A day of angst

Monday was a day of frustration. Apparently the message was not getting through to the squad, six games in. Specifically the message to Sammy Davis went unheard and San Diego Chargers' head coach Marty Schottenheimer has plans to examine the situation further.

"When they find you, they are going to look to take advantage of you," Marty Schottenheimer said in reference to cornerback Sammy Davis. "We started rotating Fletch with him and at this point to be candid, I am going to have to look at it more closely. We need to play better there."

The problem on Sunday was one big play that Davis got burned on. With the game in hand, Michael Vick hit Peerless Price for a fifty yard reception. Davis could only watch as Price made the reception.

Jamar Fletcher who took playing time away from Davis also had a gaffe. He was beat on a double move, slipping as he tried to stay with Dez White. Touchdown – Falcons.

"We gave up two touchdown passes which shouldn't have happened," Kiel said. "That game is on us."

And Schottenheimer is considering a chance in the starting lineup. Quentin Jammer is sticking – he shut down the opposition on Sunday. But Davis is in jeopardy.

"(Davis) has had some struggles," Schottenheimer said. Fletcher is a consideration. Drayton would be a consideration."

Schottenheimer doesn't necessarily want to make a change. But he had already sent a message to Davis and feels it may have been heard but not listened to.

Davis, for his part, says he has heard the message.

"Coach Schottenheimer has preached a one game at a time approach and that's the way I'm looking at it," Davis said.

His coach feels it is a confidence issue. Since the beginning of the year, Davis has been the target for opposing quarterbacks to attack. They have shied away from Jammer and defended passes have been few and far between for Davis.

Besides interceptions, there is no other statistic that will stop offenses from attacking the beaten down Davis. It has not mattered what kind of coverage is being deployed or what kind of route is being run, Davis has been lagging behind.

"I am really trying to work on my technique each week and trying to stay consistent, whether we are in a zone, off man, or press coverage," Davis said.

But with his confidence at an all-time low, he has been unable to focus on the task at hand.

Cornerbacks are a premium in the league. It is why Clinton Portis was traded to Washington for Champ Bailey. Denver believed it could get by with the running backs they had, but to get a premier cornerback was something else altogether. Cornerbacks, unlike running backs, don't fall very often to the latter rounds of the NFL Draft.

Davis was a first round pick but that doesn't equal immediate results.

The preparation that goes into cornerback is equal to that of a quarterback. When he lines up across from a receiver, he has no clue what route will be run, when the cut will come or if it will be the dreaded double move. They rely on instinct and study.

"There is no position that requires the more attention to the discipline, technique and fundamentals than at cornerback," Schottenheimer said.

"You have to learn new defensive formations each week," Davis admits. "You have to study their offensive formations, and you want to study film to try and pick up tendencies in your opponent."

Is Davis even satisfied with his play this year?

"I think it can always be better," Davis said.

Behind him are two players eager to get the starting nod. Fletcher is a former first round pick who has had new life breathed into him when he joined the Chargers from Miami. Florence, meanwhile, is a second round pick from the same draft as Davis.

Fletcher was beat once last week while Florence had a pick, his second in as many games.

"When we go out and do it every week it gets even better," Florence said of his rising interception total. "I am ready to go to (Carolina) and do the same thing."

And what happens if Florence gives way to Fletcher:

"The coaching staff felt he could get in there and make plays," Florence said with a shrug. But don't mistake that for complacency. He is ready when the bell tolls and he has to step up.

Lightning Quicks:

  • The extent of Caldwell's injury was not known. Schottenheimer was not too eager to speculate on the extent of the injury but he was fairly certain that Caldwell would not be available this week. There were rumblings that the injury may also be worse than originally feared.

    "We have a couple here that people here we like," Schottenheimer said of his wide receiving corps.

    The speculation is they will look into signing Bobby Shaw or possibly elevate Malcom Floyd to the active roster should Caldwell's status bar him from playing.


  • Dave Ball's toe was also on a wait and see timetable.

    No other major injuries were reported. Eric Parker is still battling the injury but his twisted ankle should be fine when Sunday rolls around.


  • Seven teams in the AFC have a better record than the Chargers. Eight teams have either the same record or worse than the Chargers, At 3-3, they still have visions of the playoffs but the road ahead is tough.


  • San Diego has scored 160 points on the year, tops in the league. Of course, Indianapolis had their by week and are a point behind the Chargers with a game in hand.



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