I sat down to talk with NBC 7 Sports Director and former Chargers linebacker Jim Laslavic to discuss some of the pressing issues the Chargers are facing this week.
The Bolts get the week off as they try to forget an ugly 37-0 loss to the Miami Dolphins while looking forward to playing the winless Oakland Raiders next Sunday.
As always, he gave some great insight from both a player and reporter perspective. Here is Four Quarters with Laz.
1. What positives can you take out of Sunday’s game?
There are very few positives, if any, after a 37-0 loss. Among the positives, there were no serious injuries. That’s big for a team that’s had a ton of them.
More than anything else, the Chargers need to get healthy on defense. Sure, getting running back Ryan Mathews back will help the offense. But he’s not going to find much more running room than the rest of the backs who have taken his place.
Which brings me to the offensive line. They need to set the tone for the rest of the offense. Right now they’re getting pushed around. Hey Chargers fans, bet you never thought you would miss Jeromey Clary (Chargers guard who had hip surgery right before the season) this much. Told you so!
2. If you’re coaching this team, what do you tell players to motivate them?
There appears to be a good rapport between the players and coaches. That’s what makes the team’s dismal performance in Miami so surprising. Most of these players were around last year. They know how their hard work paid off with a playoff spot.
Winning seasons are precious. This team has good leadership. Solid veteran players with character and high football IQ’s.
Forget all that talk about taking a good hard look in the mirror. Go out and play like you want it.
3. How important is the bye week? How much do you wish they had bye weeks when you were playing?
The bye week will help everyone get rested and might give the injured guys a chance to get healthy.
I never went through a bye week. Heck, my first two seasons we only played 14 games.
4. Finally, is this a playoff team?
Ask me in two weeks.
The defense has to get healthy. Both the offense and defense need to control the line of scrimmage. And they need to get a few breaks as they did last season.
The key is to beat the Raiders and Rams to get in position for a late-season charge.