Total Titans questions about the Chargers

I’ve asked Rich Campbell, who writes for MVN’s Chargers Confidential, four questions about the Chargers regarding Tennessee’s game at San Diego this Sunday. The questions and Rich’s answers follow.
Total Titans: How have the Chargers changed since the Titans played them four weeks ago?
Chargers Confidential: The biggest change in the Chargers actually dates to the Titan game. That game seemed to wake up our defense, especially in the second half. For the majority of the year, I have had concerns about the defensive intensity, especially the pass rush. In the last few games, the aggressiveness has returned. They are rushing five or more men much more often. Also, the return of Luis Castillo has freed up more aggressive substitution schemes on the defensive line. This has been crucial because so many of those players are banged up.
TT: What matchups do you see that you’d like the Chargers to take advantage of?
CC: Shawne Merriman and Shaun Phillips vs. Vince Young. Young is dangerous for what was once termed “escapability”. The Chargers quick linebackers and a seasons worth of wear and tear on Young limited this in the first matchup. If the Chargers can contain Young and keep him in the pocket, the Bolt interior linemen can make another long day for Young.
Less about the Titans, and more about the Chargers is that Philip Rivers and Chris Chambers are beginning to get a feel for each other. If the Chargers can hit a deep ball or two and force the Titans to respect the pass, L.T. will have room to run. That is a nightmare for any defensive coordinator.
TT: What concerns you most about the Titans?
CC: The Chargers have a lot of injuries that they are playing through. This is true of most teams this time of year. But the first game with the Titans was extremely physical. I expect this game to be very similar. The Titans have not gotten over the sting of the improbable comeback. They will attack hard, early and often. If Phillip Rivers or Jamal Williams are forced from the game, it means trouble for the Chargers. This game could easily be a war of attrition, and either team could find they survive this game only to be in injury trouble against the Colts the next week.
TT: What do you think the Chargers’ gameplan will be? If you were coach Norv Turner, what would your gameplan be?
CC: Norv will stick with the run, and throw the ball enough to try and keep the Titans from stacking the box. It won’t stop the Titans from doing exactly that. They will make Rivers beat them. If I were Norv, I’d say you can never go wrong giving the ball to a back who very well may end up as the best ever. L.T. is the kind of player that will get 10 runs of 2 or 3 yards and then suddenly reel off back to back 30 yarders after the defense gets tired of grabbing at him.
But Antonio Gates has been underused recently, and the Chargers have Chambers speed and the height of 6’5″ Vincent Jackson. Establish Gates. He can’t be covered continually. If Gates has five or more touches in the first half and the wideouts have a catch apiece for 20 yards or more, L.T. will run wild in the second half.
Thanks to Rich for doing this. Rich will be sending me four questions about the Titans and I’ll post those, along with my answers, here on Total Titans. Titans fans, for more information and opinion from the other side’s point of view, check out what Rich has to say on MVN’s Chargers Confidential.

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