Jul 25, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers receiver Danario Alexander (84) stretches prior to training camp at Chargers Park. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The National Media is off the Chargers Bandwagon, are they right?

The recent comment in which Chad Johnson expressed confidence in the Chargers ability to make the playoffs became news worthy because he’s quite alone in terms of former players, and national media experts expressing any confidence towards the Chargers 2013 season.

You will be hard pressed to find any season projection that shows any confidence or optimism, to name a few: Yahoo sports 24th power rank, NFL.com 21th power rank, cbssports Under 7.5 wins, Bleacher Report 6-10 record and a 26th ranked in the power rankings, Walter Football 6-10 record, 3rd place AFC West, ESPN.com 23th power ranking (post draft). I looked high & wide for any credible projection that had the chargers at 10 wins plus, there just isn’t any.

Locally there seems to be a different perspective, with the end of the Norv Turner & A.J. Smith era in which the talent and seemingly the ability to win a close game kept getting smaller.

The Chargers fanbase is fully hopeful that new coach Mike McCoy will infuse a new culture in which this team will have more fire, and will be able to win close games, as well as install an offensive scheme more in line with many of the modern offenses in which the short pass, and the no huddle is a major factor in creating advantage for the offense. In terms of new GM Tom Telesco, there is a view of a cost-effective upgrades through out the roster, as well as putting very talented young players on the field, that can and should outplay declining veterans that were let go.

At least speaking to most fans locally, the generalized opinion is that they should be better, by having a better coach, and the roster is better than last year’s, not substantially but enough to be a difference and win some of the close games they could have won last year. If I would put a guess on the local perspective, the expectation seems to be around 8-11 wins and fighting for a wildcard.

So why this gap in perception from the national media and the local fanbase, the easy answer if the chargers aren’t good the national media has no reason to care about their transactions or the status of the roster. The chargers are not the Cowboys, Giants, Jets, Patriots. That no matter if they are good, bad or mediocre they will know 40 players on the roster, and intricacies of their style of play.

The chargers share the lack of interest by the national media with teams like the Jaguars, Rams, Browns, Bengals, Seahawks, Bills, Colts, Chiefs. The Seahawks & Bengals, will actually force the national guys to care a lot more than usual because of visits to the playoffs. But start losing, and the indifference returns. I find it funny how many times the radio hosts from 1090 & 1360 AM in San Diego, ask experts about the chargers roster and playoff chances, and come up with an answer that is along the lines of you should know that better than me, I cover the NFL nationally I really don’t know many specifics on the chargers.

The national perception is reduced to this:
1. The chargers have gone from 13 wins to 9-8-7 wins, simply stated the window has closed and the arrow is pointing down.
2. Philip Rivers now sucks, he had 64 turnovers in his last 40 games. Was it because of lack of weapons, and a drop off in the O-Line doesn’t really matter, the guy can’t play.
3. Ryan Mathews is a massive draft bust, and can’t play. This seem to be the point were the chargers fans and media agree. But the guy actually got to a pro bowl before the line got horrible in 2012.
4. Rookie coach, means status quo, that McCoy should be better than the message that got old from Norv, doesn’t matter, rookie coach tend to be handled as status quo or worse than the previous year.
5. I recognize no names from the defense, plus the names I knew like Phillips, Jammer & Spikes left so they must be worse.

So it the end, what is the answer to the question are the chargers as bad as the national media says they are, my personal opinion is that they are a whole lot better.

My personal expectation, is that:
Rivers will fit nicely into an offense that emphasizes the short pass, one of the least known statistics of 2012 was that Rivers was the most accurate QB in the NFL in passes shorter than 20 yards at 76.8%.
That with O-Line guru Joe Delissandris will get their O-Line to play at a middle of the pack in terms of pass blocking, and their run blocking will take a major move towards improvement.
And what that improved run blocking Mathews will return to his 1,100 yards of 2011.
That the defense which is based on young and ascending players will improve on their 9th total yards of 2012.

So what does that means in W’s & L’s, for me its 9 wins, 2nd place in the AFC West just missing a wildcard birth. I need to see this team win close games, and get better veteran depth in the back-end of the defensive roster for 10 or more wins. Put me down for 9 wins, and let the national media feed the motivation for this team to make the playoffs.

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Tags: Nfl Offseason San Diego Chargers

  • Lee

    Good interesting article but full of mistakes. Made it really hard to follow and didn’t make sense at times. I do agree with you tho, the national media is unfairly biased towards teams with large fan bases. They always say these teams will have good seasons regardless of how bad they really are…pisses me off

  • RussinSactown

    Personally I like being off of everyone’s radar.

    • Stefanie Smith

      Trouble is we really aren’t off the radar. They bring the Chargers up and are insulting or rude. Except for Jamie Dukes. He thinks the Chargers and Rivers are going to be fine with McCoy. He said he thought the Chargers are going to rebound this year.

      • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

        He’s always had our back. Love him.

    • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

      agree with that

  • arnie

    They were never on it. Like you said, they win, the media talks about them. If not, it’s back to covering the cowboys. So much ESPN did special report on training camp, Live from Carson CA, where the cowboys train.
    I’m cool with that, the cowboys were no better than the Chargers, and time will tell which “coverage” pays off.

    • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

      They practice in Oxnard.. not that it matters… but, I live in the O.C.
      If Tony Romo was THAT close to me on a daily basis, I would go over there, and make sure that he never made it back to Dallas… LMAO!!!!

      • arnie

        that shows how much i care. LOL

        • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

          LMAO!!! One thing I can say about those East Coasters.. They know where to practice when it comes down to it.. WEST COAST ALL DAY BABAY!!!

          • arnie

            LOL…Exactly! if jerry world is so great. practice there. the Chargers don’t practice in texas. The Chargers tried camp in Camp in OXnard and it sucked. so they came home.

  • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

    Great article, Sergio! I was waiting for this one since you mentioned it the other day. I bet the interview for writers, hosts, and analysts for the NFL Network goes something like this:

    1) They hand you a piece of paper that has two MAIN rules on it. “Only say bad things about East Coast teams if you HAVE to”. The second says “Only say good things about West Coast teams if you HAVE to”.
    2) They hand you a list of the “Usual Suspects” that you must regularly fellatiate. (The Mannings, Brees, Brady, Rogers, Roethlisberger, Flacco.. most importantly ROMO & FAVRE etc). Then they give you a list of people to bad-mouth.
    3) You have to blindly agree with, pacify, glorify, and pander to Michael Irvin, Warren Sapp, Sean O’Hara, Willie McGinest, and Heath Evans… even if they are completely wrong, and totally biased in their analysis. This includes constantly pointing out their Super Bowl accolades on camera, and reminding the audience of their Hall of Fame status daily.
    4) This is the most important rule of all!!!! You must make absolutely sure to say how bad a player or coach is when they are on a “NON-NFL Network supported team”. But, when they move to an “NFL Network SUPPORTED team”, you must suddenly start calling them geniuses. This also applies to teams. If an East Coast high-profile player or coach moves to a West Coast team.. you must now give them a much better shot at making the playoffs over other West Coast teams, and cover them more often.
    That about sums it up.

    • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

      Oh, and welcome back Sergio.. hope you had a nice vacation ; )

      • Sergio Quintero

        Thanks Pete, Comic Con was insane, its weird to wake up earlier on your vacations than work days. But was there for Batman/Superman announcement, when the place went mad, and Tom Hiddleston was awesome doing Loki live to 6,500 people room.

    • Sergio Quintero

      Recently I was listening to a podcast of Hacksaw/Hayworth where they interview an NFL writer for S.I., and the girl literally goes to the: You guys should know better, my beat was the Jets & Giants. Damn I wish I was surprised.
      Then she went on the standard the chargers look like a 6 win third place rant, done.

      • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

        I would say something about her comments, but I think what I said above applies to most of the National media.. Not just the NFL Network. It reminds me of those East Coasters who say RIDICULOUS stuff like “The West Coast sucks.. You can’t get a good pizza, and they don’t know a thing about how to make a bagel.. And there’s no ‘culcha’ there”. As if these guys are attending Broadway shows, and museums, and shit. Keep shoveling the snow off your driveways, so you can get a great Ruben, jerk offs! We’ll be at the beach in January.. Lol. Good luck with that.

  • Stefanie Smith

    Not to stick up for Tim Tebow but is it really necessary to write for NFL Network and say that Tebow was horrendous at Pats’ camp? Say nothing if he was so bad. They really can be almost hurtful.

    Because when you get down to it, using words like “horrendous” stinks” etc is not news reporting. It’s slamming and if I were these players that sports folks have decided they will insult–when they want any interview, I would tell them to get lost.

    This is what gets me the most about Charger coverage lately. You can see the bias, they ignore facts clearly in front of them and basically act like high school guys haranguing on some team or player going through something. (Saying Antonio Gates is overrated is wrong and it is not reporting. They are attempting to inflame. It’s rude.)

    • Sergio Quintero

      I thought Tebow was functional when the Broncos had him, and with potential to improve, is he as good as the hype he got early on, no, is he a terrible player no, just remember Ryan Leaf for truly horrible play.

      Plus the guy is a genuinely good guy with a great work ethic, no reason to slam the guy.

    • Alter Ego

      Liking Tebow is similar to admitting you liked the Bee Gees.
      He is an easy target – despite his obvious talent.

  • Gunnar Martin

    Really liked that stat of Phil’s short-yard accuracy. Maybe it’s because we just caught the D napping sometimes since we passed deep so often, but maybe not. Let’s hope he keeps that up this year.

    • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

      Me too.. Nice Todd bit, Serg.

  • Nick in PB

    I’m pretty sure that everyone west of the Mississippi has had it with the so-called big football networks and their bias. It seems that 75% of their reporting is based on the teams Sergio mentioned in his article. It’s actually laughable if you are a fan of those teams not mentioned above. Even in a down year, the Jets get more press than all the best teams out west. The Jets are basically irrelevant this year (and last) yet they still get press. How many times do we have to hear about the QB competition between Sanchez and Smith? Or the Patriots without 7 of their top receivers last year? Every NFL team has an interesting story line going into this season but they keep rehashing the same old sh*t! The Chargers have a great story line with the new coaching staff and how the city, team is responding but they only scan for the players they know and that’s how they rate teams. I am so tired of it.

    • Sergio Quintero

      I know the tendency of the previous seasons talking heads, but maybe just maybe there were extenuating circumstances like say Norv Turner and his message getting old, or an offense built on running inside and pushing the ball upfield, with a really bad O-Line, who knows maybe a switch to a new scheme will work wonders.

      But that would taking time to do research and actually caring, nope its just easier to say they suck, until they prove otherwise.

      • Nick in PB

        So true Sergio. Because they are located on the East Coast it’s much easier to report on the teams that are nearby but that’s not an excuse. If you call yourself a Sports Network, then it should be equal time for all.

  • Sergio Quintero

    Out of the west coast teams 49ers, Seahawks (first time since the 80′s), Broncos will get heavy attention from the media. The main reason is their all really good, and have conversation worthy QB’s. But yes the Jets & Cowboys will not be good, but they will be in every NFL Live & Total Access episode through today until the Super Bowl.

  • Sergio Quintero

    Any predictions on wins and place in the AFC West for the chargers?

  • Bill Nichols

    Don’t give a damn personally what the talking heads say about my bolts. I know them much better than they. This team does have a new fire about them, and the regime isn’t coming in trying to make friends with anyone. Screw you if you do not do exactly what we tell you to do, and you better be in shape, and learn the new system pronto. This attitude is going to win a few more games for us this year, the line is going to help us win a few more, and the D will be getting off the field sooner with better 3rd down stats. Hell that is enough to put us to 10 wins easily, you’d think we won 2 games last year the way the yahoos are talking. FK them, Bolt Up!!

    • Sergio Quintero

      The 2012 chargers were not a great team, but I still felt watching every game, that they were unlucky and didn’t make clutch plays and they still won 7 games (the ravens’ game they completely lost from the bag).

      So for me with some reasonable improvements 9-10 wins is not out of realm of reasonable expectation.

      What has happened is that I watch programs like NFL Live & Total Access less and less, as I only get mad in watching them.

  • Bill Nichols

    Alert, alert!! Just saw LT with Rivers at Chargers Camp. Before they started jaw jacking, they showed a clip of rivers rolling out and then dumping it off. Damn foot work looked sharp, didn’t look like a lumbering tap dancer, a few other shots of his foot work showed big improvement. Of course there were no mean ass defenders running after him, but still looked good. Bolt Up!!

  • Sergio Quintero

    From Laidanian Tomlinson today on the UT: “Don’t worry about what everybody’s saying in terms of where the Chargers are going to finish in the AFC West,” Tomlinson told reporters. “It really depends on what they want out of themselves. If they commit to everyone and come to work every single day and commit to each other, they will exceed expectations.”

  • Thomas Powell

    Ill got them at 8 so 9 is reachable good piece

  • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

    Just saw a perfect example. Drew Brees threw a ton of interceptions last season… Not because he made poor decisions (which is what they would say about Rivers).. it’s because Sean Payton wasn’t allowed to coach him last year.

    Are they fucking serious?!!!!

    • Sergio Quintero

      The press don’t play favorites, right?!?

  • Sergio Quintero

    The National Media “Love” continues:
    Pete Prisco has them at 26, with the Eagles, Chiefs, Dolphins, Titans, Cardinals ahead of them. Sorry Pete not buying your list.

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