Tag Archives: Chargers

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  Human interest or the common rooting for the perpetual underdog, is obsolete in this scenario, the Browns first win this season was the first in 635 days when they beat the Chargers on Christmas Eve 2016.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.

 

 

Advertisements

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

Rivers_Whisenhunt7371

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
chargers injury
Chargers Injury report
raidersinjury.jpg
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

Attachment-1(5).jpeg
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

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

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

Costa Mesa, CAMWilliamsHeld6921

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.

fansA6977

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.

IMG_6529

 

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.

Autographs_UkennaPlus7058

 

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.

RB38_A7074

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

Football is Family, Especially on this Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesdays is all over the NFL, players out in full force on their only days off, giving back to the community!

Last Tuesday my sister Dr. Patricia Riba and her clinic, Serving Kids Hope, the recipients of this special gift. As LA Chargers nose tackle and Bama 3 x BCS Champion Damion Square was at the Discovery Cube in Santa Ana helping to beat childhood obesity with healthy cooking options for game days and all the holidays.

This is always something that touches my heart, many or most of the amazing giving that goes on all over the league is done, and I must remind you, that this is the only day of the week the players get off and much giving under the radar.

4174LAC

Football is family and it was for me on Tuesday as well, Damion & Patricia share the same birthday, family love, community, college loyalty, cooking recipes, ideas and even a toast of healthy spicy tomato juice.  They both also share the desire and gift to give to the children.   Dr Patricia has been at the forefront of helping childhood obesity for close to 20 years.  4207LAC

Damion is also involved aiding with his Youth Fitness and Nutrition Clinic.

Much much respect to the Chargers.   Kimberly Layton, Chargers former Community Relations and currently VP of External Affairs responsible for heading all the community outreach and implementing many aspects throughout the area.  All her doings for the Chargers helped also pave the way throughout the NFL.  And Chase Hartman, Community Relations Manager along with John and Tim whom were also in attendance for the taping.

 

Was a true treat to meet this really special man, Damion Square even though he’s Roll Tide! He even stayed later to sign some helmets and jerseys for the staff.  I also look forward to having him on The Desiree SHOW.

4236

Stay tuned for all the amazing and fun healthy cooking options with Damion and Dr Riba which will drop on October 11, 2017. Following with other holiday options as each one approaches.

The LA Chargers have a vast area they are giving back to, keep your eyes open to see all the wonderfulness that your community is receiving.

When the SD Chargers were trying to stay in San Diego, this aspect specifically, not just loosing an NFL team but all the outside, off the field, community reach in the entire San Diego area.  These special gifts throughout the vicinity impacted so many lives, not just the obvious Turkey, Blood Drives, but each school, football programs, gyms, individuals in need the beautiful hand of the Chargers touched.    I am still saddened for the are with the loss which they may or may not of realized while voting.  But I am happy for the entire Los Angeles and Orange County communities to having these priceless gifts.   I know or assume that the LA Chargers Community Relations have their hands full helping such a huge area!

-Desiree Astorga

IG

http://www.desireeastorga.com

2016 NFL Preseason Schedule Announced

2016 PRESEASON WEEK-BY-WEEK SCHEDULE

allnfllogos

NFL/HALL OF FAME GAME – AUGUST 7
Green Bay vs. Indianapolis (ESPN, 8/7)

 

WEEK 1 – AUGUST 11-15
Dallas at Los Angeles (ESPN, 8/13)
Carolina at Baltimore
Cleveland at Green Bay
Denver at Chicago
Detroit at Pittsburgh
Houston at San Francisco
Indianapolis at Buffalo
Jacksonville at NY Jets
Miami at NY Giants
Minnesota at Cincinnati
New Orleans at New England
Oakland at Arizona
San Diego at Tennessee
Seattle at Kansas City
Tampa Bay at Philadelphia
Washington at Atlanta


WEEK 2 – AUGUST 18-22
Arizona at San Diego
Atlanta at Cleveland
Baltimore at Indianapolis
Carolina at Tennessee
Chicago at New England
Cincinnati at Detroit
Kansas City at Los Angeles
Miami at Dallas
Minnesota at Seattle
New Orleans at Houston
NY Giants at Buffalo
NY Jets at Washington
Oakland at Green Bay
Philadelphia at Pittsburgh
San Francisco at Denver
Tampa Bay at Jacksonville

WEEK 3 – AUGUST 25-28
Atlanta at Miami (NBC, 8/25)
Cleveland at Tampa Bay (CBS, 8/26)
Tennessee at Oakland (CBS, 8/27)
San Diego at Minnesota (FOX, 8/28)
Arizona at Houston (FOX, 8/28)
Cincinnati at Jacksonville (NBC, 8/28)
Buffalo at Washington
Dallas at Seattle
Detroit at Baltimore
Green Bay at San Francisco
Kansas City at Chicago
Los Angeles at Denver
New England at Carolina
NY Giants at NY Jets
Philadelphia at Indianapolis
Pittsburgh at New Orleans

WEEK 4 – SEPTEMBER 1-2
Baltimore at New Orleans
Buffalo at Detroit
Chicago at Cleveland
Denver at Arizona
Green Bay at Kansas City
Houston at Dallas
Indianapolis at Cincinnati
Jacksonville at Atlanta
Los Angeles at Minnesota
New England at NY Giants
NY Jets at Philadelphia
Pittsburgh at Carolina
San Francisco at San Diego
Seattle at Oakland
Tennessee at Miami
Washington at Tampa Bay

NFLlogos300x300

Lorenzo Neal on the Desiree Show

bannerWorddesshow1

I usually record my show live, however when I have a great friend, 4 x Pro Bowler and a man who has played in the NFL for a quarter of the teams, I have to take it.  Warm thanks to Lorenzo Neal for making the time for a few minutes on The Desiree SHOW, which will air tonight on the show.

LorenzoNealI2007des

We hit on Raiders week in San Diego, as the Chargers host the Raiders Sunday, Seattle Seahawks coming to San Francisco for Thursday Night Football and the role of the full back.

lodes4345

Also, tonight on The Desiree SHOW, Eric D. Williams, ESPN Chargers Reporter. Tune in Live on World Tuned Radio Wednesdays 5-6 PM PST.

Warm thanks again to amazing friend Lorenzo Neal for his time, you can follow him on Twitter or tune in every morning 5 days a week on Flight 957!

You can also follow me on instagram or twitter for The Desiree SHOW

or Desiree Astorga twitter/ instagram.

Hope you enjoy!

All Eyes on San Diego tonight for MNF!

EmptyQPregameBAnnerdes

The Chargers (2-2) host the Steelers (2-2) center stage on Monday Night Football.

This week it is welcome back Antonio Gates, congrats to Phillip Rivers, the AFC Offensive Player of the Week, Chargers locker room sound, inside the lions den, and what it means to play on Monday Night.

Rivers and the offense ©desireeastorga

Another heat wave is here as the Chargers host yet another hot game.  Vets will tell rookies it’s just a Sunday game on Monday, but the truth is every eye is on you.  A chance for family, friends and the nation to watch, essentially every football fan will be watching!  Prime time, the lights, national television along with the ESPN broadcast crew, Mike Tirico and John Gruden in the booth, hopefully John won’t be playing catch with fish, perhaps he ran into Barrack Obama on the golf course or enjoyed the beach where the temperatures have reached to the upward 90’s in the last few days.

Yes, Monday Night Football is big!

Tonight will mark the 29th time the Chargers and Steelers meet in the regular season spanning from 1971 and the third Monday Night Football game.   The last time these to met in the regular season San Diego took the W 34-24 at Heinz Field December 9, 2012.

Phillip Rivers to Antonio Gates, the next TD will be 100 for Antonio ©desireeastorga
Phillip Rivers to Antonio Gates, the next TD will be 100 for Antonio ©desireeastorga

After speaking with Antonio Gates I was heart warmed to hear his response to his first MNF, it wasn’t his first, but it was Phillip Rivers first, attesting to the closeness of this group.   Antonio’s next touchdown catch will be his 100 and possibly could come tonight on his first game back for the season.

Antonio Gates on his first MNF,

“I remember Phillip’s first one, I don’t remember my first one, I remember Phillips, when he first came, against the Oakland Raiders. He threw me a touchdown and we talk about this one, this is the one I remember and this is the one that sticks in my mind.  He threw me a touchdown and he was like, “one of many” and at the time it was like whatever, he hadn’t thrown me the ball the whole game.  Come to find out how many touchdowns later and I just remember him saying it to me and he was all excited.”

Random tidbits you may not know, Malcolm Floyd’s first MNF was almost 11 years ago to the day vs. the Pittsburg Steelers on October 10th at Qualcomm, where the Steelers edged over the Chargers 24-22.

gordon7058

Playing on Monday Night Football, whether it’s the first or most memorable, I spoke with Antonio Gates, Keenan Allen, Malcom Floyd, Cordarrow Law, Tyreek Burwell, Jimmie Wilson, Jason Verrett, Javonte Herndon and Michael Ola.   Ambient locker room emotion is present and even Joe Barksdale is captured chirping in.   Enjoy, it’s raw!

After leaving camp I had an even more in depth perspective of the closeness this group does have, the “Lions Den” where all the offensive linemen congregate demonstrated to me how these players have been able to fill in and protect their quarterback, through injuries and other sorts of adversity.  It was loud, teasing and passionate the perfect recipe for any group of successful linemen. This resonates as well throughout the locker room with each positions group and is quite visible even at first glances as you see them all grouped together talking and joking amongst themselves.

The Game

Gruden: Blitzing Philip Rivers is risky proposition for Steelers

Blitzing is a big part of the Steelers’ defensive makeup, but Chargers QB Philip Rivers’ quick release — and smarts — can make Pittsburgh pay – John Gruden.

The Leader, Phillip Rivers ©desireeastorga

Antonio Gates also creates a threat to Pittsburg, whether as a decoy or not, the Steelers defense struggles with tight ends. Chargers will have their handsful keeping the leader of this team Philip Rivers upright; pass protection and opening creases for Woodhead, Gordon and Oliver in the run.

Although Pittsburg has a 42-24 record on MNF, Steelers will be without Ben Rothlisberger for the second week and with thirty-five year old Michael Vick in, but don’t dismiss the fact that Todd Haley will have eleven days of prep and tweaking.

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Danny (Wonder) Woodhead, drills ©desireeastorga

The Chargers secondary will have some work this evening containing Antonio Brown and the line with halting Le’Veon Bell and D’Angelo Williams (I always think of “smash and dash”).

Both teams will duke it out to stay afloat in their respective divisions, should be a fantastic game, Chargers find a way to win in this unseasonably hot October in San Diego.

Injury Report

Chargers

Steelers 

Desiree Astorga

First Downs and Flip Tricks