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Ted Cotrell steps its up

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Trumpet_Man, Dec 13, 2007.

  1. Trumpet_Man

    Trumpet_Man Well-Known Member

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    http://www.signonsandiego.com/sports/chargers/20071213-9999-1s13chargers.html

    Bolts get jolt of defense

    Unit's performance has been dominant for three-plus games

    By Kevin Acee
    UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER

    December 13, 2007

    K.C. ALFRED / Union-Tribune
    Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, who sprained his left knee in the team's overtime win at Tennessee, is held out of yesterday's practice to get an extra day of rest. He is expected to practice today and play Sunday against Detroit.

    The Chargers' defensive turnaround over the past 3½ weeks is astonishing in its enormity and its symmetry. But if the dominance is to continue this week it will be accomplished without two of the defense's best players.

    It appears nose tackle Jamal Williams' sprained ankle will prevent him from playing against Detroit, and it has been known since Monday that linebacker Shawne Merriman's sprained left knee will keep him from playing at least one game.

    “Those are key guys, Pro Bowlers,” said rookie linebacker Jyles Tucker, who will play some in place of Merriman, as he did this past Sunday. “But with the leadership on the team, it doesn't matter. The coaches are staying on everybody.”

    Williams, whose ankle was initially injured Dec. 2 and aggravated Sunday, limped onto the field and slapped hands with Brandon McKinney at the end of the Chargers' defensive series in overtime. McKinney had made two tackles in the three-play series, and the Chargers had forced the Titans to punt.

    “It was my turn to step up,” McKinney said after the game. “I feel I responded pretty well. I didn't want to be the letdown.”

    Now it seems McKinney will make his first career start against the Detroit Lions. He likely would have played a lot, regardless, since the Lions pass 66.5 percent of the time, the highest percentage in the league, and Williams leaves the field in such situations.

    Marques Harris will start in place of Merriman. He played most of the snaps in place of him last week.

    “I think it would be hard for anyone to replace a guy like Shawne,” Harris said yesterday. “But it's football. Me being a backup to both Shawne Merriman and Shaun Phillips, I take it personal. They're such great players. When I get in there, I don't want to just fill in. I want to do a great job.”

    Harris, McKinney and Tucker were part of a defense that last Sunday held the Titans to 115 yards in the game's final 22½ minutes.

    That finish continued a stretch of 3½ games – since halftime at Jacksonville – that the Chargers' defense has been better than almost any in the league.

    In those 14 quarters, they have allowed 48 points, second-fewest in the league behind Minnesota over that span.


    The Chargers' 936 yards allowed over the past 14 quarters is second-fewest in the league, behind only Cincinnati. None of their past three opponents has gained more than 268 total yards or 180 passing yards.

    The 812 yards they have allowed over the past three games are the fewest a Chargers defense has allowed over a three-game span since the start of the 2002 season.

    “We're playing better as a whole,” Merriman said. “You don't have the front seven outperforming the DBs, don't have the DBs outperforming the front seven. When we play as a whole, we're dangerous.”

    The excellence over the past 3½ games is all the more remarkable in that it comes on the heels of the Chargers being the worst defense in the league for the 3½ games prior – allowing 1,394 yards.

    Certainly, the opponents have something to do with the relative success. Where the Chargers played the 12th-, third-, 13th-and 10th-ranked offenses from Oct. 28 to Nov. 18, they have played Nos. 25, 31 and 21 the past three weeks.

    But there is more.


    The Chargers struggled to make easy tackles at times earlier in the season, and lately several of them are making stellar open-field tackles. They are allowing fewer big plays (three of 20 or more yards the past three weeks vs. 12 in the previous three), making bigger plays (five interceptions the past two games after none in the previous two) and forcing more three and outs (18 over the past four games compared to 13 in the first nine games).

    Players on both offense and defense have been talking for weeks about a new attitude toward practice, preparation and games. But the defensive players also roundly credit the staff.

    “I think it's coaches being more comfortable with us and us being more comfortable with coaches and the calls and everything,” end Igor Olshansky said. “We can just go out there and be ourselves.”

    And since Indianapolis, the defensive coaches have also been preparing the players with route recognition sheets, which detail the opposing offense's tendencies on every down and distance.

    “Guys are calling out plays before they happen, recognizing formations,” linebacker Stephen Cooper said.

    :tup: :clap:

    ......... click on link for more but there is not a whole hell of a lot more.
     
  2. SanDiegoRon

    SanDiegoRon BoltTalker

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    who let the dogs out... it's not how you start but where you finiish...

    personally, I think this is the defining quote:
    “I think it's coaches being more comfortable with us and us being more comfortable with coaches and the calls and everything,” end Igor Olshansky said. “We can just go out there and be ourselves.”

    Cam & Wade knew the players and what they could & couldn't do... now, Norv & Ted are getting it... release the hounds...


    :icon_eek:
    And since Indianapolis, the defensive coaches have also been preparing the players with route recognition sheets, which detail the opposing offense's tendencies on every down and distance.

    “Guys are calling out plays before they happen, recognizing formations,” linebacker Stephen Cooper said.

    can they remember all that...:lol:
     
  3. boltssbbound

    boltssbbound Well-Known Member

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    Good to see the players taking on more responsibility and responding appropriately.

    Our defensive resurgence has aslo coincided with Cromartie starting and Jammer getting healthy. With Cro and Jammer on the outside, our coverage has been much better. Our pass rushers have had that extra second to get to the QB.

    What little offense TN had on Sunday was from dump passes. Their WRs got next to nothing.
     
  4. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

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    We have a combination of Cottrell turning the pressure up a couple of notches and the players realizing that just being good isn't enough- you have to be good and intense and play with a purpose. What is really, really obvious is that the defense is more driven since the fourth or fifth game of the season. Norval has turned things up a notch or two as well. Chambers has helped, Davis is gaining the field sense of an NFL player. If I have to pick one or two guys on the defense as the spark, it would be Cromartie and Merriman. Chambers and Hardwick seem to be the the pointy ended of the offense. LT is LT-plenty on his own.
     
  5. powayslugger

    powayslugger Feckless Slappy

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    big Ted for president.... or Atlanta Falcons head coach
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    I like the second idea. :lol:
     

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