Chargers eye the future

After a restless week for San Diego Chargers quarterbacks Doug Flutie and Drew Brees, where they shared snaps in practice, a decision has been made on who will start this weekend against the Green Bay Packers. <br><br> Drew Brees gets the nod after taking all the snaps in practice on Friday.

Doug Flutie, after leading his team to victory last week against the Lions, will lead the cheering from the sidelines this week.

Drew Brees will get the start after missing the last five games, where Flutie went 2-3.

Brees is 1-7 on the season and was benched so he could get a different view from the sidelines. Now the future of the franchise will begin, or potentially end, this Sunday.

"I know in his mind he remains very confident," Marty Schottenheimer said. "That is his nature. He also recognizes that any number of quarterbacks in the NFL have had to go through this in the beginning of their career.

"He is very, very competitive. I think he will be able to rebound from the struggles we experienced in the early part of the season."

Brees' struggles were most prevalent in his interception total. He has thrown 12 this season, compared to just seven touchdowns. Not all the interceptions were his fault Schottenheimer points out.

"I think it was pressing more than anything. Early on we had a number of balls that were intercepted that were good throws that receivers batted in the air. I think all of a sudden Drew tried to become to perfect. It is difficult to throw the ball unless you are willing to turn the thing loose."

See Brett Favre to get a better understanding of being loose and gunning the ball.

He has directed his team to 15.6 points per game and has a league worst 21.3 rating on third down, completing just 40.9% of his passes. Six of his interceptions have come on third down, compared to just one touchdown.

Schottenheimer has faith – because he has to for the future.

"I think he is going to be a good quarterback. The quarterback is always the focus. You don't talk about the guy that ran the wrong route or stopped in the middle of the route and the ball is intercepted or the pass protection wasn't able to get the job done and you are throwing with two big guys in your face. All of those things contribute to the struggles of a quarterback. Yet, when they are done correctly, that enables the quarterback to get these certain things done when in fact he may not have been playing any differently."

Brees isn't the only problem for the Chargers. Plenty of receivers continue to drop balls and the line has been decimated. None of that matters as the QB will always be the fall guy.

If Brees is serious about leading this team, it starts this week. If he can do what Matt Hasselbeck did last season with Seattle, it will go a long way towards giving the Chargers stability in this tumultuous time.

"Marty is kind of sneaky," Grady Jackson said referring to the QB battle in San Diego. "With Brees he is just going to sit back there. With Flutie he is going to scramble."

Jackson admits that his preparation this week was to stop Flutie as he felt he could do more against the Packers pass rush.

Denis Savage can be reached at

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