On the Chargers coming off a loss.
Vermeil:"As we get ready to play the Chargers, I think we probably all know they're a pretty good football team. They went down to Denver and got beat, but Denver's a good football team too. It looks like our entire division is. We're the weak sister at 3-2.
"We've got our hands full. I'm very impressed with their overall combination of offense and defense together. They run the ball extremely well and they stop the run real well. They don't throw the ball as well or as much because of the approach they take, although they came out the second half of the Denver game when they were behind and just threw the ball every snap trying to catch up.
"I think their defensive line is doing well. Jamal Williams, the kid that was injured last year, is playing tackle and doing a good job. Linebackers are all doing well and we all know Donnie (Edwards) can play. The secondary looks good; they have those safeties back there that are good. Their number one pick is playing in the nickel.
"I don't think they have any glaring weaknesses. Of course, with Marty coaching them they will be so fundamentally sound in their scheme and how hard they do it. It will take, I think, our best combination of offense, defense and special teams to win this week. I don't think it's the kind of game that you're going to go win by a score of lots of points. I don't see that.
"Not that I don't have confidence in our offense, but I try not to get as I go through a season too high about the things we do real well and I try not to get too low about the things we don't do well enough. Keep an even keel. Keep a balance and I think it's going to take a better balance than we've displayed to beat this football team, especially in San Diego and coming off a loss.
"Last year when we played them if you remember, they were 5-2 playing very well and we beat them in the final drive of the ball game. They lost five games that year by three points. They were in every football game. Very impressive and with the changeover and the appointing of Drew Brees, the maturing of the quarterback and the running back, LaDainian Tomlinson, it's been successful. As Marty told me in the past few weeks when we talked, (Tomlinson) might be the best football player they've got on the team.
"If we do what we're capable of doing, play smart, don't turn the ball over, it will come down just like the last 11 games have to who scores last. Just hope it's the Kansas City Chiefs."
On Marty Ball
VERMEIL: "I know their offensive coordinator and they stayed with the same scheme they were running - the same basic foundation of our scheme, same mechanics. Our quarterback could go in their huddle and call plays and their quarterback could go in our huddle and call a play. Marty wanted to keep it that way so it wouldn't be a total new learning curve.
"With the younger quarterback they're a little more conservative in their approach. Against Denver, they got the ball in poor field position so they were forced to be a little more conservative and in the second half they just came out and let it all hang out. They were right in the ball game and took it right down into the Red Zone and threw an interception into the end zone. I would say it's a Marty Schottenheimer coached football team: sound in every area, focused, don't take many chances, positive on the turnover and play very sound defense. The kicking game's had some problems. They had a punt blocked last week but nobody's immune to those problems. As soon as you think you are, you get hit right in the mouth."
On defense winning Championships as is Schottenheimer's philosophy vs. offense winning championships, which is more Vermeil's style.
VERMEIL: "Here's what I believe: I coached at a time when the number one thing I tried to do was prevent from losing. That's the number one thing I tried to do: just don't lose the football game. As I got through my career and I added Sid Gilman to our staff in 1971 we became a better football team. Our defense got better in relationship to our offense getting better because they weren't on the field so long. It wasn't a one-play breakdown that lost the football game. We were up, scoring points, and we were a little more aggressive in our approach. Yeah, we probably turned the ball over a little bit more, but if your defense is in the right frame of mind what kills you most in the low turnover game is what you allow them to do after they get the ball back. You can turn it over twice and they get zero points.
"In my broadcasting career, watching the real good football teams, watching the guys who win the Super Bowl, other than the Ravens, it's just hard to play perfect football once you're in the playoffs when one play can get you beat. It's really tough to do. So, my thoughts would be that you're going to make some mistakes but you've already created some good plays that put you up to where that one play doesn't get you beat.
"I think we all like to score and be ahead 21-0 and the one mistake you make doesn't cost you the game. That really has influenced me. I just try not to boil the game down to where one play beats us."
On letting Donnie Edwards go
VERMEIL: "Oh yeah, you always second-guess your decisions like that. He's a good football player. I didn't let him go and I didn't think he couldn't play football any more. There's dollar things and value to consider. But he's playing very well, he's happy out there and maybe we did him a favor. I'd like to have him. He's a damn good player and great kid. Those kinds of decisions you're not always right. I'm not always right."
Dick Vermeil on the Chargers
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