Where Do We Go From Here?

Halfway through this nightmare of a football season the 2003 San Diego Chargers are searching for answers. This was the "push" year. This was the season to make a run at the playoffs. Instead, fans and players are calling for Doug Flutie and wandering what the organization will do with another top 5 draft pick. Where do we go from here?

The juice of the week is easily the anticipation of Marty Schottenheimer's decision to go with the struggling Drew Brees or his back up Doug Flutie against the Vikings this Sunday. It's easy to analyze the matter and come to the conclusion that Drew Brees has been struggling so it's time to give Doug Flutie a start. At this point it doesn't matter who starts on Sunday. The chances of the Chargers winning out the season are about the same as a porn star being elected governor. If for some reason hell froze over and Tupac and Elvis came out of hiding and the Chargers win all their remaining games they'd be 9-7 in a conference that features the Titans, Chiefs, Broncos, Colts, Ravens, Patriots and Dolphins. In other words they wouldn't sniff the playoffs and the only thing that may be "pushed" this year is Marty Schottenheimer, right out the door that is. For the sake of the fans and for the sake of Drew Brees and Marcellus Wiley, who wasn't shy in his opinion on the issue, it would be wise to let Doug Fluite run for his life against Minnesota this Sunday. Drew has lost some confidence and feeding him to a hungry Viking team that has lost two consecutive home games would probably not be the best way for him to get it back.

What is sometimes overlooked in all this is the most important issue facing this organization right now. Is Drew Brees the quarterback of the future? The answer to that question carries major weight as to what direction the organization is headed. Recent comments from AJ Smith imply that Drew's window of opportunity may only be until the end of this season. Simply put: straighten up or ship out. Shipping out would mean a search for a veteran quarterback and/or drafting another quarterback, both of which would signify regression rather than progression.

Let's hope that through his analyzation of Drew Brees that AJ Smith leaves no stone unturned. If he kicks over every stone he should find that Drew plays in a system that does not play to his strengths. Think of the system he was in at Purdue and compare it to Marty's were gonna run the ball and everybody knows it system. It's like comparing Ladanian Tomlinson to Jerome Bettis, two opposite styles. Marty and his staff have taken the approach of the players adapting to the system rather than the system adapting to the talents of the players. Would Drew Brees be a winning NFL quarterback in a different system? It's possible, but to find out he or Marty would have to take the high road out of San Diego. His arm strength is in question and you can get by without a Leaf like cannon but you better be accurate. Is Drew Brees the future at quarterback for the San Diego Chargers? Only he can answer that question and the only way he can answer it is on the football field. He'd better do it between now and the end of the fourth quarter on December 28th, AJ has flipped the hourglass.

At 1-7 even the positives can easily be turned to negatives. Ladanian Tomlinson continues to perform with an injury riddled offensive line, bad play from his quarterback and the most predictable playcalling in the NFL. This team will need to turn this around quick as "LT" doesn't seem like the kind of guy that would waste his career for a losing team, he want's to win. He grew up in Texas idolizing Emmitt Smith and the Cowboys with Bill Parcells at the helm have to be awfully enticing. Hopefully the Chargers realize what they have in Tomlinson. A hard working, durable franchise running back with loads of heart and a ton of character, not to mention his obvious physical skills. Losing him could be the final straw for many loyal lightning bolt supporters who have seen their share of favorite players leave San Diego.

Stick a fork in em' but don't sell your tickets just yet. There are still plenty of reasons to support and follow the San Diego Chargers:

Reason 1- Ladanian Tomlinson alone is worth the price of admission.
Reason 2-Judge for yourself - Drew Brees or Eli Manning?
Reason 3- Doug Flutie may pull out some more of that pixie dust.
Reason 4- How will David Boston handle this adversity?
Reason 5- Watch the Chargers battle the Jaguars for the 1st pick in the Draft.
Reason 6- See Lorenzo Neal lead through what was supposed to be a hole.
Reason 7- Dequincy Scott triple Marcellus Wiley's sack total.
Reason 8- Judge for yourself- Marty or ?
Reason 9- Watch Charger DB's play 15 yards off the line of scrimmage.
Reason 10- Hell, at least it's football!

Where oh where, do we go from here?

Contact Will at will.powered@verizon.net

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