Slauson Sticks Up For The Run Game

Chargers Center Laments Missed Red Zone Opportunities

In a radio interview Monday morning on "the Dan Sileo Show" on the Mighty 1090, Chargers center Matt Slauson was pretty honest when asked about the rushing attack against Denver.

First, he complimented Melvin Gordon for becoming the first Denver opponent to rush for over 100 yards this season against the Broncos strong defense.

“I’m extremely proud of him,” said Slauson over the radio airwaves. “(Melvin) works his tail off. The kid cares. He cares so much and all week long, I was working with him specifically on a couple things with him and in that (Broncos) game, something clicked. I thought he played really good.”

“Our blocking game as a whole, I think our whole unit took a huge leap,” continued Slauson. “That was probably the best I’ve seen Melvin Gordon run – maybe ever.”

Chargers players, coaches and fans were understandably upset when San Diego’s offense stalled late in the fourth quarter on Denver’s 2-yard line.

Four straight incomplete pass attempts did not help the Bolts make up any ground when trailing by just eight points with less than three minutes to play.

So with that in mind, it was very surprising to see the Bolts not hand the ball off to Gordon at such a critical time and just two yards from paydirt.

Slauson alluded to that in the same radio interview with Sileo.

“Some of the issues yesterday was getting the calls in, in a timely manner,” explained Slauson. “But I could just feel it on every offensive lineman’s face. I could see it with every pass that was called was more and more frustration. Even on Philip’s face there was frustration.

We didn’t have time to really debate if we liked a call. Our job is to get the call and block the call so it isn’t our decision what to do there. I would have loved to say ‘No, we’re not doing that, do this’ but I don’t have the authority and we didn’t have the time for that.”

Part of the reason that Rivers’ throws were off the mark were that he did not have ample time to scan the defense and potentially audible at the line of scrimmage if he felt so inclined.

It appeared that the play calls were late coming into the huddle.

On both 2nd and goal and 3rd and goal, the Chargers did not get set right away and Slauson barely got the snap off on 4th down before the play clock expired.

Chargers coach Mike McCoy was rather tight-lipped on the play-calling during his regularly scheduled Monday press conference.

“I’m not going to speak for Matt,” articulated McCoy. “So you’ll have to talk to him about what he said.”

It sounds pretty clear that the Chargers should have run the ball at least once in that sequence. But of course it’s easier to say that now after Denver hung on for a 27-19 victory.

It will be interesting to see what happens the next time the Chargers get deep in the red zone when faced with a similar goal-line situation.

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