Chargers Notebook: Lightning Quicks

Art Shell is very familiar with Marty Schottenheimer. Philip Rivers to Antonio Gates could become commonplace. LaDainian Tomlinson - 'nuff said. Warren Sapp sounds off, again.

  • Raiders coach Art Shell has seen Marty Schottenheimer's dominance of the Raiders from both sides.

    From 1990 through 1994, Schottenheimer's Kansas City Chiefs were 10-1 against the Raiders, including a playoff win in 1991. When Shell was fired by Al Davis in favor of Mike White, he joined Schottenheimer's staff in Kansas City as offensive line coach. The Chiefs won three out of four.

    In San Diego, Schottenheimer's teams have beaten the Raiders the last five times, running his career record against the Raiders to 25-7.

    And the Chargers have won last five games by an average margin of 17 points per game.

    Shell believes the best way to conquer a bully is to fight back.

    "The constant is he's going to try and run the ball down your throat," Shell said. "He wants to get after you physically. That's our personality, too."

    Schottenheimer, meanwhile, believes the Raiders will have a different look with Shell returning to the helm.

    "There will be considerably more discipline in how they go about their tasks," Schottenheimer said. "The thing I admire about Art is, while it may appear on the surface there's not a flame burning down there, deep down we know there's a volcano he just keeps a lid on most of the time."

  • Quarterback Philip Rivers is looking forward to finally using all of his resources. Handcuffed without many of his top receivers, Antonio Gates sits at the top of the list.

    Rivers cites Gates' versatility as one reason he is so tough to defend:

    "He can do so much," Rivers said. "He can line up at tight end, he can line up in a wing, he can line up in a slot, he can line up out by himself. He does so much and he allows a lot of the passing game for the other guys and visa versa. He's just a crazy weapon."

  • In 10 games against the Raiders, LaDainian Tomlinson has averaged 27 carries and 122 yards, with a high of 243 yards on Dec. 28, 2003.

    He has five 100-yard rushing games against the Raiders, the most he has against any opponent. Of his nine rushing touchdowns, one was a game-winner in overtime in 2002.

    "It's a California rivalry so obviously when you play another team from the state, you get excited about it," Tomlinson said.

    So defensive tackle Warren Sapp's strategy is to put the pressure on Phillip Rivers, the third-year quarterback who replaced Brees.

    "If they have it in their minds this is going to be a tough night to run the ball, then they're going to look to their young quarterback and say, 'The game is on you son. You've got to win it,'" Sapp said. "And who knows what that will take."


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