That alone speaks of the attitude of the staff and the team. A little more relaxed than a normal Monday has been for the San Diego Chargers squad. Then he dropped the bombshell, "I fully expect that in some point in time that Drew will play this year."">
That alone speaks of the attitude of the staff and the team. A little more relaxed than a normal Monday has been for the San Diego Chargers squad. Then he dropped the bombshell, "I fully expect that in some point in time that Drew will play this year."">

Another Monday, another QB Debate

Things were different after a win. Marty Schottenheimer opened his Monday Press Conference with his own question:<br><br> "Will someone explain to me how the whole BCS thing works?"<br><br> That alone speaks of the attitude of the staff and the team. A little more relaxed than a normal Monday has been for the San Diego Chargers squad. Then he dropped the bombshell, "I fully expect that in some point in time that Drew will play this year."

Drew Brees or Doug Flutie. The drama surrounding this battle extends towards the future. Does the team forego wins to get Brees more air time, or do they go with the guy who just earned them win number three for the team and the second win since he was inserted into the starting lineup?

Some have inferred that Flutie started only because Schottenheimer wanted to beat his brother. That may or may not be true.

If there was a game to play Brees, it should have been this past weekend. The reason has nothing to do with Detroit's defense which has been solid, but rather their offense which is not as good as the Green Bay team the Bolts will face this week. Granted Detroit beat Green Bay, but the Brett Favre factor could put the Chargers down early and put Brees into a situation where he has to come from behind. A situation he is not very comfortable with, witnessed by the early season woes.

Marty concedes a decision will not be reached until late in the week.

"We will wait to see how the week unfolds and I don't expect to make a decision until late in the week."

This is a different tactic than last week when he announced Doug as the starter early in the week. Schottenheimer knew Flutie would start last week. This week he truly seems unsure. He softened his stance on winning and while he maintained that it is still a primary concern, his mindset is a little different.

"Winning is always the most significant criteria. I think it might be in our best interest to find out whether the four or five games he hasn't been involved in playing that he might go ahead and play.

"He has indicated that it is a far different picture that you see when you stand back on the sidelines.

"The intent at the outset was we were going to give Drew Brees an opportunity to step back and see how things looked once he had an opportunity to do that."

2004 is not far away and with that comes the NFL Draft. Over a month ago we floated out that Doug Flutie may not be back and will head to the CFL. Where would that leave the quarterback situation in San Diego?

The plan may be to find out, finally, over the last three weeks.

Schottenheimer points to the man holding the clipboard at the present time and sees the qualities that made him a starter in the first place.

"He has worked very, very hard. He has encouraged his teammates. He has provided the kind of leadership you would expect from a guy who is the captain. He has continued to take a positive leadership position with our team."

Signs point towards Brees starting.

"It might even come as early as this week," Marty Schottenheimer said. "Now it might not, but it might. It might not come until next year."

What's next?

"In the course of practice we will give Doug and Drew opportunities to work and if I make the decision to change, it won't be a reflection on Doug. We are going to have both of them work. They will each get an opportunity during the course of the week and be involved in the preparation. I don't think it will adversely affect the offense if they split the snaps.

"Our purpose at the outset was to give Drew Brees an opportunity to step back from the midst of it and see it from a different perspective."

By all accounts it appears Schottenheimer is actually leaning in Brees' direction. If anything, the move will give the Chargers direction heading into next year. Imagine the offseason if Brees never gets a chance this season.

How will he choose? Is there some elixir that he drinks on Thursday or Friday morning that will point the way?

"There is no magic formula," Schottenheimer says. "It is kind of intuitive."

For the sake of the franchise let's hope his intuition leads him down the right path.

Note:

Marty was still upset about some of the penalties that happened on Sunday but softened his stance. He did want more continuity from the officiating so he would know what to teach his players.

Denis Savage can be reached at safage@cox.net

SD Super Chargers Top Stories