Morning Dump: San Diego Chargers News Around the Web

Entering the 2012 season, the San Diego Chargers — in spite of a decade’s worth of falling short of championships — were still considered a legitimate source of Roman numeral chatter.

The Chargers (4-4) practiced a few hours earlier than normal Thursday. It’s a pattern coach Norv Turner has carried out throughout the season when preparing to play a team in an earlier time zone. This Sunday, the Chargers travel to the East Coast to take on the Buccaneers (4-4) in what could potentially be a season-defining game.

Last week, Trent Richardson’s 26-yard touchdown against San Diego was on it. This week, three Doug Martin touchdowns of 45-plus yards against Oakland were on it.

They say timing is everything when it comes to the NFL. Who you play at what point in the season can go a long way toward determining the outcome of a game.  On Sunday, the Chargers defense will line up against a Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense that at this moment is firing on all cylinders. They put up 42 points last week against the Oakland Raiders and the week before scored 36 against the Minnesota Vikings.

SAN DIEGO — — Chargers quarterback Charlie Whitehurst is quick to pick up starter Philip Rivers. A better tale is when Whitehurst was picked up by teammate Matt Hasselbeck.

“It’s huge,” said Chargers defensive coordinator John Pagano. “Anytime you’ve got the ability for a defensive back to use both hands, it puts him more at balance.”

If the Chargers pry the ball from Bucs running back Doug Martin, consider it a major feat.

Heck, to hear Pagano, the referees may struggle to reclaim the ball from the protective rookie.

With a rookie sensation at running back and a fourth-year quarterback who’s finally coming into his own, the surprising Tampa Bay Buccaneers are starting to look like a playoff team.

The San Diego Chargers have the same record and are also just outside the playoff picture, but they haven’t looked much like a contender lately.

The Chargers seemed unfazed by having only three active wide receivers for their Week Nine game, and it didn’t matter in a win over the Chiefs. Two of those receivers, Danario Alexander and Seyi Ajirotutu, had been with the team for less than two weeks.

Tags: San Diego Chargers