What We Learned: Chargers 24 - Cardinals 7

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Aug 24, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; San Diego Chargers quarter back Philip Rivers (17) makes a pass in the first half of a preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

This is that point when i like to make light of the pre-season and reflect, after all the emotions have worn off.

Media- the bias continues. I like to tune in the NFL network for laughs now and to see or lack of highlights on my team. They went out of there way to show that Larry Fitzgerald is still relevant, the rookie WR was the right pick, and Carson Palmer can still throw a TD on our “2nd string” defense. The Cardinals lost the game, yet those were the highlights shown first, after the Chargers were up 14 points. And yes they made sure to show Ryan fumble TD and PR’s INT. Freeney? Blocked Punt? Blocked Field Goal?

Special Teams - What a difference when the starters play. I called them out on the disasters in the first two games, because it was deserved. However I learned that in those two games, the starters were not playing. Most of the 2nd and 3rd stringers were in, guys that probably won’t make the roster played in those games. Why? This is evaluation time, McCoy sums it up best, ‘…We like to put guys out there… to show us what they can do…”. If your looking for the best 53 players, they need to be playing. As well as being absolutely sure you want to cut this guy.

Philip Rivers - Still needs work. Then I thought about it, why does he looks so “off”? Then it hit me, context. If you were asked to go out, learn a new system, without your TOP 3 WR, how would you do? Let’s face it, timing, comfort and trust is something that takes time to build. Every time PR started to build on the relationship, with his WR, “Bang” someone goes down. That happened three times. He went into that game with Vincent Brown, who he’s been used to seeing on the sidelines, Tutu, who was on the street last week and a rookie. If you wondered why he was looking for Antonio Gates, that could be the reason. DX was the deep threat playmaker and without him it’s safe to guess why PR hasn’t been lighting it up down field. Floyd just makes the most amazing catches. Royal was catching EVERYTHING. Now he only gets two of them to start the season. DX made it all go. Now PR needs to find the next WR to get it going.

Big Mike Harris- i thought i saw a mirage, then i went back and looked again on the DVR, yup he’s been sneaking in at RT and LT with the ones. The biggest news is when King was on the trainer’s table, I almost started to cry. A man cry. Then I saw Mike block…WELL. This was the same Big Mike that played so horrible last season, I was for sure that he would be released. I was the one banging the drum for “context”. He was a Rookie FA, signed from the practice squad, to play left tackle, a position he did not play in college, that needed to be a pro-bowl left tackle, NOW. Big Mike was put in a losing situation last season (hey i had him being cut this year), but under new coaching he may push Max Starks off the roster as the “swing” tackle. Why? He’s young, comes cheap, and could save some cap space by cutting Starks.

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Tags: Nfl Preseason San Diego Chargers

  • Tazzster

    Nice write up.
    From what I have seen so far the team looks improved from last year. It should be a good season. The one thing that was really troubling was the fumble at the goal line. Matthews seems to be real uncomfortable around the endzone. Even on his one touchdown he awkwardly dove while hanging the ball out their to be knocked away.
    Maybe Fozzy should be our ‘red zone’ running back.
    Speaking of Fozzy, he has got to be the biggest steal of the offseason. He looks like he will be a great number 2 back and we signed him off of someone’s practice squad. Props to TT and the staff!

    • Pels04

      I know im just making excuses here but (R) Nick Becton was in at LG and not Rinehart. Not really sure why since all the other first teamers were in. Anyways he went way to low. I think it was more of a bad block by Becton and a good defensive play than poor ball security by Mathews

      • arnie

        Yeah that could be a concern, but that seems to be McCoy’s plan. The ones are going to play full time in less than two weeks, and they need to know who they can count on, if they need to give the starters a breather.

    • arnie

      I thought about it to, his ball security needs to tighten up. Both hands on the ball please. But then again every Back fumbles. I don’t want to make excuses for RM24, the problem is if he were rushing for 1400 yards a season an putting up 6-10 rushing TD, the question i asked myself, would “one or two” fumbles matter? I know he hasn’t, so his fumbles have become a focus. That’s my point, when he gives us something else to focus on, the fumbles, like Te’o catfish story, will fade away.
      I agree with everything you said about Fozzy, he will get his touches. Unfortunately the days of the “every-down RB” left with LT.

  • 619chargers4life

    Excellent read!! I agree with everything u just threw down, 110% good stuff. and i cant stand how the media is treating us as well and i noticed all of which you noted about our highlights this week. We gets no love, so sad. cant wait for us to shock the world. Go Chargers !!!!

    • arnie

      I can’t stand it either, however i mentioned it before, showing the Chargers doing well is in direct conflict to what the “pundits” are saying, how well they will do. Thanks for the luv.

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

    Nice article, Arnie. The only Charger highlight that they would show WAS that fumble… almost as if to say “Look at this ridiculous play.. the Chargers just got lucky against a Cardinals team that was out of synch”.
    One thing I am bookmarking this season is the appearance that Mike McCoy made on NFL Total Access about a month ago. They were asking him about “fixing Philip Rivers”, and he was explaining how him and Whiz were going to do that. Then the host turned to Sapp (who was the one they picked to stand across from McCoy during the piece, to my disgust) and asked him “Do you think Philip can turn it around”? Sapp barely even let the host finish the question before abruptly answering “No”, with that smarmy dumb look he always gets on his face when he thinks he is a football genius. It was the rudest thing I have ever seen! If that was Fox, or Reed, or ESPECIALLY Schiano standing there.. he would never have the guts to do that. You could tell McCoy wasn’t even phased, either. He didn’t even really acknowledge that Sapp was even there. I can’t wait for PR to have a great season, JUST so I can point out what a moron Sapp is later.

    • arnie

      Pete, I am bookmarking all the “experts” and at the end of the season, I would like to do a write up, with all there “expert” opinions, then email, tweet, Facebook, to show how much we appreciate all there great coverage of our team.

      • Pels04

        I would LOVE to see that! Great idea

        • arnie

          Oh it will. All this reminds me of Tom Brady’s combine workout. He looked like he had never played football. The point, everyone except Bellichik was looking at the wrong things.

  • Adam

    Hey do you think the ones will play at all tomorrow?

    • Adam

      As in Philip rivers and RM?

      • arnie

        I’m with Ernie, but there is a good chance may we not see either. This is an opportunity for CBJ an Sorensen to get behind the 1st O-line. This game is mostly for 22 players to make there last impressions for the roster.

    • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

      i think for a series or two