Coaches Corner

Marty Schottenheimer spoke out on Monday regarding the Chargers loss in Buffalo. Issues ranged from next week to the insertion of Doug Flutie into the lineup.

On the defense:

I think it was a shock and we are all disappointed, but there is no mystery as to what happened. While we played excellent for 57 minutes, 56 minutes on defense when it came down towards the end we didn't get a stop that we needed be it a field goal opportunity or a complete stop and that was disappointing to us and of course the four pass interference penalties contributed to 80-some yards of offense for them and 3 of 4 were on third down where you are going to get off (the field). We were excellent in third down but you can't let a team run the ball like they did against us and expect to be successful.

By most standards you would have to say the defensively our performance was a very, very good one. That's an outstanding offense, one of the two or three best in the league I thought our defense gave tremendous effort. To get where we are trying to go we gotta make a stop at the end. I thought our secondary in pass coverage was outstanding and Quentin, Jerry Wilson when he was in there as well as the two starting corners did a really good and excellent job for us. It's hard to hold the guy that throws 33 times to 110 yards of pass offense. That's not easy to do. The rush did a good job and we were able to get some pressure on him and we blitzed him some and played lots of bump-and-run, a lot of man-to-man.

On the last drive:

Not out of position, we didn't tackle. We had 15 missed tackles in the game. There were at least four of them (on the last drive). You don't ever want to be in double digits. You'd like to keep it to 6 or 7.

On pass interference calls:

You gotta overcome that. Not withstanding the fact that there is 80 yards of offense there you gotta overcome it.

On the offense:

On the offensive side of it we didn't create the opportunities that we hoped, particularly in the second half, we ran the ball pretty god in the first half and we couldn't really get it going in the second half. We had two critical errors on third down; on third and one we have a mental error and the guy doesn't block somebody and the guy doesn't make it…we have another third down situation that somebody else doesn't block somebody and the guy doesn't make it so that part of it on the offensive side of it we dropped five balls. Then in the kicking game we got an offsides penalty when we got them at the 31 yard line they end up on the 35 and get a 3 pointer outta that. It hasn't changed; we have to play better we gotta make more plays and until you do you don't win, but every week is an opportunity to go do that.

You can go back and look at the last four weeks and we have not protected like we had early on. We have been sacked nine times in the last four games. (Drew Brees) has had to hurry some throws and he has missed some throws too.

The other part of it frankly is that we aren't running the ball the way we had run it earlier in the year with the exception of the one game against Denver. I think in the last four games we have only averaged a little more than 3.3 a rush one game and that was the Denver game.

We gotta score more points. We're averaging 13 points a game over the last four weeks. We gotta score more points.

To himself almost: "And we got spread it out and throw it I don't know."

On the insertion of Doug Flutie:

It was just a feeling I had at the moment, ‘Hey this is the opportunity to give us a change of pace'. We were struggling some in the protection and I just felt the presence of Doug being in there could run away from some of that stuff. He threw the one down the middle the catch looked like a divine act and I figured ‘hey we're on our way'.

I can tell you what initiated, why I made the decision I felt like we were getting pressured and I felt that Doug with his maneuverability could get him out of a fix and make some plays in a very close football game. That was the factor that I used as my instincts.

On how Brees would react to his first benching:

I certainly didn't stop to consider that when I made the decision. He is fine. He understands that his job is secure as far as I am concerned.

On special teams:

We're making very good progress. Punt coverage is considerably better than it's been. Our kickoff coverage with the exception of the one that opened the game two weeks ago, we had the one yesterday where we were offsides at the 31 and then we kick it again and they are on the 35 yard line. I think we have made progress in the coverages. The players are getting a better understanding of where they need to be. I thought Steve (Christie) did a good job.

On James Tuthill being inactive:

Because of injuries we made a decision to put someone else on the active roster that was one spot given the circumstances. Steve knew buffalo and knew the environment and I just felt like he could do the job there probably as well as anybody.

On a turning Point:

When we got the ball beyond midfield with the throw from Doug to Curtis I thought we were gonna be in good shape and then we ended up where we only got three out of it. Then we stopped them for three and had another opportunity and another false start penalty and we ended up we couldn't finish that one off. What they did is, they ran a play that we hadn't seen in the game but we had people in position to make the play and we did not make the tackle. (Travis Henry) went for 8 then he went for another 8 then he went for 2 and then he went for 8 and then he went for 26. The one play they ran it twice and gained 8 yards on each one and then they captured the corner on the touchdown.

On Priest Holmes not playing next week:

There gonna do what they do. I am sure Coach Vermeil will have a new idea up his sleeve. He is very creative.

I told our players, ‘this is a game that we have to win'. That's what I have always tried to do, be honest and straightforward. It's a division opponent, it's a conference opponent and it has significant implications as the thing goes on. I am sure Kansas City feels exactly the same way. This is a game they must win.

On playing at Arrowhead:

That's a tremendous, tremendous environment for the home team because of the fans and the nature of the stadium being enclosed as it is. They always seem to play at their very best there so they are a very difficult team to beat there.

I think at this point, I don't even know whether where you play is the issue. Clearly they've got an advantage at their place. Its just gonna come down to what the whole season has been about and that is one team making plays and the other team failing to make a play or two and that's gonna determine the outcome. We had our opportunities over the course of the past four weeks to get things done and we unfortunately have not been able to do that as well as we'd like. I don't even think where we're playing will be the ultimate determining factor. It's gonna be who makes the plays.

On next week:

I am not a mathematics guy I am an English guy, I believe that we have reached a must win game. It becomes in effect, in my view, the most important game of the playoff season. Let's be realistic, I don't think that there is much likelihood that a team with 9 wins will make the AFC playoffs. We are clearly looking at a game that we must win to continue if we are to continue in the pursuit of a Championship.

On a must win coming up:

I think that the mere fact that you identify it as such that in itself should be a call to arms as it were. The last two weeks our practices have been the best we have had throughout the year, certainly over the last 8 or 10 weeks. They have worked hard at this thing but offensively we are not keeping things clean in the pass protection part of it and we are not really running it where we'd like to and defensively the tackling continues to be an issue.

On Injuries:

Damion McIntosh probably will be questionable at this point. Curtis Conway got through it ok but is a little sore but that's to be expected. Junior (Seau) is a little bit sore. A couple defensive linemen are kinda banged up but hopefully they will be ready to go, Leo (Carson) had a bum ankle I think and Jason Fisk had a lower leg bruise and then Jason Ball was a little banged up, but nothing that will keep him out of playing.

On Quentin Jammer injury:

Yeah he's sore but obviously he went back into the game and finished it.

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