Lack Of Intensity Will Doom The Chargers

Say what you will about the ridiculous officiating in Denver, the bottom line is the Chargers are statistically one of the worst defenses in the NFL. If you can't run the ball and play good defense, you won't get very far in this league. Whatever the identity the San Diego Chargers once had, whatever reputation they built for themselves, is fading away.

The San Diego Chargers are not the hard-nosed, stop-the-run, get-after-the-quarterback, pound-the-rock football team that they were for the past few years. The 2008 Chargers are not flying to the football. They are not stopping the run and forcing teams into third and long. They are not sacking the quarterback on predictable passing downs.

The 2008 Chargers are getting carved up through the air and are allowing running backs to churn up yards on the ground. They do not force negative plays, be it through a sack or a tackle for a loss. They do not intimidate teams right now, their best tackler is a cornerback (Jammer) and they get pushed around at the line of scrimmage.

I'm not going to turn this into a Marty vs Norv discussion because I think Norv is a good coach. But when Marty left San Diego the attitudes changed around San Diego. Gone was the "One game at a time" mantra, only to be replaced by talk of guaranteed trips to the playoffs and trips to the Super Bowl. So if there was one thing that I miss about Marty, it was the way in which he prepared his men to play for him. I don't miss his conservatism, and I think Coach Turner is a far better offensive coordinator than Cam Cameron was. But I think a precedent needs to be set that if you miss tackles, if you don't fly to the football, and if you don't play aggressively on defense, changes will be made. With Coach Schottenheimer, no one was guaranteed a starting job... you had to earn it. All I'm asking for is for the Coaching staff and front office to determine if they are marching out the right group of players on Sunday. You've got to want to be good, to play well. I don't see that from everyone on defense right now.

On a side note, Wade Phillips' Dallas Cowboys are playing tonight and have a chance to remain one of the best defenses in the league. It'll be interesting to see if the Cowboys emerge this season as a better 3-4 defense than the San Diego Chargers.

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September 15, 2008

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Anonymous said... Sep 15, 2008, 12:41:00 PM

The Chargers defensive performance from the preseason up through yesterday has been very concerning. I wish I had an answer for it but I just can't seem to put my finger on it. They simply look out-classes, like a college team playing a high school team.

Anonymous said... Sep 15, 2008, 4:03:00 PM

Our defensive line is getting pushed around and we can't pressure the quarterback. looks like we are playing for the wild card this year, if that.

Bay Area Shows said... Sep 15, 2008, 7:00:00 PM

If you believe Ed Hochuli's conduct sunday should be reprimanded, please sign this petition in protest. Give it a digg, if you want the petition to reach more people. Let's light a fire under 'em.

Go Chargers. We will turn this season around, no matter how badly the nfl doesn't want us to.

cmatlin said... Sep 15, 2008, 9:02:00 PM

I agree with Anonymous. The offensive line looks terrible. They seem to have regressed in a way that is very concerning. LaDainian has no room to run and I think he is more injured than we are being led to believe. Cotrell seems to be unable to make adjustments. Something is amiss with the team. There is a passion that seems to have disappeared.

canadia410 said... Sep 15, 2008, 11:27:00 PM

Its easy to see why our defense is flawed. Were missing our #1 tackler last tear in Cooper (over 170 last tear) and our best pass rusher in merriman. Merriman is gone for the season, so hopefully tucker can improve his game quickly, but cooper comes back in two games. His presence as a tackler will be felt, this takes some of the pressure of tucker and philips, allowing them to concentrate on what their built for, getting pressure. Our offensive line has looked very shaky this season, but it is also a victim of injuries. were missing both Hardwick and Mcneil, 2 pro bowl linemen. This, obviously, will open up LTs running lanes and let him be a weak side runner as he is used to doing. My biggest concern is eric weddles play so far. The chargers traded alot to go up and grab him but he has yet to pay his dues. Passing over the middle should not exist in this defense, at least without the reciever getting absolutely clocked.

Neoplatonist23 said... Sep 16, 2008, 12:03:00 AM

I'm not worried too terribly much about the risk of making the playoffs (statistically 0-2 is 25% likely to make it), but they really need to make some adjustments pronto if they want to win their division. Personally, I think they'd do best over the next two games (esp. vs. the Raiders) if they go to more 4-3 alignments on first down. They have to get after the football and have to stop the run, and an extra DE (Cesaire on the outside of Olshansky) or DT (Bingham or McKinney between Williams and Olshansky) will help with both. There really is nothing to lose in Matt Wilhelm, at least not as a starter. He is alright in passing downs, but not at the expense of a good pass rush. Fielding McKinney next to Williams would be a) unfairly big, and b) a great way to build McKinney, who has the physical tools but needs some time to develop into an ideal NT.

Anonymous said... Sep 16, 2008, 2:36:00 PM

This is an 8-8 team in training. Two good second halves of defense (last drives of the half notwithstanding); terrible first halves.

Rivers and the receivers cannot do it all alone

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