Nothing but a D-Thing

All we are saying is: "Give D a chance". Sounds like a John Lennon song, but it is the truth. Everyone is peppering this young San Diego Chargers defense, and it is Young. The Elder Statesman is a man they call Grandpa, and that is Ray Lee Johnson. The linebackers are led by Donnie Edwards, who is only 28. This is a young group of defenders. Both starting defensive backs are young, and Kwamie Lassiter is the elder statesman in the secondary.

They are young, and they will get better. They did not play bad in the second half last week against Kansas City. In fact, if they played like they did in the second half in the first half of that game, then we would not be sitting here having this discussion, now would we. The young DB's held their own in man to man, but did not get the help they needed in zone coverage. They were mismatched and mixed up with the different formations and different sets. Give them a game or two and they will be all right. They may not be the #1 defense but they will be better than last year.

"Hopefully, they will be missing a lot," Rod Smith said referring to the loss of Seau and Harrison. "Those two guys were amazing. It seemed like every tackle the Chargers made, one of those guys was in on it. Sometimes it was both of them. They were the heart of the defense. Those are two of the best defense defensive football players I have played against in the National Football League. I don't know if that helps us because that just means the Chargers brought in some guys who are trying to fill those shoes."

Shoes?!? We could not get much worse than last year. I know, after the showing on Sunday, we all sat there and said to ourselves, "same crap, different year". How many of us watched that game and did not say, "Damn" 20 times at least. I did every time it was 3rd and long and the team had them pinned down. Then Trent Green would hit a wide open receiver or running back for the first. It brought back memories of last year, and those are memories I want to forget. Shoes?!?

The offense could help this defense out a lot if it could stay on the field for more than three plays. The D looked tired by halftime and once we started sustaining some drives in the second half, the D came alive (plus Jammer's Interception helped out a lot). So let's give the D a break. We all knew it would take time for them to gel. It is a totally Revamped Defense, there are only 4 starters from a year ago still playing. They should do better, they should read and react better and they should be aggressive over the next few games.

Speaking of aggressive, get rid of that Zone coverage. We know this is a man up team. We know that they can cause havoc when they are aggressive. Do like Dale Lindsey said he was going to do. Line them up and let them play. Don't make them cover an area. If one thing we discovered on Sunday was any good, it was the fact that these young DB's can shut them down when they are playing Man to Man, so let them do it.

The Chargers are 0-1. Last year we were 1-0. Last year we beat the Bengals. This year we were beat by the team some are picking to win the AFC West and that is the Kansas City Chiefs. Just let them play, I cannot say it enough. Let these kids play street ball if you have to, but you know aggressiveness works.

Use it!

Tom Criswell can be reached at

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