Ron Rivera has work to do.
The Bolts linebackers coach was promoted to defensive coordinator this week after Ted Cottrell was summarily dismissed. Evidentially the 37-32 loss in London was enough proof for A.J. Smith to toss the suffering Chargers defense a lifeline.
Rivera did big things with the Bears as D-coordinator during their ’06 Super Bowl run. But he’s been given the reigns of the leagues worst pass defense. There is no pressure on the quarterback. No pressure from the corners. That has translated to zero sacks or picks in the last two games. To call this defense bad is a compliment.
It’s not fair to an offense averaging 28 points and over 340 yards a game. And that’s with a so-so running effort.
There are some troubles on defense that go beyond any of Cottrell’s shortcomings. Merriman is gone. But he wasn’t the only linebacker on the field. No one has picked up the slack.
And has anyone seen Antonio Cromartie lately? I remember hearing something about shattering record books and now he’s pulled a disappearing act. The brazen fellow who made those predictions last year hasn’t showed up yet. The Cromartie I see needs to focus on stopping the big play. Worry about the rest later.
Hopefully the ‘new coach’ factor will ignite this defense. Chargers are on a bye and can really get healthy after beating down the Kansas City Chiefs on November 9th.
Remember Bolts fans, as bad as things look, this is still the AFC West and your team is still in second place. But that thread the Chargers are hanging on to is getting thinner by the minute.
Help us Ron Rivera, you’re our only hope.