Chargers – Everything Matters
By Mike Murray
Everything Matters – Its a slogan we saw on many t-shirts around Chargers training camp. A slogan that no doubt was to encourage the Chargers players to pay attention to every detail, because in close games it may be that one play that makes the difference.
The whole irony being, that in a place where ‘everything matters’ there sure seems to be a lot of things that are getting overlooked.
However it has become clear that to the guys running the ship everything does not matter.
For example I don’t think special teams matter to the Chargers coaches. It was clear in training camp that Jacoby Jones was struggling and Javontee Herndon was doing well, but at the end on camp Herndon is left on the practice squad and Jones is scheduled to return kicks. However Jones is hurt for the game against the Bengals and Allen is returning kicks instead of an actual return man. He fumbles and it ends up being that one play that we needed to beat the Bengals. When Jones is back he makes several questionable decisions to not fair catch kicks. His worst in the Baltimore game, where late in the game he fails to fair catch a ball at the 23 and lets it roll to the 3. This was a game changer and where the momentum switched in this game. The Chargers were rolling at that point but went 3 and out when they were backed up to the 3.
The point being that if everything mattered the Chargers would of had a return man on day one. Special teams would have mattered, but because it didn’t the Chargers lost two games because of it.
Last night we saw the Bears sack Rivers at the end of the game while only bringing 3 men. Does blocking matter? Does conditioning matter? The line looked gassed. But how does it even happen? Do the Chargers not even have a scheme for blocking 3 guys? Does it matter?
How about the mishandling of Melvin Gordon? Does it matter. You go out and get a RB in the first round because you say, “He was the last impact player on the board.” But then you do not design any plays for him to succeed. You run everything out of the shotgun with no fullback and give him the ball every time he is on the field. Put a sign on him that says, “If I am in the game, this is a running play and I am getting the ball.” But, Shoot! That doesn’t matter does it?
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I could go on with, drafting, conditioning, play selection, etc., etc., but I won’t.
This is a classic case of ‘the straw that broke the camel’s back’. While many will stand around and point to that one straw that caused the problem, the reality is that it was all the straws together that brought doom to the camel. We see many of the Chargers straws laying around, but what about the others that we don’t see? There are many straws causing this problem of losing. It is not just one thing. The whole irony being, that in a place where ‘everything matters’ there sure seems to be a lot of things that are getting overlooked.
It was evident last night when the Chargers lost to a bad football team. The offense only scored 12 points. the defense gave up 15 in the 4th quarter and the Bears kept the Chargers in the game by missing 2 FGs and turning the ball over twice. It’s bad people… but does it matter?
If Mediocre Mike is not fired today, it means that the Chargers will ride this ship until the end of the season and fully clean house with TT and MM getting the boot and another rebuild starting.