Coaches' Keys to the Game

The keys to Sunday's 42-28 victory over the Vikings were clearly laid out by Head Coach Marty Schottenheimer. The San Diego Chargers offensive production was nothing short of superb, but other factors contributed to this victory.

As much as the offense did, it could have easily been a loss had the team not improved upon several problem areas. The gameplan was also clear and that paved the way.

Marty Schottenheimer, in his Monday press conference, touched upon key parts throughout:

• "Keep Moss from beating us."
• "Concede some things in the running game to do that."
• "We have working hard on the penalty thing and we have gotten that down to a reasonable number."
• "Don't put yourself in those third down and forever situations."
• "We had to explore the play entry as well. Let's let the thing go. Whatever happens – happens. Let us not be paralyzed, just go play."

These were the five keys to success drawn up before they played the game. Of course, the insertion of Doug Flutie at quarterback was the starting point. Play enough defense to win and open up the offense to eliminate missed third down opportunities.

Elaborating on the last bullet point, Schottenheimer explained his views of Cam Cameron and what makes his so innovative and good.

"I think Cam does a terrific job at playcalling. He is at his best when he is winging it. I go back to last year and we are second and two at the two and we run a reverse and score a touchdown. In all my years of coaching I don't ever remember seeing anybody run a reverse on the two yard line."

There are two schools of thought there. Playcalling is vilified when plays don't work and praised when they do. A reverse at the two has potential for disaster, so it was risky even today.

"To be effective at play entry you have to wing it. The first thought is generally the best thought. Cam as a result of our discussion kind of let the thing go. He said to heck with it, let's see what happens.

"When you have LT it makes it easier. You hand LaDainian the ball enough times, he is averaging over 5 yards a carry, if you give it to him on first down and second down, I am an English major, that seems 5.2 and 5.2 will give you another first down. When you have a runner like that, it is easier to call running plays.

Of course the most important key to the game could have happened Thursday when Schottenheimer told his players they would have Monday off if they won this weekend.

"They came in watched the tape, had a workout on their own. We didn't go out on the field."

That is motivation to get the job done. Win and get a day off. No meetings, just a day for yourself and a chance to revel in the win. At 2-7 everyone had an opportunity to enjoy Sunday's success.


SD Super Chargers Top Stories