Bolts & Dawgs

Chargers head to Cleveland to face America’s new favorite sweethearts the stars of HBO’s Hard Knocks, but the Bolts don’t see them as darlings.

If you have football Tourette’s as I do you also watched it, and if your the kind of person or sucker I am you wished they could just get a win, learn or relearn how to. Just like how life sometimes is hard with multiple adversities hit you, you start to expect the shoe to drop, on a personal note I know I have had to shift my thinking to get thru similar hard times.  Human interest or the common rooting for the perpetual underdog, is obsolete in this scenario, the Browns first win this season was the first in 635 days when they beat the Chargers on Christmas Eve 2016.

It’s not a trap game, not for LA.  Although many variables have changed in those days (635) the exclamation point of loosing to the win-less Browns on Christmas Eve is not forgotten and will not be overlooked.

Chargers played their most complete game this season vs. the Raiders last Sunday and are 3-2.  Rank in top offense with yards, both rushing & passing. Phillip Rivers showcasing something special with this team as epitomized Sunday with the celebration TD photo! Quite a rarity! Something cool is brewing with this offense or gelling.

 

Chargers have experience and success with new quarterback’s ( Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen and C.J Beathard)  whom also come with little film, they’ve been able to contain, disrupt and pressure them successfully. And vs the run last week the defense contained Marshawn Lynch  to 31 yards, Sunday they will face Carlos Hyde.

The special teams woes addressed with the reuniting of former Eagles teammates, the addition of  Donnie Jones last week however Caleb Sturgis may be out on Sunday and Michael Badgley is on stand by.

The kicking game is one aspect that these two teams have had in common one that both teams have had issues with this season.

The Browns who started the season not with a loss but a tie are at 2-2-1. They have a new king at the helm number one draft pick Baker Mayfield coming in with 3 TDs and 3 INTs whom made his debut in their first win.  Sunday will be his third start, although the hype has been on him, Browns defense led by DC Greg Williams are first in the NFL in takeaways with 15.

The Browns are 2nd in rushing  and their defense 12th allowing 22.9 points a game (reminder they contained Drew Brees and the Saints to 21 points in the 3-point loss). They handed the Ravens their 2nd loss and the Steelers a tie in OT. This team has some grit and probably the most loyal fan base in the NFL, ones whom no matter what the record or the temperatures are at FirstEnergy Stadium. They have a new mascot as well whom showed up at their first win vs. the Jets, a possum, another showed in their win vs. the Ravens.

A few connections

Adrian Phillips played against Baker Mayfield when he was at Texas Tech and Chargers are familiar with Todd Hailey (KC HC 2009-11 and OC Steelers 2012-2017).

 

IMO prediction: Chargers win, no way they go back into Cleveland with this group and not come out with win.

 

 

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Michael Gehlken & Alex Corporan on The Desiree SHOW

I welcomed two amazing men on October 2, 2018 for The Desiree Show, which broadcasts on Tuesdays and airs on Wednesdays 4-5 PM PST on Dash Radio.

Michael Gehlken beat reporter for the Raiders for The  Las Vegas Review Journal  and former beat reporter for the San Diego Chargers, a great perspective especially with the LA Chargers hosting the Raiders Sunday.  No better person with a more unique perspective  having covered both teams than Michael.

Also, on the show via New York, the Godfather of skateboarding, the tour guide, a mayor, and the list goes on…… the one and only Alex Corporan. Former pro skateboarder whom helped brand Supreme as we know it today, Skate Night in NY, El Senor among a slew of other brands he has had his hands on. One whom is always giving back to the community and impacting all the lives he touches.  Alex also has a board dropping in December on Raised Fist Propaganda.

 

The King of Lower Manhattan! Part city historian, part black Anthony bordain, full time tour/party/spot guide, full time tastemaker, full time rad dad, full blown NYC skate legend, and all the way New York.

Every out of town skater who’s ever visited New York has learned the ropes from Alex…Thank you Bro!

Chris Pastas

 

You can follow Michael on Twitter also on The Las Vegas Review Journal and Alex on Instagram, Twitter or his Facebook page.

The Desiree SHOW Broadcasts on Wednesday 4-5 PM PST on Dash Radio, Dash Talk.

Make sure to follow her IG & TW @Desiree_Astorga @TheDesireeSHOW on IG and Twitter @TheDesiree_Show

 

ICYMI live on Dash radio, it is up on The Desiree SHOW Itunes and up on SoundCloud.

 

Chargers and Raiders reunite in LA

Chargers (2-2)  and Raiders (1-3) reunite in LA, both have had their share of LA as their title, however this one is the Chargers.  I also am reuniting with the blogging so please bare with me as this will be all over the board, a quick whip around, just so I get my rhythm rolling, so hear it goes!

This will be the second time in decades that the match up is in Los Angeles, with either as the host team, obviously last year was at the Stubhub Center,  but the last time that the LA Chargers hosted before last year was November 27th 1960 where the LA Chargers walloped the Oakland Raiders 52-28, and the  final time before The Raiders departure from LA, The San Diego Chargers edged over the LA Raiders 26-24 September 25th, 1994.

This rivalry started November 27th 1960 since the two have met up 117 times including 1 playoff and combined have been in multiple cities, the Raiders lead the series 63-52-1 however the Chargers hold the longest win streak (2003-2009) along with the current win streak of 2 (2017).

Oakland has a new head coach as you know, John Gruden at the helm, whom finally had his first win in nearly 10 years, even though the Raiders play with passion on the field they have shown an inability to finish games, that is until last Sunday vs. the Browns, where the received their first W in OT in the 2018 season.

Chargers came out with a W vs. the Niners, putting them at 500 but perhaps not as big as what was forecasted however many positives, but a few struggles, third down conversions and the kicking game slightly dimed the positives.

Inside the NFL kicked off their highlights this week with the fantastic NFL Films  with Mic’D Up Phillip Rivers, pretty fabulous! If you didn’t get a chance to see it here it is for your viewing and listening pleasure.

Philip Rivers said that it was more balance of an offense, I have seen something else a more of a je ne sais quoi something I can’t put my finger on but, it definitely looks like there’s some cohesiveness

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and a bit more of a relaxed demeanor for Phillip on the field and in his pressers.

He seems just more at ease, less strained maybe the last few years mayhem or change surrounding the moving, commute, the new city and a temporary stadium struggles have finally ebbed, but there just seems to be something different with Philip Rivers -something I haven’t seen in the 11 years I have been covering the team.
The cohesiveness with this offense coupled with the duel threat productivity in the run.
The physicality and passion in Melvin Gordon’s running, not by mistake he’s out there doing foot drills daily and has been strengthening his leg throughout the off season, (Great piece by Sam at the Athletic).  And then the other half Austin Ekeler with great hands, catch and runs as well as his ability to utilize suggestions from his coaches are visibly seen.

gordon7058Couple that or triple it with the big presence of Mike Pouncey and add the receivers sharing the catches and the blocking duties for the run.
All seem to be ingredients of a TEAM, no “I”, a strength of unity perhaps by a challenging few years with the move and the double edged sword of living in a place where most any away teams fans would want to come visit and take over the stadium.

 

 

 

Rivers has had a big stretch of success vs the Raiders actually the longest win streak between the two, and then a hiccup since last season and currently with a 2 win streak vs. Oakland.

Connections;

Gus Bradley was LB coach Under Gruden at Tampa, Anthony Lynn friend of Gruden since NY days ( Presser) but the biggest one in my eyes is NT Brendan Mebane and RB Marshawn Lynch former team mates and vets both at Cal during a very special time and SB Champs with the Seattle Seahawks. There is something to practicing against some one on the daily, plus there is a long history.

Shift with Special Teams, Chargers announced that they had released Punter Drew Kaiser ( whom was also the holder) brought in retired P and SB Champion Donnie Jones
Coach Lynn spoke on shaking things up a bit with the crucial holding position and brings in a familiarity with former team mates, both having played for the Eagles last year that and the fact that he is an experienced holder and Punter. Donnie Jones had retired after the SB, so prior to his calls, or I should I say missed calls from his agent he had been at Home Depot getting Halloween decorations, that evening he was on a flight to LA and signed the following day.

Hayley Elwood spoke with him on Wednesday on the last 24 hours.

Welcome back to DT Corey Luiget who returns after his 4 week suspension, his presence will be visibly seen and the team announced Saturday he was activated for Sundays Game and to make room, Chargers waived DT T.Y.McGill, whom has not played.

Gruden’s complimentary praises to Rivers, and Derwin James, even on Bosa, whom will not be playing on Sunday.

WR Travis Benjamin (foot), * to miss 2-3 weeks
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Chargers Injury report
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Raiders Injury report

 

On how Raiders plan to contain Rivers and company…….

ICYMI:  Tuesday Michael Gehlken joined me on the the Desiree Show, he shares a very unique perspective having covered both teams, former UT SD beat reporter for the SD Chargers and currently Raiders beat reporter for the Las Vegas Review.

Take a listen if you missed it!

Chargers find a way to get their 3rd win at Stubhub despite it most likely being a mini sea of the Black Hole, continue their streak at get to 3-2, before hitting a 4 week road tour.

 

Stay up to date for the ITL a special weekly series on the Desiree SHOW on Dash Radio, also on Itunes and Soundcoud.

INSIDE THE LOCKER ROOM with Désirée

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Join me for this weekly locker room visit at the Chargers HQs
Hoag Performance Center in Costa Mesa.
It’s odds and ends, the third dimension, b-day cheers, games, some stats, high school & college roots and more, Its fun, quick and RAW.

 

Essentially a little get-to-know some of these LA Chargers players.
Join me weekly for this special on the Desiree Show

INSIDE THE LOCKER ROOM with Desiree

Welcome to ITL
INSIDE THE LOCKER ROOM with Desiree.

A few weeks ago I was granted the opportunity to come to the Chargers on a regular, weekly basis.

My intent and it still is to cover the team on all my platforms, a weekly quick hits on The Desiree SHOW on Dash Radio  including locker room interviews, blog entries, social media posts and in addition I came up with a fun idea.

Having the opportunity to have access is something I am super grateful for. I have covered the Chargers on many levels throughout the last 9-10 years, from shooting still photos for ESPN the Magazine, KUSI Sports for TV coverage, multiple media outlets for events on all giving back the Chargers do for the community, helping document, via photos and words or packages for KUSI-PPR among other outlets and obviously for The Desiree SHOW.

I thought that it would be pretty cool to let you all get to know some of these players on a different level from inside the locker room, with that I would like to welcome you to ITL!

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Join me for this weekly locker room visit at the Hoag Performance Center in Costa Mesa, The Chargers HQ’s.

It’s odds and ends, the third dimension, birthday cheers, games, some stats, high school & college roots and more…. It’s fun, quick and raw.

Essentially a little get-to-know some of these LA Chargers players.
Join me weekly for this special only on The Desiree Show.

Warm thanks to all the Chargers PR Department and to all the players whom have given me time and to those who will in the future.

Also, would like to once again thank the ever so talented Mark Penxa for the art, I did make some changes, but he designed the Desiree SHOW logo, this one I have kept and found that it worked perfectly for this special on my show with one quick addition.

 

Make sure to tune in to The Desiree SHOW on Dash Radio on Wednesday’s 4-5 PM PST for my weekly hits, quick interviews and please make sure to subscribe to the Desiree SHOW on Itunes and SoundCloud and on IG and twitter, so you don’t miss anything!

LA vs LA; Not Really a Fight for LA

CHARGERS VS. RAMS (aka LAC vs LAR)

1:05 PM KO at the Los Angeles Coliseum on Sunday

Although the media wants dearly to make this about a ‘Battle of LA” or “Fight for LA” LA Chargers are just staying focused at the next game at hand and to getting to 2-1 on this season. That message was quite clear Thursday from coaches and players. The only importance about the game was it was the next opponent.

The two will share the same stadium in 2020, however don’t try and make this somehow a family scenario or a stepchild example, its not- its simply 2 NFL teams sharing a stadium, but if you want to……………. go right ahead.

Through out the week there have been noted media sound bites indicating that this was in some regards.

For example Rams Head Coach McVay stumbling on San…. prior to LA Chargers twice, I know hard to think this is or was a simple error for someone that can recite a play from 10 years ago with one simple date and quarter cue………..I think perhaps maybe trying to create a little aloofness to the match up. That and hearing on other avenues via the PR Dept of the Rams that they are more so looking for the match up vs. the Vikings on Thursday night Football, stating that is a bigger game. And yes, it’s in the conference and a game everyone will watch as its a prime time game vs. a regional start time as well, i.e. 1:25 kick offs are prime time per TV sources.

Yes, this is not a division game, nor a conference game; the two match up every 4  years, so hardly a rivalry, one form the National and one from the American Football Conference. On a side note the last time these two faced off at the Coliseum was October 13, 1991 it was the SD at the LA, Rams edged over the Chargers 30-24. If I delve deeper, the all time series between the two is 6-5-0 in favor of the Rams.

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Photo © USA Today

Casey Hayward on any significance to the game, (Fight for LA or rivalry)

“I guess so since it’s the week we are playing them other than that nay.

We just worry about the one that’s up now and it just so happens to be the Rams.

We just try and come and win each and every week no matter who it’s against ……………it just so happens to be those guys this week”

 

 

This is a great match up however and a great test or barometer for both teams, Rams have not played a great team or a prolific offense as the Chargers this season and the Chargers face probably one of the most balanced teams on all facets.

If Chargers are able to disrupt Goff and contain Gurley, I believe the Rams could be in for a big surprise and a great opportunity for the LA Chargers to claim a spot in the LA market or at least let them know that they are contenders, as well.

New Orleans Saints v Los Angeles Rams
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The Coliseum has not had the best field managers as of late, and also have Trojans hosting the Cougars Friday evening, this could potentially be a factor, but only in regards to the equipment mangers as far as the appropriate cleats, but there has been no rain, either, just more foot traffic.

 

Connections:

Wade Phillips, obvious connections with the SD Chargers as DC, but also Anthony Lynn’ coached under him in Denver for the Broncos.

The only edge one could possibly come up with in my mind is that Coach Lynn would know how Phillips would think, potentially. Phillips connection to players on the roster when he was DC in SD is simply Phillip Rivers and Antonio Gates.

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Flash Back:  Ndamukong Suh photobombs Mike Pouncey after Dolphins’ practice.  Photo ©Sun Sentinel

 

Former Dolphin teammates Mike Pouncey and  Ndamukong Suh.

Chargers are also familiar or I should say Phillip Rivers is with both Peters and Talib.

 

 

My thoughts

On the field it will be, I believe, a physical one, Wade Phillips is a phenomenal DC, he has the ability and track record to make necessary adjustments at the half, which was quite visible in their win in Oakland. Not just adjustments at the half, ones that would shift the game. The Rams Defense is stacked PERIOD! But on the other side of the field the prolific Chargers led by veteran Phillip Rivers and cast; Williams, Gordon, Allen, Green and Ekeler have the ability to humble them.

The Chargers defense has some missing elements, but this is also next man up league and mentality without Bosa and Luiget again. With Veteran Coach Gus Bradley at the helm. Pass rush & pressure on Goff and containment with Gurley will be crucial. Secondary will have their hands full with Robert Woods and Calvin Cook.

The team did work out 3 different players this week, but no news on any outcomes. The next man up illustrated last week with Isaac Rochelle and former Trojan Uchenna Nwosu  making an impact in Buffalo.

Chargers O-Line without Barksdale, and Tevy in, but the addition and impact of Pouncey has been noticed, the run blocking and productivity with Slash and Dash (per Eric D Williams) Gordon and Ekeler 224 all purpose yards, with great hands as well.  Plus the rise of Mike Williams and veteran Virgil Green give Rivers two more productive options.

Although the odds are with the LA Rams as everyone has them going to the Super Bowl this year that was before the season started, lol.   They are good, well coached, but The Chargers play well as the underdog, and it probably would feel really good to give the Rams a black eye and let LA know that they are here, too.

 

I’ll say it again, I think Chargers can win, I know they can, just a matter of execution, plus they have somewhat of an advantage as their first game was vs. a well coached KC team and hot new QB in Patrick Mahonne.

 

Last Day of Chargers Training Camp & Joint Practices with the Saints

Last Day of Chargers Training Camp & Joint Practices with the Saint.

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Beautiful day in Costa Mesa at Jack Hammett Sport Complex where the Los Angeles Chargers hosted the New Orleans Saints for a second day of group practices many fans, media and player’s families in attendance.  The set up truly beautiful with regal white pillowy shade canopies for the fans and media, although many fans made their way as close to the field as possible to take in all the action.

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This was my first time at Jack Hammett and my first time back since OTA’s in May this year. As to be expected a special buzz of excitement as football is back and week 3 of the Preseason is here and kicks off tonight with the Browns hosting the Eagles. Saturday the vibe will be different, as Chargers will host the Saints at Stubhub Center 5 PM PST for game 3 of the Preseason.

 

One of the special things about Training Camps is that families are present, and that fans have the unique closeness to their rooting teams.

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Another is the bond from college that go beyond the line of scrimmage for life.   Football truly is family! Throw in two head coaches, Anthony Lynn and Sean Payton whom have a history both working under Bill Parcel’s for the Cowboys, 2 Quarterbacks Phillip Rivers and Drew Brees whom have a strong long bond connecting to their families. Alabama BCS champion teammates Damion Square and Mark Ingram and even Coach Payton’s daughter Meghan shadowing Chargers Team Reporter Hayley Elwood.  That’s just part of the special atmosphere that happened on Thursday for the joint practice.

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Scrimmages make for a real quality connect as well, not just for the players, but also to the fans. For the players it is a chance to compete with another pro team and for the fans it’s well, just exciting, plus they get to get some autographs of their favorite players and be really close to the action.

 

Chargers second round draft pick, Trojan and rookie Uchenna  Nwosa spoke on his first scrimmage,

 

” It’s kind of cool to be able to go against another professional team in practice I’ve never had that happen before, to be able to get that field atmosphere, see how things go around, fans come out and watch it’s all a great feeling.  I just try to embrace it and come here prepared to work.”

– Uchenna Nwosa

Although Saturday’s Exhibition game at StubHub between the two will be disparate, passions will be flying for prospective players having the chance to make it on the field vying to make an important impact on coaches to make the final 53-man roster. Normally teams that have scrimmages play starters minimally, but because it is week 3, Anthony Lynn stated his intentions were to play the number ones for 30 plays or a half as the starters won’t play that much the final preseason game in San Francisco next Thursday.

“We are still going to play our starters 30 plays,  a half, we are still going to do that, it just happens to be the third game.

Usually when you practice against a team you can pull them back a little bit, but we need to see those guys play a little bit, because they won’t play much the following week.”

-Anthony Lynn

The cut from 90 to 53 is coming soon, September 1st. This year marks the second year to have one cut vs. the older 2 cut scenario. As you all know there are many competitions going on to make an active roster, for the Chargers a few specific battles going on, the kicking game probably at 1, at number 2  the Backup QB, along with the RBs and who will fill the void without Antonio Gates or Hunter Henry?

I will assume if your reading this that your aware that the ‘easiest spot’ to get on an active roster is on Special Teams.

JJJonesAUtograph7067As visually seen last Saturday vs. the Seahawks J.J. Jones made an impact with his 72 yard punt return for 6, and a combined total of returns (kick and punt) of 114 yards, he also received quite a few fans at the scrimmage.

 

RB Rookie Detrez Newsome also making an impact last week with 19 carries for 78 yards.

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I asked Detrez what it was like walking out to play his first NFL game vs. Cardinals, he smiled

“I’m not gonna lie, I was nervous one, as all no way, but as soon as I got the first contact I was all good, that’s all I need was that first contact to get me in the zone.”

Super excited to be able to bring you weekly coverage on the Chargers both on and off the field, from x’s and o’s to giving back and everything in between!

Stay tuned for weekly coverage of the 2018 LA Chargers season, here on the blog also tune in to The Desiree SHOW on Dash Radio 4-5 PM PST on Wednesdays, and make sure to also subscribe to the Itunes where more interviews will also be and best follow Desiree Astorga and The Desiree Show on IG  so you don’t miss any of the stories, or upcoming guests or interviews and Twitter.

 

 

Football is BACK !!

 

 

Desiree

Dr Jen Welter back on The Desiree Show

Dr. Jen Welter joined me on The Desiree Show, a special treat to have this amazing dynamo on and this was the second time, the first in late November in studio with Byron Chamberlain.

Dr Je5911bc_8525e60f06f04c03ab61475741134d84~mv2_d_1688_2550_s_2n Welter has invaluable insight and experience as the first female RB, first female NFL Coach amongst a slew of other assets, such as on the advisory board for the Pro Football HOF, did I mention she also has a  book, Play Big. If you have the chance to meet this dynamo or see her speak I highly recommend it!

“She joined us for an internship for training camp I think 2015. Only became acquainted slightly both of our schedules were overwhelmingly busy that month. From what I noticed she fit right in, hard working and energetic.”
Andy Levy
Turf Manager /Specialist AZ Cardinals

She impacts everyone she comes in contact with, her main priority the best for the team, whom and whatever that is. This woman is constantly raising the level and of anyone on her path.

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“Jen Welter is a one of a kind person. She has continued the talk on equality and has proven to gotten the message heard around the world.”
Frostee Rutgers DE AZ Cardinals

On this most recent time, Jen was headed to AZ for her second Jen Welter’s Grrridiron Girls Flag Football to the city she received her first coaching position with.

This Sunday, April 8, 2018 she will be at El Segundo Athletic Fields 2201 E Mariposa Ave, El Segundo, California 90245 to bring her, yet another, first LA appearance of her camp, along side a posse of multi talented NFL vets including Byron Chamberlain ( whom I’m happy to say met in studio for The Desiree Show). They both had so many special long time close friends, was odd that they hadn’t met already.  If you missed it live both shows are also up on ITunes or Soundcloud.

Here’s the direct  link to register.

 

Jen’s open and non judging views from her heart also gave some insight to me on powder puff football, the positives that is and gave me a different perspective.

Warm thanks to this amazing human for her time and sharing her heart.  If you missed the show on Dash Radio here it is.

Also, if you missed Byron and Jen on the show, back in November here that is as well.

I hope to go on Sunday, if so I’ll have more images and words about the specialness.

The Desiree Show airs on Wednesdays 4-5 PM PST on Dash Radio, if you miss it, its loaded up on Soundcloud and ITunes.

Don’t miss a beat and follow The Desiree SHOW on IG and Twitter also her personal account @Desiree_Astorga on IG and twitter for more behind the scenes in stories along with upcoming guests.

Desiree

First Downs and Flip Tricks, The Desiree SHOW