Random thoughts from a dangerous mind

Strong opinions are well suited for print. Not holding back – unedited, uncut and clearly irrational – makes it even finer. These are my random thoughts of the week which don't seem so random.

You grab the coat off the rack for the first time during the year and you put your keys in the front pocket and find some piece of paper crumpled up in it. You quizzically take out the paper wondering if it is that girl's number that you lost and find out it is a hundred-dollar bill instead. Your step suddenly has a hop to it and the smile you wear is infectious.

That is the feeling that Steve Foley has brought to this team. No one thought Foley was much of anything until they tried on the jacket and he revealed how much he is worth. His play has been a catalyst for this team and his leadership filled a serious void.

When teammates aren't playing up to snuff, Foley gets downright angry. He is not afraid to pull a teammate aside and lambaste them. This week he went a little more public with his comments but he wasn't overbearing. Instead it was meant to provide a spark with the playoffs looming on the horizon.

"The way things are going this year, if you mess up, you'll have guys in your ear, and I'm one of them," he said. "It doesn't have to come from the coaches, and that hasn't been the case all year. We had a game like that, with the offense and defense playing well, and then we had mental breakdowns on the kicking game."

Foley is the type of player this team lacked. He openly challenges his teammates to step up and not in a condescending way. I said it before and will again, he is the MVP of the defense.

Marty-Ball apparently isn't dead it was just hibernating. In Sunday's loss, Schottenheimer played not to lose and didn't show many of the traits that he exhibited earlier in the year. When the Chargers were at their best, Schottenheimer and staff were taking some chances and relying on the team to make plays. He opted not to kick a 52 yard field goal in the fourth quarter from a distance Nate Kaeding has shown he is capable of connecting from. It didn't matter how deep you pin the Colts, the likelihood is they will drive the ball down the field anyway.

It left many saying, huh? and was one of many reasons for the loss.

Seeing Philip Rivers on the field this Sunday would be sweet. I yearn for a 20-for-28 day with three touchdowns, no interceptions and 287 yards passing. Of course, staying with Drew Brees has bigger advantages. His play has been crisp throughout the year and keeping it that way will determine the playoff success.

As hard as it is for me, a Rivers fan, to say this, Brees should start and finish the game. Of course, Rivers and Flutie will likely see a lot of time on the field despite my stance. I don't know why it carries so little weight?

Was anyone else scared when they saw Bobby Shaw on the field? The loss of Keenan McCardell to this offense hasn't been a huge deterrent thus far but when they eventually face a stout pass defense, the veteran's presence will be needed. He has opened up the game for other receivers to make plays and Shaw, a veteran that doesn't make plays, is best suited on the inactive list. If anything, Malcom Floyd showed more promise in his week of training camp than Shaw has shown since he has been here.

There is a philosophy that you build your team by strengthening your best unit. There is a chance to do that this year if the Chargers end up selecting in the top ten. Perhaps this player won't be around, but if Derrick Johnson is on the board, there is simply no way the Bolts can pass on him. He would be a monster in this defense and has the ability to make plays from any position. Perhaps it is a luxury pick but if Thomas Davis and Braylon Edwards are off the board, Johnson is a no-brainer. Even with the two aforementioned players on the board, he would be a dynamic pick that would pay immediate dividends.

Why the desire for Johnson?

Two words – Ben Leber. After three years with the team, Leber is clearly not a difference maker. He has been strong on covering the tight end but has fell victim to numerous missed tackles. And what is a linebacker who can't tackle called? Out of the league in short order.

Johnson provides the best of both worlds. He can cover and defend the run and he is also from Texas, a place the Chargers have shown an affinity for. There is a question as to whether Johnson can play in the 3-4 after playing in the 4-3 through college, but Johnson has the speed and athleticism to excel in any environment. Put that in the bank.


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