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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

No more Shanahanigans!


The longtime face of the Denver Broncos will change.

The team announced on Tuesday that Mike Shanahan has been fired and will relinquish his duties as head coach and executive vice president of football operations.

In a statement, Broncos owner Pat Bowlen said: "After giving this careful consideration, I have concluded that a change in our football operations is in the best interests of the Denver Broncos. This is certainly a difficult decision, but one that I feel must be made and which will ultimately be in the best interests of all concerned.

Shanahan has coached the Broncos since 1995 and won back-to-back Super Bowls in the 1997 and 1998 seasons. But Denver has not made the playoffs in the last three years.

The Broncos collapsed this season, finishing 8-8 after having a three-game lead in the division. With the AFC West title on the line, the Broncos were routed by the Chargers 52-21 on Sunday.

"I appreciate the 21 years that Mike Shanahan has given to the organization as an assistant and head coach, and the two Super Bowl wins in that time," Bowlen said. "His contributions hold a special place in Broncos history."

Bowlen said that the team will hold a news conference on Wednesday morning to make the announcement, and Shanahan will speak shortly thereafter.

As for Charger fans, a sigh of relief should be given. Anything that could possibly put a divison rival in disarray is always welcome.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Chargers uphold title of AFC West Division Champions!


Sunday, Dec 28, 2008
By Casey Pearce, Chargers.com

Four weeks after most left them for dead, the resilient Chargers won their fourth-straight game and 14th-consecutive game in the month of December to complete an improbable comeback to claim their third-consecutive AFC West title Sunday night.
The Bolts’ emphatic 52-21 victory over the Broncos in front of a record crowd of 69,131 at Qualcomm Stadium allowed Norv Turner’s squad to become the first team in NFL history to make the playoffs after starting a season 4-8.
“This is obviously history, the way we trailed the division and how we’ve now won it,” quarterback Philip Rivers said. “We know the expectations we set out with and how high they were at the start of the year. All we’ve done is reopen some of those goal and some of those expectations now that we’ve got ourselves into January.”
The Chargers scored on their first four possessions of the first half and totaled a season-high 491 yards of total offense, forced two turnovers on defense and made a little history as they were able to vindicate a Week 2 loss in Denver and end the Broncos’ season.
Rivers tossed two touchdown passes to finish the season with 34, eclipsing Dan Fouts’ franchise record of 33, which he set in 1981. The Chargers also rushed for 289 yards as a team to set a new franchise record, and LaDainian Tomlinson’s three rushing touchdowns to push his career total to 126. LT entered the night tied with Marcus Allen for second-most in NFL history, and Tomlinson now sits alone in second place.
“Those things are nice individual things that come along with playing the way we played today,” Turner said. “It’s exciting to win the division. It’s exciting to know we’re going to play again.”
The Chargers came out with their foot on the gas pedal and never let up. They took a 3-0 lead on their opening drive of the night when Nate Kaeding capped a 60-yard drive with a 28-yard field goal.
Denver answered with a 26-yard touchdown run by Tatum Bell on their first possession of the night, but Matt Prater’s failed extra point attempt prevented the Broncos from tying the game.
The Bolts responded with a 73-yard touchdown drive, highlighted by Vincent Jackson’s 37-yard catch and punctuated by LaDainian Tomlinson’s one-yard touchdown run, his first of three on the night which made it a 10-6 game.
“The way the offense came out and got us that lead was huge,” safety Clinton Hart said. “We were able to dictate the pace of the game. It’s a whole lot easier to play with a lead, especially against an offense like that. We put together a complete game.”
Following a Broncos punt that ended their second possession, the Chargers widened the gap even further. A 34-yard catch by Antonio Gates set up an 11-yard touchdown pass from Rivers to give the Chargers a 17-6 lead.
The Chargers made it four for their first four as another Denver punt led to another Bolts touchdown drive. Tomlinson’s four-yard touchdown run made it a 24-6 Bolts’ advantage.
Late in the second quarter, the Broncos drove deep into Bolts territory and threatened to trim the lead just before halftime. But Paul Oliver picked a perfect time for his first career interception as his pick of Jay Cutler in the end zone brought the drive to a halt and allowed the Chargers to maintain their commanding lead.
“It seemed like every time they’d start to get going offensively, our defense would make a big play,” Jackson said. “Our offense and defense really fed off of each other tonight.”
The Broncos made it a little interesting early in the third quarter as they drove 73 yards on their first possession of the second half. Bell’s 37-yard touchdown run made it a 24-13 game just two minutes into the third frame.
As they did throughout the night, the Chargers had an answer. On the ensuing drive, Tomlinson’s 45-yard run, his longest carry of the season, put the Bolts on the door step once again. Rivers’ 13-yard pass to Darren Sproles allowed the star signal caller to set a new franchise record with 34 touchdown throws on the season and gave the Chargers a commanding 31-13 lead.
Just two plays later, the Bolts piled it on some more. On Denver’s first play of their drive that followed Sproles’ touchdown catch, Shaun Phillips tipped a Cutler pass that landed in the hands of Luis Castillo. Following the interception, Tomlinson found the end zone from 14 yards out to push the lead to 38-13.
“We practice the tip drill every day in practice,” Castillo said. “I looked up and saw the ball and was able to grab it.”
Early in the fourth quarter, Cutler threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to tight end Tony Scheffler to pull Denver within 17, but the Broncos never got any closer. A 37-yard run by Sproles set up a two-yard touchdown run by the do-it-all back.
After a stop by the Bolts’ defense, the Chargers got a chance to drive one final nail in the coffin, and Jacob Hester served as the hammer. The rookie back picked up 37 yards in the waning minutes and scored his first-career rushing touchdown to round out the scoring at 52-21.
Tomlinson finished the night with 96 yards on 14 carries to finish the season with 1,110 yards and 11 touchdowns. Sproles led the club with 115 yards on the ground as the Chargers controlled the pace of the game and had the ball more than 12 minutes more than the Broncos. LT made sure to thank his offensive line for their big night.
“The guys up front, they totally dominated,” Tomlinson said. “They did what any good offensive line does; they took control of the game.”
Sunday’s win allows the Bolts to host the Indianapolis Colts in an AFC Wildcard playoff game next Saturday night. The Chargers enter the playoffs on a four-game winning streak and believe they’re playing their best football at the right time of the year.
“We’re on a good roll,” guard Kris Dielman said. “We’re ending the season on a good note. Now it’s time to go into the postseason and make a good run.”

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Here we go!!!!!!!!!!!!!


SAN DIEGO ---- The last 80 seconds of Sunday's showdown between the Denver Broncos and Buffalo Bills took more than 15 minutes. That wasn't the case at Invesco Field, but an untimely information drought prolonged the suspense some 30,000 feet up. That left an ESPN ticker as the only news source on the charter flight escorting the Chargers home after a victory at Tampa Bay.

A season was at stake, and its outcome remained a mystery as inconsequential results passed by. Finally, pertinent information scrolled into view. Bills 30, Broncos 23. Final. The plane went into hysterics in celebration of a sentiment clearly evident during Monday afternoon's press conference at Chargers Park.

A great weight has been lifted. After a season full of heartbreaking losses and ill-timed underachievement put them in a bind, the Chargers regained control.

No more scoreboard watching. No more cursing Ed Hochuli. No more hoping for help.

The AFC West title is on the line on Sunday against Denver at Qualcomm Stadium.

The Chargers win, they're in the playoffs.

"It's exciting I'll tell you what," Chargers wide receiver Vincent Jackson said. "That plane ride was pretty long. They wouldn't give us the down and distance and exactly what was going on (on the ticker). It was pretty fun experiencing that as a team. Here we are, with one meaningful game to go. We're not in there yet, but at least we have a chance."

That was tough to imagine three weeks ago, after a loss to the visiting Atlanta Falcons dropped the Chargers to 4-8. The Broncos' magic number was at one, and thanks to a pair of Chargers victories and Denver losses, it hasn't changed.

"It's a blessing for us," Chargers tight end Antonio Gates said. "Despite the situations we've had the whole season, we continue to scratch and claw for wins. We're finally in a situation where we can control our own destiny."

The Chargers have somehow crawled out of a hole dug themselves, one that seemed six feet deep as far as this season was concerned. It was a surprising position and a stark contrast to the lofty expectations set for a supposed Super Bowl contender in a weak division.

"We felt confident that we'd have a strong year," Jackson said. "Looking back on it, some of those last-minute losses jumped on our backs and slowed us down. It took a little while to recover but we learned about resiliency and we showed it late in the year."

The Chargers were able to focus on the present, maybe because prospects of a playoff berth were so remote, have rattled off wins when it counted most and put together their most complete performance of the season against the Buccaneers.

"This month has tested the true character of this Chargers team," Gates said.

"We wanted to finish the season strong, no matter what happened with other teams and no matter what happened during the previous 12 games. We wanted to take care of our business and let everything else work itself out."

The Chargers did their part and the Broncos failed to do theirs, which has given the Chargers a real chance at redemption.

"I'd be lying if I said I hadn't watched the scoreboard, but I haven't made it a regular practice either," Chargers head coach Norv Turner said. "I did last night, after we won the game. Our only chance was to win the game and hope something good happened. Now we have an opportunity to win a game and have something real good happen for us."

Chargers notes

Chargers head coach Norv Turner shed light on the Chargers injury situation at Monday's press conference. WR Malcom Floyd (collapsed lung) is doubtful to play against the Broncos. LB Brandon Siler injured his foot during Sunday's pre-game warm-ups and had X-rays on Monday. LB Anthony Waters (hamstring) has a chance to be activated for the Denver game and DT Jamal Williams (foot) will be limited in practice but is expected to play in the regular-season finale.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Hell Ya!!!


San Diego breathes sigh of relief after they win against Tampa and the Broncos fall in Denver.The discussion for the offensive MVP award centers on two players: QB Philip Rivers and WR Vincent Jackson. Both players authored monster performances in Tampa Bay against the third-ranked pass defense of the Buccaneers.

Rivers connected on 21-of-31 passes (68 percent) for 287 yards and a career-high four touchdowns. He spread the wealth to eight players with three of them finding the end zone: Antonio Gates (two), Brandon Manumaleuna and Darren Sproles.

More importantly, Rivers did not turn the ball over against a team that came into the game ranked No. 3 in interceptions.

Jackson was the primary benefactor of Rivers’ success, tallying his third 100-yard game of the season with a seven-catch, 111-yard performance. In the process, Jackson went over 1,000 yards on the season (1,051) for the first time in his career.

On the defensive side of the ball, the MVP chatter focused on NT Jamal Williams, CB Quentin Jammer and LB Stephen Cooper. Each made his case loudly against the Buccaneers.

Williams logged five tackles as the defense held Tampa Bay’s running backs to 19 carries for 50 yards (2.6 avg). Although he was denied his fourth consecutive Pro Bowl invite, Williams has been his usual dominant self over the final two-thirds of the season.

Jammer made a pair of big plays to secure the victory. The first came when he smacked a scrambling Jeff Garcia, forcing Garcia to bleed from the nose and lose composure down the stretch. The second play came when Jammer tipped a pass intended for Ike Hilliard into the arms of Antoine Cason, who sprinted 59 yards for the deciding TD.

The final defensive contender, Cooper, continued his furious finish by intercepting his fourth pass in the last three games. Cooper is second on the team with 92 tackles despite being suspended for the first four games of the season.

Not one of these five superstars will head to Hawaii for the Pro Bowl at season’s end. But as they showed in Sunday’s waxing of the Buccaneers, they are the driving force behind a team that has the capability to be among the league’s best.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Still Alive!!


Source: Associated Press

By Doug Tucker

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP)—The San Diego Chargers got lucky. Even better, they’ve got Philip Rivers.

After their onside kick bounced off Chiefs wideout Dwayne Bowe’s chest and Kassim Osgood recovered for San Diego, Rivers needed just four plays Sunday to complete one of the most stirring comebacks of the season.

With 1:13 left, Rivers hit Malcom Floyd with a 4-yard TD pass. Then his 10-yarder to Vincent Jackson with 36 seconds to go lifted the Chargers to a 22-21 victory over the stunned Chiefs, who led 21-3 in the third quarter.

“We never stopped believing,” said Chargers tackle Marcus McNeill. “I think (the Chiefs) thought they had the game won when the clock was low in the fourth quarter. But we knew if we got another chance that we were going to go down there and score.”

After their try for a two-point conversion failed, the Chargers (6-8) still needed help from the football gods. Aided by a delay-of-game penalty, the Chiefs (2-12) tried a 50-yard field goal on the final play. Connor Barth, who had been nine-for-nine before missing a 34-yarder in the first half, was wide left.

“I’m kind of speechless. Don’t know what to say,” Barth said. “There’s no excuse.”

Rivers, who came in with an NFL-best 102.0 passer rating, was 34-for-48 for 346 yards and two touchdowns when his team needed them the most.

But he could hardly bare to watch Barth’s attempt at the winner.

“I had a pretty good view and a pretty sick stomach,” he said. “I was just thinking, ‘There is no way this can happen again.’ He certainly had plenty of leg, but just missed it left.”

A loss would have officially eliminated San Diego’s slender playoff hopes. But Rivers said the Chargers, preseason Super Bowl favorites, would not let even a Denver victory over Carolina later Sunday dampen the thrill of beating KC.

“There have been so many doubts and we’ve fallen so short of the expectations,” he said. “The way we’ve bounced back these past two weeks in our division and won says a lot about our guys. It is big for our locker room and team, no matter what plays out the rest of the day.”

The Chiefs will have to win their final two games to avoid setting a franchise record for fewest wins in a 16-game season.

“I’m still in utter shock right now,” said linebacker Rocky Boiman. “How we can come so close and still somehow let it slip away, it doesn’t seem possible.”

Losing a 21-3 lead is not even the worst thing that’s befallen the Chiefs in this miserable season. Against Tampa Bay, they squandered a 24-3 advantage, a team record.

Bowe, who caught a 1-yard TD pass from Tyler Thigpen, appeared to have the onside kick.

“I think sometimes he takes his eye off the ball,” said Chiefs coach Herm Edwards. “Those are plays you have to make along the way.”

After the onside kick, Rivers’ first play produced a 39-yard pass to Vincent Jackson to the 19.

Thigpen threw for one touchdown and ran for another for the Chiefs and was 19-for-28 for 171 yards.

The Chargers had three turnovers and, perhaps more embarrassing, gave up three sacks to the NFL’s worst pass rush. Tamba Hali had two sacks and caused two fumbles for a Chiefs defense that hadn’t gotten a sack since playing San Diego four games ago.

The three sacks pushed KC’s season total to a league-low nine, and the Chiefs need five in their last two games to avoid tying the NFL record for fewest in a season.

Running back Larry Johnson capped a 96-yard drive with a 4-yard TD pass to Tony Gonzalez on KC’s first possession.

Patrick Surtain’s 50-yard return of an interception set up Thigpen’s 3-yard TD in the third period.

Notes

Larry Johnson is the fifth player to throw a touchdown pass for Kansas City this year and the seventh to throw Tony Gonzalez a TD pass in his career. Johnson is the sixth in team history to throw, run and receive for a TD. … Temperatures hovering in the low 60s when early-arriving fans first showed up, had plunged into the 20s by the end of the game. … The Chargers beat the Chiefs twice this year by a total of two points. … The Chargers have given up five of KC’s nine sacks.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Charger Girls 09'




The new squad is by far the best ever and there spot on this site is way overdue!


Charger update


Source: USA Today
Fresh from Thursday’s win over the Raiders, the Chargers were hopeful of getting some Sunday help with the Chiefs upsetting the Broncos.
But just like the Chargers’ season, the Chiefs couldn’t win it at the end.
The Chargers are now three games behind the AFC West-leading Broncos with three to play. One more Broncos win or one more Chargers loss, and Denver will clinch the West.
So despite playing a team with but two wins, the Chargers will be a desperate bunch on Sunday in Kansas City.
“We need to go win,” coach Norv Turner said. “And Kansas City is playing well; played awfully well in a very close game against Denver.”
The Chargers (5-8) also remember that the Chiefs (2-11) gave the Chargers all they could handle in a 20-19 victory in San Diego earlier this year. The Chiefs went for two points in the closing minute and failed.
Plus this time the Chargers will face the Chiefs featuring running back Larry Johnson this time around.
“Larry just brings another dimension,” Turner said. “You have to tackle him; he is a big, strong guy.”
Too bad Chiefs quarterback Tyler Thigpen isn’t as stout. He fell short on a fourth-and-goal play Sunday that iced the win for the Broncos - much to the Chargers’ chagrin.
“He came awfully close to scoring,” Turner said. “You watch when he took off running and I didn’t think he could make the end zone from as deep as he was.”
The Chargers are deep with their own problems of sneaking into the playoffs. They remain alive, but by the slimmest of margins.
NOTES, QUOTES
— WR Vincent Jackson had a career-high 148 receiving yards one week after getting shut out in the loss to the Falcons. “I had more opportunities,” said Jackson, who had a 59-yard touchdown catch. “I think I had only three or four catches the past few games. I got opportunities and got involved early in the game and took advantage of that.”
— While Jackson enjoyed a big game, the Chargers’ top wide out, Chris Chambers, didn’t have a reception. But he wasn’t bumming after the game. “Not at this point,” he said. “We’re just getting wins anyway we can.”
— OLB Shaun Phillips said the difference Thursday night was the Chargers collecting four turnovers. “That’s the one thing we’ve been lacking,” said Phillips, who had a career-high 2.5 sacks. “I think we have been losing games because of our inability to create turnovers. When we see that we can create turnovers, we can win games.”
— ILB Stephen Cooper, who had career-high two interceptions, gave coordinator Ron Rivera kudos for his aggressive game plan. “Coach Rivera did a great job calling great defenses, trying to come from the weak side and strong side, trying to get different looks. It was just a good job with the play-calling.
— Coach Norv Turner was impressed in how the Chargers bounced back after a draining loss to the Falcons last Sunday, which put a serious dent in their playoff hopes. “We had a very short week,” he said. “Guys came back in on Monday and a number of them were beat up and had a lot of things they had to handle physically. And then we had to get ready for a game over a short period of time. Obviously our guys did a great job of preparing. They weren’t distracted from a stand point of the way things have been going.”
— RB Darren Sproles scored two touchdowns for the third time in his career - it was the first time the two came on receptions.
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
PLAYER NOTES
—SS Clinton Hart (neck) didn’t practice Monday after missing the game on Thursday.
—OLB Marques Harris (hamstring) returned to practice and should go Sunday.
—FB Mike Tolbert (shoulder) remains unable to practice.
—LB Anthony Waters (hamstring) didn’t practice. He suffered the injury on Thursday.
—DT Jamal Williams will probably be rested on Wednesday to keep him fresh for Sunday.
REPORT CARD VS. RAIDERS
PASSING OFFENSE: B - Philip Rivers completed 10 of his 22 passes, but he was able to throw for three touchdowns and 214 yards. The Chargers backed off throwing the ball in the second half; otherwise his numbers would probably be better. Vincent Jackson had one of his better days as a pro with a 148-yard performance which included a 59-yard touchdown. Rivers was effective on screens, finding Darren Sproles (three catches, 34 yards and two touchdowns). Pass protection was on the mark as Rivers was never sacked and hit but once.
RUSHING OFFENSE: A - The offensive line rebounded after getting beat on the past couple of weeks for its passive play. LaDainian Tomlinson continued his domination against the Raiders with 91 yards and a score on 25 carries. But more important was the line letting the Raiders know it planned on being physical from the start to the finish. Great job up front by the big uglies.
PASS DEFENSE: A - This unit played with the passion and production the Chargers expected all season long. It got after JaMarcus Russell and Andrew Walter in a big way, forcing three interceptions, a forced fumble and snagging three sacks, Stephen Cooper got two of the picks; Matt Wilhelm had the other. OLB Shaun Phillips shook off an unproductive stretch by collecting 2.5 sacks — he had four sacks in the previous 11 games. CB Quentin Jammer, with two passes defensed, had a solid game.
RUSH DEFENSE: A - The Chargers allowed but 54 yards rushing, their second-lowest of the season. DT Jamal Williams continues his second half which has him playing stellar, and inside linebacker Stephen Cooper had seven tackles to go with his two interceptions. SS Steve Gregory was active with seven tackles filling in for Clinton Hart. Once the Raiders fell so far behind, their running game disappeared.
SPECIAL TEAMS: C - This could have easily been an ‘A’ but a penalty by Antoine Cason wiped out a kickoff return touchdown by Darren Sproles and the Chargers allowed one to be brought all the way back just before the half. Sproles did show a 29-yard kickoff return and 14-yarder on a punt. P Mike Scifres was keen in averaging 45.4 net yards on five efforts.
COACHING: A - Coach Norv Turner has taken his share of abuse, so he deserves praise for keeping the Chargers focused despite the playoff window all but closed for the year. He got back to what the Chargers once did best - run the football. Not only did Tomlinson collect 49 first-quarter rushing yards but in doing so he knocked the will out of the Raiders as well. Defensive coordinator Ron Rivera’s plan was to attack the quarterback and the Chargers responded with four turnovers. It was a solid job by the coaching staff in not letting the Chargers pack it in.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

I'm back!!!!!!!!!!


I'm finally back from the mountains and this blog is back in business!! Please check back in soon, for all the latest Charger news!!!!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

CHARGERS MAKE raiders THEIR BITCH!!!!!!!!!


Title says it all!!!!!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

To all my fans


I am so sorry that my blog hasn't been updated lately. I got a job out in the forest where I live in a cabin and there is no phone line, no internet, no television. I am hoping to get a laptop and my website should be up and running soon. Again, I apolagize for any inconvienience.

Friday, August 29, 2008

DOMINANCE!!! Chargers take fat shit on the faggot winers!!!!


This post is dedicated to my best friend Ben Iverson! Hahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Chargers dominate Cowboys in preseason opener

By Kevin Acee (San Diego Tribune) :

If the Dallas Cowboys play their second-team defense when these teams meet in Super Bowl XLIII, the Chargers will kill them.
Or, failing that, if the Chargers find themselves facing a third-string Cowboys punt returner and really old backup quarterback, maybe the Chargers will just force turnover after turnover.
Many believe the Chargers and Cowboys could meet again in Tampa in February. If so, the teams will look a little different than they did during last night's 31-17 Chargers victory in both teams' preseason opener.
“It's hard to take something from that,” Chargers linebacker Shaun Phillips said. “We didn't get to play for four quarters.”
The good stuff:
Third-round draft pick Jacob Hester scored two touchdowns and ran over a few people. First-round pick Antoine Cason broke up a third-down pass to end his first series. Second-year linebacker Jyles Tucker was everywhere.
Philip Rivers was as strong as he has been all training camp, and just as he did last season, Chris Chambers had something to do with that. Rookie fullback Mike Tolbert blocked on a Hester touchdown and then scored one himself. Quentin Jammer intercepted a pass. The Chargers starters eventually tackled well.
And players said that everything went smoothly, in stark contrast to Norv Turner's first preseason. “The communication was good, the chemistry was good,” Phillips said. “That's a good start.”
There was a little to at least be concerned about at the beginning.
The Chargers' offensive line – minus injured Marcus McNeill and with Jeremy Newberry making his first start in place of Nick Hardwick at center – was ineffective against Dallas' first team defense. And with a couple cutbacks, the Cowboys ballcarriers had linebackers overpursuing and having flashbacks of Adrian Peterson.
But what the Chargers' first unit and then their subs did to the Cowboys' reserves made it easy to overlook, for a night, the game's uninspiring start.
The reality was, on Dallas' first series, with starters from both teams in, the Cowboys rammed it down the Chargers' throats.
“Defense was good,” Jammer said. “We started off slow, but we started to come along once we warmed up. This is our first preseason game, so of course it's going to be a little rusty.”
The first quarter of this preseason looked a little like that final quarter in the AFC Championship Game. With both teams playing a basic scheme, the Cowboys drove 54 yards on eight plays, 26 unspectacular yards coming on the ground, to go up 7-0.
Meanwhile, the Chargers' first two drives, sans LaDainian Tomlinson and Antonio Gates, were fitful, even backward.
Then the takeaways came, just as they did last season when the Chargers led the NFL with 48 of them. And, also just like 2007, special teams had a lot to do with the Chargers' success.
With 5½ minutes remaining in the first quarter, Danny Amendola fielded Mike Scifres' second punt at the 23 and ran seven yards before Paul Oliver jarred the ball from his grasp and Brandon Siler fell on the ball in a pile.
The league's leading takeaway team in 2007 got the ball back at the 31. Four plays later, the game was tied.
One play after he almost got in from the 3-yard line, Hester bulled through from the 1 behind a block from Tolbert.
The Cowboys, by then quarterbacked by Brad Johnson in place of starter Tony Romo, took over at their 18 and were driving until Tucker chased Johnson into a throw directly at Jammer, who intercepted the pass and returned it 11 yards to the Chargers' 45-yard line.
A 21-yard Chambers reception, a 21-yard gain by Darren Sproles off a screen, a 4-yard Hester run and a 4-yard penalty led to a 5-yard Sproles run into the end zone.
That quick, it was 14-7.
“You start out with a three-and-out and obviously you want to get it going early,” said Rivers, who left the game at that point, having completed 5-of-6 passes for 54 yards. “We bounced right back and got the ball in the end zone twice. Preseason, you want to get it going early. You want to protect the football, which we did.”
Clearly the deeper team, the Chargers were up 24-10 at halftime and 31-10 some 6½ minutes into the third quarter.
“We worked out there,” free safety Eric Weddle said. “No matter who you're going against, you have to work. They caught us early doing quick, short passes. We battled back, got out of that. We did a lot of good things.”

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Chargers unveil code of conduct for fans


SAN DIEGO – A stricter code of conduct for Chargers fans was unveiled Wednesday in an effort to prevent obnoxious behavior and alcohol-fueled fights at Qualcomm Stadium this season.
The rules, which go into effect at Saturday's preseason opener against the Dallas Cowboys, will extend to all events that are held at the stadium year-round.“There's a very small percentage of folks who come to events and create problems for those who want to enjoy the game,” said stadium manager Mike McSweeney during a news conference Wednesday.
The fan code of conduct was first started in 2006 and has expanded with stricter policies on alcohol and tailgating.
Some new policies for the upcoming season are:
Fans will be limited to two drinks per purchase until the start of the third quarter. After that, a one-drink limit per transaction goes into effect. No alcohol will be sold in the fourth quarter.
Alcohol sales during the Dec. 4 Oakland Raiders game will cease after the first half.
Fans without pre-paid parking permits will be allowed into the parking lot four hours before kickoff. Those with permits will still have access five hours before the start of the game.
Fans will be able to use cell phones to text security officers for assistance during the game if they encounter problems. Details of the text system will be released when it becomes available.
Alcohol management teams will monitor fans inside the stadium and kick people out who they deem are drunk.
San Diego police Lt. Dan Christman said fans can also expect a greater police presence in the parking lot before games and at stadium gates.
More DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols are planned in the area on game days.
Last year, an average of 15 people were arrested per home game, Christman said, and another 45 were asked to leave the stadium by police for breaking the rules.
Officials warned that those who misbehave also risk losing their season tickets.
Over the last two years, the Chargers revoked the season tickets of about 700 fans for violating the code of conduct. Those offenders also lost privileges to buy future season tickets, said Jim Steeg, the team's chief operating officer.
“The fans asked us to take action against the small portion who continue to be inconsiderate to others,” Steeg said.
Officials plan to educate the public about the new behavior policies through JumboTron messages, fliers and on stadium signs. The new rules have also been outlined in letters mailed to about 62,000 season ticket holders this week.

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Charger Update


• With camp entering its second week, there is a slight light at the end of the tunnel—an exhibition game against the Cowboys. “The end of the week, you get that anticipation for a game,” coach Norv Turner said. “We’ve got to zero in. We don’t particularly game plan for Dallas but we have to prepare for them so we know how to block them and the plays they like and how to defend them.”
• Inside linebacker Derek Smith gets to enjoy one of his hobbies by playing for the Chargers—surfing. “I’m not that good, but it’s fun just to get out there,” he said.
• Quarterback Philip Rivers took off his first practice on Friday, as the team takes it easy with his surgically repaired knee. “That was the plan all along,” Turner said.
• Norv Turner said the team doesn’t have an interest in safety John Lynch, the Torrey Pines (Del Mar) High product who was granted his release from the Broncos. “We like our group of guys and we are going to (go) with what we’ve got,” he said.
• Cornerback Quentin Jammer is doing his best to survive camp’s dog days. He had fun placing fake nameplates over his teammates’ lockers: LaDainian Tomlinson’s is Jim Frown; Antonio Gates’ is Phony Gonzalez and Antonio Cromartie’s is Chump Bailey. Jammer made one for himself: Pacman Jones.
• The Chargers are fortunate they open the season against the Panthers. Their defense won’t have to contend with Pro Bowl receiver Steve Smith after the Panthers suspended him for the first two games for a training-camp fight.
• Inside linebacker Anthony Waters could return Monday after his recent knee surgery. The team was hoping Waters could compete for some significant playing time.
• Running back LaDainian Tomlinson has shaved his head and is donning a beard. He also has been practicing with a headband, paying tribute to his idol, Walter Payton.
Quote To Note: “I know he is making progress and he is on schedule. Every day he’s doing a little bit more, getting better. Our plan is to have him ready for the opening game and right now he is on schedule. Unless there is a setback, that would be my expectations.”—Coach Norv Turner, on Antonio Gates returning from his toe injury.
Strategy And Personnel
• DT Jamal Williams, entering his 11th season, has returned to team drills after sitting out the first week of camp to rest his knees.
• QB Philip Rivers, and the coaches, seem to think he has more arm strength this camp.
• ILB Stephen Cooper is getting most of the first-team snaps, although he will miss the first four games. As the team gets closer to the season opener and game-planning specifically for the Panthers, Derek Smith will see more action.
• K Nate Kaeding was on his game when the Chargers practiced at Qualcomm Stadium on Saturday. He converted all six of his field-goal attempts, including a long of 55 yards.
• WR Vincent Jackson looks like he is building on last year’s fast finish, catching nearly every ball thrown his way.
Battle Of The Week: Cory Withrow vs. Jeremy Newberry for the expected starting C job—Starter Nick Hardwick remains out after offseason foot surgery and could miss the season’s first month. The team is looking at Withrow and Newberry to carry the load the first month. Withrow took over for Hardwick for four games last year, and was OK. Newberry was brought in as a free agent and seems to have the upper hand in this competition. Unless Newberry falters, he should win the job.
Other Battle Fronts: Darren Sproles vs. Antonio Cromartie vs. Mark Jones as the PR—Sproles is holding off Cromartie and Jones in his bid to keep his return job. Cromartie would probably be looked at more intently, but the team is hesitant to overwork their Pro Bowl cornerback. Jones is decent, but seems to be more of a fallback plan for the Chargers. … Malcom Floyd vs. Craig Davis for No. 3 WR spot—Floyd’s time with the Chargers has reached a critical point, where he needs to stay healthy and productive. The Chargers are hoping Davis, a first-round pick last year, can show more consistency. To date Floyd has the edge, but he had to miss time late last week with a minor leg injury. It’s imperative Floyd prove that he can stay on the field.
Player Of The Week: RB Darren Sproles—After being on the roster bubble last camp, the slightly built Sproles continues to impress with the quickness that he is hitting the hole, then shifting into another gear in space. His best play of the week was in Saturday’s practice at Qualcomm Stadium when the 5-foot-6 Sproles raced some 90 yards on a punt return for a touchdown. “Darren proved to me in the last seven or eight games (last season) that he can be a guy that can have an impact on the game and can have an impact on every game,” Turner said. “That’s our job as coaches to do that. You give him the opportunity and it’s not going to happen every week but he certainly is a guy that can change games.”
Injury Report:
• TE Antonio Gates (toe) is running with the trainer in drills, but still appears to be weeks away from practicing.
• C Nick Hardwick (foot) could miss the season’s first month.
• RB Andrew Pinnock (knee) has yet to practice and it’s a mystery when he might play in an exhibition game.
• LB Anthony Waters (knee) might be back as soon as Monday.

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Charger Update


— Many were surprised to see quarterback Billy Volek back with the team after he gained free agency after last season. But instead of going somewhere else with the possibility of starting, he returned as Philip Rivers’ backup. “I’ve seen quarterbacks before chase the money,” Volek said. “I didn’t want to be like that.” He didn’t do too bad staying put, thanks to a three-year $9 million deal.
— Quarterback Philip Rivers said he knows what to expect — and how difficult it is — to advance in the playoffs after last season’s run. But, that exposure to being deep in the playoffs can pay off. “I think the expectations are more of a reality now, more of what’s really expected,” Rivers said. “We have an understanding of what it really takes. We didn’t know what it was like to play in an AFC Championship Game. We didn’t know what it was like to go on the road and knock off the defending champs. But now we know. So when all these things come arising again — which we hope we get the opportunity again — then we’ve actually been through it.”
— The Chargers placed four players on the Physically Unable to Perform list: tight end Antonio Gates (toe) and center Nick Hardwick (foot) are recovering from offseason surgeries. Fullback Andrew Pinnock and inside linebacker Anthony Waters, are also on it, rebounding from knee surgeries.
“Obviously, it gives them a chance to get healthy,” Chargers coach Norv Turner said. “It’s really not a major deal. When they’re ready to go, we’ll take them off it and they’ll start practicing.”
Hardwick is the likeliest player to still be on the PUP list when the season begins. He said his foot is progressing well, but he has lost strength in his leg.
“I can’t give any predictions as to when I’ll be ready to actually play football,” Hardwick said. “I’m pushing hard and going as I can tolerate it.”
Gates said he expects to pass a physical by Aug. 30, which is required to leave the PUP list.
— Cornerback Antoine Cason, the team’s top pick who missed three rookie practices before signing his contract, got the usual ribbing when he got to camp.” All the guys in there were giving me a hard time about it,” Cason said. “Quentin Jammer gave me the hardest time. But it’s all fun. That’s just part of it.” Cason will soon learn the Chargers tradition of the top pick picking up a dinner and drinks tab for all the veterans near the end of camp.
— It doesn’t show up on the team’s injury report, but team president Dean Spanos had his left arm in a sling Friday after recently undergoing minor wrist surgery.
—Rookie running back Marcus Thomas is a fifth-round pick and lands on a team which has LaDainian Tomlinson. Tough luck? Maybe, but Norv Turner said keep an eye on someone trying to replace Michael Turner.
“If you put him down as a guy to watch, that would be good,” he said. “He’s got some real good running skills.”
QUOTE TO NOTE: “You learn that we’ve got to finish it. You get that far, you’ve got to finish. It don’t mean a can of beans if you don’t finish it.” - Left guard Kris Dielman on the bitter taste left after the Chargers fell in last season’s AFC Championship Game to the Patriots.
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
After being rebuffed in their attempts to trade Eric Parker, the wide receiver was cut on the eve of training camp.
For two years, Parker was the Chargers’ biggest outside threat. But he injured his toe before last season and was plopped on IR and missed the season.
Since Parker has last played the team traded for Chris Chambers and drafted Craig Davis in the first round. Along with the development of Vincent Jackson, Parker became expendable.
PLAYER NOTES
— DT Jamal Williams, entering his 11th season, will be used with caution this camp. He is coming off two knee surgeries and the team needs him starting in September, not now.
— QB Philip Rivers said at times he forgets which knee — his left — was the one rebuilt over the offseason. But he admits as camp wears on he is going to have to stay on top of it, as his legs get tired.
— WR Kassim Osgood squawked about wanting to be traded unless he became a bigger part of the passing game. But Osgood, a two-time Pro Bowl special-teamer selection, remains in San Diego well down the depth chart.
— What a difference a year makes for Darren Sproles. This time last year many thought the shifty running back and returning wouldn’t make the team. Now he is bringing back kicks and part of various offensive packages — especially on third down — and giving LaDainian Tomlinson an occasional breather.
— QB Charlie Whitehurst, the team’s No. 3 quarterback, remains a favorite of the coaching staff and front office despite Billy Volek, Rivers’ backup, being signed to a three-year deal in the offseason.
BATTLE OF THE WEEK: Antoine Cason vs. Paul Oliver for the nickel back role on passing downs. Cason has hit the ground running in his quest to snag a significant spot in passing situations. Oliver is in his second year and could put up a fight - the brass secretly hopes Cason is the guy. Oliver is also getting some work at free safety.
OTHER BATTLE FRONTS: Darren Sproles vs. Jacob Hester vs. Marcus Thomas for the No. 2 running back role. We know this — LaDainian Tomlinson isn’t competing against anyone. But behind him is quite a tussle as these three try to replace one guy — Michael Turner, who left as a free agent for Atlanta. There’s a chance Sproles and Hester will share this job, depending to some degree on the down and the distance. Thomas has to prove he’s a viable candidate. So far, Sproles and Hester are in the lead.
Jeromey Clary vs. L.J. Shelton for right tackle. Clary started the second half last year when Shane Olivea’s game dropped off. And by most accounts, Clary held his ground. But the team signed the veteran Shelton just in case, and has positioned him at right tackle to see if he can beat out Clary, or at the very least, push him to greater heights. Shelton started 16 games last year in Miami.
ROOKIE REPORT: CB Antoine Cason is making up for any lost time by practicing well. … RB/FB Jacob Hester has been impressive, but the team is really curious to see him now that practices will start including pads. … RB Marcus Thomas is probably not ready to back up LaDainian Tomlinson, but that could eventually be his role. … CB DeJuan Tribble is basically playing to get on film for other teams. … T Corey Clark’s best bet is to land on the practice squad.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Training camp is finally here!


SAN DIEGO: Training camp is finally here, but the San Diego Chargers seem to have learned the difference between hype and reality.
Even if they are good enough to get to the Super Bowl, they vow not to talk about it this summer.
"There was so much hype last year, and so much expectation, and all training camp it was 'Super Bowl,' and we weren't afraid to talk about it," quarterback Philip Rivers said Friday after the Chargers held their first full-squad practice of training camp.
"I fell in that trap, too. Not that we weren't focused, but it seemed like all the focus was on the ultimate goal. Subconsciously, we took some things for granted, maybe. Maybe we overlooked the meat and potatoes part of the deal, you know what I mean? We were looking ahead for the dessert."
Last summer, the Chargers overlooked their playoff pratfall against New England and focused instead on their 14-2 regular-season record from 2006. OK, so they did end up making it all the way to the AFC championship game in January before losing 21-12 to the Patriots. But things sure looked bleak when they started 1-3 and 5-5 in Norv Turner's first season as coach.
Outside linebacker Shawne Merriman doesn't buy the talk in some circles that it's the Chargers' turn to win it all.
"To tell you the truth, I don't think it's anybody's turn," Merriman said. "You know, it's how hard you work for it, and in our case, finishing up how we want to finish. They always say the team that almost gets there last year should win it the next year. That's all good, but for us, we just look at it as something we've got to do."
Expectations could be higher for the Chargers this year, provided that Rivers, running back LaDainian Tomlinson, tight end Antonio Gates and center Nick Hardwick all come back strong from injuries.
"It's tough, because whenever you look around at this team and see the kind of players we have, the first thing you want to say is 'Oh, this team's going to the Super Bowl,'" Merriman said. "But that's what started us 1-3 last year, because we came into the season after a 14-2 season the season before, automatically assuming we were going to the Super Bowl. We're thinking the opposite this year. We're taking it one game at a time and having a faster start."
In January, the Chargers won a playoff game for the first time in 13 years, beating Tennessee in the wild-card round. Then they eliminated defending Super Bowl champion Indianapolis on the road, although that victory was costly because Rivers and Tomlinson both sustained knee injuries. Rivers played in the AFC title game despite having arthroscopic surgery on his right knee six days earlier, but Tomlinson had only two carries before his sprained left knee forced him out.
Rivers had ligament replacement surgery three days after the loss to the Patriots. Tomlinson's injury didn't require surgery.
Rivers thinks the Chargers can handle the expectations better this year.
"Again, we have an understanding of what it really takes. We didn't know what it takes to play in an AFC championship game. We didn't know what it's like to go on the road and knock off the defending champs. But now we know, so when all these things come arising again, which we hope we get the opportunity again, then we've actually been through it. We're not just feeling our way through it. You know what it's going to be like. We'll have a clue."
The Chargers won their last six regular-season games and two straight in the playoffs.
Rivers said his knee "feels better than I could have imagined it. It's going to be really key to keep staying on top of it. I've been told by many people that know the deal that it's going to get tired if you let it. It's the strength. It'll run out of gas quicker. Just keep filling up the tank."
Tomlinson said his knee is fine.
"The only expectation we have is to play as good as we can," said Tomlinson, the two-time NFL rushing champion. "And we know that if we do that, we'll be in good shape."

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Cason finally agrees to five year deal!!!


Antoine Cason will be a Charger when the full squad practices for the first time tomorrow morning.
The Chargers have agreed to terms on a five-year contract with their first-round draft pick. The former University of Arizona star will receive a little more than $6 million guaranteed and slightly more than $12 million over the life of the deal.
Cason missed three days of workouts, which consisted almost exclusively of rookies. The Chargers and Cason's representatives expressed confidence throughout the negotiations that they would get a deal done before tomorrow.
Cason spent the spring working out in coaching sessions at the Chargers facility and learning the defense. He will compete immediately with Paul Oliver and Cletis Gordon for the third cornerback spot. The likelihood is that Cason spends 2008 in defensive substitution packages and as a special teams contributor.
Only 10 other first-round picks have signed throughout the league. Cason is the first pick between Nos. 19 and 29 to agree to terms.
Cason has been in town working out with some of his veteran teammates. He is expected to sign the contract this afternoon.
Veterans have until midnight to report and the first full-squad workout of training camp is at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow. The first practice open to the public is 4 p.m. tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Rivers runs his mouth, Chargers like what they hear


(Fox sports): There may be a new face of the San Diego Chargers.

One whose lips don't stop moving.

During the Chargers' first training camp practice Monday, quarterback Philip Rivers shouted good-natured encouragement toward injured players in rehabilitation drills a football field away. He chatted with the media afterward about his speedy rehabilitation from off-season knee surgery. He even spotted tight end Antonio Gates in the locker room doing the last of a series of interviews and chided, "You're going through it big time on day one. Gosh!"
The Chargers regard such loquaciousness as one of Rivers' most endearing qualities.
"The way he's able to communicate with his players, he doesn't act like a typical quarterback," said Gates, who has watched Rivers blossom over the past two seasons since becoming a starter. "Some quarterbacks can be like, 'I'm only going to speak to the guys that are good.' He interacts with everybody.
"For you to interact with a guy on the practice squad, that says a lot about your character and leadership abilities. He knows how to lead a team."
And how to aggravate others.
As his play has improved, so has Rivers' propensity for verbal altercations. He taunted Denver quarterback Jay Cutler from the sideline last December toward the end of a 23-3 Chargers rout, prompting Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey to tell the Rocky Mountain News that Rivers talks "too much trash."
Rivers was at it again three weeks later in a second-round playoff game at Indianapolis, jawing with Colts fans sitting behind the Chargers bench and those jeering as he left the field with a knee injury. Even the Chargers brain trust of coach Norv Turner and general manager A.J. Smith believe those antics were unnecessary.
"He's got to use better judgment," Turner said. "He doesn't have to be yelling at people in the stands. That was an unusual circumstance. But he's a competitive guy. I think that's one of the things that gets him and our guys going."
Rivers told FOXSports.com that he was sorry about what happened in Indianapolis but isn't about to apologize for a mouth that sometimes roars. The 26-year-old son of a fiery Alabama high school football coach, Rivers joked about his interaction with college fans who chanted "Arena Ball" while he played at North Carolina State.
"You can look at it two ways," he said. "You can't always worry about what everyone thinks. But at the same time, I wasn't trying to be blind to what it does appear to be. Certainly, you've got to be smart with your actions. There's nothing I regret. Being excited and having a good time, if you can't do that, we shouldn't be playing.
"There's a boundary to it. Ultimately, the question is whether it's a distraction to you or your teammates. As long as it's not and you can keep it to the confines of what we're doing, enjoy it and play."
Playing is what silenced some of Rivers' critics.Rivers started in last season's AFC Championship game loss to New England despite having suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament against the Colts. It wasn't one of Rivers' best performances (19-of-37 passing with two interceptions and no touchdowns) but he won universal respect for competing with what is normally a debilitating injury.
"People are saying, 'I like Philip Rivers. I couldn't stand him before that, but for him to get out there and play, it shows guts,' " Gates said. "Seeing somebody out there with a brace playing his heart out and throwing passes with a torn ACL, they've got so much respect for him now."
Conversely, star running back LaDainian Tomlinson removed himself from the game early because of a sore knee. Tomlinson, a future Hall of Famer, deserves credit for shelving his ego when feeling ineffective. But with Rivers playing through his injury and Tomlinson ultimately not even requiring surgery, has the leadership mantle been passed inside the Chargers locker room?
"People are starting to debate whether (Rivers) is the face of this team now based on that performance," Gates acknowledged. "It's still outsiders. Outsiders see the situation and say, 'He didn't play and he did. We're going to make him the face.' But still, we understand why (Tomlinson didn't play). We're not going to let outsiders come into this family and (debate) why he's not playing."
Rivers awoke from his ACL surgery with his right leg already in a motion machine. While he is wearing a black metal brace, Rivers' rehabilitation has gone so well that he isn't expected to miss any preseason practice time.
That will give Rivers a chance to better his strong finish in 2007. Over the season's final nine games (including the playoffs), Rivers completed 60.6 percent of his passes with 14 touchdowns and seven interceptions. The Chargers won eight of those contests before falling to the Patriots.
Such improvement stemmed from a combination of factors: Rivers growing increasingly comfortable with Turner's play-calling style in their first season together, quicker decision-making, the addition of wide receiver Chris Chambers via trade from Miami and the maturation that comes with being a second-year starter who spent 2004 and 2005 as Drew Brees' backup.
Basically, Rivers is becoming everything Smith envisioned when acquiring him and two picks (including a first-rounder) from the New York Giants in exchange for fellow quarterback Eli Manning on draft day in 2004 .
"He's made leaps and bounds both in his play and experience," Smith said. "He's somebody you can win a Super Bowl with."
That would speak louder than any words.

Chargers interested in building a double decker waterfront stadium


(CBS) : Will San Diego vote for blue collar jobs, or Chargers blue and gold? That's what it could come down to this November. Local developers have an initiative on the ballot to build a double deck waterfront terminal big enough for a football stadium, but opponents says jobs could be lost on the waterfront.The 10th Avenue Marine Terminal is just a short distance from Petco Park. It's run by the San Diego Port Authority. For more than 50 years, the terminal has handled basic cargo. Now, voters will determine if the waterfront property will be transformed into a modern multi-purpose facility, with the possibility of a football stadium."What we're proposing to do is to modernize from current standards so that additional maritime activity could occur at this site," Peter Gallagher of San Diego Community Solutions said.Gallagher is one of the developers of San Diego Community Solutions, who sponsoredThe project known as the Port of San Diego Marine Freight Preservation and Bay Front Redevelopment Initiative.Voters from National City, Chula Vista, Imperial, Coronado and San Diego will determine if the terminal will be transformed into a double-decker structure, while maintaining existing and expanding maritime operations.But on top of the 40-foot deck, there could be hotels, restaurants and even a sports stadium."We're not proposing a specific use to go on that upper deck, it can be a stadium," Gallagher said.Gallagher says, Mark Fabriani, the Chargers' legal counsel, is interested."His reaction was that the Chargers need to take a hard look at this is something that has strong interest," he said.The upper deck stadium would be big enough to hold a Super Bowl game. But the $2 billion project doesn't score a touchdown with everyone. The Port District says such an engineering feat would be wholly infeasible no matter how it is constructed. Others object at the prospect of lost jobs. They say the proposal could constrain future growth at the terminal."There's a lot of people in the community saying that this will eliminate maritime freight," Gallagher said.But he counters, "If we don't pursue maritime freight, this project doesn't get built."The development company says no public money would be used, and its revenue will be from leases. Mark Fabriani told News 8 that while there are many steps to be taken before this project is finalized, the Charges want to stay in San Diego and would take a hard look at this option.

Wide reciever Eric Parker has been released


Source: Associated Press
SAN DIEGO (AP)—The Chargers released wide receiver Eric Parker on Wednesday, two days before their first full-squad practice.
The Chargers had been trying to trade Parker before veterans reported to camp Thursday night. Parker missed all of last season with a toe injury and became expendable after Chris Chambers was acquired in a midseason trade with Miami.
“We just decided to move on in another direction and wish him the best,” general manager A.J. Smith said. “We tried to make some trades—things did not materialize.”
Parker caught 187 passes for 2,586 yards and 11 touchdowns in parts of five seasons for the Chargers. He injured his right big toe during a minicamp practice 13 months ago and underwent surgery last August to fix a cracked bone. He was expected to be healthy in October but the toe didn’t respond and he missed the season.
Coach Norv Turner said the timing of Parker’s release works out for all parties.
“It gives him an opportunity to get with someone,” Turner said. “We obviously had talked to different teams to see if there was an interest, and looking at our situation, eventually they knew this would happen.
“Now I’m sure he’s going to get an opportunity to go play somewhere else.”
Parker had a career-high 57 receptions in 2005 and caught 152 passes from 2004-06. In his final game with the Chargers, Parker made a costly miscue, fumbling a punt in a playoff loss to New England. The Patriots took advantage by scoring a field goal in a game they rallied to win by three points.

Castillo gets $43 million in 5-year extension


Source: Associated Press
By Bernie Wilson
SAN DIEGO (AP)—Chargers defensive end Luis Castillo has agreed to a five-year contract extension through 2014 valued at more than $43 million.
The deal, announced Tuesday, will pay Castillo a guaranteed $17.5 million in signing and roster bonuses.
Castillo’s contract had been due to expire after the 2009 season.
“Since his arrival, Luis has played a huge role in the success we’ve had as a defense,” general manager A.J. Smith said in a statement. “He’s an ascending player who is committed to getting better.”
Castillo was the second of the Chargers’ two first-round draft picks in 2005. He has 13 sacks in 36 career games, including 33 starts.

Gates testing the waters


SAN DIEGO (AP)—Chargers tight end Antonio Gates tested his surgically repaired left big toe Monday at training camp and said it’s about 65 to 70 percent healed.
While rookies and select veterans opened camp, Gates went through a 45-minute workout on a side field. He tested the toe by running and cutting.
Gates was hurt in a wild-card playoff win against Tennessee and then played against Indianapolis and New England despite being in obvious pain. He underwent surgery in late-February to repair what he said was a tear in the plantar plate.
“Obviously, it’s a process,” Gates said. “I’m a lot better than I felt a month ago. I can say that. I have no determinant on when and how fast I’ll be coming back. But right now, I feel good. It’s a little sore, but it’s tolerable.”Gates said it was too early to know whether he’ll be ready for the season opener against the Carolina Panthers on Sept. 7. Monday was the third time Gates tested the foot by running, and saw progress when comparing the session to the other two workouts.
“The first time I went out there, I wasn’t able to finish the workout,” Gates said. “The second time, I finished it, but I was really, really sore. Now it’s to the point where I can finish the workout and the next day it will be a little bit sore. As it continues to go on and the progress continues, hopefully I can just get through a workout and feel really good the next day.”
Gates caught 75 passes for 984 yards and nine touchdowns last regular season.
Quarterback Philip Rivers, who played hurt in the AFC championship game, said he’s fully recovered from the torn anterior cruciate ligament that required surgery.
“I’ve been going full-go now for over a month,” Rivers said. “There’s nothing I can’t do. There are times throughout the day I can’t tell which knee I hurt.”
In other injury news, Turner said center Nick Hardwick is making progress from offseason foot surgery, but is a candidate to be placed on the physically unable to perform list. If he were placed on that list and not removed before the start of the season, he would be required to sit out the first six games of the regular season.
Receiver Eric Parker, who missed all of last season with a toe injury, wasn’t at the team complex Monday and his tenure with the Chargers could end within the next couple of days.
“If we have any developments regarding Eric, we’ll let you know immediately,” Smith said.

Cason doubts he’ll be in Chargers camp on time


Source: Associated Press
By Bernie Wilson
SAN DIEGO (AP)—Chargers first-round draft pick Antoine Cason remained unsigned Sunday night and didn’t sound optimistic he’d be at the first practice of training camp.
“I’m not sure. It doesn’t look like it as of now,” Cason said by phone. “I don’t know.”
“I mean, we’re we were making progress, of course,” said Cason, a cornerback from Arizona who went to the Chargers with the 27th overall pick. “I’ve kind of just heard little details of it from my agent. I just control what I can control, my play on the field.”
Cason is the Chargers’ only draft pick who hasn’t agreed to a deal. Rookies and selected veterans reported Sunday night and were scheduled to hold their first practice at 10:30 a.m. Monday.
Agent Ron Slavin said in an e-mail there was “no news to report.”
General manager A.J. Smith didn’t immediately return phone calls, and team negotiator Ed McGuire didn’t return an e-mail seeking comment.
Cason, who played at Arizona, was at his apartment in San Diego and would be able to get to camp quickly once a deal is reached.
The Chargers have had a history of failing to get their first-round picks into camp on time.
LaDainian Tomlinson had a long holdout in 2001, Quentin Jammer missed all of training camp in 2002 and Philip Rivers held out for the first four weeks in 2004. Shawne Merriman missed the first week of camp the following year and Antonio Cromartie missed the first two practices in 2006.
Last summer, the Chargers’ entire draft class agreed to deals before the start of camp, the first time that happened since 1997. First-rounder Craig Davis wasn’t even the last to sign in 2007—that distinction belonged to second-rounder Eric Weddle.
“That’s the most difficult thing to get through, of course, is the business side of it,” Cason said. “You never know what can happen. It’s a big difference in that way, not being able to show up the first day because of the business side.
“I’ve been keeping calm, keeping my cool. Really, I’m just trying to keep working out, not letting it affect me.”

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Two down, one to go!

Source:Associated Press

Rookies Jacob Hester and DeJuan Tribble agreed to contract terms with the San Diego Chargers on Friday.
That leaves cornerback Antoine Cason, the team's first-round draft pick, as the Chargers' only unsigned player.
Hester and Tribble both agreed to four-year contracts. Hester, a running back from LSU, was picked in the third round. Tribble, a cornerback from Boston College, was chosen in the sixth round.
Hester rushed for 1,103 yards and 12 touchdowns for LSU last season. The Chargers traded two draft picks, including a second-round choice in next year's draft, to New England to get the pick they used on Hester.
Tribble had 15 career interceptions, the third most in Boston College historyCason, selected 27th overall from Arizona, was one of five cornerbacks selected in the first round.
Chargers' rookies are scheduled to report to training camp Sunday night and practice for the first time on Monday morning. The team's first full-squad practices will be held next Friday.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Fred Dean headed for Chargers Hall of Fame


Chargers defensive end Fred Dean achieves the NFL's highest alter when he is enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Aug. 2 in Canton, Ohio. But Dean isn't looking past another special day for him when he returns to San Diego a couple of weeks before his trip to Canton.
Chargers President Dean Spanos announced today that the top pass rusher of his era will be inducted in the Chargers Hall of Fame. Spanos will make the announcement when the Bolts host Sports at Lunch at 11:30 a.m. today at the Hall of Champions in Balboa Park."The Chargers Hall of Fame is a great honor for me," Dean said from his home in Louisiana. "So many of my teammates have made it into the Chargers Hall of Fame, and now I get to join them. It's very touching to me."The Chargers will officially induct Dean as their lone 2008 inductee at halftime when the team play the New England Patriots on Sunday night, Oct. 12 at Qualcomm Stadium. Dean's name and number will be added to those names that ring the stadium."I can't really describe what it's like to go into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Chargers Hall of Fame in the same year," Dean said. "It's like having the best of both worlds."As a member of the Chargers Hall of Fame, Dean joins 12 members of the Air Coryell Chargers previously inducted.That group includes quarterback Dan Fouts (1993), former Grambling wide receiver Charlie Joiner (1993), head coach Don Coryell (1994), offensive tackle Russ Washington(1995), tight end Kellen Winslow (1995), kicker Rolf Benirschke (1997), defensive tackle Gary Johnson (1999), offensive guard Doug Wilkerson(2000), wide receiver Wes Chandler (2001), defensive tackle Louie Kelcher (2003), center Don Macek (2004) and offensive guard Ed White(2004)."Those teams had a family bond," Dean said. "Especially the guys I played in the defensive line - Louie Kelcher, Wilbur Young, Charles DeJurnett, Gary Johnson and Leroy Jones. And guys on the offensive line like Russ Washington and Doug Wilkerson to name a couple. Those are the guys I remember when I think about the Chargers. There was good competition between the offensive and defensive lines."Dean played for the Chargers as a 230-pound defensive end from 1975 to 1981. Although he was undersized for the position, he beat offensive tackles to get to the quarterback with his quickness and exceptional strength for a man his size.Dean, now 56, returned home to Louisiana after his playing days and is an associate minister at New Hebron Baptist Church in Arcadia.He joined the Chargers as a second-round draft pick in 1975 out of Louisiana Tech. He was drafted as an outside linebacker, but since he played defensive end in college, he told the Chargers' coaches he wasmore comfortable with his hand on the ground as a defensive end.Tommy Prothro and his staff subsequently returned Dean to defensive end. Although sacks didn't become an official NFL statistic until 1982, if numbers from the defensive stats compiled by teams are used, Dean iscredited with 100 sacks in 141 games in his career with the Chargers and San Francisco 49ers.In 1978, when Coryell replaced Prothro early in the season and led the Chargers to a winning record, Dean recorded 15.5 sacks. He had nine in 1979 and 10.5 in 1980 when the Chargers won AFC West titles, includingadvancing to the AFC Championship game in the 1980 season.Dean was traded to the 49ers early in the 1981 season when he was locked in a contract dispute with the late Gene Klein, who owned the team until Alex Spanos purchased the franchise in 1984.Dean's most productive season was 1983 when he finished with 17.5 sacks, including six in a game against the New Orleans Saints. He helped the 49ers win two Super Bowl titles in Super Bowl XVI and Super Bowl XIX."Those Chargers players I played with deserved to win a Super Bowl," Dean said. "But the ball bounced the wrong way and it didn't work out for us.”At the Pro Football Hall of Fame ceremonies, Dean's Class of 2008 includes Washington Redskins cornerback Darrell Green, Redskins wide receiver Art Monk, Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Emmitt Thomas, New England Patriots linebacker Andre Tippett and Minnesota Vikings offensive lineman Gary Zimmerman.The Pro Football Hall of Famers from the Chargers that Dean is joining in Canton are Fouts, Joiner, Lance Alworth, Sid Gillman, Ron Mix and Kellen Winslow."It's hard for me when the Chargers and 49ers play," Dean said. "It's like a father watching two sons playing against each other. But even if I didn't get a Super Bowl ring with the Chargers, it was a good feeling for all of us playing on those Chargers teams."

Friday, July 11, 2008

Tomlinson preparing for dream season



Source: Yahoo Sports

LaDainian Tomlinson is ready for a dream season. That would be in stark contrast to how his last one ended on a cold day in New England.
“It was a nightmare,” Tomlinson said. “You just want it over as quick as possible.”
The Chargers would love a quick return trip to the AFC Championship Game after falling short against the Patriots last January. To do so, they need a healthy Tomlinson. It looks like they have it.
Tomlinson’s day was cut short when he aggravated a sprained knee against the Patriots. He caught some flak for sitting on the bench for the game, huddled against the elements and trying to stiff-arm disappointment instead of rival tacklers.
When the games start this season, the memory of a battered and bummed Tomlinson on the sidelines will fade.
But Tomlinson’s memory is long and he won’t forget the verbal abuse sent his direction for not trying to re-enter the game—although he was hurt.
Coach Norv Turner knows how Tomlinson feels. Turner was blasted when taking over for the Chargers as their head coach before last year. That criticism gathered momentum when the team started 1-3.
“When someone says something and it is fair, it doesn’t bother you,” said Turner, of Tomlinson’s detractors. “But when someone says something that you don’t think it is fair, you would probably consider the source and he probably has a different opinion of some of the people that questioned him than he did before.”
Turner speculated Tomlinson’s psyche was hurt that day as well.
“Hey, I don’t care what the injury is, it’s mental, too,” Turner said. “You’re fighting to go to the Super Bowl and he had been playing for that game for seven years and all of sudden you are knocked out of the game. He is human.”
Quarterback Philip Rivers gets grief for showing his human side when he jaws with opponents and fans. Rivers said much was made about nothing when Tomlinson was sitting on the bench on a day when the temperature was in the single digit.
“Any time they catch something they will run with it and something gets all blown out and I thought that was the case there,” Rivers said. “They panned over to him when he was sitting on the sidelines—it was zero degrees and we were on defense—and we were all sitting there for the most part.
“He was up, encouraging the guys when we were out there on offense. It wasn’t like it was a bright, sunny day and he was sitting there with his helmet on.”
It’s “game on” for Tomlinson and the Chargers—neither can wait to start a journey they hope takes them back to a place where they were just four quarters shy of a Super Bowl.
Camp Calendar: Rookies and selected veterans report July 20 and have a practice the next day. The full squad reports July 24 and practices on July 25. The Chargers break training camp Aug. 23.
Notes, Quotes
• Former Chargers S Terrence Kiel, 27, was killed in a one-car accident on July 4. Kiel was a former second-round pick of the team before being released before last season because of numerous incidents with police.
• WR Legedu Naanee is looking to expand on his rookie learning experience. “This time around I know not just the route, but also the adjustment to it and what the guy next to me is doing. Knowing all that helps.”
• Kudos to the Spanos family—which owns the Chargers—for footing the bill once again for the San Diego High School all-star football game.
• CB Antoine Cason was among the rookies taking part in the NFL’s symposium recently at La Costa Resort and Spa—the league’s version of scaring the rookies straight. “It’s just an eye-opener and it makes you start thinking about different situations more and more,” said the Chargers’ top pick. “Sometimes, it gets you speechless.”
Quote To Note: “They let us know what can happen if you’re in bad situation and that is the biggest key.”—CB Antoine Cason on the lessons he learned at the NFL Rookie Symposium.
Strategy And Personnel
The Chargers’ roster is set and they don’t anticipate making any significant changes this close to camp.
Instead, they are more worried about the injured players on their roster and how quickly they can bounce back from some pretty serious injuries,
If there are setbacks, the club could look to bring in more insurance at tight end, fullback and along the offensive line. But for now, the team is hopeful it has built a roster which will lead it to its second Super Bowl in franchise history.
UNIT-BY-UNIT ANALYSIS
Quarterback: Starter—Philip Rivers. Backups—Billy Volek, Charlie Whitehurst.
The Chargers will take the Rivers who did so well in last season’s second half, thank you very much. Rivers experienced a bit of a sophomore slump in his second year as a starter early on, then came on down the stretch. In the eight-game winning streak which led to the AFC Championship Game, Rivers threw for 14 touchdowns and only five interceptions. Volek turned down offers to compete for a starting job elsewhere to return as the backup. The team remains high on Whitehurst and likely would have been comfortable with him backing up Rivers if Volek would have exited.
Running Backs: Starter—LaDainian Tomlinson. Backups—Andrew Pinnock, Jacob Hester.
Tomlinson is healthy and entering the season with a chip on his shoulder—bad news for opposing defenses. Tomlinson, who is aiming for this third straight NFL rushing title, was piled on pretty good when getting hurt in the AFC title tilt. Many thought he did try hard enough to enter the game; his strained knee told him otherwise. But he is fit and motivated, knowing the window for him and the Chargers closer to being shut than flung wide open. The team will miss Michael Turner, Tomlinson’s stellar backup. They hope Pinnock can fill the void, but he is coming off a serious knee operation. Lorenzo Neal, the Pro Bowl fullback, wasn’t brought back. His role figures to be filled by Pinnock and Hester, a rookie.
Tight Ends: Starters—Antonio Gates, Brandon Manumaleuna. Backups—Scott Chandler.
This area is usually one of strength for the Chargers but the uncertainty over Gates’ toe injury raises a red flag. Gates is a tough guy, but it might be asking too much even for him to rebound in time for the opener. That could give Manumaleuna more chances at catching the football instead of blasting open lanes for Tomlinson. Chandler is in his second year and seems capable, but he is unproven.
Wide Receivers: Starters—Chris Chambers, Vincent Jackson. Backups—Craig Davis, Legedu Naanee, Malcom Floyd, Eric Parker.
Chambers gave the offense a huge lift when he came over last year from the Dolphins. He has the ability to stretch the defense, which gives Tomlinson and Gates more room to run on the rushes and underneath routes. Jackson was among the benefactors as well with defenses leaning their coverage toward Chambers, which gave Jackson more opportunities. Davis is battling consistency problems, but figures to be in the mix as well. Keep an eye on the versatile Naanee as Norv Turner has him lining up at various spots to take advantage of his considerable skills. Floyd’s time is now or never; Parker could be moved before training camp, caught in a numbers crunch.
Offensive Line: Starters—LT Marcus McNeill, LG Kris Dielman, C Nick Hardwick, RG Mike Goff, RT Jeromey Clary. Backups—Jeremy Newberry, L.J. Shelton, Cory Withrow, Scott Mruczkowski.
Hardwick is critical to the line and the offense. The team elected to wait until the offseason was well underway to have his toe surgery; it had hoped rest would cure it. So with Hardwick’s availability unknown, the team could trot out Newberry on opening day. The team was pleased with the way Clary came on when starter Shane Olivea fizzled last year, but it is protecting itself by snagging the veteran Shelton. Dielman has been a monster in the weight room this offseason and could be headed for a Pro Bowl season. Goff could be in his final year with the Chargers, but his experience can’t be overlooked. McNeill has made two Pro Bowls in two years—enough said.
Defensive Line: Starters—LE Igor Olshansky, NT Jamal Williams, RE Luis Castillo. Backups—T Ryon Bingham, T Brandon McKinney, E Jacques Cesaire.
Williams is the key here as rival lines can’t dedicate just one man to block him—he is too strong. So with so much attention paid to Williams, Olshansky and Castillo are able to provide a solid push off the edges; Olshansky is more of a run-stuffer while Castillo’s quickness allows him to reach the pocket. But Williams’ is getting long in the tooth, so expect to see plenty of Bingham and McKinney in a rotation to try and keep Williams fresh. Jacques Cesaire often comes in on passing downs and is an able fill-in when Castillo—he has a tough time staying on the field—gets hurt.
Linebackers: Starters—OLB Shaun Phillips, ILB Stephen Cooper, ILB Matt Wilhelm, OLB Shawne Merriman. Backups—Derek Smith, Marques Harris, Carlos Polk, Brandon Siler, Tim Dobbins, Anthony Waters, Jyles Tucker.
Merriman and Phillips give the Chargers a 1-2 pass-rush combination that is among the league’s best. Merriman gets most the headlines—rightfully so—but don’t overlook Phillips. Both of them often end up in the pocket, where they combined for 21 sacks. Cooper is out the first month serving a suspension, so Smith will hold down his spot. Wilhelm is solid and is developing into a team leader. Harris and Tucker can be forces on passing downs and the Chargers aren’t shy about using them.
Defensive Backs: Starters—LCB Quentin Jammer, RCB Antonio Cromartie, SS Clinton Hart, FS Eric Weddle. Backups—CB Antoine Cason, CB Steve Gregory, CB Cletis Gordon, Paul Oliver.
Cromartie had a breakthrough season last year, leading the NFL with 10 interceptions and scoring touchdowns in three different ways. He should only get better, although teams might be more reluctant to throw his way. Jammer is coming off his second consecutive solid season; he’s not reluctant to give plenty of help in the run support as well. Hart is entering his second season as a starter after setting career highs in numbers categories last year. The team is high on Weddle, who they traded up to snag in the second round two years ago. Weddle is a smart player not prone to many mental mistakes. Cason could be tested as the nickel back and there are some depth concerns here. But the starters—especially on the corners—are spot-on.
Special Teams: Starters—K Nate Kaeding, P Mike Scifres, LS David Binn, PR/KR Darren Sproles.
Kaeding is consistent and healthy going into the season after his plant leg was fractured late last year. Scifres is always among the NFL’s leaders in net-average return and he’s among the reasons the Chargers are so good on third downs. If a play isn’t there for a first down, Rivers knows he doesn’t have to force something: just let Scifres punt it away, get the field position back and play on. Sproles is electric with his quickness and had two returns for touchdowns last year. Binn is long in the tooth, but he’s an institution for the Chargers, missing just one game—in 1998—having played in 223 regular-season games with San Diego.

Dean Spanos to announce Chargers Hall of Fame Inductee

(PHOTO) - Jim Steeg (right), Chief Operating Officer of the Chargers, presented to Steve Perry, president and executive director of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the jersey and helmet that Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson wore and the football he carried when he scored his 29th touchdown of the season to break the NFL record for touchdowns in a season. LT, the NFL MVP in 2006, finished the year with 31 touchdowns. His game memorabilia was donated for display at the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. Photo

San Diego Chargers President Dean Spanos will announce the team's 2008 inductee into the Chargers Hall of Fame at Sports at Lunch on Tuesday, July 15 at the San Diego Hall of Champions in Balboa Park. Chargers radio analyst Hank Bauer will serve as the moderator. The 2008 inductee will speak and answer questions along with other members of the Chargers Hall of Fame.The Chargers will officially induct their '08 selectee at halftime when the Bolts play the New England Patriots on Sunday night, Oct. 12 at Qualcomm Stadium. The 2008 inductee's name and number will be added to those that ring the stadium.WHAT: Sports at Lunch with the Chargers Hall of Fame inductee.WHEN: Tuesday, July 15. 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Check-in begins at 11:15 a.m. and program at noon.WHERE: Center Court at the Hall of Champions, 2131 Pan American Plaza in Balboa Park.RESERVATIONS: Admission is $25 for members and $30 for non-members. The Hall of Champions is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization and tickets are tax deductible. For reservations, call the HOC events department at 619-699-2309. Call the Events Department at 619-699-2309.