Things Looking Up

Each week the San Diego Chargers actually look like they are getting better. More players seem to be buying into the philosophy that Marty Schottenheimer is preaching and the list of accolades grows.

"We think we can win them all," Mike Scifres said referring to the last three games. "We won one and now are goal is to win the last three, taking one at a time. We won one – three to go."

The feeling in San Diego is far different than just a few weeks ago. A win this week and the Chargers will have played .500 ball over the last six weeks.

Before moving on to the Green Bay game, a look at the positives:

Quentin Jammer had his second solid game in a row. He had six tackles and held his own in coverage.

"I have been pleased with Quentin's development," Marty Schottenheimer said. "He played again quite well (Sunday)"

Jammer wasn't the only corner to receive praise. Kevin House had a career game on Sunday. He led the team with four passes defensed in a little over a quarter subbing for Sammy Davis.

"Kevin House did a terrific job at the end of the game being involved making several plays," Schottenheimer said. "But he knew the route that was coming because we preached it to him. When that receiver goes inside on cover-2 there is only one way he can beat you and that is back to the corner and he ended going back there and making a play on both those balls."

Davis was not free from being talked about, but it was not what you may think. A concern was raised regarding his durability and Schottenheimer dealt with it head on:

"We have to get him in a program in the offseason where he can build himself up physically. He only weighs about 186-188 pounds and the receivers you play against in this league, in many cases, are well over 200. That is part of the process of maturing.

"Quentin is a much more physical player. He is a 204, 205 pound player. I don't expect to see Sammy get that big but I think it is reasonable to expect that Sammy could be190-193 pounder. With good weight it will help his endurance and make him much more efficient in the competitive standpoint of defending big receivers that are contesting for the ball."

The defensive backs as a group played cover-2 to perfection. Amazingly, cover-2 relies heavily on the front four creating pressure. That didn't exactly happen and the secondary still excelled.

On offense, the accolades continued.

Schottenheimer applauded the efforts of 41 year old Doug Flutie. Makes you wonder why he is contemplating change and where the pressure is coming from (the front office).

"He has always been very resourceful, and he has the ability to improvise because he has quickness. He has maintained that quickness. The flexibility he has enables him to do those things."

Lions Head Coach Steve Mariucci praised Flutie and running back LaDainian Tomlinson:

"We talked all week about their weapons and I think we saw first-hand what kind of back LaDainian Tomlinson is and Doug Flutie—what kind of improvisation that guy brings. They played very well."

Now that we have hyped you up looking at this 3-10 tean it is time to tear you back down.

Reche Caldwell continues to be an enigma. The one time he makes a play he steps out of bounds before making a catch. Then he gets called for taunting on the same play.

"I am in the process of trying to reach Reche. I brought him over and I said, ‘Reche there is no place in our game for taunting,'" Schottenheimer said.

The staff maintains they have confidence in the young wideout but the quarterbacks may not after he continues to let them down. That may be the biggest factor against him.

When he is running routes, will there be hesitation from the QBs in delivering a ball to him? It showed up earlier in the year and Caldwell got tagged.

"He is a very frustrated young man. I spoke to him again and said, ‘you have to try and find a way to battle through this thing.' He is trying. For him, right now, it is Murphy's Law. If it can go wrong it will go wrong. Just be one of the players and just do your job."

Not all is well in ChargerLand, but things are improving. At 3-10, they have a long way to go towards respectability. The talent everyone thought this team had at the beginning of the season is finally beginning to rear its head. A turtle coming out of its shell, the process has been painfully slow.

Denis Savage can be reached at

SD Super Chargers Top Stories