Saturday, October 29, 2005

Chargers Challenging Chiefs

On paper, the Kansas City Chiefs are set to walk all over the Chargers on Sunday, but that does not look to be the case. Of the 4 losses this year, the Chargers lose by only an average of 3 points. The Chiefs have the better offense, and the Chargers’ defense does leave something to be desired, but for the Chargers always find a way to stay in the game till the closing seconds. With the Chiefs having one of the worst defenses in the NFL allowing 359 yards per game, this game might really prove to be a high scoring affair.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Making Move for the Future

With the trade deadline already upon us the Chargers decided to make some moves for the future. The Chargers traded away third string quarterback Cleo Lemon for A.J. Feeley and an undisclosed draft pick from the Miami Dolphins. And since the Chargers have two potential starting quarterbacks on their roster with Drew Brees and Philip Rivers, they are reportedly going to trade one of them in the offseason. The Chargers also traded guard Toniu Fonoti to the Minnesota Vikings for a conditional draft pick in the 2006 draft. A.J. Feeley was a big bust in Miami, hopefully he will be a suitable back up for either Brees or Rivers.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Turning the Season Around

Talk about turning lemons into lemonade. After going 0-2, and being discounted by most sports people that know such things, the Chargers are coming back in a big way. After handing a decisive defeat to the New York Giants last Sunday, the Chargers had a repeat performance against the Super Bowl Champions New England Patriots. Gillette Stadium is the place the Patriots call home, and they have won 21 straight games there. But that all came to an end on Sunday. LaDainian Thomlinson tore up the Patriots defense with over 130 yards rushing and 2 touchdowns. Next week is the Pittsburgh Steelers, unfortunately no time to relax and celebrate.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Done and Out Already?

Starting off 0-2 was not the idea the Chargers had in mind. Their two losses have both come at the hand of 4th quarter collapses against the Dallas Cowboys and Denver Broncos. Many think that the Chargers could already be on the brink of being out of playoff contention.

Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports says, “San Diego's remaining slate could realistically feature 11 games against teams in playoff contention. And it's dotted with the Rolls Royce franchises from both the AFC and NFC: Patriots, Steelers, Eagles, Colts, Jets, Broncos, Chiefs (twice).”

So it looks like it’s going to be a difficult season ahead for the Chargers. Their next game on Sunday against the New York Giants could mark either the beginning of the end or the beginning of rebuilding. The Chargers need to forget about the last two weeks and focus on starting the season over again. It’s not over yet.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Chargers Start With a Limp

Not the way we saw this season starting out, at 28-24 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Last year’s surprising season for the Chargers has really gotten people ready for this new season, to see the improvements made to get them past the first round in the playoffs. The silver lining in this cloud is the 4 sacks handed to Drew Bledsoe. The defense is going to need to stay active like that against the Denver Broncos next Sunday, if they want to even their season out to 1-1.

Monday, June 13, 2005

About 90%

The Chargers number two receiver, Reche Caldwell, is well on his way for a full recovery from a torn ACL he acquired in game 6 against the Falcons last season. Caldwell has reportedly said that he feels about 90 percent and his work ethic and performance this off-season have shown the team he is ready to play again. Caldwell had a promising start last season; he had 30 plus receptions with 300 plus yards and 3 touchdowns in 5 games. His comeback this season will bolster the receiver position.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Not a Team Player

What is the make up of a professional athlete?

Dedication, team work, a good work ethic, and self discipline; these are just few thing that come to mind when thinking of the make-up of a professional athlete. Those intangibles are something drafted rookie Shawne Merriman will have to learn. While he is out of mini-camps to avoid getting hurt, his teammates are breaking their back to improve themselves for their team.

Ben Leber is the linebacker expected to be replace by Merriman. Even though Leber is hurt he still attends practice everyday. Even though Leber will loose his spot, he will still attend practice every day. Merriman could learn something from him.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Pay Day

There is always light at the end of the tunnel. People just tend to forget to look up from time to time. Such is the case for defensive tackle Jamal Williams. Williams was plagued with injuries in his first two seasons in the league but emerged within the past to years as the anchor for the Chargers defensive line. Now he signed a five year contract worth $27.5 million dollars and $11.5 million dollars of that is guaranteed.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005


Word around camp is that corner back Quentin Jammer is finally coming around to be a shut down corner like he was on the college level. Jammer believes that this will be his break out season, and according to his performances in camp he looks outstanding and is aggressively snagging the ball while closing in on receivers.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

A Little Help

When the Chargers selected there first pick Shawne Merriman it brought smiles to the faces in the San Diego front office. It put a sigh of relief on the defensive line coach, but most importantly the happiest group of people on the team would have to be the secondary, two in particular; cornerbacks Quentin Jammer and Drayton Florence.

Jammer was the No. 5 pick in 2002, and has been some what of a let down for the San Diego Chargers. Jammer was expected to become a shutdown corner just like he was in deep in the heart of Texas.

With addition of Merriman and Luis Castillo the Chargers have attempted to upgrade there pass rush; in doing so, Jammer and Davis don't have to cover receivers for 6 seconds. Maybe we can see some more INT’s this year.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Does Rivers deserve to be where he is at?

Yep, Rivers was a reach when picked 4th in the draft. Every analyst had Eli and Ben as the top two QB's. Rivers was projected to go in the second round, and then his stock began to go up before the draft.

However, his stock never got any higher than the middle of the first round. So, first of all SD should have asked the Colts to pick Ben for the negotiated trade.

He was fortunate that SD fell in love with him, because otherwise he would have been picked much later. Turns out the analysts were right about Ben too, I think most would agree.

Monday, May 09, 2005

A Look at Mini-camp

The big news, of course, was who was not there. Veterans were perplexed by Merriman's absence. The final four practice sessions were for rookies only, and the Chargers at least got to see who is in the fold. Luis Castillo, taken 28th overall, was impressive in his ability to move despite having calves as thick as light poles. He worked primarily at left end. T

he coaches took note of what second-round pick Vincent Jackson lacked as much as they praised his size and speed. Two of the new offensive linemen, fifth-round pick Wes Britt and seventh-rounder Scott Mruczkowski, showed they definitely have the size and probably possess the moves to stick in what is suddenly a deep unit. The buzz was all about running back Darren Sproles, who immediately displayed the elusiveness and side-to-side speed the Chargers hope make him a successful kick returner.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Grading the draft...B+

The team used its two first-round picks to upgrade the defense, specifically the pass rush. Only two teams had fewer sacks than the Chargers' 29 in 2004. OLB Shawne Merriman is an aggressive, nasty defender who piled up sacks in college. DT Luis Castillo is an explosive athlete who eventually should be a handful inside. Initially, he will work behind DT Jamal Williams, and Castillo also might work some at end. . . .

The team hopes RB Darren Sproles can provide a consistent spark returning kickoffs. He also might get a look returning punts, or the team could stick with WR Eric Parker in that role. The team looked toward the future by taking offensive linemen with its final three picks. The entire line returns from last season, but changes could be coming in the near future.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Chargers primed for tough schedule

By Tom Shanahan,
The television schedule says the AFC West champion Chargers are back among the NFL’s prime-time teams with one Monday night game and two Sunday night dates.

“As I’ve said before, I think we’ve arrived as an organization,” Smith said. “We’re very proud of that. I think the schedule means that a lot of people are thinking about us and want to showcase us and see what we’re about in 2005.”

On the whole, the Chargers’ 16-game schedule that was released Wednesday says the Bolts are back among the NFL’s elite clubs. In the NFL, the teams with the highest division finishes are paired up in the subsequent season. That means the Chargers are facing a tougher schedule as a 12-4 team than they did a year ago when they finished 4-12.

The season opens at home against Dallas on Sept. 11. A week later begins the second toughest road schedule in the NFL with a trip to AFC West rival Denver on Sept. 18. In all, the Chargers have seven games against playoff teams. They face the other three AFC division champions, all five other AFC playoff participants, including two against wild-card entry Denver, and one NFC division champion.

“If you want me to say it looks tough on paper, absolutely,” said Smith. “There are some good teams(on the schedule). Going on the road is hard anyway.”

Any Chargers schedule will be tough with the built in home-and-home games against AFC West rivals Denver, Kansas City and Oakland. The schedule also has the Bolts facing three of the four AFC and NFC conference finalists in four-week stretch October.

The Chargers play at Super Bowl XXXIX champion New England (14-2) on Oct. 2, play Pittsburgh (15-1) at home on Monday, Oct. 10 and travel to Philadelphia (13-3) on Oct. 23. The three teams have a combined record of 42-6.

“To me, they’re all tough,” Smith said. “You’re asking me to dissect a schedule on paper. It’s based on what the records were a year ago. I look at it as a new year. It’s a new year for us and a new year for the New England Patriots, the world champions three out of four years. And I’m sure they’ll tell you that, too, when you talk about the past.”

All three of the Chargers’ prime-time TV slots are an added treat for Chargers fans as home games at Qualcomm Stadium. The AFC North champion Pittsburgh Steelers (15-1) will enliven Mission Valley on Monday, Oct. 10. The two Sunday night dates at Qualcomm are against the New York Giants (6-10) on Sept. 25 and the Oakland Raiders (6-10) on Dec. 4.

“The best thing is everybody recognizes that with the 12-4 record, the Chargers are one of premier teams in the National Football League,” said Jim Steeg, the executive vice president and chief operating officer. “The best thing is for our fans to go out and buy season tickets. I think they’ll find we’ve got a really enjoyable season.”

In addition to AFC East champion New England and AFC North champion Pittsburgh, the Chargers third showdown with an AFC division champion is Dec. 18 at the AFC South champion Indianapolis Colts (12-4).

The other two AFC playoff participants the Chargers face are the wild-card entries – the New York Jets (10-6) and the Denver Broncos (10-6). The Chargers will be seeking revenge against the Jets on Nov. 6 for the playoff loss that ended their season.

The first Broncos game is at Denver on Sept. 18 and the Broncos visit San Diego in the regular-season finale on Saturday, Dec. 31. The second game also is a featured nationally televised game as one of two NFL Saturday contests.

The final division champion on the Chargers’ schedule is Philadelphia. The Eagles won the NFC East and NFC titles before losing to the Patriots in the Super Bowl.

The Chargers’ first Sunday night national game against the Giants will no doubt be promoted by television around quarterback Eli Manning facing the Chargers.

On Draft Day last year, the Chargers ignored Manning’s statement that he didn’t want to be drafted by the Bolts. Smith then worked a deal that sent Manning to the Giants in a package that netted the Chargers the Giants’ first-round pick, quarterback Philip Rivers; the Giants’ third-round pick, which the Chargers used to take kicker Nate Kaeding; and the Giants’ first- and fifth-round picks 2005.

“Whatever took place was last year, and we’ve all moved on,” Smith said. “That’s a question for Eli. He’s the one who made the statements he didn’t want to come to the Chargers. That’s fine. Now he’s got to come and face the fans. I’m sure they’ll be juiced up for that. That’s what pro football and the NFL are about – a little extra excitement on that one, that’s for sure.”

In addition to Denver, the Chargers other home-and-home dates are with AFC West rivals Kansas City and Oakland. The Chargers travel to Oakland on Oct. 16 before their Sunday night date on Dec. 4.

The two games with Kansas City Chiefs (6-10) are Oct. 30 at Qualcomm and Dec. 24 at Kansas City. The trip to Missouri will be the Chargers’ only cold-weather date in December since the road game at Indianapolis will be played indoors.

The AFC West’s cross-conference games are against the NFC East. Besides the home game with the Giants and the road game with the Eagles, the other two NFC East opponents include the season opener at home against the Dallas Cowboys on Sept. 11 and a road game with the Washington Redskins (6-10) on Nov. 27.

The Chargers face two other AFC East teams in addition to New England and the New York Jets, both at home. The Buffalo Bills (9-7) visit Qualcomm on Nov. 20 and Miami Dolphins are here on Dec. 11.

In addition to the three prime-time games, Steeg likes the excitement generated by the first three home games that are nationally televised against Dallas, the New York Giants and Pittsburgh.

“Three times we’ll have 70,000 people in Qualcomm cheering and yelling,” Steeg said. “A.J. and Marty (Schottenheimer) will tell you that’s worth points to us.”

Thursday, April 07, 2005

More Updates....

The Chargers have yet to decide how S Clinton Hart fits in the mix. Hart never got in a comfortable rhythm last season after being acquired off waivers from Philadelphia. He saw time in dime and nickel packages, but was unable to fully display his athleticism because he was thinking instead of reacting while learning a new defense. Hart has the ability to play free or strong safety, and likely will open camp as the backup to SS Terrence Kiel. His value could be greatest on special teams. He tied for the team lead with 13 tackles last season despite missing the first few weeks. . . .

DE Adrian Dingle took a pay cut to remain with the team. Dingle lost his starting job last season while struggling to recover from offseason knee surgery. He contributed the second half of the season as a reserve, and will be used in that role again this year. Dingle has lost some of his quickness, but still is strong against the run and can generate occasional pressure on the quarterback. He has the ability to be a part-time starter, but the Chargers will seek to monitor his snaps in hopes that he can give them a full season.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

For Your Information

Despite two rookies and a third-year pro among their five starters on the offensive line last season, the Chargers already are thinking down the line, and it could influence what they do in the draft. The club was thrilled with the development of rookie C Nick Hardwick, who started all but two games and they believe he will be a fixture at the position for years to come. But there are questions with right tackle Shane Olivea and left guard Toniu Fonoti. Some believe Olivea is better suited to play guard because of his compact build and occasional problems in space. It's possible he could be the heir apparent to veteran RG Mike Goff. Fonoti showed great promise last year after missing all of 2003 because of an injury, but the organization wants to see him have another strong season before committing to him long-term. Such a move is a gamble because Fonoti is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent next season. If he has another strong season, he surely will receive a long-term, big-money offer from another club. That means the Chargers might have to franchise him to keep him off the open market. . . .

The Chargers aren't saying so publicly, but there is concern about their long-term situation at noseguard. Jamal Williams was a monster last season, earning first-alternate status to the Pro Bowl. But his contract expires at the end of the 2005 season and there is no proven replacement on the roster. The team will look to groom Ryon Bingham, a seventh-round draft choice in 2004 who missed all of last season because of injury, but there are no guarantees. . . .

The Chargers likely will seek to add to their linebacker corps in the draft. Two of their starters are entering their 10th season and another is entering his eighth. Because one of the keys to a successful 3-4 defense is athletic linebackers, the team wants to be prepared in case one of the veterans shows slippage or sustains an injury. Currently, the organization is high on only two young reserves: Stephen Cooper (inside) and Shaun Phillips (outside).

Monday, March 07, 2005

QB Decision

We all know that Drew Brees was tagged as the franchise player. We all know the mess the Chargers went through Eli Manning, and now they have Phillip Rivers. Rivers was supposed to be the golden boy to come in and save the Chargers QB position.

Yet after the year Drew Brees had, why willed any one let him go, after all Brees did go to the pro bowl. Brees did take his Chargers to the playoffs as well.

The idea was to tag Brees as a franchise player then trade him to make room for the young Phillip Rivers. Now it seems the management wants a competition to take place. It was said by Charger officials that the QB position will be an open this next season.

Some one should make up there mind…

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Action Plan

The priority is to find a pass rusher and a free safety with range. The Chargers are likely to look to fill their pass-rushing need through the draft, in part because proven pass rushers cost a lot more money than rangey free safeties. Under G.M. A.J. Smith, the Chargers believe in prudence when it comes to free-agent spending. Last season, no free-agent signee received a signing bonus in excess of $3.5 million. Smith's philosophy is to pay his own players, not those from other teams. . . .

The absence of a consistent pass-rushing end in the base defense was a major reason the Chargers tied for the third-fewest sacks in the league with 29. The ends combined for just four sacks, with reserve DeQuincy Scott pacing the group with 1.5. Someone has to be found to complement WOLB Steve Foley, who led the team with 10 sacks. The free safety is asked to play a lot of center field in San Diego's scheme, and the organization wants someone with greater range than Jerry Wilson, a nine-year veteran who had just three interceptions in 2004. An

improved pass rush would have helped Wilson, of course, as would have more experience on the corners. Still, in San Diego's defense the free safety has to create more turnovers. . . .

The Chargers also would like to add depth at wideout. They have capable starters in Keenan McCardell and Reche Caldwell, but a down-the-road No. 1 is needed. The reasons: Caldwell not only missed the final 10 games because of knee surgery, but also is entering the final year of his four-year contract. McCardell, a 13-year veteran, also is entering the final year of his contract. Eric Parker is a solid No. 3 and part-time starter, but the team has to look down the road for a legitimate No. 1 in case Caldwell is slow to recover or leaves as an unrestricted free agent after 2005.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Secondary Needs

In 2003 the San Diego Chargers took CB Sammy Davis, a Texas native from Texas A & M, in the first round.

Although in the 2004 season Davis last his spot to Drayton Florence. Now that the off-season is upon the Chargers one would think that more attention will paid to Davis, since the second year pro didn’t produce to promise. He seems to lack movement to the ball, even though coaches feel he has good instincts.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Back in Saddle

Schottenheimer not being able to win from the "sports writers" I guess they didn't see that two year contract extension coming. Kudos to Schottenheimer, now watch him prove all you non-coaches who call your self sports analyst.

Good job Marty!

Sunday, January 09, 2005

So Close

What a heart breaker. You got to feel for head coach Marty Schottenheimer, he takes a 4-12 team and turns them into 12-4. In my book that is a great feat. Although it is tough dropping the first round of the playoffs to a wild card team in overtime (20-17), Schottenheimer is now 5-12 in the post season and that has to be rough enough for the guy.

I'm not going to sit here and bash the guy for not winning, like other sport writers have. I will tell you that Schottenheimer has been around the league for 19 season. He knows the game, he knows his players, and he knows how to coach.

You can also say he has trouble in the post-season, or you can say it was his team that had trouble in the post-season. Last time I checked, it was the players who played and the coaches who coach, but of course the team always reflects the coach. Yeah, if you Bill Parcells. Seriously though, the 14-2 season does reflect the type of coach Schottenheimer is, and the this loss to the Jets shows lack of post-season experience for his young players. T

Now it is time to sit and wait for next year.