Telling It Like It Is

The last time I shared with you, I was afraid that I might be getting too negative with my assessment of the Bolts and The Entire Charger Organization. I even feared that exactly one month of marriage might have tempered my enthusiasm and subsequent optimism. Now, however, I realize that it's not me that's lost my edge. The San Diego Chargers are in as bad a state as I have seen them since 1995. That includes the 1-15 season of 2000 and the Ryan Leaf Period.

Right now, they are not only playing like losers, but The Organization itself is sticking its head in the sand. If Marty Schottenheimer actually believes the shit that is coming out of his mouth, he should keep it shut. Not only is it sickening to listen to him suggest that the team is moving in the right direction, but he's even projecting an air of pomposity by intimating that he, and only he, has the best vantage point to judge the team.

First of all, the team ISN'T EVEN getting better each week because they were worse against Denver than they were at Arrowhead. But that's not even the point. I have no problem with positive reinforcement but I don't think Marty is even instilling a winning attitude. Before the game against Baltimore, Schottenheimlich even had the balls to suggest that the players should join him in taking the blame for the abysmal start. However, I've still yet to hear any accountability whatsoever being tossed in Marty's direction. Some of the blame for the lack of blame on Marty must go to Dean Spanos. Deano felt the need this week to reassure us that we were lucky to have such a coach and that he couldn't possibly have anything to do with the fact that we could be the worst team in the NFL right now.

It would be bad enough if I thought that The Organization was just playing lip service to these absurd statements. Their actions fall right along with their stupidity, stubbornness and denial. Could it be possible that the Spanos Clan just doesn't care because they want to move the team to Los Angeles, a la "Major League?" At least that would have an element of logic to it. The coaches under Schottenheimer are also horrid. I didn't believe that the 11-yard draw was a scripted play, but apparently it was. Either that, or the coaches are too stubborn to admit it was a mistake. It doesn't matter because the latter scenario will simply cause them to make some stupid decision in the future. I wasn't quite as frustrated with the horizontal flea flicker to David Boston. I assumed it meant that the Chargers realized that just hanging close with the Ravens wouldn't be good enough and that they would need to score some touchdowns. But the call also means that we are having some serious problems scoring early points, which was not supposed to be such a problem.

That problem isn't going to resolve itself in the immediate future since David Boston has now been suspended for Sunday's game at Oakland. If you've been following this pathetic soap opera, you know that Boston, who ironically was drafted by Arizona with the picks we traded them for Ryan Leaf, has basically blown off the strength and conditioning coach, blatantly blown off meetings, argued publicly with Reche Caldwell and "made disarranging remarks." The last offense doesn't bother me. I can't blame the Bolts for suspending him because they would look like idiots if they let him publicly make a joke of The Organization. Unfortunately, it's too late for that. Due to all the poor decisions the Chargers have made recently, the Chargers look like a joke. They signed a supreme talent in Boston and appeared to get a guy who was psyched to team up with Tomlinson and win some games. But this may be a situation where Boston's "enigmatic" personality and the decrepit state of affairs in San Diego are a bad match. I can guarantee you that if former Strength and Conditioning Coach John Hastings, who used to stand behind Bobby Ross looking like the evil karate teacher from "Karate Kid I," was still around that Boston wouldn't be getting out of line.

I DO have a problem with the decision to send The Mummy out there to kick a 50-yard field goal that he has absolutely no chance of making. It gave Baltimore good enough field position to kick a field goal of their own field goal before the first half ended. At least we were spared the indignity of having Wide Righty kick a long one that he surely would have made. Did you see his bizarre hand positioning on the extra point? Is that all he needed to put the ball through the uprights? It was also indicative of the sad state of affairs that Schottenheimer let Christie try the long kick, but then had him do the quick kick on the shorter one. As long as we carry Christie, we'll be carrying dead weight. But if Marty understands Christie's limitations, which are many, then he should have simply gone for it on 4th down.

When Marty describes Christie as a clutch kicker, he's using the same rose colored glasses that The Organization uses to view his coaching performance. Dean Spanos sings the praises of Schottenheimer and talks about what a top-flight coach we have. Yet the Chargers are continually getting costly penalties and look completely unprepared. Isn't that what Schottenheimer was hired to fix?

I can't say that changing coaches every other year is a good idea, but the denial employed by Schottenheimer and the rest of The Charger Organization is killing the club. Even T.J. Simers, resident wiseass of the LA Times, needled Drew Brees about the naivete of the Bolts right now. Brees' performance on Sunday was especially disappointing because he did really have a bad game and seems to be regressing. I really like Drew and think he can lead the team, but when the Bolts are way down like they have been, he reverts back to his old habits. The passes start fluttering and sailing over the heads of receivers or he puts too much air under the ball and ends up underthrowing it. It's easy to see why. When I was in kindergarten, I used to hold my pencil with four fingers. After I was taught how to use my thumb and two fingers (and given a rubber gripper to remind me to do so), I would go back to the old way every time I got frustrated. It was only after I realized how important it was to stick with it did I learn. I don't seeing Schottenheimer as much of a teacher right now and the Bolts don't have a quarterback guru on staff, so I don't know who is going to help Drew out.

LaDainian Tomlinson looks fantastic and is only hampered by the fact that the Chargers have entered the fourth quarter of all three games down by 21 points. Why did Cam Cameron call all those screens for him when we were down that much? I also would have appreciated a little more urgency from the offense. It took seemingly forever for the team to get back to the line. That may be where Brees needs to assert himself more or where THE COACH should be lighting a fire under the team's collective ass.

Now the Chargers have lost their last four games in the throwback uniforms and haven't won a game in almost a year. None of the linebackers seem to be able to make plays. Maybe Matt Wilhelm, he of the DUI, should get a chance. Vaughn Parker, who's only claim to fame is being in the NFL for 10 years, is now out for the season. Allow me to clarify my criticism of Vaughn. It's like when a baseball announcer says that a pitcher "gives you a lot of innings." They're not suggesting that the pitcher is any good, but that he's always on the mound. Trust me as a Mets fan that this means that they can't find anything else good to say about the guy. Vaughn Parker gets more holding penalties than any Charger OL this side of Eric Moten. Solomon Page also got hurt on Sunday. Toniu Fonoti, who is still extremely raw to say the least, is also out for the year.

I suggested last week on JUSTICE IS COMING (www.justiceiscoming.com), that the Chargers were on their way to being the worst team in the NFL. This is not because they have the least talent, mind you, but because they are doing the least with the talent they have. Jeff Fedotin, on Pro Football Weekly's website, wrote today that the Bolts are finally at the bottom. They travel to Oakland on Sunday after the Traitors got pounded in Denver on Monday Night. You could argue that it's the best time for the Bolts to go to Oakland AND that it's the worst. The Traitors admittedly are no longer West Coasting the rest of the NFL to death, but the Bolts haven't looked like they could stop a Jeff George-led team. Regardless, the season looks already to be lost. Hope for the best and expect the worst. Justice is coming, but maybe not this year.

RLW

Justice Is Coming



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