The San Diego Chargers look forward to next week's third preseason game against the 49ers: they'll see new Levi's Stadium and possibly discover if their defense is too big for its britches.
San Francisco is up next which means getting slugged in Seattle is behind the Chargers.
While it was just a preseason game, more than a few eyebrows were raised in the aftermath of Friday's 41-14 shellacking. In particular the defense got pushed around, which the team is hoping is more indicative of the powerful Seahawks attack rather than the Chargers' shortcomings.
When a team -- any team -- scores in five of its six first drives there's only one thing to think: thank goodness halftime arrived to stop their lone possession.
It's noted that outside linebacker Jarret Johnson and Dwight Freeney were idle instead of idling. And that the Chargers play in the Seattle in week two and maybe didn't want to tip their hand. In that case, well played, coach Mike McCoy in keeping your cards close to your vest.
"Overall not a very good performance by our entire football team," he said.
Was he just being coy? Or were the Chargers as wobbly as they looked?
Nope, McCoy said, they were wobbly.
"It starts with me as a head coach," he said. "We've got to do a better job of coaching and a better job of playing."
The Chargers don't practice until Monday, giving them a chase to absorb the licking and get busy trying to fix it. This same Seahawks is rolling into San Diego in Sept. 15.
"I'm not worried about when they come to our place," safety Eric Weddle said. "We got to worry about Arizona."
The Chargers open against the Cardinals on Sept. 8.
But rather than fretting the Cardinals, or the Seahawks, the attention turns inward as training camp ends.
Was it a camp that proved a revamped defense which derived much of general manager Tom Telesco's offseason, is any better than last year?
The Chargers hope so and the long to prove it Levi's Stadium.
Suddenly a meaningless preseason game can't come soon enough.
Especially for a defense with busted coverages, bad angles and missed tackles. When Seattle was on offense, it really did seem like it had a 12th man.
--The Chargers head north to play the 49ers on Sunday, hoping the playing surface is up to par. San Francisco's new stadium in Santa Clara has had issues with its turf. The 49ers cut short their Wednesday practice with chunks of turf coming up during the workout.
"They assured us the field will be fine and ready to go at the scheduled time," Chargers coach Mike McCoy said.
The Chargers will examine the turf closely when getting to Levi's Stadium on Sunday afternoon for that night's game.
"We take a look at every field when we go on the road," McCoy said. "The players bring a number of pairs of shoes every time we go on the road. So we are going to have our normal pre-game routine, have everybody walking through the field to make sure they have their right cleats on and it's not different than any other game we are playing."
--With it being the third preseason game, the Chargers are likely to play their starters into the second half. McCoy, though, never reveals how long his starters will go and this week is no different.
--For the first time this preseason, free-agent acquisition Brandon Flowers and first-round pick Jason Verrett should be on the field at cornerback at the same time.
--Goals for the third preseason game? "Improve from last week," McCoy said, and that shouldn't be too hard after being embarrassed by the Seahawks. "That is what we have talked about since the first preseason game. Just continue to get better every week and clean up all the things you want to clean up."
--The Seahawks never punted in their win over the Chargers.
--Safety Eric Weddle didn't sugarcoat the Chargers getting waxed by the Seahawks. "Even though it's preseason and it doesn't matter, it matters in our eyes," Weddle said. "We shouldn't be happy about the performance that we put out there. It opened up your eyes to the deficiencies that we have and we need to get them fixed."
--Quarterback Kellen Clemens was among the highlights of the Chargers-Seahawks game. Clemens was 14 of 21 for 149 yards and two touchdowns. "He ran the team the way it should be run," coach Mike McCoy said.
--Defensive end Corey Liuget has fought a foot problem this camp, but he's back practicing and playing. "I have a little bit of a chip on my shoulder and a swagger, too," Liuget said. "It's from getting to the playoffs and getting knocked out. I'm looking forward to making a pretty good run at it this year."
--Sean Lissemore heading for the bus after the Seattle game in a walking boot isn't a good sign. Lissemore hurt his foot during the contest. He's not only a starter but has the most position flexibility of any defensive lineman for the Chargers. When Corey Liuget was injured earlier this camp, Lissemore would slide outside and be replaced at tackle by Kwame Geathers.
Lissemore's status will be updated during the week. But it's worth watching considering the availability of defensive ends Lawrence Guy and Damik Scafe. McCoy said Lissemore is out this week.
BATTLE OF THE WEEK: Running back. When a team has three viable options in Ryan Mathews, Danny Woodhead and Donald Brown, it's not a surprise a battle would land here. But actually those three are coexisting just fine. The real competition is between Branden Oliver and Marion Grice. Oliver has been good in practice and good in the opener -- then came Friday night. Oliver, an undrafted rookie, had 14 yards on nine carries. Where he might have an edge over Grice, is returning kicks. But he struggled there with 26 yards on two returns, which included a muff. Grice, a sixth-round pick from Arizona State, had three carries for 17 yards. It appears Oliver still has the edge, but he missed a chance to put more distance between himself and Grice. Both of their chances should dwindle in the next game with the starters expected to play longer. This is a big week of practices for both players.
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
--DE Lawrence Guy (shoulder) didn't practice all week and won't play on Sunday.
--ILB Manti Te'o (foot) won't play; he hasn't practiced this week.
--SS Jahleel Addae (ankle) isn't practicing and won't play.
--WR Vincent Brown (calf) remains out.
--RB Branden Oliver needs another strong showing to increase his long-shot bid of making the team.
--RB Ryan Mathews is expected to play against the 49ers after being a healthy scratch versus the Seahawks.
--RG Johnnie Troutman should start on Sunday as he continues to hold off rookie Chris Watt for the starting spot.
--WR Dontrelle Inman has to have a good game to keep his roster hopes alive.
--CB Jason Verrett, the team's top pick, is expected to play in his first preseason game on Sunday. He had been slowed by a mending shoulder.
--DL Sean Lissemore (ankle) is unlikely to play on Sunday.
--CB Marcus Cromartie (leg) isn't practicing and won't play on Sunday.
--CB Steve Williams suffered an undisclosed leg injury during Friday's practice, which leaves his status for Sunday in doubt.
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