Coach Speak

Marty Schottenheimer talked about Sunday's game today and he was not happy about what he saw. He did have praise for the special teams work.

Chargers Head Coach Marty Schottenheimer:

"The fact of the matter, no different than some of our previous defeats and that is an inability to make plays in a timely fashion. We had any number of chances yesterday to make plays and we failed to do it and we suffer the consequences. The one bright note, it was the best performance of the season for our special teams particularly against a guy like the challenge we faced in a guy like Dante' Hall. The bottom line is we're not playing well enough to win and that includes most specifically the inability to make these plays that you've gotta make if you want to win."

What is most disappointing:

"We are disappointed in all of it when you look at the end result. The inability to win games. Ultimately what we have to be able to do put a whole game together as we did earlier in the year where we end up stopping somebody and driving down and scoring we score and they drive and we stop them. You have to be able to do that in this league if you want to be successful.

"We had a pretty good run at it with New England and we had a pretty good run at it with the Raider up there then we end up failing to make plays last week in Buffalo and this week again. There were opportunities in both games, particularly in this one where we should have been able to capitalize on. Ultimately it comes down to making these plays and then maybe you don't even have to go back on the field defensively.

"We've got good enough players here, but to win we have to play at the level we are capable of playing. The margin for error, you have injuries or whatever, is reduced but everybody in the league has the same problem there, but we have good enough players. That's the way I feel I believe that."

Does that fall back on the coach then?

"Sure, it always does. I have got to do a much better job. That's what I am charged with doing. The staff has to do a better job. The players have to do a better job."

Why not winning?

"A lack of execution. When you get out there and the game unfolds and a play has to be made, you have to go make a play. If you know exactly what to do and you do it to the best of your ability then you should have at least a 50% chance of making it and we're not batting 50% right now."

Is it coaching or personnel?

"I think you have to look at everything but I think right now what we have to do is focus on Seattle. We're not visiting any playoff scenarios. Our sole focus is on the Seattle Seahawks and then at the conclusion of that game we will determine, as I said from the outset, where you are after 16 games and if indeed our final game of this season is the Seattle game then we will sit down and evaluate what we have to do and where we have to go regarding our football team."

Do you have the players?

"We have areas we are having a problem in, assignment wise particularly third down and more than 2 and we've addressed it and still have not gotten it fixed. That may be personnel related. This football team is good enough to win; we showed that earlier in the year. Where are we different now from the point in time where we were 6-1, well we've got more experience at quarterback the absence of a number of players from some injuries we sustained, we haven't been able to overcome that yet, but I am not gonna stand here and say that we're not a good enough football team because I believe we are a good enough football team, but like most teams in this league your margin of error is very narrow."

Eric Parker play not reviewed:

"It was reviewed. It was reviewed; I was told it was reviewed. The catch must be completed so what happens is any time you are in the process of making a catch, if you go to the ground and the ball comes out, it's incomplete and that's what happened on the play. You have to, what they refer to as complete the catch; he had the ball, he had both feet in and then when he went to the ground the ball came out and if you don't keep possession of the ball you are deemed to not have completed the catch.

"I think that back 5, 6, 7 years ago I don't remember it being that way, but I know it's been that way over the last several years. In one point in time that if you had the ball in possession in the end zone it was a touchdown. That's not the way they do it anymore. I don't know if it was a specific rule change or there was just a ‘point of emphasis' as to how they would administer it."

Forgetting playoff talk:

"The only opportunity to reach that point deals with beating Seattle so we don't want to take any focus and take it away from Seattle and put it on something that we don't control. That was the first statement that I made to them. We're not entertaining scenarios with regards to the playoffs because it serves no purpose other than it could potentially distract us from our focus on Seattle. Our objective now is to have a winning season then we will see what happens."

4th and one and he challenge:

"I was standing right on the line. When it happened I felt quite sure that we'd stopped him and the official on our side went in, and clearly where he was the ball, had they spotted it where he had it the ball would have been considerably short. When I say considerably short I mean 18 inches or something like that. Then when they stepped away I could see that the ball was considerably further ahead of where this guy had gone in from our side and when he came back I said ‘Did you have the spot or did the head linesmen' and he said ‘No the head linesmen had the spot'. I felt with a certainty that we'd stopped them just by the way the play unfolded. It shouldn't have come to that frankly.

"I felt that those spots on the boundary are things that can be affected, in other words there are certain plays that the percentage of being overturned are greater than others. Plays that occur on the boundary, they are overturned more than other things. The spotting of the ball is something that you can affect on fourth down and I felt like at that point in time in light of what I had seen and the information I had from upstairs we needed to challenge it. I don't regret challenging it. I thought it was important at the time and I never thought we would lose the timeout.

"I have been told that one of the limiting factors of replay is the absence of reviews that you can utilize effectively. I don't know if that was the case, it was a very difficult spot I'm sure. Had I not been as sure as I was that he had not made the yardage necessary to gain, I would not have challenged it and maybe I was influenced by the guy on my side of the field where he was spotting the ball because he was clearly that far behind it."


"I didn't have any sense that the play calling was conservative in St. Louis. That circumstance was considerably different. We had 10 point lead at one time. In this game we threw the ball on a screen pass one time and we were caught behind the lien of scrimmage. We did not execute it effectively. If these plays are executed properly you have a chance to get yardage.

"There are not a lot of plays available to you at third and thirteen. The one thing you want to always remember is it serves you well in most cases when you need to get yardage you give the guy the ball that gives you the best chance of doing it and when you look out there the guy that gives us the best chance to do it is #21 (LaDainian Tomlinson)."

Special teams:

"Darren Bennett and Steve Christie were absolutely outstanding. Darren was probably in the spectacular range with his gross was over 46 and his net was right about 44 or 45 and three of those were inside (the 20) the kick that was on the three yard line. You talk about an opportunity to old somebody down there, but we didn't. The coverage was good; the distribution of coverage across the field relative to the return was very good. We basically had kickoff return numbers on the punt return part of it with Tim and had another one that produced significant yardage called back for a foul. I was delighted; it was clearly the outstanding point of the whole contest was the ability to be effective against Dante' Hall cause he's a very unique player."

The collapse:

"I am not smart enough to be able to stand here in front of you now and unravel it. We're going to do some research. We have to exhaust every possible avenue to find out what indeed, if you can quantify it, takes place. It's at the very least strange but I don't know what the answer is.

"You take a look at each of the games, find out what happened. I don't have that background of information right now, but you look at those games, you look at the schedule, you look at how the games unfolded and where the difficulties came, you look at the few that produced positive results and what happened there. You can go dig at the data, whether that gives you a comprehensive and legitimate hypothesis, I don't know, but we are certainly going to do that."

Marc Boerigter:

"The difficult thing is you have to deal with Kennison, you have to deal with Tony Gonzalez then of course you have to deal with Priest Holmes. I have been very impressed with the man, anybody would in light of the fact he stepped forward for 4 touchdowns in two games against us and he made a great play on the one play against us and we had a problem in coverage on the other two and we made it too easy for him."

On Shaun Alexander:

"I have looked at very little film at this point. I saw him what was it a year ago where he had the one big game and went for 200 yards and at that point in time it was pretty obvious to me that this is one talented young man. Seattle is starting to play a lot better. The offense is underway with Matt Hasselbeck and they are playing with a lot more confidence then they did earlier in the season."

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