Since the Chargers lost to Denver last Monday, I've had a lot on my mind. Stuff like "throwback jerseys are good, throwback cheerleader outfits are not as good." Or, "I sure like Jon Gruden when he doesn't work in Oakland." But mostly it's been, "What happened to this team we called a Super Bowl contender?" Many of you have already provided your thoughts on these matters (although I haven't seen a single word about the cheerleaders), and now it's my turn.
(Photo Credit: Mike Nowak/San Diego Chargers)
The most popular reason for the Chargers' downfall starts with Norv and ends with Turner. Personally, I think you're giving him too much credit. I'm not a Norv fan, and will not shed a tear when he is fired, but he is still the same guy who led them to the last two AFC West championships. He didn't win them, but he was the coach when they were won. In my opinion, had it not been for injuries to LT, Rivers, and Gates, the Chargers would have ended the Patriots' perfect season and won Super Bowl XLII. To lay all blame on Norv is to say that the sole reason that the Broncos are any good is because Josh McDaniels replaced Shanahan. No, there is a lot more to it than the coach.
The players share a lot of the blame for their poor play and lack of consistency, but the one thing you can't blame them for is injuries. Missing guys like Hardwick and Williams really hurts; as the saying goes it's tough to replace a Pro Bowler with a Pro Bowler. But having to resort to guys like Dombroski, Mrucskowski, Nwagbuo, and Boone show's you how little depth you have.
No depth...that brings us to the man responsible for this roster, AJ Smith. Oh AJ, how we loved you so. You put together what has been consistently been labeled as the most talented roster in the league. And because of this belief, AJ has been playing the draft like it's his own personal game of roulette. Picking players we don't need in the hope that they turn into a superstar worked once with the Antonio Cromartie pick, but lately AJ has resembled a guy who has lost his touch. Does Bobby Beathard ring a bell?
Norv and his players share their part in the problems with this team, but it all starts with AJ. Instead of addressing needs through free agency and the draft he ignores most free agents and consistently reaches for guys in the draft who aren't contributing. Regardless of the outcome of this season, he has to have a HUGE off-season or we will stand the chance of falling behind the Broncos AND the Chiefs in the coming years.
Chargers vs. Chiefs- hopefully this game will be as good as the jerseys the Bolts will be wearing. If ever there was a game in which the Chargers can and should establish the running game, it's this game. These games are always closer than they should be. Defense, if you can't step it up against the Chiefs, you can't step it up against anyone.
Labels: NFL Season 2009 Week 7
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