Chargers say Manning must "live with choices"

San Diego Chargers head coach Marty Schottenheimer talked with the New York media about airplanes, Eli Manning, LaDainian Tomlinson, the health of Igor Olshansky, the play of Luis Castillo, and being 0-2.

Eli told us back in the spring that after you guys drafted him, he spoke to you and you said that we (the organization) are going to send a plane to come get you. Did you ever think that the plane would take off?

Marty Schottenheimer: I never talked to anybody about sending an airplane anyway. I'm not in charge of airplanes.

Did you talk to him at all over the phone?

Marty Schottenheimer: I'm sure that I did. But I didn't make any reference about sending an airplane. Maybe somebody else did. But, it certainly wasn't me.

Do you get any sense from your players, especially guys that have been around for a while, the feeling towards Eli, that they are going to show him that he should have come here?

Marty Schottenheimer: Not at all. I don't think that exists at all. I think players are frankly more interested in their teammates and the things we're doing. I don't think that there's any, I wouldn't think -- any animosity whatsoever.

How about on the part of the fans? Do you think they will have a few choice words?

Marty Schottenheimer: I don't know. It's possible. But, this is a business that we are in and people make choices and then once they are made, you have to live with those choices. We are very comfortable with the way it unfolded quite honestly.

What about your feelings as the head coach of a team that Eli didn't want to part part of?

Marty Schottenheimer: I never took it personally. There may have been any number of reasons that he felt that way, none of which were ever disclosed to me. But, I never took it personally and it's part of our business.

How important of all the things to fix is it to get (LaDainian Tomlinson) more involved or more touches?

Marty Schottenheimer: We have certainly, by looking at the situation we are in, we have to find a way to get him the ball more. I wouldn't suggest anything other than that. The question is how we are going to go about it. This is an awfully good defense the Giants have, particularly their efficiency against the rush has got to be at the top of the National Football League. They are certainly in the top echelon of that thing. It's not going to be an easy task. Just wanting to do it doesn't necessarily get it done, certainly not efficiently.

What do you normally tell a quarterback who's preparing to go into a hostile environment in terms of preparation?

Marty Schottenheimer: I think first and foremost they have to make sure they anticipate it and in this case it sounds as though from what I have heard that maybe Eli is. I don't know, I can't speak for him. But, there's going to be moments where things may not go the way you'd like, but you have to try and find a way to maintain your poise and focus on the next snap, the next opportunity you have. Before you know it, it will be over and then there will be a decision to make as to who won and who lost.

Can your team realistically make a run at anything if you fall to 0-3?

Marty Schottenheimer: That obviously makes it extremely difficult. We are not looking in those terms right now certainly. I have been in this league quite some time and any major success we have had is the product of taking it one game at a time, one play at a time, and ultimately if you do enough things and make enough plays in the course of a season, you usually end up in a position where you can at least compete in the playoffs. We've played two very good teams and they've had the measure of us at the end of the game. Dallas kept us out of the end zone from the six-yard line with four shots and Denver got a stop where we kicked a field goal and then they marched down the field and kicked the winning field goal. So, we have played good football for the most part, but we just haven't finished it off.

What in anything particular has stood out to you about the Giants run defense?

Marty Schottenheimer: I'll tell you they are obviously a very well coached group. They fly to the ball. I was impressed with their corners. Will Allen in particular, he plays corner like a safety, he's a physical player and he will tattoo you if you get anywhere near him. But, I think that they have a terrific front seven. And the secondary has performed well, particularly I thought last week notwithstanding the numbers. When you throw it that many times, you probably are going to get some yards. They made plays in a timely fashion and I think the defense has really performed very, very well.

You had Antonio Pierce as a rookie in Washington. Are you at all surprised that he has gotten to this point?

Marty Schottenheimer: To be honest with you, I'm not. I will make a statement. He's as smart as any football player I have coached and I have been doing it a long time. That was one of the things frankly that caused us to keep him when we did because he's very, very diligent in the way he works. As I said, he's extremely bright and it's enjoyable, quite frankly, to see him have this success.

From watching Eli on tape, what stuck out about him to you?

Marty Schottenheimer: I think he's going through his progressions in most cases in an orderly manner and ultimately we can talk about all the different qualities of a quarterback. But, if you are accurate and make good decisions, you probably have a chance to be a winning quarterback. And obviously he's got them in that point at 2-0.

Do you think you'll have a chance to speak to him before or after the game?

Marty Schottenheimer: Eli?

Yes.

Marty Schottenheimer: I may not. If I had an opportunity to and we were in close proximity, I certainly would speak. He's a fine young man and they are a terrific family. I mean Archie, I have great admiration for them. And I will reiterate to you what I said before, at no time did I ever take it personal.

Is (Luis) Castillo going to start again this week?

Marty Schottenheimer: We have Igor (Olshansky) back. We haven't made a decision yet with regard to that. But, he'll continue to get a number of snaps if he doesn't start.

Did he (Castillo) play well last week?

Marty Schottenheimer: For a defensive lineman he did. You know that's a hard transition from college to professional football at that position. Arguably, it may be as difficult as anything other than quarterback because the rules change when you get in the NFL. Not maybe substantively, but you find yourself in situations where these big athletic guys that are as strong and powerful as you with long reaches, it takes a lot of work to get there. But, we are very pleased with his progress.

Did you think that with his situation before the draft, his adjustment to the league might be a little more difficult?

Marty Schottenheimer: Not really. I think in fact as you look at any number of players, when you look at his intelligence and his ability to think in an orderly way, I would have thought that he would probably accelerate his development.

No, but as far as his drug test before the draft?

Marty Schottenheimer: No, no. I know the reference. No, I mean we did considerable research on it and came to the conclusion that it was a young man who made one error in judgment. And the motivation for it was such that doesn't validate your choice, but there was no pattern of any kind in that regard and we are delighted we have him.

As the head coach, is it all difficult to deal with the situation of having a guy like Drew (Brees), who played so well, and Philip (Rivers) at the same time, who the organization has so much invested in?

Marty Schottenheimer: No, not at all. I think we are in a very fortunate situation, quite frankly, that we are able to have two quality quarterbacks. There are a lot of people in this league that don't. So, we consider it good fortune.


SD Super Chargers Top Stories