Yeah, I know the shirt’s a little aggressive, but so am I. I don’t even hate Phish so much as I just appreciated the football fan mentality applied to supposedly peace-loving music. This Thursday would have been Jerry Garcia’s 71st birthday and kicks off the weeklong celebration that ends on the anniversary of his passing. I prefer “Jerry Week” to “The Days Between,” however. But I also preferred “Super Shark” to “Sharknado.” I’ve seen the Stones, Furthur, Phil Lesh & Friends already this summer and will hit the Sunshine Daydream movie I mentioned the last time out on the 1st. I’m finishing out Jerry Week in style with the Black Crowes & Derek Trucks on the 9th. What does any of this mean to you, FAITHFUL READER? That I’m getting all this live music out of my system and am ready for the season. But check out the Ridley Scott-produced Springsteen and I when it comes out DVD if you’re so inclined. Even if you don’t like Bruce, you’ll definitely identify with what it means to be a crazy fan.
I’ve also been busy at work at completing Drunk On Sunday, my first book. Who knows, maybe I can get Stan Humphries to give a quote for the book jacket than says something other than “this guy scares the fuck out of me.” The stories that don’t make it in to the finished manuscript will be left for the sequel. I actually had to break the window of my car to get my keys after the car broke down before the Stones show. I was in Harlem at the time. After getting a rental, we somehow made through traffic for a great show. Here’s a highlight:
Since we last talked, Ryan Mathews was rumored to have been arrested, exonerated and then declared the possibility of him being a “Top Five Back” this season.
I hate spending so much time on a guy that has disappointed so much. But there’s no question that we need to improve on the ground. I am as critical of Philip Rivers as anyone, but one thing that doesn’t get mentioned enough is our inability to run the ball during his decline. If we had been able to pound the ball a little, can you imagine what the 2009 team might have accomplished?
So Mathews didn’t get arrested and is lighter for camp. He claims he’s going to just “do his thing” this year. Acee also revealed that Mathews goes out a lot. I don’t give a shit about that, as long as you produce on the field. The reason I threw up a little in my mouth after reading Shaun Phillips’ tweeted apology for a bad practice in Denver was the stupid shit he between the lines in San Diego. I mean, Rivers never goes out and it hasn’t seemed to help his performance a bit. His interview with LT, was interesting by the way. I liked that McCoy had LaDainian talk to the team before their first practice. After Tomlinson’s retirement, he talked about Mathews needing to improve. The biggest benefit to LT taking the Chargers up on their offer for him to play this year would have been his leadership. I don’t if working for NFL Network forces LaDainian to be more objective, but I hope he has some effect on Mathews. No matter how LT feels about his years with the Jets, I am sure he has some serious regrets about the squandered opportunities in the ’04, ’06 and ’09 playoffs with the Bolts.
Between Brandon Taylor, Melvin Ingram and now Jonas Mouton, I think we can safely say that AJ Smith really lost his drafting touch in San Diego. Ingram may still pan out, but we will have to wait another year to find out. I know he's on the PUP list and that he could play in Week 15 against Denver. I just don't want to delude myself. Then again, Aaron Hayden came off the PUP list in 1995 and I still think he should have seen more action in the Wild Card game and beyond.
Robert Meachem can’t be as bad as he’s been, can he? CBS’ Clark Judge claims to have inside information that Meachem won’t be a factor this year even if his guaranteed salary (another aspect of AJ’s legacy) keeps him on the roster. I know McCoy is trying to get Rivers to throw more high percentage passes, but guys will need to run better routes and do more with the ball when they get it. For all over Rivers' gambles, there were a million dump offs that went nowhere. Obviously, Mathews has been as bad picking up blitzes and getting open for screens as has been previously reported.
There were stories that DJ Fluker was having a hard time fitting in but now that he's both met Richard Simmons and taught Manti Te'o how to swim, I feel far more confident. Seriously, I am hearing that he's really getting people fired up in a way not seen from a rookie since Merriman. Did you read that Merriman is lobbying Atlanta to sign him? The one thing I give the Union-Tribune credit for is that every time they run a story on Merriman they use the photo of him all swollen after our last playoff loss. Sometimes people wonder why I constantly bring up our playoff pratfalls since they're so painful. Haven't the last three seasons, where it seemed like they didn't learn from those mistakes, been even more painful?
I am actually pretty optimistic this season. But I read today that King Dunlap looks to be the favorite for the LT position. Is Max Starks that washed up? I know Philly fans are rough, but there's no way everything they say about Dunlap is that far off. Freeney got his number from Cam Thomas who got it from Castillo. If the Mets are still paying Bobby Bonilla, I wonder if we are still giving money to Castillo. Vance Johnson got a check during the 1994 season even though he was released. But that was a year I didn't mind seeing us dish out some extra cash.
I can't believe when I read Power Rankings that have us 26th, but maybe it's a good thing. We know how things turned out when we were ranked at the top. Anyway, that's all for now. I'll start posting weekly when preseason begins. Until that, I'll start wrapping up the book and enjoying Jerry Week. For those that are interested, you can download the heart of the 8/1/73 second set here. You can also get the entire Veneta 1972 show from the upcoming movie here. There should be a CD/DVD release shortly. In closing, here's a scorching '83 tune with a 1978 photo:
That's good news about Goodman. Sorry to see him lose his job but its for the better of the team.
I am just a pink Floyd fan. Looking forward to your weekly writings Ross.
I am happy Goodman is gone. Daniel, Floyd is reminiscent of the early 80s in that he's one dimensional?
I am getting ready for the ritual of weekly posting.
Season's coming up. I kinda like them entering it coming off a thrashing. Sets our expectations low. That said:
1) I like McCoy.
2) Malcolm Floyd belongs on the Coryell teams. Any other current Chargers you think belong in the golden era of Bolts football?
Ross, with Meachems cut it feels as though the demons of AJ have been exercised. That is as long as Mathews doesn't fumble in the redzone this season. Our teams depth is paper thin so this will be tedious season to watch. Everyone knows we are rebuilding so maybe we catch a break here or there by teams looking past us. Well that's all for now gotta get back to my Breaking Bad marathon on Netflix.
Watched Houston play NO today. That will be one hell of a test for our guys. But I think we can get to Schaub.
Will offer a full post tomorrow but I hate the Mathews fumble. Speaking of LT, I won't be able to watch the end of his Football Life special and wont even bother with the Marty one.
As fans that suffered at the hands of Rex and Sanchez, at least their meltdowns brought a little satisfaction since we were forced to watch instead of our own game.
Tonight is the only preseason game that reveals what kind of team we have bolts fans. 11:00 pm eastern time on NFL network. Can the O-line protect Rivers? Can Mathews continue to run hard and not drop the ball? Can the secondary defend? Those are the questions I need answered tonight.
You forgot Clary, who Rivers (and Acee) love so much, sucking balls again. I like Fluker and with Spurlock doing better than Goodman in half a season you are right again.
Snax Snarks is'nt good enough for the second team. Dunlap, who has a questionable reputation on the field better hold up. Fluker will get better. I like what I see with him. Mathews looks to want to prove something. He ran hard and held onto the ball at the end of the plays. Rivers should not have thrown that ball to Allen and when hit he needs to hold onto the ball. Goodman should be cut.
I think the post-Norv era is what has me most curious. BTW, I know the Stones played Anaheim July 23 an 24 1978 and don't know which you saw, but here are links to both nights in AUD quality.
I gotta say Ross, this is the most I have anticipated the preseason in quite sometime. At this point the only thing I trust on offense is Rivers to Gates. I was happy to hear that Gates is in such great shape and serious about making a big impact this year. He should help Rivers stay sharp until we find out which receivers are for real. Also, I will be holding my breath when the secondary is tested. Watching this team will feel like being a contestant on Fear Factor.
Whit, I was wondering the same thing myself. I wonder if they won't add anyone of consequence and hope Brown returns to form and that Meachem isn't nearly as bad as he has been
@Lucab12 Ross, love Fozzy, love Phillips also. Especially love the fact that he has the number 83 Good mojo, I think.
@Lucab12 Agreed Ross, the meltdown of RR was great. A press conference classic.
@Lucab12 Yea Ross. This is what they know Nobody at the NFL network, except maybe Tomlinson cares a rip about the Chargers. In their opinion along with ESPN, the football universe revolves around the New York Jets. As soon as Sanchez went down our game was peempted by endless opinions offered by Tomlinson and Warner as to why Mark Sanchez was inserted into the 4th quarter of a meaningless game.
Here's what I know. The Chargers have potential, at least the starting lineup does. But they are thin at all of their postions except linebacker. The defensive line is thin, the offensive line is thin, the wide outs are thin, the secondary is thin. But I trust this regime to fix that. Here are a few more thoughts on the starters.
Defense: Who would of thought that Ingram going down would turn out to be a good thing. If Freeney stays healthy and our secondary can hang with good receivers for a reasonable amount of time we will be very competitive. I know the secondary is a big question still. That post pattern that Floyd ran for Arizona was defended as well as it could be. Palmer put the ball where it needed to be and Floyd did a good job of keeping his feet in the endzone. But I was encouraged by the fact that Fitzgerald was getting shut down and that it took a perfect route for them to score on us.
Mathews: WTF. Can he get into the endzone without trying to jump over defenders. It worked the first time but the second time he was way to far out to try to attempt that move and it cost him. Another ball on the ground. Who cares that we scored on that play. That was keystone cops bullshit by Arizona. I do give Gates and Phillips much credit for keeping their heads in game for as long as they did. I'll take that effort every time when the regular season starts.
Effort: I am encouraged by the effort our guys are playing with. That was always a question that I had with Norv as coach. Guys are flying around the field and finishing plays off as they should be.
Back to Mathews: He must stop losing the ball or we will have a repeat of last year and miss the playoffs once again. I believe he is that important to this teams success He has the physical talent, that's for sure but will his head get right. He should be following Gates around like a lost puppy until he figures out how to play with confidence.
Oh well, that's enough about this meaningless preseason game. I have to get back to my TV set before I miss ESPN's coverage on the Sanchez situation.
Replay of SD vs AZ - Set your DVR for Tues. Aug. 27th, 12:00 am to 3:00 am.
@Lucab12Your right Ross. How could I forget about Blaster
Not yet. When I can spend some time I will. Thanks.
ESPN reported last night before I went to bed that it was a tear. Not surprising for them to be wrong. This should be a signal to Charger brass that we need help at WR in a hurry. Flimsy Floyd will not last