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San Diego Chargers vs. New York Giants

San Diego Chargers vs. New York Giants

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12/07/2009

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For Immediate Releasewww.Chargers.comMonday, November 2, 2009(858) 874-4500
The San Diego Chargers will head to the Big Apple to meet theNew York Giants in Giants Stadium for the first time since 1995 whenthey square off on Sunday, Nov. 8. CBS Sports will send their topbroadcast team of
Jim Nantz
and
Phil Simms
to call the action withkickoff set for 4:15 p.m. EST (1:15 p.m. PST).These teams are both coming into Sunday’s game with winningrecords, however they do so from opposite ends of the spectrum. TheChargers have won two straight and come in at 4-3, while the Giantshave lost three in a row after a 5-0 start and come into Sunday’s con-test at 5-3. The Chargers trail Denver (6-1) by two games in the AFCWest, while the Giants are in third place in the NFC East, just one-halfgame behind 5-2 Philadelphia and Dallas.
2009 Schedule
REGULAR SEASON (4-3)Mon.Sept.14at OaklandW24-20
Sun.Sept.20BALTIMOREL26-31
Sun.Sept. 27MIAMIW23-13
Sun.Oct. 4at PittsburghL28-38Sun.Oct. 11ByeMon.Oct. 19DENVERL23-34
Sun.Oct. 25at Kansas CityW37-7Sun.Nov. 1OAKLANDW24-16
Sun.Nov. 8at New York Giants1:15 p.m.CBS
Sun.Nov. 15PHILADELPHIA1:15 p.m.FOX
Sun.Nov. 22at Denver*1:15 p.m.CBS
Sun.Nov. 29KANSAS CITY*1:05 p.m.CBS
Sun.Dec. 6at Cleveland*1:05 p.m.CBSSun.Dec. 13at Dallas*1:15 p.m.CBS
Sun.Dec. 20CINCINNATI*1:05 p.m.CBS
Fri.Dec. 25at Tennessee4:30 p.m.NFLN/KFMB
Sun.Jan. 3WASHINGTON*1:15 p.m.FOX
All times Pacific. Home games in
BOLD.
Home games will be subject to local blackout rules and will be shown locally if theyare sold out 72 hours prior to kickoff. Dates and times are subject to change.*Denotes flex scheduling and games subject to time change.
Press releases, player bios, notes and a downloadableversion of the Chargers’ 2009 Media Guide are available at
www.Chargers.com
.
Series History
Sunday’s game marks the Chargers’ first matchup against the Gi-ants in New York since Dec. 23, 1995, an afternoon which was marredby a barrage of snowballs thrown by Giants fans as the Chargerspicked up a 27-17 win to secure an AFC Wild Card Playoff spot. Over-all, the two teams have played nine times and New York leads the se-ries, 5-4. The last two games in the series have been played in SanDiego with the Giants winning 34-16 in 1998 and the Chargers win-ning in 2005, 45-23. This will be the sixth series game played in NewYork where the Giants hold a 3-2 advantage.
Television and Radio Coverage
CBS SPORTSKFMB-TV (Ch. 8 San Diego) and KCBS-TV (Ch. 2 Los Angelesand Orange County)Jim Nantz
(play-by-play) and
Phil Simms
(analyst)
Sports USA Radio (National)Larry Kahn
(play-by-play),
John Robinson
(analyst)and
Troy West
(sidelines)
Rock 105.3 FM, XTRA Sports 1360 (San Diego)and AM 570 KLAC (Los Angeles)Josh Lewin
(play-by-play) and
Hank Bauer
(analyst)
The Chargers Radio Network includes KGEO 1230 AM in Bakersfield; KNWH 1250AM in the Yucca Valley; KNWQ 1140 AM in Palm Springs; KNWZ 970 AM in theCoachella Valley; KOSS 1380 AM in Palmdale and Lancaster, KSPA 1510 AM in On-tario, Rancho Cucamonga and the Inland Empire; KATY 101.3 FM in Temecula andthe Inland Empire; KWDJ 1360 AM in Ridgecrest; ESPN Radio 1100 AM in Las Vegas;KXO 107.5 FM in the Imperial Valley and Yuma, Arizona; and SiriusSatellite Radio.
XHFG 107.3 (San Diego) and KWKW 1330 AM(Los Angeles) - SpanishJorge Villanueva
(play-by-play) and
Adrian Garcia
(analyst)
Chargers-Giants Connections
Chargers General Manager
A.J. Smith
began his NFL career as apart-time scout with the Giants in 1977. VP of Football Operations
Ed McGuire
is from Riverhead, New York and a graduate of St. John’sUniversity. Defensive line coach
Don Johnson
is a native of Newark,New Jersey. He attended Butler Community College and Jersey CityState University. He tried out for the New York Jets and played forthe USFL’s New Jersey Generals, who played their home games at Gi-ants Stadium. Chargers Executive Officer
A.G. Spanos
and Directorof College Scouting
John Spanos
both completed internships in theNFL Offices in New York. Chief Operating Officer
Jim Steeg
spent 34years working at the League Offices, 26 of which were spent coordi-nating NFL special events, including the Super Bowl.Chargers defensive end
Luis Castillo
is from Garfield, New Jersey(Garfield HS). Safety
Steve Gregory
grew up in Staten Island, New York,prepping at Curtis High School before moving on to an All-Big East ca-reer at Syracuse. Center-guard
Dennis Norman
is from Marlton, NewJersey. He prepped at Cherokee High School and Princeton University.Linebacker
Shaun Phillips
is from Willingboro, N.J. (Willingboro HS)and fellow LB
Jyles Tucker
is from Dover N.J. (Morristown Beard HS).Giants offensive coordinator
Kevin Gilbride
was the Chargers’ headcoach in 1997 and for the first six games in 1998. Running back
GartrellJohnson
was a fourth-round draft choice of the Chargers in 2009 andwas claimed by the Giants off waivers in September. The Chargers drafted
Eli Manning
with the first overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft and latertraded his rights to the Giants in exchange for quarterback
Philip Rivers
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS vs. NEW YORK GIANTS
4:15 p.m. EST/1:15 p.m. PST — Sunday, Nov. 8, 2009Giants Stadium — East Rutherford, New Jersey
 
and three additional draft choices that netted three-time Pro Bowl line-backer
Shawne Merriman
and 2006 Pro Bowl kicker
Nate Kaeding
.Giants players with Southern California ties include wide receivers
Ramses Barden
(La Canada Flintridge),
Derek Hagan
(Palmdale) and
Steve Smith
(Woodland Hills and USC), quarterback
David Carr
(Bak-ersfield), tackle
Adam Koets
(Santa Ana), linebacker
Antonio Pierce
(Ontario) and cornerback
Terrell Thomas
(Alto Loma and USC).
This Week’s Practice and Media Schedule
Media wishing to access the Media Center, cover the open practiceperiod or gather interviews post-practice should enter the facility viathe walk-through gate nearest the Media Center .
Wed.Nov. 3Media Center open 12:00-9:00 pm10:40 am PT
Tom Coughlin Conference Call++11:00 am PT – Eli Manning Conference Call++2:45 pm ET – Philip RiversConference Call3:00 pm ET
Norv Turner Conference Call++(1-218-862-7200; Conf. Code: 921315)++*1:30-3:00 pm practice; interviews afterThu.Nov. 4Media Center open 12:00-9:00 pm*1:30-3:00 pm practice; interviews afterFri.Nov. 5Media Center open 9:00-6:00 pm*10:30-11:45 am practice; interviews afterSat.Nov. 6Media Center Closed; No Availability* Practice is open for first 20-30 minutes.
A reminder to all media: there is no live reporting of any kind from thefield during the open practice period. That means no use of cell phonesor other electronic devices for any reason, including calls, blogs, textsand tweets. In addition, once you leave the field during or after the openpractice period, you may not return to the field until after practice.
Big-Play, Quick-Strike
Under
Norv Turner
, San Diego’s offense shares many of the princi-ples of the legendary “Air Coryell” offense,made famous by Coach
Don Coryell
. The of-fense relies on big plays and quick strikes, tak-ing advantage of a quarterback with a strongarm and big-play wide receivers. The Chargers have exactlythat in quarterback
Philip Rivers
and their twin tower receivers of
Vin-cent Jackson
and
Malcom Floyd
who both stand 6-5. The currentChargers also have one of the NFL’s best tight ends in 6-4
AntonioGates
, whose career has mirrored that of Hall of Famer
Kellen Winslow
.The Chargers have 18 passing plays of 25+ yards this year, tied forthird-most in the NFL. Jackson and Gates have six, Floyd three, Dar-ren Sproles two and
LaDainian Tomlinson
one.
Big-Game Jackson
Keep an eye on
Vincent Jackson
Sunday as he hopes to match
John Jefferson
(1980), the last player in Chargers annalsto record five 100-yard receiving performances in thefirst eight games of the season.Jackson has exceeded 100 yards in each of the lasttwo games, including a season-high 142 yards twoweeks ago in Kansas City and a 103-yard outing this past Sundayagainst Oakland and is on pace for a career-best season, much likeJefferson had in ’80. With 664 yards and five touchdowns, Jackson ison track to shatter his 2008 career-high season of 1,098 yards andseven scores. By comparison, Jefferson had his career-best season in1980, notching 1,340 yards and 13 TDs.Jackson leads the NFL with four 100-yarders and is the first Charg-ers wide receiver with four 100-yard games in a season since 2001and his four in a seven-game stretch are the most by a Bolt since 1999.Among Jackson’s receptions this season are three catches of 50+yards, tied for second-most in the NFL. Philadelphia’s
DeSean Jack-son
, who will face the Chargers in two weeks, leads the NFL with five.
Rivers makes it eight-straightPhilip Rivers’
win over Oakland last Sunday was hiseighth-straight over the Raiders, making him a perfect 8-0 against the “Silver and Black.” Only three other quarter-backs in NFL history have posted longer streaks over anopponent at the start of their career.Ben Roethlisberger*10vs. ClevelandDaunte Culpepper*9vs. DetroitPeyton Manning9vs. Houston
Philip Rivers*8vs. Oakland
*active streaksThe Chargers’ starting quarterback since ’06, Rivers has led theteam to three straight playoff seasons. His record as a starter is 40-21 (.656), including playoffs, and his record at Qualcomm Stadium isan even more impressive 24-7 (.774).The team’s career record-holder for passer rating (93.4), Riversagain ranks among the league’s most efficient passers in 2009. Lastweek he threw his first interception since Sept. 20, a career-best spanof 143 throws. Rivers on Aug. 24 signed a six-year contract extensionthru the 2015 season.
Chargers-Giants Connections, cont.Third-down dynamosVincent Jackson
has become the Chargers’ go-to man on third-down. Jackson ranks second in the NFL with 218 receiving yards onthird down. In last Sunday’s game against Oakland, Jackson caughtan eight-yard touchdown pass on 3rd-and-4 and during the drive hadcatches of 20 yards on 3rd-and-7 and 14 yards on 3rd-and-9.Teammates
Darren Sproles
and
Antonio Gates
have also beenvaluable weapons on third down. Sproles’ 177 third-down receivingyards rank ninth in the NFL, while Gates’ 176 rank 10th.
LT reaches one milestone and others in sightLaDainian Tomlinson
added yet another notch on hismilestone belt, becoming the 14th player in NFL history torush for more than 12,000 career yards during the Charg-ers’ 24-16 win over the Raiders last Sunday. The NFL’s 14thall-time leading rusher (12,027), Tomlinson heads to NewYork this week within striking distance of former Buffalo Bill
Thur-manThomas
, the league’s 13th leading rusher with 12,074 yards, and
Franco Harris
, its 12th leading rusher with 12,120 yards. LT will need47 to tie Thomas and 93 to equal Harris.Tomlinson, who hit the 12k mark on his second touchdown run ofthe game last week, became the fourth-fastest player in NFL history(132 games) to reach the total. Only
Jim Brown
(115),
Eric Dickerson
(118) and
Barry Sanders
(125) did so in fewer games than LT.Tomlinson also enters the game with 144 career touchdowns(rushing and receiving) after a two-TD performance last Sunday vs.Oakland. He now sits one behind
Marcus Allen
(145) for the third-most touchdowns of all-time. Tomlinson has faced the Giants just onetime, but it was a memorable one as he rushed for 192 yards and threeTDs in a 45-23 win in San Diego in 2005.
 
My time has come
One of the most interesting stories to follow this season involvesthat of starting DT
Ogemdi Nwagbuo
(oh-GEM-dee new-WAH-boe). His parents were born in Nigeria and eventhough “OG,” as he’s become known by teammates, wasborn in San Diego, he was given a Nigerian name, whichtranslated to English means “my time will come.” Nwag-buo is the family’s surname.Nwagbuo got a very late start playing football. He did not play asa prep at Mt. Miguel High School in the San Diego suburb of SpringValley. After graduating, Nwagbuo enrolled at Southwestern Collegein San Diego and got his first exposure to the game. A successful two-year stint led to a scholarship to Michigan State where he earned a de-gree in interdisciplinary studies. Nwagbuo was then signed and spenttime with the New York Giants in 2008. Between the time of his re-lease from the Giants and his signing with the Chargers to their prac-tice squad late in the ’08 season, Nwagbuo took a job in customerservice for Enterprise Rent-a-Car in San Diego. He continued to workat Enterprise thru the team’s 2009 offseason condi-tioning program, leaving the job just a couple weeksbefore training camp was set to begin in late July.Through seven games this season, the Bolts’ starting defensivetackle ranks second on the defensive line with 23 tackles and he’s tiedfor the position’s lead with four tackles for loss.
Public Relations Contact InformationBill Johnston
. . . . . . . . . . Director of Public Relations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .(858) 874-4661 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . johnstonb@chargers.nfl.com 
Scott Yoffe
. . . . . . . . . . . Assistant Director of Public Relations . . . . . . . . . . . .(858) 874-4659 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .yoffes@chargers.nfl.com 
Jamaal LaFrance
. . . . . . . Media Relations Coordinator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .(858) 874-4563 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .lafrancej@chargers.nfl.com
Jennifer Rojas
. . . . . . . . . Corporate Communications Coordinator . . . . . . . . .(858) 874-4662 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .rojasj@chargers.nfl.com
Casey Pearce
. . . . . . . . . . Web Site & Publications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .(858) 874-4660 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .pearcec@chargers.nfl.com
Joel Price
. . . . . . . . . . . . . Manager, Internet Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .(858) 874-4609 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .pricej@chargers.nfl.com
Hester a SpECial teamer
Apparently you can’t spell special teams without the SEC. When theChargers drafted LSU’s
Jacob Hester
in the third roundin 2008, they knew they were getting more than an ex-plosive offensive player. In college, Hester earned a rep-utation as one of the Tigers’ top special teams players and he has carriedthat tenacity to the Chargers. Hester’s 14 special teams tackles as arookie were fourth on the team. This year, he has three tackles, a forcedfumble, a fumble recovery and two touchdowns on special teams. Twoweeks ago in Kansas City, Hester blocked his first ever punt and then re-covered it in the end zone for a touchdown. That was the Bolts’ firstpunt block TD since Sept. 26, 1999 vs. Indianapolis. And on Oct. 4 inPittsburgh, Hester recorded a strip and steal against Steelers punt re-turner
Stefan Logan
and returned the ball 41 yards for a touchdown.Two of Hester’s former mates in the SEC have also made their markon special teams. Linebacker and former Florida Gator
Brandon Siler
is tied for the team lead with 10 special teams tackles, while formerGeorgia Bulldog
Paul Oliver
ranks third with eight. Oliver, who hasalso seeing increased playing time on defense, recorded his first in-terception of the season in the Chiefs game.
Nations United
There is a section of the Chargers’ locker room,primarily occupied by defensive linemen that has be-come its own United Nations of sorts. Of the nine playerswhose locker stalls fill the section, five are either for-eign born or the children of parents born in coun-tries outside the United States. They include DE
JacquesCesaire
(Haitian), DE
Luis Castillo
(Dominican andGreek), DE
Vaughn Martin
(Jamaican and Canadian),DE
Travis Johnson
(Panamanian) and DE
Ogemdi Nwagbuo
(Nigerian).
Defense delivers
The Chargers’ defense has put together its two best games of theseason in the last two weeks. Led by the resurgence of
Shaun Phillips
and
Shawne Merriman
, the Chargershave recorded five sacks in each of the last two games.Phillips and Merriman each had two sacks against theRaiders last Sunday, the first time they each had two sacks in a gamesince a 2007 matchup with the Raiders. For Phillips, it was his sec-ond-straight two-sack game, a career-first. Safety
Steve Gregory
alsohad a sack for the second week in a row as the Bolts held
JaMarcusRussell
to 109 yards passing and a rating of 56.8.Two weeks ago in Kansas City, the Bolts’ D allowed season-lowseven points; held the Chiefs to 203 net yards of total offense; col-lected a season-high three interceptions; pitched a first-half shutout,and held Chiefs QB
Matt Cassel
to a season-low 25.3 passer ratingday in which he completed just 10-of-25 (.400) for 97 yards with oneTD and the three INTs.
2003 free agent class hits century mark for games played
Hailed by some as one of the greatest class of undrafted freeagents ever assembled, several of those players are onthe cusp of a participation milestone. Last Sundayagainst Oakland, five-time Pro Bowl tight end
AntonioGates
played in his 100th career game and this week,linebacker
Stephen Cooper
and special teams ace
Kassim Osgood
willmost likely play in their 100th career games. Other members of that2003 class signed by
A.J. Smith
in his first year as general manager in-clude two-time Pro Bowl guard
Kris Dielman
and defensive end
Jacques Cesaire
, who have both played 90 games for the Chargers.
Offensive line steadfastly improved
The Chargers’ offensive line heads to New York this week off itstwo best performances of the year. Last weekagainst Oakland, the unit only allowed one sack in26 pass plays and blocked for a 100-yard rushingeffort. It was a marked improvement from Week 1against the Raiders, when the line allowed three sacks, five hits onquarterback Philip Rivers and just 77 yards rushing. Two weeks ago inKC, the Bolts’ O-Line allowed zero sacks in 30 pass plays and openedholes for a 135 yards rushing against the Chiefs.
Big Play SprolesDarren Sproles
is one of the NFL’s most dangerous all-purposethreats, ranking second in the league with 1,336combined yards. Sproles has made six plays this sea-son of 50-yards-or-longer. He has three long kickoffreturns, including 66 and 59-yarders vs. Oakland inWeek 1, a 77-yard punt return for a TD and, receiving TDs of 58 and81 yards.

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