Thursday, October 2, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Chargers bolt into camp with high hopes

By
July 23, 2014 |

SAN DIEGO — Expectations are high again in San Diego, thanks to the Chargers’ return to the playoffs last season.

Led by a resurgent Philip Rivers and Ryan Mathews, the Chargers won their final four games under new coach Mike McCoy — and got some big help from slumping Miami and Baltimore — to end a three-season playoff drought.

They beat the Bengals on the road in the wild-card round before losing at Denver.

Ah, Denver. Even though the Chargers won at Denver in mid-December by disrupting Peyton Manning, they couldn’t win twice in the Mile High City. The last of many defensive breakdowns during the season was letting Manning complete a 20-yard pass to Julius Thomas on third-and-17 from the Broncos 20-yard line, the first of three third-down conversions on Denver’s final possession.

So it wasn’t a surprise the Chargers took defensive players with their first two draft picks, and three in their first four, trying to prop up one of the most porous pass defenses in the NFL.

Their top pick, Rodriguez High graduate Jason Verrett, isn’t expected to practice until August due to shoulder surgery. When he’s ready, he’ll have to show he can play in the NFL despite his size: 5-foot-10 and 189 pounds.

Here are some things to watch for as the Chargers open training camp:

DIVINE INTERVENTION: Rivers is a devout Catholic, so maybe he should send a thank-you card to the Vatican for the Chargers’ good fortunes in December. The Chargers needed a lot to go right, and it did, from winning their final four games to having Miami and Baltimore both lose their final two games.

The Chargers’ entry into the tournament wasn’t assured, however, until they turned aside Kansas City’s junior varsity in overtime on the final Sunday. Having already clinched a wild-card berth, the Chiefs rested 20 of 22 starters. It still wasn’t easy for the Bolts, who allowed 332 yards and watched Ryan Succop push a 41-yard field goal attempt wide right with 4 seconds left in regulation. The league later said the officials missed a penalty against San Diego that would have given Succop another shot from 5 yards closer.

CLUB MED?: McCoy raised some eyebrows when he canceled the team’s final practice of a mandatory three-day minicamp in mid-June. Teams have a limited number of practice days under the collective bargaining agreement.

McCoy said he wasn’t concerned.

“No. I thought about it and I think the way they practiced and worked from the very first day of the offseason program, and the last couple of days, I was happy where we are at right now,” he said.

Nine days earlier, McCoy aired out his team for several minutes after practice during organized team activities. At one point, he invoked the playoff loss at Denver.

Even if he’s going soft on the players, McCoy said during draft weekend that he and general manager Tom Telesco work 365 days a year to make the Chargers better.

RUN, RYAN, RUN: This could be a pivotal year for running back Mathews, who enters the final season of a five-year contract he signed after the Chargers drafted him in the first round to replace LaDainian Tomlinson.

Mathews made it through a full regular season for the first time. His strong December helped the Chargers reach the playoffs, and he gamely played on despite spraining an ankle against Oakland on Dec. 22. The injury finally forced him out of the playoff loss at Denver, illustrating the Chargers’ lack of a thumper to back him up.

He ran for a career-best 1,255 yards.

BLOOMING?: Brandon Flowers joins the Chargers after being released by the division rival Chiefs. He gradually lost playing time and his bloated contract made him a salary-cap casualty.

Flowers joins the mix at cornerback, where the Chargers also signed Brandon McGhee from the Bengals and took Verrett with their first-round draft pick.

DWIGHT FREENEY: Now 34 and entering his 13th NFL season, the outside linebacker is trying to bounce back from a quadriceps injury that sidelined him after just four games last season, his first in San Diego.

Freeney wants to prove “that I can still go out there and be very effective and still play with the top guys out there in the league. That’s just my mentality. Until someone proves otherwise, I’m going to believe that.”

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Head-on crash sends 2 to trauma centers

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
 
Vacaville man earns Carnegie heroism medal

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Mundy fifth-graders share their thoughts

By Mayrene Bates | From Page: A2

 
Veterans meet set in November

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Solano Tea Party Patriots meet next week

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Bevy of vintage warbirds expected at Nut Tree air show

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
 
Suisun City police log: Sept. 30, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Weather for Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B12

 
Fairfield police log: Sept. 30, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

.

US / World

FBI turns animal cruelty into top-tier felony

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

 
California Catholics challenge abortion order

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

San Francisco expands free public Wi-Fi access

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Judge: Stockton must treat pension like other debt

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Mexico’s probe of army slayings raises doubts

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
John Wayne’s heirs lose ‘Duke’ legal brawl

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Hong Kong protesters threaten to occupy buildings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Man convicted of murder in killing over loud music

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5, 1 Comment

3 Afghan soldiers who fled say they can’t go home

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Poll: Divided voters still focus on economy

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

Respiratory virus seen in 4 deaths; role unclear

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
920 California chickens killed with golf club

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Liberia short on ambulances for Ebola patients

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Wife of slain Los Angeles-area mayor released

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Ebola patient told hospital he was from Liberia

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Caltrans: Bay Bridge tower rods exposed to water

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Secret Service chief quits due to security lapses

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
2 children in Los Angeles County have enterovirus

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Palestinians: Israeli occupation must end in 2016

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Infant’s body found in California trash facility

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

App teaches kindergartners basic computer coding

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
2 white Ohio women sue over sperm from black donor

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

.

Opinion

 
Editorial Cartoon: Oct. 2, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

Crazy? Violent? Lose your guns

By Kelvin Wade | From Page: A11

 
It’s time to teach history

By Jay Ambrose | From Page: A11

Read this column ASAP or immediately

By Reg Henry | From Page: A11

 
Real reasons neighborhoods are in trouble

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11

.

Living

Today in History: Oct. 2, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Oct. 2, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Oct. 2, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

 
Our son’s suicide has made us feel like outcasts in our community

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Lena Dunham launches tour for book of adult essays

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

‘Interstellar’ to be released 2 days early on film

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Steinem: Domestic violence discussion a positive

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

‘Orange is the New Black’ author talks Season 3

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Joy Behar to debut a 1-woman show in New York

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Tony Bennett sets mark as oldest act with No. 1 LP

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
.

Sports

Bumgarner, Giants silence Pirates 8-0 to advance

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
A’s part ways a day after 12-inning loss to Royals

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

49ers prepare for familiar face in Chiefs Smith

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Raiders leave for bye after meeting with new coach

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

College notebook: Former Falcon Williams tearing it up as Torero

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Prep water polo: Rodriguez boys swim to 11-1 win over Armijo

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

Prep girls tennis: Stybnarova earns victory at No. 1 singles

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
 
Prep cross country: Armijo rolls to sweep at MEL center meet

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

Drivers fear next round of NASCAR’s Chase

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
JC volleyball: Solano wins twice in Falcons Classic

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

JC women’s soccer: Sjoberg nets 2 goals as Solano ties Chabot

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
Trout makes playoff debut when Angels host Royals

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Tigers hope starters can outdo Orioles bullpen

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Wambach, players file lawsuit over World Cup turf

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Oslo latest city to drop out of 2022 Olympic race

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Cardinals re-sign Fairfield High graduate Bishop

By Staff and wire reports | From Page: B3

 
LeBron warmly welcomed ‘home’ by Cleveland fans

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

This date in sports history for Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
.

Business

Stocks start October with a drop

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
GM looks to new vehicles, China to boost profit

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

5 reasons bonds may be less safe than you think

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Why the bond market is more fragile than you think

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

.

Obituaries

John ‘Bo’ M. Miller

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Laura M. Gerdes-Lemmons

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9