San Diego Chargers Links 11/12

NFL Rumors - Rumor Central - ESPN
On pace for their third-lowest seasonal total for running back carries ever -- and going for a league-worst 3.1 yards for each of those carries -- the San Diego Chargers have clearly de-emphasized the ground game this season. Whenever an offense has that big of a disparity, one must wonder if it's the coach's scheme or the players.

In the previous two years under Norv Turner, the Chargers still relied on the running game. Last season, they were middle of the pack in total yardage, carries and yards-per-carry; furthermore, in 2007, the team was seventh in both yardage and attempts, and eighth in YPC.

In other words, it's personnel, and the player on the chopping block appears to be LaDainian Tomlinson, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. After a bizarrely public feud with GM A.J. Smith this offseason, LT returned to the team, but with much smaller checks being deposited in his bank account. As the paper's Kevin Acee opines, LT "can no longer win games for [San Diego]."

Chargers passing game is coming through - AFC West - ESPN
Some interesting stats from Bill WIlliamson. Among them, Vincent Jackson has been targeted 15+ yards downfield 34 times this season and caught 18 of those passes. Both of those are good for tops in the league.

Norv knows emotion
Does he get used to the detractors? "No," he said, once again showing his human side. "I don't think anybody can say that. But you have to have the ability to tune things out, to separate yourself from it, or you can't function.

Phillips shrugs at piling up of sacks
His return will infuse the line with savvy and, eventually, after he shakes off the inevitable rust, Hardwick's rare athleticism. But one positive to arise out of Hardwick's absence has been the experience gained by Scott Mruczkowski in his first season as a center.

"I think with Scott we found out that he is a center," head coach Norv Turner said. "When Nick's ready, he'll be back in there, but we don't have to put Nick in before he's ready."

Bolts in better focus
"I'm very proud of the players," A.J. Smith said. "They understand it's a long, hard, physical season. They are a resilient bunch with great character. I'm happy their focus and hard work has been rewarded the last three weeks. During the first half of the season we had our share of tough times. But letting go of the rope during tough times is not an option around here.

"A great deal of the credit goes to Coach Turner and his staff. Coach's message always has been let's stay together, get better each week, keep your focus and always understand the big picture."

It's a tall task slowing Jackson
"A lot of big guys have a hard time against press and jam coverage," Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers said yesterday at Giants Stadium. "They're slower-moving, (and cornerbacks) can get up in their chest. But Vincent is as strong and quick and powerful as they come."

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