SAN DIEGO - AUGUST 21: Wide receiver Malcolm Floyd #80 of the San Diego Chargers catches a pass against Terence Newman #41 of the Dallas Cowboys during their pre-season NFL football game at Qualcomm Stadium on August 21 2010 in San Diego California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Here's a little recon on Thursday's opponent, the San Diego Chargers, I wanted to link to a few articles that can give you an idea of what to expect.
For Chargers O-line, familiarity breeds success | SignOnSanDiego.com: After a while -- and it’s already been a good long while for Nick Hardwick and Kris Dielman -- they get to be more like twins than teammates. They develop their own sort of language, that is, if they need to speak at all. "The less said," said Hardwick, "the better." Even if you could listen in on the Chargers’ offensive linemen, a group whose combined experience and understanding of each other should prove advantageous to San Diego in the aftermath of the National Football League lockout, you might scratch your head at what you’re hearing. Here’s Hardwick, the veteran center, on the way continuity plays in the trenches:
Chargers Offense Under the Microscope " Bolt Beat | A San Diego Chargers Blog: The San Diego Chargers offense retained their key players in free agency. Many thought wide out Malcom Floyd would elect to leave in free agency. However, to many Chargers fans delight, Floyd elected to put back on the famously known Charger powder blue. Floyd was un-able to land the lucrative deal he wanted in free agency. Floyd agreed to a two year deal with San Diego that pays him around 6 million. Star wide outs Braylon Edwards and Plaxico Burress are getting paid very similarly, but both only inked one-year tenders. The Bolts will also posses a dedicated Vincent Jackson to complement Floyd. Jackson must’ve come to the conclusion that he has missed too much football between his holdout last year and the lockout. Jackson elected to sign the franchise tag because the Chargers seem to be un-willing to give him long-term security he wants and truly deserves.
FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS: Innovative Statistics, Intelligent Analysis | Four Downs: AFC West: The Chargers biggest weakness last year wasn't their offense or defense, but their special teams. They finished dead last in the NFL in special teams DVOA, with their kickoff and punt return coverage being an absolute travesty. Most memorably, they lost to the Seahawks in Week 3 almost solely because Leon Washington returned four kickoffs for 253 yards and two touchdowns. Losing a talented gunner like Kassim Osgood (as the Chargers did last offseason) doesn't seem like a big deal on paper, but after watching San Diego's special teams performance last year, re-signing him could have been enough to keep the division crown in Southern California.
Reserved is one thing Manusky ain’t | SignOnSanDiego.com: We don’t like ’em too nice. It seems that if Chargers fans had their way, the team’s coaching staff would include Vince Lombardi, Woody Hayes, Mike Ditka, Bo Schembechler, Bob Knight, Mel Gibson, Leo Durocher, Billy Martin and Al Capone. Maybe it’s because we think the rest of the football world sees us as a bunch of soft, melting cones. But then the general manager is too tough, too stubborn. Go figure. Anyway, what’s the one big gripe about Norv Turner? That he isn’t animated, that he doesn’t have that Don Coryell I-haven’t-had-a-bowel-movement-in-a-month grimace, that he doesn’t cheerlead like Marty Schottenheimer, that he doesn’t have the military toughness of Bobby Ross.
Chargers | Antoine Cason injury update - NFL Hot off the Wire: San Diego Chargers CB Antoine Cason (finger) took part in individual drills and ran with the first-string defense during practice Sunday, Aug. 7.
Two-back system: The Chargers plan to hand the ball to Ryan Mathews and Mike Tolbert often this season. Head Coach Norv Turner, known for producing workhorse runners, has broken his pattern with San Diego’s two backs. SAN DIEGO – Bert and Ernie. Batman and Robin. Ryan Mathews and Mike Tolbert? It’s premature and perhaps unreasonable to place the two Chargers running backs in the pantheon of great partners. It’s not hyperbole, though, to say Mathews and Tolbert could make a strong argument for being one of the best backfield combinations in San Diego history just by repeating last year for a few more seasons. Mathews and Tolbert combined for 18 rushing touchdowns in 2010 and became the first duo in Chargers history with at least seven scores in the same season. Each rushed for more than 600 yards, the first time a pair of Chargers have done so since Marion Butts and Natrone Means in 1993.
San Diego Chargers training camp: Butler could win starting job - NFL - Sporting News: It appears more likely every day that Donald Butler will start at inside linebacker. Butler, who missed his entire rookie season with an Achilles' tear, has tremendous instincts and rarely takes a wrong angle. He has taken every snap with the first team, even on third down. Butler is also heavily involved on special teams, though, and the Chargers could choose to work rookie Jonas Mouton into a rotation wherein Mike linebacker Takeo Spikes moves over.
CHARGERS NOTES: Sperry becoming a complete tight end: Kory Sperry knows an opportunity when he sees one. The release of Kris Wilson in late July leaves the Chargers without a No. 3 tight end and has opened the door for the 26-year-old from Colorado State. While keeping his focus on the present, Sperry also realizes that a quality training camp can cement his place on the roster and give him an active role on the team. All indications are that he's off to a good start. He has made several solid catches early in camp, but then Sperry has always been a strong receiver, as evidenced by a series of clutch plays after he was activated from the practice squad in Week 7 last season. It's the blocking and special teams play that has put Sperry in higher regard among his coaches and teammates.
Malcom Floyd is where he belongs - AFC West Blog - ESPN: Catching Malcom Floyd with a grin on his face is not an overly challenging endeavor. He could run sunny-disposition seminars. Malcom Floyd #80 WR San Diego Chargers 2010 STATS Rec 37 Yds 717 TD 6 Avg 19.4 Long 55 YAC 118However, Floyd has a particular pep in his step these days. He is home. It didn’t look like that would be the case leading up to free agency.
Bob Sanders is 'still a bullet' - NFL Nation Blog - ESPN: "Bob is healthy," San Diego coach Norv Tuner said Monday night emphatically. "That’s not a concern." How does he look, coach? "He’s still a bullet," Turner said. "If you blink, you are going to miss him. I think our players are amazed about how fast he is and how quickly he gets to the ball. We expect a lot of from Bob. The athleticism is there."
CHARGERS: Always intense Sanders making presence known with new team: Philip Rivers, Antonio Gates and Vincent Jackson were sitting in the locker room on Thursday, analyzing the first practice in which veteran free agents could participate. The first topic was a reverse to Jackson, which has produced huge gains in seasons past. On this particular day, the play ended almost immediately. "It was crazy," Jackson told his locker room neighbors. "I got the ball and before I even got to the corner, I was blinded by this dreadlock explosion."
Ryan Mathews Likely Will Miss Thursday’s Preseason Game " Bolt Beat | A San Diego Chargers Blog: It’s the start of a new season and we are supposed to put some things of the past on the back burner. All the injury issues that Ran Mathews had last year would hopefully heal up during the offseason and we would have a fresh running back to start off this season. Unless of course, Ryan is FRAGILE!