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Mailbag: O-Line, New Additions & Monday Night Football
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Q: Everyone’s been asking about the offensive line it feels like since the beginning of time!! I thought they looked really good this offseason. How did they gel so quickly? - Stu Wishling
A: The five starters on the offensive line certainly deserve praise for the way they’ve come together this preseason. For the most part they’ve established a pocket for the quarterbacks to throw from and have paved the way for a strong running game. The Chargers rushed for over 100 yards in each game, averaging 114.0 yards per game. By comparison, the team ranked 27th in the NFL last season, averaging 91.3 ypg. All the credit goes to the players and the coaching staff for buying in and making a commitment to form a cohesive unit. According to the players they’ve done this by spending countless hours off the field together as well.
Q: How does the team prepare for a game, like the season opener against Houston, with such a long break between games? – Adrianna Weiss
A: Good question. Basically the normal schedule is pushed back a day. Typically teams begin game planning for the upcoming game on Wednesday, so the Chargers will have a typical “Wednesday practice” on Thursday, a typical “Thursday practice” on Friday and so forth.
Q: Isn't it a little too late to be adding a bunch of new players? Really, without OTAs, training camp and preseason how effective can they be not knowing the system? – Doug Ruth
A: Tom Telesco and Mike McCoy have promised to go the extra mile to bring in the best talent no matter what. That is what the team did in bringing in Sean Lissemore, Drake Nevis, Terrell Manning and Reggie Walker. Even though they weren’t with the team through the offseason, management deemed them as an upgrade to the roster. Will it take them a little bit of time to learn the system? Most definitely. But no matter the situation, you always do what is best for the team.
Q: I like the opening up on Monday night. It makes it more fun. Does the team like it? – Joey Irving, 11-years old.
A: Thanks for the question, Joey. I believe they do. Just check out this quote from Philip Rivers as proof:
“Yeah, I do (like it). When Sunday night ends it’s a long day on Monday, but it’s exciting. You open (as) the last game of kickoff weekend, and we play at home finally. It seems that game for us is always on the road either at Oakland or Kansas City. So to play at home, it’s going to be awesome.”
Q: What impressed you, Ricky Henne, the most from the preseason? – Kenneth Smith
A: There were a bunch of encouraging signs from the preseason, but if forced to choose one I’d say the long sustained drives the Chargers first-team offense put together. In the first preseason game they had the 12-play drive to kick things off, then they had a couple of 11-plus play drives in the Arizona game that resulted in touchdowns. Rivers as well said on Wednesday that he was encouraged by those very drives, so I think that is something to be optimistic about heading into the regular season.
Q: Is the new clear back policy in effect for the regular season too? – Stu Andrews