article about Charger's secondary

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Aug 24, 2005
Chargers' Secondary: Achilles' heel or ready to succeed?

There's an old saying in football - after the game, when reviewing the film, you're never as good as you thought you were, but you're never as bad as you thought you were.

The San Diego Chargers hope the second part of the adage is true for their secondary.

In 2004, the Chargers finished 31st in the league in passing yards allowed, the usual measure for ranking pass defenses.

What you may not know is that, although they had the third best rushing defense that year and finished 12-4, they also only had 29 sacks - good for third worst in the league.

Seeing as the team had two former first and two former second-round draft choices in the secondary, it was logical to conclude that to fix the pass defense, the Chargers needed to fix the pass rush.

So in 2005, they drafted two defensive front seven studs in the first round, Defensive Rookie of the Year Shawne Merriman and defensive end Luis Castillo, and fixed the problem - sort of.

Despite OLB Steve Foley missing several games with an abdominal injury and playing half speed for others, the 2005 Chargers finished with 46 sacks, including Merriman's 10 and underrated pass-rushing specialist Shaun Phillips' seven, good for fifth in the league.

The problem - the defense only moved to 29th in the league in passing, with a paltry 10 interceptions. However, from the "you're not as bad as you thought" camp, the Chargers were 21st in passing yards per attempt and 17th in passing touchdowns allowed. Not great, but better than, well, almost last.

Regardless, and even though some of the poor statistics can be attributed to a brutal '05 schedule (which included seven games against playoff teams), that performance is not going to get it done for a team that feels it's ready to go deep into the 2006 playoffs.

The current offseason brought what are the most significant additions to the Chargers' secondary since the selection of Quentin Jammer fifth overall in the 2002 draft. Of course, I'm referring to unrestricted free agent safety Marlon McCree and first-round draft choice Antonio Cromartie.

Read the rest of the article here


Well-Known Member
Jun 16, 2006
Solid article. Good find.

Combine a solid secondary with Rivers developing rapidly, and you have a SB championship.