Originally published September 28, 2009 at 6:50 a.m., updated September 28, 2009 at 10:53 a.m.
The San Diego Chargers got back on-track with their victory over the Miami Dolphins. We're joined on Morning Edition by North County Times Sports Columnist Jay Paris.
Dwane Brown: San Diego Chargers got back on track with a win over the Miami Dolphins at Qualcomm Sunday. Joining us on Morning Edition is North County Times sports columnist Jay Paris. Well, the Chargers relied on the passing game to beat the Dolphins, Jay, 23-13. What happens if quarterback Philip Rivers has a bad game?
Jay Paris: Boy, that's like back in the day saying what happens when Tony Gwynn goes 0-4. If there is any doubt, this is Philip Rivers' team, that question has been put to rest, especially over the last two weeks. He's thrown for 739 yards, even run for a touchdown. And really, a twist on the old saying, these are your father's Chargers. This is Sid Gillman, this is Don Coryell, Dan Fouts, those kind of guys. What they are doing through the air is pretty impressive. When you are impressive in the Chargers history throwing the football, that's really saying something.
Alan Ray: Now, we were worried months ago about the durability of LaDainian Tomlinson. He was out again yesterday. Should we get used to the idea that we are not going to see him anywhere but the sideline for a while?
Paris: I don't think so. I think he's close. That's not say he's going to play this week. I think what they'd like to do is give that ankle one more week. And not go against that Steeler run defense right off the bat. And then with a by the following week, that'd really give him about a month to rest that thing. You were right. There was quite a bit of concern on his health. Mostly strains and stuff like this. This is a pretty severe sprained ankle; which, even a teenager can get. It's part of the game and hopefully it's be a trend that LT won't be nicked up this season.
Brown: One running back on the Miami Dolphins team, former San Diego native, Ricky Williams, scored his first touchdown of the season against the Chargers. He's probably feeling good this morning.
Paris: He's probably feeling good. Patrick Henry star and former Texas star as well, had a star-crossed career if you will. He was happy to be back and he's always great for San Diego. Miami, they got a dynamite running game now but they lost their quarterback midway through the game last night. There's a team now, you think Chargers fans have gnashing their teeth a little bit; the Dolphins won their division last year 11-5 and now their sitting 0-3. It was a big win yesterday. I know its September and there are a lot of miles to travel here, but the Chargers are 1-2(sic) going to Pittsburg next week, who eliminated them from the playoffs last year. That would have been tough to swallow. They're 2-1, above .500, and Rivers just keep chucking, baby.
Ray: You know we got a new coach, but honestly on the football, Jay, it looks a little like the same old Aztecs, doesn't it?
Paris: Yeah, there's not much difference. And really, to be fair to any new coach, especially one taking over a program that's been as down as the Aztecs have been in the last 10 years or so, it's going to take a little time. That said, their strength is throwing the ball, too. Lindley had four interceptions Saturday up at Colorado Springs, and lost another ball on a fumble. So, there's not much margin of error, there, when you're trying to build a team. You almost got to play perfect, and they don't. They got New Mexico State this Saturday night, which nothing else, is a showdown of the two finalists for this job. DeWayne Walker took the job at New Mexico State after the Aztecs decided to go with Brady Hoke. So, maybe they'll be a good match-up on the sideline, if nothing else.
Brown: Well, the Padres wrap up the baseball season this week. What do you think needs to be done to the team in the off season to get back a competitive level?
Paris: A little more starting pitching. Another bat in the middle would certainly fit in nicely. At least it's not hitting the tape here with your chin on your chest and 'woe is me.' They are finishing these final five games with their head high. They played well since the end of July. Ten games over .500 or so, they played the young guys and have learned so much of what they have in their system, and what they don't have. There's encouraging signs down there. There really is. There's work to be done in the off season. At least it's an off season they go into with a glimmer of hope and that really can't be said this time last year.
Ray: That's North County Times sports columnist Jay Paris.