Posts Tagged ‘eddie pappani’

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Interview With The Oracle: Preseason Edition

September 3, 2009

eddieIn what has become a regular segment, “The Oracle” Eddie Pappani joined me to talk Chargers football, where he made a few bold predictions in the process. For the complete interview, read on…

Jeff: Hey Oracle! If I haven’t mentioned it before, congratulations on becoming a dad for the first time! I think I can assume that you’ll raise her right…to be a Chargers fan of course!

Eddie: Are you kidding? My wife is born and raised in San Diego. She had a Chargers outfit before she was even born. Of course, she is ready.

Jeff: The Chargers have had a fairly uneventful training camp and preseason, although there are a few interesting stories that seem to be developing this week. What would you consider to be the biggest story of the preseason so far?

Eddie: I think the offensive line. The right side is a concern. Losing Mike Goff was not a big deal to me, as long as they got someone to replace him. I didn’t like the idea of going with journeyman Kynan Forney. He was on the team last year and didn’t see the field, and now he has been hurt with a neck injury. So we are gonna go with Louis Vasquez. I like the rookie, but he is a rookie. He is gonna be prone to mistakes. Worries me. Jeromy Clary needs to be better. He has not impressed me since being inserted into the starting lineup. Step up or step off, I say. If the Chargers are gonna go far, they need the O-line to play better. Period.

Jeff: One story I keep hoping to see includes AJ finding some O-line help. After watching the first three preseason games, what else has you concerned heading into the season?

Eddie: I think another big concern is my boy, Shawne Merriman. He looks to be favoring his knee. He may be doing it just to protect it during preseason, but it worries me. Come week 1 at Oakland, I hope I see #56 have that burst back.

Jeff: Have you seen anything that surprised you so far in the preseason?

Eddie: I think the play of some of the secondary has surprised me a bit. I like the way Cromartie and Jammer have been playing. That is kind of expected, but some other guys have looked good too. I am a big Kevin Ellison fan. I think the rookie safety will eventually take Clinton Hart’s job. I think that C.J. Spillman has made some plays. Brandon Hughes looked ok before he got hurt. Steve Gregory looks like he has improved. It’s good to see the secondary playing better.

Jeff: Which positions would you describe as the Chargers biggest strengths and weaknesses at this point?

Eddie: Linebacker is a big strength, so much so that the guys we cut might start for other teams. The addition of Kevin Burnett is huge. That guy will be a Pro Bowler. Larry English will be a nice situational pass rusher. I hope we keep Brandon Siler. He is a monster on goal line and special teams. It’s tough though. Who do you cut? Antwan Applewhite deserves a spot on this team. He plays hard. And you still have Merriman, Phillips, Cooper, Dobbins and Tucker. I would cut Jyles Tucker if anyone, but they signed him to a fat extension and probably won’t. James Holt, the rookie from Kansas would normally make this team but we are loaded. He may be a practice squad guy. Weakness is the right side of the O-line. Gotta improve.

Jeff: I’m with you on the linebacking corp, but another postion that has become surprisingly strong is wide receiver. And not just Jackson and Chambers, but Nanee, Floyd, and even Buster have looked great. Lets step away from the Chargers for a minute and discuss some of the other big stories from around the league. Jay Cutler is no longer a Bronco- what do you think of the big trade that kicked him out of the division and the drama that continues to surround the Broncos?

Eddie: I am fine with the Broncos being in disarray. They are a mess. It started with firing Shannahan. Mistake. He is gonna comeback in the league and win. Cutler was easy to rattle. He will be fine in Chicago though. Kyle Orton is not a good quarterback. They are gonna have to rebuild. Hopefully for a few years.

Jeff: What are your thoughts about the rest of the AFC West?

Eddie: It’s the Chargers and then everybody else. Honestly, I will be disappointed if they don’t sweep the entire division. Broncos, please. A mess. Chiefs? No chance. Bad offense and even worse defense. Raiders? I actually thought they might be better, until watching them in the preseason. JaMarcus Russell is terrible. They better start Jeff Garcia or they are done. Their defense is ok, but the Chargers should still whip them. 6-0 for the Chargers (in the AFC West).

Jeff: Brett Favre is back…again. What’s your take on the man who couldn’t retire?

Eddie: He is a liar. It bugs me. I think it is fine that he still wants to play, but just say that. Don’t do all this ridiculous retirement stuff. Lame. I will say he makes the Vikings a scary team and maybe the team to beat in the NFC.

Jeff: Michael Crabtree- reaction!

Eddie: Not surprised. Whoever is in his ear does not have his best intentions. He was drafted 10th. He doesn’t feel like he is a 10th pick. He feels like he is a top 3 pick. Sorry bud. This isn’t hard. You are the 10th pick. You will get paid accordingly. So stupid. It will only hurt him.

Jeff: OK, back to the Bolts. So we’ve gone a few years now breaking down what some people consider to be “the most talented roster in the NFL,” and I have to say I’m sick of the talk- how about you? Are you getting a similar vibe from the players and staff at Chargers camp?

Eddie: Not this year. The Chargers are playing it very low key. Not a lot of Super Bowl talk. Last year, that killed them. They thought they were better than they actually were. This year, it seems they are letting their talk happen on the field, which is great. The fact is they are super deep. They should make a run but they have to put in the work. Let’s hope they do. Jeff: They have a pretty tough schedule this season. How do you see the regular season playing out? Eddie: I have them about 11-5. I give them 6 wins from the division. That means they only have to win 5 other games to finish with 11 wins. Should happen. I give them wins against Miami, Philly, Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Washington. They could beat Baltimore, Dallas, Tennessee, Giants, and Pittsburgh. So any combo of those wins, should get them to 11 wins and easily winning the division.

Jeff: Time to take a deeper look into the crystal ball- who do you predict will be squaring off in Super Bowl XLIV?

Eddie: Wow, so early? I am gonna take the Giants in the NFC. And I will be the homer and pick the Chargers. It will be a rematch of our week 9 game. Rivers vs. Manning. Can’t ask for more.

Jeff: One last question: Hank Bauer- one of the 50 Greatest Chargers Ever?

Eddie: Loaded question. It depends how you break it down. The Chargers are asking fans to vote on their website. They let you pick 2 special teamers. I have a hard time not picking David Binn and Kasim Osgood in that category. But if I am just listing Top 50 regardless of position…sure, I’ll put Hank in there. How’s that?

Jeff: I’m never going to get you on one of those Hank Bauer questions. Oracle, as always, thanks for taking some time out of your day to talk football with me.

You can catch Eddie on the Chargers Countdown To Kickoff Show that starts 3-hours before kickoff, and also weekday mornings on The Mikey Show, both on Rock 105.3.

Jeff Williams

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Interview With The Oracle- Draft Edition

April 23, 2009

eddieEddie Pappani from the Chargers’ Countdown To Kickoff show was good enough to give us his perspective of this weekend’s NFL Draft. Those who know Eddie know him as “The Sports Oracle”, and those who don’t need to start listening to the Mikey Show on Rock 105.3. On with the interview…

Jeff: What’s up Oracle? The NFL Draft is almost here! I’m amazed out how big this thing has gotten. The NFL has really become a 365-day a year event. What are your plans for draft day?

Eddie: I have been a draft geek since I was a little kid. I read a ton of publications and stay on top of it all year. It is my favorite sporting event all year. I have been to the draft several times as a reporter and it is so awesome. This year I will be an analyst on XTRA Sports 1360. We will be on from noon to 4pm. Should be a blast!

Jeff: No 28-hour draft show (Editor: Mikey Show inside joke)? You know I’m not giving up on that idea !

Eddie: I could do it. I can talk about the draft all day. I think Mel Kiper is my soul mate.

Jeff: So last year at this time the Chargers were seen as having the most talented roster in football. Where do you think they rank going into this year’s draft?

Eddie: They are still at the top. They have talent at every position. Of course they have some holes to fill, but they are still deep.

Jeff: There a few directions in which the Chargers could go in round one. Based on need, what are the areas the Chargers most need to improve upon this weekend?

Eddie: Defensive End is #1 in my book. They need to replace Igor. Which won’t be that hard to do. Next, I would like to see them grab an O-lineman. We need to fix the right side. There are some guys that can step in and play right tackle from day one. After that, I would like to see them grab another safety, inside linebacker, and maybe a running back. I disagree with most people saying we need to get a running back early. I think we are fine right now. Maybe next year we can address that need.

Jeff: Time to put on the GM hat. Based on who you think will be available at #16, who would be the Chargers first round selection?

Eddie: I hope that Everette Brown is there. He is a defensive end from Florida St. He is exactly what the Bolts need. A playmaking DE. He can rush the passer, and help with the run. I think he would be perfect. If he is gone, then you can look at some other DE’s on the board. Probably Tyson Jackson from LSU and Robert Ayers from Tennessee could be there. Possible options. They may like Michael Oher, a tackle from Mississippi. He could start at RT from day one and move Clary inside to guard. I know some people would want them to take Rey Maualuga, the linebacker from USC. I like him, but think we have other needs.

Jeff: In reality, do you think the Chargers will end up with a different player than one of those whom you mentioned?

Eddie: It’s too hard to say. There are so many variables. It’s a crap shoot. It’s like trying to predict the weather. They could go in a totally different direction. Who knows.

Jeff: Any chance the Chargers trade down to pick up an extra 1st/2nd round pick?

Eddie: It’s always an option. They tend to screw up their 2nd round picks, so I kinda hope they don’t. Let’s get a money player at 16 and then see what happens.

Jeff: Beyond the draft, what do you think about the possibility that the NFL will move to an 18-game regular season within a few years?

Eddie: I’m ok with it. I’m a bit of a traditionalist. It must be how older dudes felt when they went from 14 to 16 games. It feels weird. But if it eliminates 2 preseason games, I’m all for it.

Jeff: Yeah, I’m torn. Why change when what you are doing works so well? But an extra two-weeks of real football, not that exhibition stuff? Tough to complain about that! I’ll be sure to check in with you guys on Saturday. As always, thanks for taking some time to talk Chargers football!

Eddie: My pleasure. Let’s get someone good AJ! Call me…

Eddie Pappani is co-host of the Chargers pregame show on Rock 105.3, as well as the Producer and Sports Oracle of the Mikey Show from 6am-10am, Monday-Friday on Rock 105.3.

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Interview With The Oracle, Offseason Edition

January 26, 2009

The Oracle is back!  Eddie Pappani from the Chargers’ Countdown To Kickoff pregame show on Rock 105.3 is ready to talk Chargers football, and I’m curious to get his thoughts about the Chargers’ season and his feelings about the LT issue.
 
Jeff:  Eddie, I had such high-hope for the Chargers this year and I’m pretty bummed about the way things went down this season.  Still, they did make it two-games deep into the playoffs.  How do you view the Chargers’ season as a whole?… View the entire interview on Chargers Confidential at MVN.com.

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Interview With The Oracle: The Bye Week Edition

November 1, 2008

Surely by now you are familiar with the “The Oracle,” Eddie Pappani from Rock 105.3.  With the bye week upon us, what better time than now to catch up with the producer of the number-one rated “Mikey Show“, and the co-host of the Chargers Countdown To Kickoff show:

Jeff:  Hey Eddie!  The Chargers are 3-5 going into the bye week.  REACTION! 
Eddie:  Brutal.  I just don’t understand why a team so talented could keep doing the same thing over and over again with the same results.  The team has come out flat in most of their games.  I think that is a reflection of their head coach.  But that may be just me.  I think the move to get rid of Cottrell was the right one and had to be done.  He never made any adjustments.  Even Shawne Merriman said that last year.  I think this team is playing like a bunch of super talented individuals and not a team.  Until they do, it will be more of the same.   
 
Jeff:  What were your thoughts when you heard that Ted Cottrell had been fired? 
Eddie:  Well, look at my last response.  He seemed too stuck in his ways.  Not willing to make adjustments.  One thing you can say about Marty’s teams are that they would make great halftime adjustments.  This team, no clue.  They keep doing the same thing over and over again.  It’s hard to watch.  I hope this turns the corner. 
 
Jeff:  Do you have any inside info on new Defensive Coordinator Ron Rivera?
Eddie:  I am a little concerned about him.  I like the guy a lot.  But the reason he took the job in San Diego after getting ousted in Chicago was he wanted to learn to run the 3-4 defense.  He wants to be a head coach in the league and one of the knocks against him was not knowing the 3-4.  He has been with the Bolts for a season and a half now, so I’m sure he’s learned the in’s and out’s of the defense.  The guy is really smart.  He will figure it out.  I’ll tell you one thing, this team is gonna blitz a lot more.  They will get super aggressive.  Should be fun to watch. 
 
Jeff:  The firing of Ted Cottrell may just be one change we see before the week-10 match-up with Kansas City.  If you were head coach, what other changes would you make this week?  
Eddie:  I would run the no huddle a little more.  I think the team feeds off that energy.  Gates has to be more involved.  I would also give Hester the ball more in short yardage situations.  That is what he was drafted for.  I don’t think it’s right that he hasn’t gotten a fair shake.  The offense is not really the problem though.  It’s been the defense.  We made a change, so hopefully that will take. 
 
Jeff:  I totally agree with the your comment about Hester.  They spent too much on the guy to not even give him a shot to spell LT for more than one carry, especially down the stretch.  The 2nd half of the season contains a few very tough games, including away games in Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay.  How do you think the Chargers will do in their final eight games? 
Eddie:  They have to do better than they did the first half!  The Indy game will be tougher than first look too.  I think the Chargers will need to go 6-2 to win the division.  9-7 isn’t the best record, but Denver will fold at some point.  They have a tough road to make it into the playoffs.  They are in a huge hole.  It will be really tough to dig their way out.   
 
Jeff:  I recently asked UT reporter Kevin Acee to rank future Charger contract extensions in order of importance, and he ranked Rivers and Merriman at the top of his list.  How would you rank the top four or five contract extensions that the Chargers need to pursue?
Eddie:  I agree with Kevin.  You have to get your franchise QB under contract.  Then it’s clear we need Merriman.  He is the key to our defense.  If we decide to run a 4-3, then maybe he isn’t on top of the list.  But I think he is.  Hopefully the Chargers will see that you don’t come around a pass rusher like him very often.  After that, I would say McNeill, Vincent Jackson, Sproles and then Cromartie.  I know.  People probably think I’m crazy listing Cromartie last.  I am not a huge fan.  I think the kid is ultra talented, but he has a lot of holes in his game.  You have seen a lot of them this year.  I think he believed his press clippings after last season, talking about 15 picks (interceptions).  Come on.  He is not as good as he thinks.  Until he shows me he can play at a consistent level, he is last on my list.  I hope they get Kasim (Osgood) re-signed too.  He is so valuable on special teams. 
 
Jeff:  I seriously believe that the only sure way to turn around the Chargers’ performance is to initiate a 28-hour Chargers pre-game show.  Your thoughts? 
Eddie:  Umm, no.  I’m done with that nonsense for this year.  If I could guarantee them going 8-0 the rest of the way, I would consider it.  Wait, I just did…no.   
Jeff:  LOL…You know it would be huge!  Oh well, I’ll continue to dream.  Thanks Eddie!
Click here to read my previous post, The Chargers Lose And The Fans Win
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