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Mailbag: Snapping the Skid & the Team's Focus

Posted Nov 13, 2013

Check out this week's edition of Ricky Henne's Fan Mailbag.

Q: I hate losing. It ruins my whole week dude. Now we've lost two in a row and sometimes I admit it makes me question why I got so emotional about this team. Why should I stick with it now that we have a losing record? – Gregory Danzinger

A:  It’s no secret that nobody likes losing.  It eats away at the players, coaches and front office, so it is certainly expected that fans feel the same way after losing two games in a row for the first time all season.  But this team has a strong belief in what they are capable of, and there are seven games left in the regular season, which is an eternity in the NFL. To me, Eric Weddle said it best when the media posed a similar question about the state of the team after last Sunday’s loss to the Denver Broncos:

“We’ve got seven games left.  The whole season is right there in front of us. If you guys on the outside think the season is done then don’t come talk to me because we still have everything there.”

Q: Be honest with me Rick. Is the team looking around the league at the teams they are fighting for the playoffs with? – Adam Davison

A:  The players are definitely cognizant of what the other teams in the AFC are up to, but they aren’t focusing on it.  To be perfectly blunt, they care mainly about themselves.  They are focused on bouncing back from a second straight loss as noted above, and they believe if they take care of business on their own, then everything will fall into place.  For what it’s worth, I agree 100% with this mindset.

Q: What are your thoughts on Ryan Mathews? – Cory S.

A: I really like the way Ryan has been running the ball this season overall.  Against the Broncos, he carried it 14 times for 59 physical yards, bruising his way to a 4.2 yards per carry average.  Overall, he’s had 131 rushes for 539 yards, averaging 4.1 yards per carry with two touchdowns on the ground.  Part of the reason he has been especially effective in my opinion is the way the coaching staff is using him.  Both Head Coach Mike McCoy and Offensive Coordinator Ken Whisenhunt have repeatedly said they like to rotate running backs throughout the game, so the carries Danny Woodhead and Ronnie Brown have had are allowing Ryan to be especially fresh for those powerful runs we’ve come to expect from him.

Q: It seems like our linebackers unit is cursed.  Melvin, Dwight Freeney and now Larry English.  Plus JJ and Manti and Donald Butler all missed extended periods of time.  How can we make up for those losses? – Keith Sanders

A: Quite simply, young players like Tourek Williams and Thomas Keiser will need to step up to replace the production of those who are gone for the season.  Both players have shown flashes.    Williams had the big strip-sack of Peyton Manning last week, while Thomas Keiser had two sacks against the Jacksonville Jaguars and then led the Chargers last week with three quarterback hits.

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