Tag Archives: Los Angeles Chargers

ITL: Wildcard Sunday Chargers head to Ravens

ICYMI January 3, 2019 episode ( LAC vs BAL week)

Inside The Locker Room with Desiree always raw and unedited with ambient noise.

Wildcard week, Chargers head to Baltimore to face the Ravens for the second time in 3 weeks. I spoke with Mike Williams and Russell Okung on the match up, the advantages and the similarities with other championship teams these two have been apart of.

After Eric D Williams, ESPN beat writer for the Chargers and I spoke on the match up, again more advantages vs a team twice especially on a quick turn around and Eric even tossed in his predictions.

Up now on Itunes and Soundcloud.

Enjoy Wildcard Weekend!

And as always thank you to the Chargers PR for the opportunity and to you all for your support.

The Desiree SHOW airs on Wednedsay’s 4-5 PM PST on Dash Radio, this is a special episode during the Playoffs.

Make Sure to follow both @desiree_Astorga @TheDesireeSHOW on IG for upcoming guest along with not missing the BTS IG stories at the Chargers.

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Chargers loss a case of one less vs Broncos, But the sky is not falling

Chargers loss a case of one less vs. Broncos
but the sky is not falling.

One less mistake, one less penalty and one made PAT or special teams play and they would have won.  This was  their first game back at home since October 7th, that is in 5 weeks, but came up short  by one  23-22 Broncos.

Won the coin toss once again, Joey Bosa’s first game of the year, but the 6 game winning streak was haulted.

14 penalties for 140 yards, one negating an INT, another successful fake punt for their opponent, and a failed conversion gave the Chargers their first loss since September 23rd vs. the LA Rams.

But the sky isn’t falling the Chargers still find themselves only 2 games back from the Chiefs and tied with the Patriots & Texans with the second best record in the AFC and in the number one spot in the wildcard (yet we aren’t even in December).

Penalties, special teams errs and .
Had Philip Rivers taken a sack, the Chargers run on 3rd and 7 and we would be taking about another gritty win. All the variables one brings up after a loss, the what if game.

But despite the loss … the good point (no one will agree) one got a loss out of the way, they had an off day, but more directly so,  a big slap to tighten up before they fly to Heinz Field ( 12/2) and Arrowhead (12/13) in the coming few weeks to face The Steelers and The Chiefs.

Third most penalized team in the NFL.

the hype or anticipation of Joey Bosa has been documented he made an impact, but wasn’t the messiah ( which is ridiculous to put on anyone) . This defense has been stellar without him, but need him now and he did show the brilliant impact the number 1 draft Ohio state player can add to this roster.

Anthony Lynn on Bosa: “I thought he looked good from the sideline. On a couple snaps I saw him edge rush, but I’ll know more when I watch the tape”.

Another loss on the day, Corey Luiget, however the next man up mentality is prevalent and productive with this stellar adaptable defense and Darius Philon will step up once again.

Chargers rack up more miles to Seahawks

Chargers rack up more miles in the air, but this game will be on the ground.

A somewhat delusional month or 2 week bye feeling for Chargers.  Not only on the road non-stop from Cleveland to London with a game commencing at 6:30AM PST followed by a bye week.   It has felt almost like a 2 week bye add Halloween follow with another business trip to Seattle and the Bolts have played on the road the entire second quarter.

 

The road trip winning Chargers have been flying under the radar a little, which suits this team as they sit at 5-2.  Let me remind you their only 2 losses were to the 7-1 Chiefs and the 8-0 Rams.  Bolts find themselves with the 3rd best record in all the AFC behind the Chiefs (7-1) and the Patriots (6-1). In all the NFL they are tied with two other teams with the fourth overall record at (5-2) Panthers and Redskins.
I hate to use a comparison from another team but Todd Gurley going down before a gimme TD illustrated  complete unselfishness and true team move, that’s what I see in this Chargers team!  I can’t, but we can mentality, a true team.

Milestone for Philip Rivers on Sunday, toughness personified as this one is really special.  Philip will have his 200th consecutive start!  Beyond awing, and will join a very short list of QBs; Brett Farve, Peyton and Eli  Manning.

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The Leader, Phillip Rivers ©desireeastorga

The last time Rivers played in Seattle (2010), he threw for 455 yards which is the second most passing yards of his career. But almost more importantly his respect from his teammates.  I’ve spoke on his demeanor shift or this more calm or less worrisome face,  his love for football and this team somehow appears even stronger this season.  There is a playfulness in him, in his body language,  it has even been illustrated and captured in celebration photos, another thing I’ve not seen, not this way at least.

Melvin Gordon on Philip Rivers: “He’s out there playing chess. And when you’re a master at chess, and you know what moves are made before they’re made, it’s kind of hard for people to beat you.”

At Seattle

At CenturyLink yes, home field advantage always an asset for Hawks and the 12s are LOUD!  Both share in a few similarities the first a sad one, loss of their owners’ Alex Spanos and Paul Allen this last month and both wear decals on their helmets.  Secondly they see themselves in the two best divisions, trailing the NFL’s top two teams and both seem to have to prove themselves despite their records and streaks. Add the loss to the Rams and lastly have shared DC Gus Bradley, which in my mind nullifies any advantage.

Defensive minded Hc Pete Carroll vs Offensive minded HC Anthony Lynn.

Seattle struggled early in this season, but have looked to find their stride with a 2-win streak, 4 out of 5 wins, including a 2-pt loss to division rival Rams and a big win at Ford Stadium vs. the Lions last week.
Chargers come in to continue their 4-win streak and come with a restful bye week. Fourteen days since they have played along with racking up flight miles and add to their month long of road trips with a total of 11,229 miles, Cleveland to London and back to Orange County adding a mere 978 miles to Seattle to total 12,207 for the quarter and that includes a bye week!  Headed to the northeast a quick flight comparatively to their flying month.

Pressure, pressure, and more pressure on QB Russell Wilson, I’m sure Gus Bradley has it all set in stone (and don’t forget he also was at Seattle with Pete as DC, knowing how he thinks) however you have to believe the same true for Pete Carroll knowing how Gus thinks).

Brandon Mebane also a connection , this however I believe more vital as the vet will lead the defense  with vengeance. There is a bit of revenge there.   No Bosa, but Bolts are fairing well without him, just think how his contribution will impact  when he returns however.

This should be a close game, the spread indicating Seattle (-2).

Chargers can handle noise and a hostile environment, they come with rest, a prolific offense, a bonus love from London fans along with time with their families, as well as a special cohesiveness and comradery with the team.

Look for Ekeler to have a prolific game, more so with catch and runs, and Gordon, (although listed as questionable that is usually a yes) with a productive day on the ground.  Both Williams and Keenan Allen impacting with a big game, as well.  Seahawks will most likely be attentive to all the threats that the Chargers have, but there are just too many weapons to cover. But this game most likely will be on the ground as rain and a wet field will be prevalent.  Along with a physical disruptive defense and a special teams whom have found consistency.

Weather at CenturyLink Field for kick off rain and a wet field forcasted! Chargers have cohesiveness but on the flip side Seahawks have seemed to gel, as well and have their Legion of Boom.

Both teams find themselves in the 2 toughest divisions trailing the NFL’s top 2 teams and both looking to continue and add to their W columns.
Injury reports (as of Friday)

Chargers

OUT:  Joey Bosa, Christopher Landrum, Kyzir White.

Questionable: Melvin Gordon

Seahawks

Doubtful:  Jordan Simmons & Neiko Thorpe

Questionable:  Chris Carson, Bradley McDougald, K.J. Wright

 

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
Photo credit unknown

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.

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.

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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