Patience with young team needed

Building a winning NFL team is the goal for every organization. In San Diego, the Chargers have entrusted the organization to the capable hands of veteran head coach Marty Schottenheimer.

Some of the San Diego Chargers worst fears were realized Sunday against division rival Kansas City. Youth of the defensive side of the ball suffered some breakdowns and the offense was inconsistent. Along with some questionable play-calling, the Chargers struggled, which did not come as a complete surprise.


"We expect to have some growing pains, especially in the early portion of the season. We need to become consistent in what we do if we expect to be a good football team," Marty Schottenheimer said. "If we progress to the point that I expect, that we expect as a football team, we will be a good football team. Right now, we have too many issues to resolve to know how good we are and can be."


Throughout training camp, Schottenheimer was objective, but concerned about the overall play of his young San Diego squad that looks to make an identity of its own.


"If you watched this team daily, you'll see the progress that has been made. We are improved in the secondary, our linebackers have the potential to be solid, and the defensive line has shown the ability to put pressure on the quarterback," Schottenheimer said. "We do not tackle as well as I would like, we drop too many passes, are penalized far too often, all which lead to negative plays."


As the Chargers under Schottenheimer look to challenge in the tough AFC West division, the road through this rough and tumble division will be a long travel.


According to an AFC West division opponent scout, the Chargers will be competitive, but are not ready for primetime.


"San Diego will be a competitive team in 2003, they run the ball well and can physically take their toll on a defensive line. The problem they have there (in San Diego) is they need to utilize the talent they have on the offensive side of the ball better," the scout said. "David Boston provides them with a talent at wide receiver, but will they or can they utilize him properly. Marty (Schottenheimer) is not a coach that opens things up until he has no option and Boston is a figure that can be disgruntled if not being the focus in the offense."


For the record, the Chargers fell behind early in the team's 27-14 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, after falling behind 24-0.  The team did not play well defensively, missing numerous tackles. Offensively, Boston caught two-passes for 20-yards.


Everywhere that Marty Schottenheimer has coached (Cleveland, Kansas City, and Washington) he has been a winner and he will win in San Diego. Marty is a very solid coach, but he is set in his ways," Baltimore Ravens owner and Schottenheimer's former boss, Art Modell said.


Take it to heart San Diego, it may take some time but the journey is in good hands.

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