Chargers GM A.J. Smith is not making many friends in his own locker room these days, as after Sunday’s beating in Pittsburgh, the GM stated his team was “soft and bewildered.”
The Chargers didn’t play well, that’s for sure, against the Steelers on Sunday night, falling behind 28-0 and allowing the defending Super Bowl champions to pile up 497 yards of offense. They did rally to make it look like a game, but never could really get a big play when they needed it.
On Wednesday, Smith was quoted in The San Diego Union-Tribune as saying, “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.”
Now Charger LB Shawne Merriman is speaking out, this after he had first declined to comment.
“I don’t know too much of that. That’s an opinion of a person, and it’s not needed,” Merriman said. “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 little more. But all that extra (stuff) is not needed at all.”
Merriman said it would be easier to absorb such talk if it came from a teammate.
“The only opinions that matter to me are the ones in this locker room. Anything else, it doesn’t matter,” he said.
The linebacker, back with the team after missing 15 games in 2008, says that right now the issue for the Chargers is they are missing an attitude.
“When you play with an attitude you want to finish plays,” he said. “Playing with just a nasty attitude, that’s something that has to be gained around here. And it’s not happening right now—but I could say that as a player because I’m going on the field. We say that in the locker room as players. We say that to each other.”