Feature matchups in Week 2 (part 2-2)

<u>Chargers Safeties vs. Texans Receivers</u><br></br> Corey Bradford, 6'1, is a former track star. Jermaine Lewis, 5'7, is a former track star that set a national record in the 200m back in 1991. Jabar Gafney, 6'1, ran a 4.5 in the 40 at the combines this year. These are the main receiving threats that a Charger team without Rodney Harrison will face.

David Carr exhibited poise beyond his age in the Texans first game and was the benefactor of some long passes to his speedy receivers. Lewis even dropped a bomb that he was wide open on after beating the Cowboy safeties and had an easy TD if he would have held onto the ball.

Vernon Fox a rookie out of the same Fresno State that Carr attended will be starting at safety for the Chargers. Fox may know some tendencies Carr has had in the past but that will not help him this year as he faces a different David Carr. Fox is also known more for his ability to tackle and play the run as opposed to his safety coverage. Keith Lyle will also see action in the rotation. Robert Carswell will be coming back from injury so expect him to be rusty. Rogers Beckett has become a force in the secondary and will be counted on heavily to provide support to the CBs.

The idea behind coverage schemes is as follows (keep in mind coverage schemes all vary from play to play). A CB plays up towards the line, sometimes playing a few yards off the receiver. It is important for the Charger CBs to play close to their men and bump them at the line. This will throw off timing patterns and more importantly slow the Texan receivers down. This type of coverage will also stop the WR screen. Giving any of the Texan receivers room will allow them time to turn a quick screen into a big play.

Some LBs may drop into coverage across the middle of the field, or to cover a back out of the backfield and will generally stay in a zone type coverage against the short passing game.

The Safeties will be towards the middle of the field about 10 yards off the line of scrimmage. They are the last line of defense against a big play or a ball thrown deep. Carr has proven he can throw the deep ball regardless of the pressure he is facing. The safeties will have to be in position to pick up coverage on any go routes, a play designed to go downfield for a big gain, where the Chargers slower CBs will need the help of a man back. The Safeties will thus be required to quickly read the play and the eyes of Carr, and then react by swarming the appropriate zone in an effort to deflect or intercept a pass. Keeping the play in front of them is the important thing here. If any completion occurs the Charger safeties must be in good position to make the tackle. The tough part is being in that position before the track stars of the Texans are. If Beckett, Fox and company fail to do this it will be a long day.

SD Super Chargers Top Stories