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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