,600+)of BoltCash on the Chargers to win -3.5.

    Yeah, I am ready :tup:
     
  14. Trumpet_Man

    Trumpet_Man Well-Known Member

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    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/wire?section=nfl&id=2990203

    Friday, August 24, 2007
    Chargers tuning up as Cardinals look for first preseason victory

    Associated Press

    GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Aside from new head coaches, the Arizona Cardinals and San Diego Chargers have little in common as they prepare for their third preseason game on Saturday night.

    The Cardinals, led by rookie head coach Ken Whisenhunt, are trying to gain confidence after deflating preseason losses to Oakland and Houston, which went a combined 8-24 last season.

    San Diego is fine-tuning for a possible run to the Super Bowl under new coach Norv Turner.

    Both teams' starters are expected to play at least the first half -- except Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson, who will sit out for the third straight game to avoid injury.

    "It's a good test for us," Whisenhunt said. "We get to see where we are against a team that you know is a good football team. If we can improve and play better against a team like that, then I think that'll be something that we can really build on going into the season."

    Still, it would be unwise to draw too many conclusions based on a preseason game -- even the third one, when starters typically see lots of action.

    A year ago, the Cardinals went into Chicago and beat the Bears 23-16 in the third preseason game. Seven weeks later, Arizona blew a big lead as the Bears pulled out a 24-23 victory on Monday Night Football. Chicago went to the Super Bowl and the Cardinals went 5-11.

    The Chargers have split their first two preseason games, losing to Seattle 24-16 and defeating St. Louis 30-13. Turner said he expects the other starters to be in for about 40 plays Saturday night, or a little more than a half.

    "It's going to be the most extensive playing time our guys get," Turner said. "I like our guys to have that feeling coming out at halftime and preparing for the second half and going out and getting a series or two to start the second half."

    The Chargers will try to cut down on penalties. They have been flagged 15 times for 80 yards.

    Tomlinson, who watched from the sideline, said he was impressed by the road rout of the Rams.

    "I thought we've improved from the first game to the second game," he said. "We're doing some things well. Still some things that's killing us, you know, the penalties and stuff like that. But for the most part, when we're out there moving the football and playing defense and special teams, we look pretty good."

    San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers has completed 14-of-20 passes for 153 yards and a touchdown in the first two games. He said he doesn't expect the Chargers' attack to reach its potential until the Sept. 9 opener against Chicago.

    "I think we got a lot better Week One to Week Two, and then we also made some mistakes differently, in different areas," Rivers said. "So let's see if we can correct those and still build on what we did good. We're coming along. I think it'd be a little scary if we were where we needed to be right now."

    The Cardinals aren't anywhere close to where they need to be for the Sept. 10 opener at San Francisco on Monday Night Football. But they're going to have a good idea of how far they need to go after facing the Chargers, who return 19 starters, including all 11 on offense, from a team that won the AFC West.

    "We'll know where we're at right away," Arizona defensive end Bertrand Berry said. "This is going to be basically the last dress rehearsal, if you will, for the starters of the preseason. So we want to come out and show well and show that we're ready to get the season started on the right foot."

    The Cardinals hope to run the ball more effectively as part of Whisenhunt's plan for a more balanced attack this season. But the running game has been inconsistent so far. Through two games, the Cardinals' leading rusher is third-string quarterback Shane Boyd, with 71 yards on seven carries.

    One explanation is that starting running back Edgerrin James has only seven carries for 14 yards. Another is that the Cardinals are breaking in a line with three new starters -- center Al Johnson, left tackle Mike Gandy and rookie right tackle Levi Brown, the team's first-round draft pick.

    Whisenhunt said the line has been making progress since training camp opened.

    "I've seen some opportunities for some holes," Whisenhunt said. "I've also seen some things we need to work on better, coming off blocks, working together on our double-team blocks. But I'm pleased with the physicalness of our offensive line. We are improving in those areas."
     
  15. Trumpet_Man

    Trumpet_Man Well-Known Member

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    http://www.mattleinartblog.com/

    Here comes Cardinals training camp!
    July 27th, 2007 by admin

    REPORT DATES: Rookies July 27th, Veterans July 27th SITE: Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ

    CAMP OBJECTIVES: Ken Whisenhunt’s initial camp in the desert will be a busy one, as the new head coach and his staff attempt to employ new schemes while integrating a number of new faces into their program. Offensively, Whisenhunt’s biggest task will be shaping the line, which was among the worst in the league in 2006 and is expected to feature new starters in center Al Johnson (ex-Cowboys) and first-round draft choice and tackle Levi Brown (Penn State). Those additions, along with that of former Saints and Browns fullback Terrelle Smith, were initiated in order to aid a long-dormant run game. On defense, the team is expected to move from a 4-3 scheme to the 3-4 favored during Whisenhunt’s tenure in Pittsburgh. How players that seem best-suited for the 4-3, such as ends Bertrand Berry and Chike Okeafor along with linebackers Karlos Dansby and Darryl Blackstock, will adjust will be worth watching. Whisenhunt and defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast must also inspire good things out of a secondary that added cornerback Roderick Hood (ex-Eagles) and safety Terrence Holt (ex-Lions) to the mix.
    PRESEASON SCHEDULE: 8/11 at Oakland; 8/18 vs. Houston; 8/25 vs. San Diego; 8/30 at Denver
     
  16. loweezy

    loweezy BoltTalker

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    It just won't happen in the preseason. Defenses don't stunt or blitz in the preseason like they do in the regular season. So you don't get the same results defensively. As for our db's, within base d packages, you won't really know how the secondary is as a unit within our entire defense until the regular season starts.
     
  17. WonderSlug

    WonderSlug Well-Known Member

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    The fact that even with a basic secondary package, and no blitzing, our secondary has 4 INTs to it's credit already in just 2 games, is major.

    Last year's preseason, our secondary only had 3 INT in all 4 games.
     
  18. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    I predict another Sproles' return for a TD!!
     
  19. cranberry

    cranberry BoltTalker

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    Preseason sellout in Phoenix ?
    There will be more Charger fans than Cardinals !
     
  20. loweezy

    loweezy BoltTalker

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    All the more better when you combine that with the added pressure our front 7 will put on teams in the regular season.
     

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