Enough Already it is only Preseason

Ok, so the San Diego Chargers lost to Seattle 20-7 on Saturday in a game that meant nothing to the AFC West Standings, and only meant who keeps a job for another week or two. How many of you can tell me every Preseason game the Chargers won and lost last year and what effect did it have on the Season??

Let's get this out of the Way Quickly:

Sump gumped when he muffed a punt and it caused a score, Lemon whiffed it when he tried to lead Baker a little too much and the ball bounced off Baker's hands into the hands of a waiting Seattle Safety. Burford thought he was a running back and instead of sliding he tried to run heads up into a linebacker and got the ball stripped. Oh, and the First TD came off some outstanding play by Seattle's Offense and some Poor coverage from the San Diego Defense. Ok, there it is, that is the gist of Saturday's game.

Now let's talk about the importance of this game:

1) We know that the starting Defensive back field of Tay Cody and Quentin Jammer needs work.

2) We know that neither Polk nor Wilhelm nor Moreno (who was the best of the middle linebackers on the day) did anything to outdistance the others at Middle linebacker.

3) We also know that if this Second string receiving corps is what we have to look forward to, then we are in Deep Kimshi in the receiving department.

4) The Battle for the 3rd string QB position is not as exciting as last year's QB battle.

Let's start with the DB's. I believe the two rookies out played Cody. Jammer looked good and hardly had the ball thrown his way but it seems Seattle saw the missing link in Tay Cody and went after him resulting in some nice yardage on catches by Koren Robinson and Darren Jackson. I thought both Sammy Davis and Drayton Florence looked better in coverage and did a better job at stopping the passing game of Seattle on Sunday. Davis even out ran the Receiver on one Play. I do not believe Cody will be in the starting line up come opening Day and if Davis is not healthy, we could see a starting backfield of a Rookie and a Second year player.

Who was impressed with the play at middle linebacker on Saturday?

Raise your hands…

Now that none of you raised your hands, how many actually paid attention to that battle???

ME. I saw Zeke Moreno in on a lot of plays and I saw Carlos Polk make 2 good tackles and I saw Matt Wilhelm… Well he was in the game with the 3rd Unit and looked better on special teams.

Moreno did nothing to lose the starting the job and neither Polk nor Wilhelm did anything to win it. Unlike Ben Leber last year, Wilhelm has not jumped out and made a big impression on me. He is not as intense and fired up as Leber was, and he does not look secure with his role yet, but I have not been impressed with him since Mini camp and he has done nothing to change that. It is Moreno's job to lose and I don't see that happening anytime soon.

Ok coming out with a no huddle was great.

Watching Brees run the no huddle was impressive -- watching receivers run the wrong routes, and miss catches that hit them in the hands was down right Sad. Charles had a nice 15 yard catch. Caldwell had a nice grab on the slant pattern and that was about it, 39 yards receiving total by your two starters is not very impressive. Charles did nothing to pull away from his battle with Osgood for the 5th spot and let's face it, no one else did anything to catch up to or gain on him in that battle either. Baker had some nice catches, but did not use his body well enough to make the catch in the End zone. Norman who could be one of the all time greats cannot get over dropping the pass every time the ball is thrown his way for the first time. The book is still out on Osgood since he has a broken finger, but if his game play is like his practice play he should be pretty hard to beat, and if he impresses enough -- he could see himself move up the depth chart.

QB controversy???, What QB controversy, neither Lemon nor Burford impressed in their games on Sunday. Both had a turnover, Lemon Throwing an interception in the end zone and Burford losing a fumble on a scramble that he should have slid on after securing the first down. Both overthrew wide open receivers and did not lead them well enough to make catches. Neither did anything to move ahead of the other in the 3rd string battle, though Lemon showed a little more zip on the ball, except, on one pass, he showed too much touch when he almost threw an interception on a pass to Brian Sump that had more hang time than a Mike Scifers punt.

Now the good thing about the game, it is preseason and that is what preseason is for.

Unlike Matt Hasselbeck, Brees did not have the luxury of his starting Receivers or his Pro Bowl Running back. He played with second stringers except for his offensive line and they were very impressive. Toniu Fonoti will find it hard to break that starting line up and could be put into a reserve role real fast with that line play.

Maddox looked good but is he durable enough to beat out Jesse Chatman?? I think he was very impressive in the open field as a receiver and could make this team as a 3rd down back if given that opportunity. Joey Goodspeed Looked better and more comfortable as Lorenzo Neal's backup and played better then the 7th round Andrew Pinnock. Under the tutelage of Neal Goodspeed could become an impressive Full back in this league.

All I can say folks it is preseason and there are 3 more games to go before the real season begins. Do not regard the play of one preseason game as how this team will do in the regular season, the Starting offense did not play, an impressive rookie (Osgood) did not play, and the Chargers played Vanilla Defense and offense the whole game.

Wait till the season begins before you start complaining about this team. Let them get healthy and then if the play continues then you can complain.

Until then just enjoy the ensuing battles and root these young kids on to victory.

Tom Criswell can be reached at tcrisswell@cox.net

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