One good thing about the Chargers as of late is they play a hell of a fourth quarter. It’s the pesky first third of the game they have to improve upon.
A late rally by Rivers and Co. fell short in Pittsburgh, sending the San Diego Chargers to 2-2, looking up at a shockingly stout Denver team atop the division.
Despite the 21-point final frame, this game wasn’t as close as the final score.
The Steelers had 497 total yards, a 66% 3rd down conversion rate, and just over forty minutes of possession. Against those numbers, unless your team rhymes with the Smindianapolis Smolts, you’re going to lose.
As if the Bolts were downtrodden enough, good ol’ AJ Smith, General Manager extraordinaire, chimed in with:
“Absolutely embarrassing… Everything is wrong with it right now. I’m not the least bit happy in a lot of areas. I’ve seen us be tough and physical to soft and bewildered.” (San Diego Union-Tribune)
Is he right? Does it matter? Or is that the type of thing you tell your players, coaches, staff, and not the press? Lighting a fire underneath the team is just as effective with inflammatory words that don’t end up on every blog on the net.
It didn’t take long for player reaction, with Shawne Merriman going on record. Suffice to say, he wasn’t too thrilled:
“I don’t know too much of that. That’s an opinion of a person, and it’s not needed… We know that we have to play better. We met for an extra hour and a half as a defense as a whole to discuss what we need to do and things we need to do to get better. And we’re going to make adjustments in this locker room as far as players and our attitudes and getting after people a little more. But all that extra (stuff) is not needed at all.”
“The only opinions that matter to me are the ones in this locker room. Anything else, it doesn’t matter.” (Associated Press)
I imagine the sentiment is echoed in the locker room. AJ surely didn’t make many friends this week. Glad he could lower morale just that much more.
The team is drowning, and the General Manager is describing the water.