What is the fix?

I know, I know, it is the first game of the season. We have 16 more to go. I know all the clichés that are out there. I know the last few years we started out fast and ended up looking bad in the end. So this year is different, we started with a Loss instead of a Win. <br><br> Here is my question though: Is Marty Schottenheimer the coach for the San Diego Chargers?

In two years as the Chargers Head Coach, Marty Schottenheimer is 8-9. Now that is not scathing, but his play calling and his decision making has been.

Let's start with the off season cuts:

We all agree that losing Rodney and Junior was not really that big of deal. My feeling is, however, losing McNeal was. The Chargers need that leadership quality that you don't get from the rookies, and even though QJ is not a rookie he is still only in his second year.

Let's face it, the defense is young and will only get better, and as they showed in the second half, when they are not confused from all the motions and shifting that the Chiefs offense was doing, they were down right hard to beat. When San Diego went away from that soft zone to a more aggressive man to man defense the D-line picked it up, the linebackers picked it up and so did the Safeties and D-Backs. The Chargers need to be aggressive, even with Boston, and LT. They cannot play catch up and expect to come back and win from 24 point deficits, it just does not happen.

Another thing that I have a problem is: what is it that Marty sees in Reche Caldwell? In two seasons now that Caldwell has played as a Charger, he has not impressed me. Too many dropped passes. Two passes yesterday bounced off his chest for interceptions, both of which should have been caught. Marty says that Parker is impressive and needs to work on his route running; well at least he catches the ball. Caldwell is unimpressive, needs to work on his route running, and needs to learn to hold on to the ball.

Now let's look at his coaching staff.

Dale Lindsey is not the aggressive Coach that we are use to. Joe Pascale was. How can you take a defense that is feared in this league and come in and make it as weak as this defense looks?

They are not aggressive. When they are, they make things happen. Even announcers in yesterday's game could not understand why the Chargers continued to play zone when the Chiefs picked them apart. If I was Marty, and I am not, I would look at what worked defensively and run it. Forget the zone, it is not working.

Offensively, I know everyone hates Marty Ball. They dislike the fact that we run LT so much. Here is my thing: When LT has the ball, things happen. When you barely use him, as they did in yesterday's game, the defense is going to key off on that and attack differently. The Chiefs double teamed Boston. The other receivers were dropping balls so they had nothing to worry about there, they could again stack the line, as was evident on the 3rd and 1 where the Chargers "Lost" 5 yards, they can free up safeties for blitzes, or blitz the linebackers.

The offense did nothing to show they improved from a year ago, what is the fix? Well in my honest opinion here is the fix:


Starting Receivers: Boston, Parker
Third and Fourth receivers: Dwight and Osgood
Benched: Caldwell

O-line: leave as it is (unless they still have problems then move McIntosh to back up, put Page back in at Tackle and Bogle at Guard)

Tight End: Josh Norman
Back up: Justin Peele, Antonio Gates
Benched: Stephen Alexander (we won't have to worry about him since he is always injured anyway)


Defensive End: Marcellus Wiley, Otis Leverette (someone has to shock the world)
Backups: Adrian Dingle and Ray Lee Johnson

Tackle: Jamal Williams and Dequincy Scott
Backup: Jason Fisk, Jacques Cesaire

Kiel will take over when he is ready, and it cannot come soon enough.

Marty said something yesterday that has merit and backs my moves. "It is not about the economics," he said referring to spreading the ball around to his receivers and not giving Boston all the work. Then he won't mind benching some high priced players.

Well, that is my fix. Does it look like a lot to fix? No, just a few things -- enough to make a difference.

Now will the changes be made?

Nope, probably not, if anything, I will probably get lambasted for my article. But hey if something is broke, you fix it and it is obvious after yesterday's play that this team is not fixed yet.

Tom Criswell can be reached at tcriswell1@aol.com

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