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D-Line Meets Turner's Challenge
All week long, coach Norv Turner said in order for his team’s defense to be successful, they had to win the battles up front and pressure the quarterback. Following a disappointing effort against the Atlanta Falcons, the defensive line responded in resounding fashion against the Kansas City Chiefs, being a prime reason why the Chargers left Arrowhead Stadium with a 37-20 victory.
“Our defensive line was very active, and that’s something we have to do if we’re going to be the type of team we want to be,” said the head coach. “We’ll continue to move them and be active, and if we do that we have a chance to create negative plays.”
Starting defensive ends Corey Liuget and Vaughn Martin led the way for the D-Line as both players got off the ball quick and were in the backfield all day. For their efforts, Liuget finished the game with one forced fumble and one recovery while Martin had a forced fumble of his own.
“As a D-Line, and as a defense, we pretty much played off each other,” said Liuget. “We used each other’s energy. Our coach stressed our importance all week in practice. We knew we had to get out there and put the game in Matt Cassel’s hands and play football. If we can get after him and stop him from getting rolling, and tackle 25 (Jamaal Charles), we knew we’d be alright.”
The defense was more than alright in stymying the league’s number one ranked offense. They forced six turnovers and were in complete control of the game, with the majority of the Chiefs’ damage coming with the outcome already decided.
“I have to give all the credit to those guys up front,” said linebacker Donald Butler. “They set the tone and put a lot of pressure on the quarterback today. That makes our jobs a lot easier.”
Despite the defensive line’s dominance, Martin was quick to point out the success of the defense as a whole rather than focus on his own unit’s achievements.
“(Today) was a perfect example of how the front seven and the secondary work together for the defense,” he said. “Some plays, there were coverage sacks. And other times we were up there getting pressure in their face and there was a bad throw and we picked it off. So all in all, it was good to capitalize on all the things we work on.” Read