Chargers gear up for the Seahwaks

Coming off a disappointing performance in Chicago, the Chargers look to bounce back on Saturday when the host the defending NFC champion Seahawks. In order to do that, they will have to cut back on the turnovers and penalties that plagued them against the Bears.

"We are going to have to eliminate critical errors – turning the ball over. That is a given," acknowledged Coach Schottenheimer. "We had four self-inflicted wound penalties (last week) and we have to reduce those."

One player eager to get back on the field is Philip Rivers. Although he completed over 64 percent of his passes in Chicago, the one remembered is the pass Brian Urlacher intercepted and ran back for a touchdown. Rivers would love to have that throw back, but thinks the errant throw will benefit the team in the long run.

"You never want to play bad," Rivers said, "but this is the perfect thing that could have happened to us. If everything goes lovely in the preseason and everyone is rocking along, you are setting yourself up for something to bad to happen. You go through these tough times and bounce back."

Rivers will attempt to bounce back with a new tackle watching his. Rookie Marcus McNeill has supplanted Leander Jordan and will be charged with protecting Rivers' blindside for the foreseeable future.

"I thought he has done a nice job," said Rivers of McNeill. "He has come in from day one and has improved a ton. He really gets after it. He is going to be fine."

On the defensive side of things, the yet unsettled secondary is preparing for a stiff test. The unit ranked in the bottom five in pass defense a year ago; meanwhile, Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck posted the league's fourth-best passer rating.

"Seattle is going to be a good challenge for us in that regard," Schottenheimer said. "I feel good about our rushing defense and we are making good progress in the secondary."

Special teams will be a focal point as well, as the Chargers have disappointed in that regard thus far.

"We missed four tackles on one play and three on the long punt return," recalled Schottenheimer of the Bears game. "We are going to have to improve that phase."

The continued development of Cletis Gordon will be worth watching, too. Another strong outing could cement his spot as the team's primary kick returner.

"He has done nothing to compromise his situation and he is developing very well as a secondary player," said Schottenheimer of Gordon. "He is very coachable. He has a lot of growing to do but has done a nice job up until this point."

Saturday's contest could be a final audition for some players, so they will no doubt be putting it all on the line. The Chargers only have three days after the game to trim their roster down to 75 players.


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