Mike McCoy “We’re only as good as our weakest link” Manti Te’o on Confident Chargers D

The San Diego Chargers have until 1 PM Pacific time on Saturday to set their 53-man roster, a process head coach Mike McCoy said started soon after the first week of OTA’s.

McCoy addresed the media on Friday afternoon to discuss the difficult decisions ahead and why it’s unfair to put so much blame on the Chargers offensive line when it comes to a running game that’s yet to take off.

“It’s not just the offensive line,” said McCoy.” There’s 11 guys on the football field that have a job to do. There’s coaches that have jobs to do. We’re all in this together so every play, Philip Rivers can’t throw a touchdown pass to Malcom if the offensive line doesn’t block. Every play, there’s 11 guys that have to do their job. We’re only as good as our weakest links. When we talk the running game, let’s talk about all 11 guys doing their jobs, not just the front five. And that’s the backs included.”

McCoy  said there’s a good chance the Chargers could carry four running backs on their active roster, which likely spells Melvin Gordon, Danny Woodhead, Branden Oliver and Donald Brown. Believe it or not, last year’s first 53-man roster included five running backs, a position much like center, that saw constant change and injury throughout the season.

The Chargers had the 30th ranked rushing offense in the NFL last season, averaging a paltry 3.4 yards per carry and compiling only six rushing touchdowns. A far cry from the era of LaDainian Tomlinson and a good reason San Diego invested in Melvin Gordon with their first round pick. Gordon was limited to only two pre-season games, with the bulk of carries going to Branden Oliver and Donald Brown. It will be interesting to see how that investment pays off. Pre-season stats are pretty meaningless but the Chargers have yet to show improvement in that department, averaging only 3.1 yards per carry.

Quotable

“Hit and miss. And not consistent enough.”
Mike McCoy on the Chargers running game.

Manti Te'o by Marty Caswell
Manti Te’o by Marty Caswell

Early in training camp, Manti Te’o spoke of the moment in 2014 that he finally felt he truly belonged in the NFL. It was in week 13, when he intercepted a Tom Brady pass. A moment that didn’t translate to a Chargers win but boosted his confidence as a player.

Te’o, who is visibly more comfortable on and off the field, spoke of how the defense is feeding off of each other and how it’s translated into a more confident group.

“I think you can see it on the field. Everybody’s just flying around. Everybody doesn’t just have confidence in themselves but confidence in each other and I think that’s where we’re taking to another level,  with we have confidence in the guy next to us that they’re going to do their job and they have confidence in me that I’m going to do my job so when you have that dynamic, you have 11 players out there at the same time, good things usually happen.”

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