Aug. 24, 2013; Glendale, AZ, USA: San Diego Chargers linebacker Andrew Gachkar (59) intercepts the ball in the third quarter against the Arizona Cardinals during a preseason game at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Chargers 24 – Cardinals 7: Initial Impressions


Here are some quick impressions from the first game of the year.

Philip Rivers looked better out there. He actually had time to throw the football and he actually got time to establish a rhythm on offense. It was nice to see him moving the offense down the field and it was nice seeing the offense using a no-huddle offense. Philip did better, but there still is room for a lot of improvement. Other than the interception, he missed open receivers down the field. His completion percentage was not pretty.

Charlie Whitehurst and Brad Sorensen both did a good job in their time on the field. Sorensen is impressive every time he steps onto the field. He got production out of Robert Meachem. Is there a real need to keep Charlie Whitehurst? Not that Whitehurst did poorly, just don’t know if we need to keep them both around to back up for Philip. Especially since cutting Charlie would give us some room under the cap. We might need that room if we cut Robert Meachem.

Keenan Allen stepped in and showed that wiggle. He had a nice punt return and he also had a couple of bubble screens that went for positive yards. One of those screens, he had to dodge the linebacker that was barreling down on him. It reminded me of the Mike Willie play last week, but Allen was able to sidestep the tackle.

Seyi Ajirotutu might make the roster, if he isn’t injured. He already saw the field with the first team over Robert Meachem. Since Philip Rivers is comfortable throwing him the football, we might as well keep him on this roster. We need someone on the roster that Philip likes throwing the football to.

Antonio Gates and Philip Rivers didn’t have that connection that we are used to seeing. Gates created space from his defender, but the ball was not there.

The no-huddle offense is going to be huge for our offense. There was a play that was called back for a false start or something that would have had Danny Woodhead wide open on a wheel route for a touchdown.

I still don’t know why we should keep Ronnie Brown on the roster. There seems to be a couple of better options on the roster over Brown. I would rather get Fozzy Whittaker on the field or Danny Woodhead over Brown. I would even want to give Edwin Baker a shot at taking the roster spot over Brown.

Mike Harris looked good. Much quicker and much better footwork that Max Starks. Could he push Starks off of the roster? Could be a possibility.

Can we get Ladarius Green some snaps with the first team? PLEASE!!! All he does is get open and make huge plays in the passing game. I hope there is a plan on using him on offense down the road.

The special teams coverage units were much better, but there still were issues. Richard Goodman still cannot get the ball to the 20 yard line. Nick Novak also missed a chip shot. We also blacked a field goal and a punt.

On defense, Dwight Freeney is going to be a game changer. The quarterbacks do have to know where he is. He still is very quick off of the snap and will make the quarterback get rid of the football before he would like. Larry English is pretty quick off of the snap as well and made a play in the run game too. Seems to be showing that he can contribute on defense. Jarret Johnson is all over the field.

Bront Bird did well with Manti Te’o out. D.J. Smith also did well. I would like to see D.J. Smith with the first team for a bit. Andrew Gachkar plays defense? Tought he was only a special teams warrior. Good to see him contribute on that side of the ball.

There still were a few occasions where the team could not hold the edge on the running game and the back picked up some big yards on the outside.

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Tags: San Diego Chargers

  • FitzWilly

    save some coin and trade CBJ to the Jets
    maybe we can get a used jock strap in return

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

      Gross.. But still funny.

  • Jodon

    Spell check, spell check!

    • FitzWilly

      check

      anything else?

  • Cgoodness13

    I wonder what Eagles fans think now that Dunlap is a boss

    • two

      Bitter and lurking in the shadow of the forums waiting for the time to use the ol “I’m glad we let him go, ( insert insult here)”
      Hahaahaha.

    • boltingindiego

      why couldn’t he of not sucked for us

    • ECAVILLE/Ace of Spades

      Eagles didn’t like the penalties Dunlap generated on crucial scoring plays much like the touchdown that the Chargers would of had when Dunlap drew a holding flag. I’m actually ok with that holding call though because PR was about to get crushed. Dunlap is a improvement for sure from last season and he will only get better with this coaching staff.

  • LosBolts

    I find myself agreeing with you on most points especially: keeping Fozzy and Sorensen; getting Ladarius on the field more; Harris looking better and the overall rhythm of the offense.

    A couple of other things I’d add:

    ** The Arizona defense is no slouch, and the running game/run blocking continued to look very good even with the second string. They controlled the ball and had long, productive drives. The Mathews fumble was a little troublesome, but overall a very good performance again.

    ** I actually felt the potential of the offense to be very dominant , but it’s not there yet.

    ** The special teams looked great, but they weren’t as bad as they looked against Chicago, and I don’t think we’re as good as we looked against Arizona. A blocked field goal and blocked punt is quite a game. Regardless, it was nice to see that the special teams will be a contributing force and not an Achilles heel. I also think Allen got a huge shot of confidence after his big return.

    ** It is also preseason for the coaching staff. We had the challenge backfire… Then we didn’t challenge the DePalma catch (Green made a great play right after but still…). I also would like to see them further improve the fluidity with which they use the running backs to keep them running fresh (there really is no reason why our running backs should ever run fatigued.

    ** I’ve been quite worried about the secondary, but I thought they also played better.

    Overall, a very good game and great progress. It is amazing to me, that Coach and Telesco have managed to turn around the team to the point where we no longer have HUGE questions, now we have medium-sized questions.

    What do you is the biggest question that was answered and what do you think is the biggest question that still remains after watching the game?

    • Alex Pitrofsky

      The question answered for me is that Ryan Mathews is something special. If he stays healthy, he’ll be a Pro Bowler. I also hope that the special teams always plays this well and not like against the Bears. I’m not asking for a blocked punt and field goal every game but the coverage on kickoffs was good.

      • NativeSanDiegan

        Ryan won’t deserve to be in the Pro Bowl until he Holds On To The BALL near the goal line. He only has this week to prove he can. I say Super Glue the ball in his hands during goal line situations in practice (make it the last thing in practice) and leave it there until the next day. After 2 days of that give him another chance in practice and in the final preseason game. If he fails then use Woodhead. Then maybe in Bye Week give one more chance.

  • Stefanie Smith

    Hey, who was the QB that came into the game after Sorensen? Something like Enderle or something like that?

    I found him. N. Enderle. You guys don’t even acknowledge this player. lol

    • Gunnar Martin

      Yeah he ain’t makin the team… He sucks.

      • Stefanie Smith

        No he didn’t suck. Go check his stats on NFL.com. He did not suck. Oh but that’s right. Sorensen gets sacked and that is a command of the offense. lol

        • Gunnar Martin

          I just meant that he doesn’t have enough to make the team. And he fumbled his first snap. Now who does that remind me of…? haha

  • Alex Pitrofsky

    I agree with you 100% with Ladarius Green. Yesterday would have been a perfect time to mix him in with the first team and see how him and Philip play together. Another thing I noticed was how well Mike McCoy managed the clock late in the first half and the way he talked to the refs was something I never saw Norv do

  • Gunnar Martin

    Has Ronnie Brown shown enough to not get cut? Fozzy sure seems to deserve his spot more.

    • arnie

      To me it’s about looking towards the future. And Fozzy being younger, has shown enough that he can be in it. Brown can still play, the young guys are just showing The Chargers they can run the ball, without him.

  • ECAVILLE/Ace of Spades

    Kaiser was impressive. Freeny had commented that it takes a couple of games to start getting into a stride. That seems to be the case with The Bolts. Addai disappointed me with the easy miss tackle but even Weddle had one of those this preseason. Docter McCoy has these guys up on game because he stays steady with his game plan. Wisenhunt did a great job! Props to the team as a whole. GO BOLTS!

  • Tbone

    Novak’s 51 yard missed field goal attempt is hardly a “chip shot”.

    • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

      hmmm… for some reason i thought it was closer than that… you are right. not a chip shot