Chargers CB Sammy Davis gets an INT
The preseason begins with Mike Scifres kicking off into the end about 4 yards deep and LeMarcus McDonald making the tackle on Maurice Morris. Unfortunately, the San Diego Chargers were penalized early on that very first play, an offsides call against the Bolts. The second kick landed at the 20 before bouncing past Morris to the 10 as McDonald again made the tackle this time at the 20.
One penalty that cost the Chargers only 10 yards deflated the team for the opening drive.
The first pass from Matt Hasselbeck was caught in front of Jerry Wilson, who was a good five yards off Darrel Jackson. Koren Robinson then missed a catch wide open in front of Tay Cody. It would be the only miss of the drive for the Seattle Seahawks.
Zeke Moreno tackled Shaun Alexander after 4 yards with late help from Kwamie Lassiter. Swing to Alexander, no one took him as Edwards was 10 yards off him. Jammer made the tackle.
A false start on the offense puts the ‘Hawks at first and fifteen. A dump off to Jeramy Stevens follows and Ryan McNeil tackles him after a gain of 9. Good pressure by the Chargers defense as Ray Johnson missed a swipe on Hasselbeck who tucked it and ran for a nice gain.
Zeke Moreno and Ben Leber meet Alexander after a gain of one. Dumpoff to Mack Strong in front of Moreno for a small gain. Robinson then makes a catch in front of Moreno and Lassiter for a first down inside the red zone.
A quick toss to Strong who runs outside the tackle before Moreno gets the tackle after a gain of 6. Screen to Alexander and gain of nine to the goal line as Lassiter brings him down. Alexander with an easy touchdown run from the one as the Chargers do not close the gap. Seahawks get the early lead, 7-0.
Chargers first possession is minus five yards due to an offsides penalty on the extra point. Florence fields the ball five yards deep and takes it out to the 23 where the Chargers will begin their attack on offense.
A screen to Jesse Chatman opens the game for the Bolts. Chatman makes some nice moves bouncing around to gain 7.
No huddle for the Bolts as Drew Brees organizes his team together at the line.
Another swing to Chatman and he gets nothing after a nice tackle by Tim Terry. A quick slant to Caldwell gets the first down. Three straight passes from Brees to start off the 2003 season.
Muffed snap as flags fly on the first down play. The play is called a false start on Kelvin Garmon, stopping the play. Quick pass outside to Terry Charles on first and 15 for a gain of 5. The first running play of the day for the Chargers sees Chatman go straight up the gut and a gain of 3. A quick out to Charles who is blanketed by Marcus Trufant and Charles on his knees fights for the extra yards to get a first.
Play action pass to Joey Goodspeed in the flat and a gain of a few as Goodspeed stumbles. Good pressure and Brees dumps off to Goodspeed for a gain of one. Josh Norman drops an easy catch, his usual performance at the start of every game. Bennett punts while Brees ends his first series 6-7 with the drop by Norman ending the drive prematurely.
And that is the first possessions for each team.
Robinson goes right after Sammy Davis on his first ever play in the game. Play goes incomplete as Robinson could not secure it. Davis was slightly ahead of Robinson to slow his route down. The Chargers defense has already had major trouble stopping the team on third down. Florence has a nice open field tackle on a quick screen to cut down the receiver.
Stephen Cooper used as a blitzing end runs Hasselbeck out of the pocket. Showing a blitz at the line causes the Seattle offense to go offsides as Chris Terry moves before the snap.
The first nice play on defense goes to Jerry Wilson who closes quickly on Jackson to knock the ball away. The play marks the first stop of the day by the Chargers on third down.
Brian Sump back deep and breaks through the first tackler before getting taken down after a gain of about five.
Brees gets a second series and his first play is a handoff to Nick Maddox who gets a few inside with Andrew Pinnock the lead blocker on the play. Brees throws a ball to Charles again and Trufant jumps the play, almost picking up the interception. A quick slant to Caldwell produces no dividends as he cannot corral the pas from Brees.
Bennett second punt and McDonald gets his third special teams tackle of the day.
Otis Leverette gets the distinction for losing his helmet during a play. Omari Hand makes a nice play off the end to get Morris in the backfield. Leverette goes offsides on the next play. Hand makes the tackle on a dumpoff pass coming across the field to make the play. Waddy with a nice wrap-up on a TE screen. Cody flies up to tackle a running back before he is able to get a first down.
Sump tries to snag a ball on the ensuing punt return and takes his eyes off the ball before securing it. The result is a fumble and the Seahawks recover the ball at the 25 yard line, putting the Bolts in a precarious position.
Morris takes the ball to the outside on the next play and comes about as close as you can to scoring as he tiptoed the sideline but was marked out of bounds by a heel. It doesn’t matter as Morris gets in running over the right side of the line on the next play to put the ‘Hawks up 14-0, Matt Wilhelm gets pounded on the play by 252-pound Heath Evans, effectively ending any chance he had at the ball carrier and providing the gap for Morris to squeeze through.
Florence fumbles the ball on the kickoff after Chris Davis gives Florence a good shot. The ball squirts forward to Hanik Milligan who picks it up and advances it a few yards. Lucky for Florence, Milligan had his head up on the play and responded with the recovery of the fumble. Right after the play Florence got up and nailed a Seahawk. Although the play went un-penalized, it is something to watch in the future. Florence was said to have some issues coming out of college and the Bolts do not want to see him getting into any unnecessary roughness situations in the future.
Doug Flutie in with about 9:30 to go in the half passes to Caldwell for a first down. His second pass is slightly too far for Charles as Charles gets his heels clipped and goes down. Nice cutback by Maddox to get some good yards on a screen but the play is called back after Jason Ball gets an illegal block in the back call. Flutie then throws a pass to no one as he badly misses Tim Baker and Ken Hamlin cannot come up with the interception he should have had. Dumpoff to Maddox who gets hauled down after a few. Fourth down and Bennett getting his work in. Milligan and David Binn make the special teams tackle downfield.
Morris hit after a gain of three by run stuffing Vernon Fox. Polk comes in on a blitz with Cooper blitzing on the same side. Polk gets through as Cooper is taken out.
Davis with good coverage on a quick slant as Bannister comes through with the catch, but fourth down. Davis was all over his back, making the tackle just as the ball arrived and even trying to get a hand in on the ball.
Sump stays in to catch the next punt after his miss on the last try. He makes the catch and is hit quickly by Hamlin after a short gain. A holding call on Chargers safety Milligan will pin the Chargers deep.
Orlando Huff hurt on the play as his own teammate hit him hard. Huff shakes off a trainer to walk off the field alone. Looks like a knee injury.
On the Chargers injury front, Johnson was seen with ice on his knee along the sidelines.
Maddox cannot make it around the corner and gets hit by Hamlin after a gain of one. Flutie throws behind Charles as the ball falls incomplete. Flutie dumps off to Maddox and gets tackled quickly.
Scifres is in on the tackle on his punt that Morris takes up the middle for a big gain. Milligan made the initial contact after a gain of a lot.
The Seahawks went for the end zone on the first play sporting good field position and a killer instinct. Sammy Davis stayed with his man, Alex Bannister, the whole way. In a battle for the ball in the end zone Davis comes down with the interception. Jerry Wilson was there to help out.
Flutie sees Maddox again, this time over the middle, for a gain of 5. Maddox has shown nice hands. Two false start penalties, one by Justin Peelle and one by Bob Hallen pin the Chargers back. Maddox then takes the corner on second and 14 to get a first down, 16 total yards on the run.
Two minute warning on the Chargers 33:
Pass to Baker who catches the ball and realizes he was not tackled and gains a few extra yards. Nice heads up play. After a short run by Maddox, the Bolts take a timeout.
A Flutie pass is deflected at the line and Andrew Pinnock, about three yards away watches the ball fall incomplete. Could be he didn’t see it, although ti looks like he watched it fall.
Flutie to the outside for Charles. Charles slips and the ball is thrown way downfield for an incompletion.
Scifres in to punt for the second time, kicks a high one that is caught for a fair catch at the 20.
Hand with another nice play to come off his block and grab the ball carrier Morris who carries Hand a few yards before being taken down. Cooper gets Morris the next time, wrapping him up quickly at the line. The next play ends the half.
Seahawks up 14-0.
Florence gets up to the 31. Cleo Lemon in. Lemon passes high to Andrew Pinnock on first down. Lemon with a slow developing handoff to Nick Maddox who cannot gain much on the play. Lemon seemed to stutter a little on the play. Maddox gets the next play, a pass from Lemon but he cannot come up with his fourth reception of the day.
Scifres induces another fair catch. After one first down by the Seahawks, the Chargers stop Seneca Wallace on third down as Leverette and Polk collapse on him.
Sump wisely calls for a fair catch and moves away from the ball as it goes into the end zone for a touchback.
Lemon hits Baker on a quick hit at the line of scrimmage. Baker takes it upfield for 5. Lemon goes back to Baker into tight coverage and the ball goes incomplete as the defender gets a hand in. Lemon, with all the time in the world as the offensive line gives him a good ten seconds, throws the ball away, intended for Grant Mattos.
Scifres kicks the ball 56 yards and a good block on Fox springs James Williams for a 36 yard return. Goodspeed made a saving tackle on the play.
Waddy makes a nice tackle behind the line on Davis. Waddy comes back the very next play to get Wallace as he tries to scramble, gaining only one.
Sump makes a fair catch on the punt at the Chargers 12 yard line.
Maddox hit hard by Luis Almanzar at the line. Phil Bogle, Courtney VanBuren and Michael Keathley all allow their man to beat them as Lemon goes down at the 3. Maddox takes the next play and follows a Pinnock block, bounces outside and gains 38 yards.
Lemon to Sump and the ball is slightly high, off the hands of Sump to fall incomplete. Maddox runs for a few up the gut. Lemon tucks it and runs falling one yard short of a first. They will go at the 50. Hand off to what the Chargers will be a short yardage specialist in Andrew Pinnock. Bob Hallen opens up a hole and Pinnock gets the yard they need.
Lemon lofts a pass to Sump that takes five seconds too long to land as the defense bats it down before Sump can make a play on it. Maddox with a nice juke on a screen, breaks a tackle and gets a first down.
Lemon throws a high pass on the outside to Baker, but Baker cannot come down in bounds. Andrew Pinnock with a nice blitz pickup on the play. Maddox takes a draw up the gut. Lemon zooms a bullet where only his man can catch it. His man, Mattos, comes down with the ball at the 5. Hand off to Dahrran Diedrick up the gut for two. Lemon tries to zip on into Sump, but Willy Williams, in perfect position and a slight grab of the jersey to keep Sump close, gets a hand on the ball.
Third down and goal at the three:
Flag down on the play. Keathley called for an offsides. Third down and goal at the eight:
Lemon tries to thread a ball in to Baker, in tight coverage on a slant, but the ball tips off Baker’s hands and into the hands of Terreal Bierria for an interception ending the drive and taking away a certain three points by the Chargers. The ‘Hawks remain up 14-0.
Seattle takes to the ground game with a few solid runs in a row, getting a first down. Omari Hand wraps up Kerry Carter quickly at the line, but not before a first down. McDonald breaks underneath the receiver to make a play on a quick out, but cannot come down with the INT.
Wallace a deep pass to Taco Wallace and Tony Okanlawon cannot get a hand on it. Milligan got over there late to help out. A gain of 41 yards. The defense then held them to three as Josh Brown kicked a 29 yard field goal to put the ‘Hawks up 17-0.
Florence takes the ball through a hole up the middle and gets tackled by the kicker. DeQuincy Scott was slow to the block on the kicker and allowed that to happen. Florence gained 25 yards on the play and the ball is spotted at the 35.
Seth Burford in with just over 9 minutes to go. His first ball is almost intercepted but the defensive back lands out of bounds. DeMarco McCleskey gets his first carries and pounds it inside for a seven. Burford pulls the ball down and runs with it. As he goes down the ball is stripped by Marcus Bell and recovered by the Seahawks at midfield.
Scott Pospisil carrying over his play from mini camp where he got into a fight with Van Buren gets called for a roughing the passer call. Doug Sims gets the first sack of the day for the Chargers. Sims overpowered third year man Kaulana Noa.
Josh Brown then makes it 20-0 when he hits a 47 yard field goal off the right upright and through.
Florence again takes the ball and he does not follow a block from Fox, instead taking it outside the block and gets tackled at the 26.
Burford throws high over a wide open Jeremy McDaniel. McDaniel, after the terrible throw, shakes his head slowly. A screen to Diedrick is sniffed out quickly and the Bolts lose one on the play. Holding on Van Buren didn’t even help the play. The penalty was declined. Burford again tucks the ball and gets five, but not enough for a first down.
Scifres will punt again. The punt, almost blocked, hits off Jerheme Urban’s hands and David Binn hustling downfield makes the recovery of the fumble. Pinnock let his man get by which almost resulted in the blocked kick.
A botched handoff as Burford bumps into Diedrick turns out well as Diedrick takes it outside and gets a first down. Burford collects his first completion when he hits Brian Sump. Sump and Burford, however, will not get credit as Van Buren gets called for illegal hands to the face.
Burford comes back with a completion to McCleskey over the middle. Burford then hits Diedrick who makes some nice moves on Rashad Moore to gain an extra 6 yards taking the ball inside the red zone down at the 13.
Burford made a nice fake to his running back in the flat which halted the defenders in the end zone and Mattos got behind them. Burford quickly got the ball to Mattos for a touchdown and the first points of the preseason for the Chargers. Mackenzie Hoambrecker added the extra point to make it 20-7.
Onside kick: Hoambrecker gets under the ball a little and it lands right in Wallace’s hands as the kicking unit had no chance to get to the ball.
The Hawks ran the ball a few times to end the game as they wasted the clock away.
Kris Dielman left the game with an ankle sprain.
Sammy Davis is out with a right heel injury.
More thoughts to come on the intricacies of the Chargers first preseason game....
Did you know?
Jude Waddy is working on a new mouthpiece patent for contact sports.
Denis Savage can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org