A note to Shawne Merriman,
Dude, either get thicker skin or start playing better. Fast. And while you’re at it, get the rest of the San Diego Chargers’ defense to play better too.
Merriman voiced his displeasure Wednesday afternoon, after Chargers general manager A.J. Smith said the team’s play has been “soft and bewildered” at times this season.
After the Chargers 2-2 start and an embarrassing first three quarters against the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday night, Smith obviously has had enough. He told The San Diego Union-Tribune, “Everything is wrong with it right now. I’m not the least bit happy in a lot of areas. I’ve seen us be tough and physical to soft and bewildered.”
Merriman, reacted poorly to Smith’s comments. At first he declined comment, before answering.
“I don’t know too much of that. That’s an opinion of a person, and it’s not needed. We know that we have to play better. We met for an extra hour and a half as a defense as a whole to discuss what we need to do and things we need to do to get better. And we’re going to make adjustments in this locker room as far as players and our attitudes and getting after people a littler more. But all that extra (stuff) is not needed at all.”
Merriman added, “The only opinions that matter to me are the ones in this locker room. Anything else, it doesn’t matter.”
My opinion? Smith was being far too kind. The Chargers have flat out sucked to start the season. They can’t run the ball and they can’t stop the run. Only the brilliant play of Philip Rivers, Vincent Jackson and Antonio Gates has kept them looking somewhat respectable.
At the same time, Smith should expect the team to be soft and uninspired, they’re coached by Norv Turner. Have you ever seen one of his press conferences? There’s more breathable air on the Moon. The guy sucks the life out of every room he walks into. Can you imagine what his pre and post game speeches are like?
If the Chargers are anything less than excellent the rest of the season, Turner needs to be fired. No question.
Then Smith needs to go out and make a home run hire, because he’ll be fighting for his own job next season. Smith has a great relationship with Bill Cowher, who could be a perfect fit for a Chargers roster looking for some sort of identity.
For Merriman, he needs to learn to take this type of criticism. When your defense plays horribly – they gave up 497 yards to the Steelers – you’ve got to expect some sort of reaction from the guy who signed you. Smith is trying to motivate the players by his words. They’re playing far below their potential and he has a right to be pissed.
Until San Diego’s defense steps up, Smith has a right to pop off as much as he wants. Merriman, on the other hand, does not.