Be Scared, Be Very Scared …. We’re Not Alone …….The NFL Is Now Very Much Alive And Kicking

Be Scared, Be Very Scared …. We’re Not Alone …….The NFL Is Now Very Much Alive And Kicking

Well now that the idiocy of the NFL labor dispute has ended not unlike the actions of the sitting Congress and Senate I am beginning to wonder what’s next on the agenda . As we have seen the moves made by the teams have left a number of fans with feeling bewildered and at the same time surprised . With Randy Moss not being picked up by a franchise the erstwhile veteran wide receiver announced his retirement from the NFL . The thirteen year pro now rides off into the sunset as one of the best wide receivers to have ever played the game . A bona fide certainty for the Hall of Fame will be adjudged by those who deem it fitting to have the player enshrined in Canton , Ohio.

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Slide show for your perusal .

If anything Randy Moss will now devote most of his time to business ventures outside the game , from his charitable foundation to other entrepreneurial deals. The player an avid NASCAR fan has a truck operation running in the lower tiered NASCAR Truck Series under his Randy Moss Racing motif . Unlike his contemporary Brett Favre I do believe that the player has walked away from the game for good , albeit there are a number of analysts who believe that a team will somehow call the player to gauge his interest in returning to the game.

Now there’s no denying that the upcoming season will be an intriguing one in more ways than we can all imagine. League wise and certainly from a standpoint there are number of teams that will be looking to acquit themselves well . Perhaps none more so than the Carolina Panthers after their disastrous sojourn during 2010 and coming off a 2-14 record . With the departure of John Fox who’s now the coach of the Denver Broncos the organization hired Ron Rivera as Fox’s successor .

The Carolina Panthers come into the season having drafted Cam Newton as the overall number one pick in the 2011 NFL Draft . The Panthers for their part have tried to retain the core of last year’s team but they have made moves in light of pursuing free agents and meeting their obligations to signing their draft picks . As to whether or not Cam Newton’s college game transfers itself well to the NFL remains to be seen . The knock against him may well be his maturity but there’s no denying that he has the athletic ability to make it in the professional ranks . But the caveat to my mind as an example will be the missteps of JaMarcus Russell and Vince Young . All the athletic ability in the world but their football IQ ranks alongside that of a mentally challenged individual .

If ever there was a organization whose window of opportunity over the last few years has diminished greatly then it would certainly have to be that of the San Diego Chargers . This team has lived solely on the shoulders of Philip Rivers alone and as good as he has been I certainly now believe that the team now has to step up to the plate and really make some noise . And for coach Norv Turner and his staff this may well be the last chance he has because I firmly believe that should the Chargers once again fall short then GM AJ Smith and team owner Dean Spanos will not have a choice but fire Turner and the entire coaching staff . For far too long Turner has simply been riding and living by achievements of Jimmy Johnson for whom he served as a coordinator during during the glory years of the Dallas Cowboys under Johnson’s tenure as the team’s coach. I have still yet to understand when a vacant position was up for grabs in the NFL somehow Norv Turner’s name would be mentioned as a viable candidate. Turner’s greatest strengths to my mind are that he has always been a very good offensive coordinator. As an NFL head coach I think that the praise heaped upon him has been needlessly exaggerated ! He’s good but not that good !

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San Diego Chargers head coach Norv Turner, left, smiles as he talks with quarterback Philip Rivers (17) during practice at their NFL football training camp, Saturday, July 30, 2011, in San Diego, Calif. AP Photo/Alex Gallardo …..

The loss of LaDanian Tomlinson though thought not to be profound may well have been the one thing shaped the persona of the team but its free fall I firmly believe affected this organization far more than some are readily willing to admit . Last season Phillip Rivers put some stellar numbers that placed amongst the “> upper echelons of the NFL quarterbacks playing in the league. Last season’s top performing offense was exemplary and it simply showed why they were so prolific . In all facets of the offense the Chargers were up to the task but their passing and game was really in essence the thing that set them apart from their peers .

Now it goes without saying that a team that cannot overcome injuries and the very fact that its roster then the their failings will be manifested greatly . The Chargers suffered with these issues and many more during this past season and it’s thought with the draft picks made they should be able to overcome those worries . AJ Smith along with the coaching staff have been fortunate over the years that they have had their successes in the draft but also along with that have come some failures .

Inasmuch as this will be a make or break season for the San Diego Chargers it will be interesting to see how productive their young rookies and sophomore players will be interesting to see what contributions will be made by Corey Liguet , Marcus Gilchrist , Jonas Mouton and Vincent Brown amongst the players in this past NFL Draft.

The AFC West as a division should be very interesting with the likes of the Oakland Raiders , Denver Broncos , Kansas City Chiefs and San Diego Chargers all vying for supremacy within that particular standing. And for each of the coaches Hu Jackson , John Fox and Todd Haley along with Norv Turner , all looking to prove their worth amongst their peers as well as the fans. It may well be that the determining factor will be down to experience and the bravado shown by the coaches in question.

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

The past two seasons for the San Diego Chargers we’ve seen the team invariably come up short . And with there now being concerns to their impending future this has to be a make or break season for the organization. Anything short of playoff berth and at least the conference championship will have to be deemed a failure. To those who would suggest to the contrary obviously are not really aware of the mindset the real issues that Dean Spanos and the organization now faces off the field apart from the frailties shown by the team competitively on it . It’s now or never for the Chargers as it will be for the other 31 teams in the NFL . And interestingly enough I can’t help but wonder what is now going on inside the minds of the coaches and the respective general managers around the league as they embark on this season

What thoughts if any do you have on the various points raised within the piece ? Simply leave a comment as to your opinions and as always thanks for the continued support !

Alan aka tophatal ………….. https://tophatal.wordpress.com

Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) EDEN PRAIRIE, MN – OCTOBER 7: Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Randy Moss answers questions from the media during a press conference at Winter Park on October 7, 2010 in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images…

(2) Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera smiles during practice at the NFL football team’s training camp in Spartanburg, S.C., Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2011. AP Photo/Chuck Burton ….

(3) Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) talks to receivers Brandon LaFell (11) and Gary Barnidge (82) during practice at NFL football training camp in Spartanburg, S.C., Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2011. AP Photo/Chuck Burton ……

(4) In this July 30, 2011 photo Carolina Panthers’ Cam Newton (1) walks to the field with teammate DeAngelo Williams (34) at the NFL football team’s training camp in Spartanburg, S.C. Williams saw something changing at Carolina that made him want to be part of the Panthers. “‘It is what it is,’ is n more,” said Williams, mimicking one of ex-coach John Fox’s favorite sayings. AP Photo/Chuck Burton ……

(5) San Diego Chargers coach Norv Turner talks to the team during NFL football training camp in San Diego, Monday, Aug. 1, 2011. AP Photo/Chris Carlson …..

(6) San Diego Chargers head coach Norv Turner, left, smiles as he talks with quarterback Philip Rivers (17) during practice at their NFL football training camp, Saturday, July 30, 2011, in San Diego, Calif. AP Photo/Alex Gallardo …..

(7) San Diego Chargers running back Isaac Odim (41) runs a play during the second day of the NFL football team’s training camp in San Diego, Friday, July 29, 2011. AP Photo/Denis Poroy ……

(8) San Diego Chargers defensive coordinator Greg Manusky runs a drill during the second day of their NFL training camp in San Diego, Friday, July 29, 2011. AP Photo/Denis Poroy ……

(9) San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates, foreground, works out during the first day of NFL football training camp in San Diego, Thursday, July 28, 2011. AP Photo/Chris Carlson ……

(10) From left, San Diego Chargers general manager A.J. Smith, president Dean Spanos, Liuget, first round draft choice Corey Liuget, from the University of Illinois, and coach Norv Turner. pose at a news conference Friday, April 29, 2011 in San Diego. AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi ……
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Failure Is Not An Option ………………….

Failure Is Not An Option ………………..

Well it was all about the San Diego Chargers supposedly marching to an AFC West title but alas it wasn’t to be . Repeatedly the Chargers and their fans seem to believe that for them the season is one of simply playing 8 meaningful games out of sixteen and then they’re assured a place in the postseason . Well for the prognosticators out there who felt that way it goes to show that for all of your bravura you simply have no respect for what’s happening within the division as a whole. What gave you the impression that this Chargers’ team was simply good enough to begin with ? Being in awe of the season of Philip Chargers and what he’s been able to achieve is simply meaningless when the rest of the team can’t respond to pressure when it really counts ? Excuses may well be made that that they’ve had injuries and then the off the field problems concerning Vincent Jackson but at the end of the day it all comes down to the preparation of the coaching staff and that of the players .

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Chargers’ GM A J Smith and Norv Turner’s coaching staff really now have to assess the needs of this team as clearly they’re not where they need to be . And with the team being summarily being dispatched by the lowly Cincinnati Bengals this past Sunday would suggest that the AFC West is no longer the Chargers’ personal domain. With the loss (34-20)the team was eliminated from the playoffs and with the now resurgent Kansas City Chiefs now winning the division, a playoff berth ____ Turner and the Chargers now have to look at their season as one of , what might have been.

Courtesy of Associated Press & Yahoo Sports

Bengals knockout Chargers ….

By Joe Kay , AP Sports Writer

CINCINNATI (AP)—This big chill isn’t going to ease anytime soon.

The NFL’s best team in December couldn’t handle its first snowy afternoon. The Chargers dressed for warmups like it was a day at the beach, then froze up the first time they touched the ball. With everything at stake, they went slip-sliding right out of contention.

Carson Palmer was nearly perfect in the swirling snow—four touchdowns, no interceptions—in the Cincinnati Bengals’ 34-20 win on Sunday that ended the Chargers’ streak of four straight years in the playoffs as AFC West champs.

“It’s tough anytime you’re eliminated from a chance of playing for the postseason,” said quarterback Philip Rivers , who had an ordinary game in his usually superlative month. “It’s something I haven’t dealt with since I’ve been playing here. This was the final straw.”

The Chargers (8-7) knew they had to win to stay a game behind Kansas City (10-5), which beat Tennessee earlier Sunday. A loss would knock them out of contention and give the Chiefs the title.

San Diego had won 20 of its last 21 games in December, though most of those came in favorable climates or domed stadiums. Playing their coldest game in nearly three years, the Chargers froze and cracked.

“Words can’t really explain how we feel right now,” safety Eric Weddle said. “Our season is done. It’s probably the worst feeling you can have.”

The Bengals (4-11) are ending one of their worst seasons with telling satisfying moments.

Palmer, a Southern California kid, led them to their second straight win with a cast of reserve receivers. His 59-yard touchdown to Jerome Simpson — playing in place of the injured Chad Ochocinco —highlighted a 21-point fourth quarter against the league’s top-ranked defense.

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Questions will be have to be asked and answered as what needs to done in order to make this team more resilient and consistent. It’s hard to see also how Turner can be retained as the team’s coach if even he can’t explain the team’s failings . As I alluded to earlier it makes no sense simply being in awe of a team that simply plays half the season and then the feeling is that they are the “team” to be feared .That’s complete idiocy and naivete to begin with and furthermore it lends credence as to how god-damn awful the division actually is when a team barely squeaks into the playoffs with mediocre play and not much else that’s actually substantive .

Hopefully team Presdient & CEO Dean Spanos and the infusion now made financially made by billionaire Philip Anschutz will make some sort of difference as to the direction to be taken by the organization . Qualcomm Stadium at present remains the home of the Chargers but with there being ever growing frustration between the city (San Diego) and the team now seems to be awry but the rumblings of a possible relocation to the greater Los Angeles area could very well be pushed to the foreground. The clamor for a team in LA s now reaching seismic proportions but given the city’s financial quagmire and the fact that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s intent of bringing the NFL back to the city is one of his top priorities I’d like to ask this question ….. since when does the NFL trump the needs of the city in terms of the city cutting programs when it’s running a large budget deficit and at the same time laying off and furloughing staff , then looking to spend money to refurbish a venue that would meet the needs of the NFL and that of the relocated franchise to the city ? Sorry but clearly the city of Los Angeles is showing its naivete’ and sheer stupidity at this juncture ! And it certainly doesn’t augur well for Villaraigosa if he does see this as his best bet of winning over the city’s populace not when he has more acute issues to deal within the “City of Angels”.

From my own perspective what has taken place this year with the Chargers is one of their own making but looking to apportion blame elsewhere would be plainly stupid. How else can one explain it when you’ve a coach who simply lacks passion and a team that is overly reliant one their quarterback repeatedly week in week out to pull them from the precipice of a cliff ? Defensively the Chargers have had their fair share of woes but it’s also clear that in spite of the injuries on offense this team I believe sorely misses LaDainian Tomlinson ! Releasing the player when they could clearly have retained him for one more season could have been the spur needed. Instead their fall from grace will show that the decision made by A J Smith and Dean Spanos would prove to be ever so costly. In the NFL failure isn’t really an option but clearly competitively it hurts an organization but from a financial standpoint it has also placed the Chargers in something of a conundrum as to what their next move should be and that of their long term future . At this juncture those failings are far more than the Chargers’ organization is willing to admit .

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have on the Chargers’ fall from grace this season and what choices do you feel that they have as it relates to their immediate future ? By all means leave a comment as to your own thoughts on this topic and anything else as it relates to the NFL this season ?

NB By clicking on the link s provided below you can view details on the San Diego Chargers

AFC West Standings ……………………………… AFC divisional standings

Conference Standings …

San Diego Chargers profile. —————– Chargers news

San Diego Chargers roster & depth chart

San Diego Chargers coach Norv Turner and the coaching staff

Chargers front office staff .

Alan aka tophatal ……………………..

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Casci-XXL  Magazine

Eye candy ………… Courtesy of XXL Magazine Casci as usual looking delicious !

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